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Fall Family Getaways

Posted by on July 31, 2020

We are excited to invite you and your family to Brookwoods for one of our Fall Family Getaways!  The weekend (Friday dinner to Sunday lunch) includes housing, meals, and several of your favorite camp activities  for your family to enjoy!

If there is one thing we can definitely say about the COVID situation, it is unpredictable.   Many have no idea what the Fall will look like for schooling options, working at home situations, going to sporting events, or enjoying traditional Fall events. We don’t know, but God knows.

Attending a Fall Family Getaway will give you an opportunity to enjoy camp when it works for your schedule this fall!

So get out of the house….enjoy someone else’s cooking for a few days and make some family memories.

Here are some of the Fall Family Getaway details…

Housing: Housing options and weekend dates will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis. Don’t delay, reserve your spots today! Click HERE for details and to sign up.

Dates: We’ve given some of the weekends a theme, which we thought might help you organize with other camp friends and families. The theme does not restrict that weekend to any particular group, however.

Schedule: Click HERE to see a typical sample weekend schedule .

Pre-Camp Arrival: The State of New Hampshire has guidelines about coming to NH if you do not live in New Hampshire. You can find those details here COVID-19 Waiver.

Fall Family Getaway questions and comments: Please contact dorothy@christiancamps.net if you have questions.

Winnipesaukee Weekends

Posted by on June 15, 2020

We are excited to invite you and your family to come to Camp Brookwoods and Deer Run for one of our “Winnipesaukee Weekends”!  The long weekend (Thursday dinner to Sunday lunch) includes housing, meals, and a variety of your favorite camp activities  for your family to enjoy!

If you’re like us, you’re thankful that our loooooooong spring has finally turned to summer. Over the years, many of you have told us that when June rolls around, you feel like there’s something you should be doing, and suddenly, you realize—it’s packing for camp! It’s part of your “camp circadian rhythm” (yes, we think it’s a thing). And what we didn’t know, but God did know, is that you now have an opportunity to come back to camp when it works for your schedule! Though it’s not the summer we planned on, we are delighted it will be a summer we’ll never forget, and our hearts are already full just thinking about you being at camp! We are excited to see you, to share camp stories, and to hear how God is working in your lives. We pray that this time to reconnect with you will be an encouragement to all of us!


Here are some of the Winnipesaukee Weekend details…

Housing: Housing options and weekend dates will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis. Don’t delay and reserve your spots today! Click HERE for details and to sign up.

Dates: We’ve given some of the weekends a theme, which we thought might help you organize with other camp friends and families. The theme does not restrict that weekend to any particular group, however. For example, July 30th to August 2nd is designated for Moose River Outpost, but you don’t need to be a part of the MRO community to attend. Other themes include: July 4th Celebration (with fireworks), LDP groups, SALT, MRO and Former Staff Reunion.

Schedule: Click HERE to see a typical sample weekend schedule .

Pre-Camp Arrival: The State of New Hampshire has guidelines about coming to NH if you do not live in New Hampshire. You can find those details HERE.

Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run & MRO Summer Announcement

In case you missed the email, by now you know that camp as we know it will not take place this summer at Brookwoods, Deer Run and Moose River Outpost. Here is a video message from Bob Strodel, Mary Beth Bowling and Ben Tabone. Also, here’s the message to the MRO family from Seth Coates.

Winnipesaukee Weekend questions and comments: Please contact dorothy@christiancamps.net if you have questions.

Brookwoods and Deer Run Announcement

Posted by on June 6, 2020

Brookwoods and Deer Run will not be running summer camp in 2020…but we will be having “Winnipesaukee Weekends!”

Thank you for your support, patience, and understanding over the past few months as we worked to respond to the unprecedented public health concerns presented by Covid-19 and figure out how, in this environment, we might be able to safely and successfully deliver a meaningful camp experience this summer.

Based on the recommendations of the New Hampshire Re-Opening Task Force released on May 19th, we were thrilled to be able to inform families this past Monday that camp would be opening, albeit with some changes and adjustments, for this upcoming summer. Based on the communications from parents, we know many of you were thrilled as well.

However, late this past Friday night, June 5th, the Governor of New Hampshire released the final set of guidelines for the opening of New Hampshire residential camps.  These guidelines were dramatically different than the ones released prior by the New Hampshire Re-Opening Task Force, upon which we initially based our decision to open camp.   The final guidelines would require us to operate camp at 50% occupancy with cabin size limited to 8 campers; campers and staff would need to endure multiple nasalpharyngeal swabs at a significant expense; campers would need to remain socially distant from those outside of their cabin groups for the entire duration of the 4 weeks at camp and complete a much stricter Pre-Camp Health Screening.  Staff would not be able to leave camp property for the entire summer. The final guidelines contain additional restrictions that were not in the Task Force’s initial recommendations, but these are the most dramatic changes.

After much discussion, prayer, and evaluation over the past 24-hours, both the Board of Directors and Senior Staff feel that given the newly released guidelines, we cannot operate Camp Brookwoods and Deer Run this summer.  The staff have worked very hard over the past 12 weeks to re-program the summer experience based on the guidelines already set forth by the experts at the American Camp Association, the Christian Camp and Conference Association, the CDC and our local government officials.  We were extremely disappointed to receive such dramatic changes to the guidelines from New Hampshire at such a late date and so close to the opening of camp.

Despite this discouraging news, we know and are encouraged by the knowledge that the Lord we serve has been in control all along and none of the events of the past 12 weeks were unknown to Him.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

We are heartbroken to think that our campers will not be able to come to camp this summer, especially after these very challenging past 12 weeks.  We grieve the loss of a childhood summer of outdoor fun and friendships, and we mourn the loss of ministry and hearing our campers singing in the Chapel.

Our staff thought through some creative approaches to open camp to you, our camp families.  We are happy to announce  plans for “Winnipesaukee Weekends” at Brookwoods, which will provide your family unit an opportunity to come up to Camp and enjoy the out-of-doors on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee.   George Bowling, our Tripping Director,  is exploring several wilderness adventures as well.  We look forward to sharing that news with you soon as it develops.

It is our continued desire, strengthened in moments like this, that Camp be a place where youth encounter Jesus in a real and tangible way, grow in their understanding of a Christian worldview, and gain life skills that will help them flourish and demonstrate God’s love in any community. It is with this mission that we now begin our planning for next summer.

We will be here to answer any questions you might have going forward as we move together down this unexpected and uncharted path.

If you are a parent with an enrolled 2020 camper, each family has several options on what to do with funds deposited for this summer:

  • Option 1Donation: If you are able, consider donating all, or a portion, of your paid deposit or tuition to camp’s General Fund. A donation at this time would be very much appreciated. The financial impact of not running camp has placed a great burden on our ministry. A tax-deductible receipt will be issued to you.
  • Option 2Roll Funds Forward to Next Summer: We would ask you to consider rolling forward any tuition paid for this summer. If you choose this option, we would guarantee your child a place in the same session for 2021. By choosing this option, you would greatly help us manage our cash flow and have funds on hand for current operations.
  • Option 3Full Refund: You may request a full refund by completing the on-line form below by June 30th. A full refund will be issued to you within 120 days of your request.

Access this Online Form to choose which option is best for you.

Thank you for being a part of the camp family,

 

Bob Strodel

Executive Director

Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc.

 

Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Click HERE for news about Moose River Outpost.

 

 

Summer Magic…

Posted by on May 8, 2020

Summer Magic…

by Bob Strodel, Executive Director

I’ve heard it said that your most favorite music is probably the tunes you enjoyed in high school. That’s not surprising as the developmental years in life are so formative and make such long lasting impressions. One of the BEST parts of my job at camp is  visiting and catching up with alumni, and the FUN part of that is hearing “old camp stories.”   

Last week I enjoyed a phone call with an alumnus, both a Brookwoods camper and staff member from the 1950’s. He is 83 years old and his memory of his camp days seemed as sharp as the day he served. His enthusiasm was contagious as he regaled me with camp stories, including the ability to recall the names of his fellow staff members and some of the challenges they faced “back in the day.” I was ready to hire him once again on our waterfront staff!   

Occasionally, I post a “Throwback Thursday” picture on my personal Facebook page. I’m always fascinated to see the comments unfold from alumni that recognize themselves or their friends who were “tagged” in the photograph. The comments are never anything like, “that was the worst time of my life,” but rather tend toward wonderful, uplifting memories of people, places, and events they enjoyed at camp and look back on fondly. Last week, I posted a photo of the 1981 Deer Run CITs. It resulted in a long string of comments, including: “Such wonderful memories”…”Oh, to be a kid again”…” You look the same”…” That was a great summer.”

There is something special about summer camp—I call it “Summer Magic.” The temporary community we call camp manages to form experiences, friendships, and memories that last a lifetime. At Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost, this is what we try to encourage through our programs: shared experiences, appropriate challenges, and conversations about life and our Lord.

Parents who have made the camp investment for their kids, also see this growth and development. If I could summarize the most frequent feedback I’ve received from parents over the last 26 years, it could be categorized in these three areas: 

  1. What did you “do” to my kid at camp? They now clean their room and read their Bible.
  2. How do you get such a great set of people at camp? My kid(s)’ best friends are all from camp and they are such a positive influence.
  3. Where did you find such great staff?

Of course, not every child is a good match for camp experiences, but I’ve enjoyed seeing the high rate of “happy campers.” And when parents can help prepare their children for the camp experience, this can help even more campers be successful in our camp environment.

Currently we are confident that on June 28th we will be able to welcome campers at Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost. That date is about two months away and while we don’t want to ignore what is happening around the world, we believe this period is a “blizzard” and not an “ice age.” I know that parents want to send their kids to camp this summer after the disruption to normal life, the extended distance education experience, and the need to get out of the house for recreation, fun, and interaction with friends. Our hope is that we will be able to provide a safe place for that to happen. We are continuing to accept applications for the summer and spaces continue to fill up.  Some of our sessions are 100% filled, but others still have a few spaces. Please tell your friends and family members about our wonderful camps. We are happy to send out New Information Packages to anyone who requests one. 

Please feel free to reach out and contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Camp is a happy place, and we are excited to prepare for a fun summer.

bob strodel signature

Bob Strodel has been the Executive Director at Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc. since 1995, and this summer will be his 46th at Brookwoods! His favorite camp activity is model rockets.

Trouble at the Inn

Posted by on December 24, 2019

Trouble at the Inn

For years now, whenever Christmas pageants are talked about in a certain little town in the Midwest, someone is sure to mention the name of Wallace Purling.

Wally’s performance in one annual production of the Nativity play has slipped into the realm of legend. But the old-timers who were in the audience that night never tire of recalling exactly what happened.

Wally was nine that year and in the second grade, though he should have been in the fourth. Most people in town knew that he had difficulty keeping up. He was big and awkward, slow in movement and mind.

Still, Wally was well liked by the other children in his class, all of whom were smaller than he, though the boys had trouble hiding their irritation when Wally would ask to play ball with them or any game, for that matter, in which winning was important.

They’d find a way to keep him out, but Wally would hang around anyway—not sulking, just hoping. He was a helpful boy, always willing and smiling, and the protector, paradoxically, of the underdog. If the older boys chased the younger ones away, it would be Wally who’d say, “Can’t they stay? They’re no bother.”

Wally fancied the idea of being a shepherd in the Christmas pageant, but the play’s director, Miss Lumbard, assigned him a more important role. After all, she reasoned, the innkeeper did not have too many lines, and Wally’s size would make his refusal of lodging to Joseph more forceful.

And so it happened that the usual large, partisan audience gathered for the town’s yearly extravaganza of crooks and creches, of beards, crowns, halos and a whole stageful of squeaky voices.

No one on stage or off was more caught up in the magic of the night than Wallace Purling. They said later that he stood in the wings and watched the performance with such fascination that Miss Lumbard had to make sure he didn’t wander onstage before his cue.

Then the time came when Joseph appeared, slowly, tenderly guiding Mary to the door of the inn. Joseph knocked hard on the wooden door set into the painted backdrop. Wally the innkeeper was there, waiting.

“What do you want?” Wally said, swinging the door open with a brusque gesture.

“We seek lodging.”

“Seek it elsewhere.” Wally spoke vigorously. “The inn is filled.”

“Sir, we have asked everywhere in vain. We have traveled far and are very weary.”

“There is no room in this inn for you.” Wally looked properly stern.

“Please, good innkeeper, this is my wife, Mary. She is heavy with child and needs a place to rest. Surely you must have some small corner for her. She is so tired.”

Now, for the first time, the innkeeper relaxed his stiff stance and looked down at Mary. With that, there was a long pause, long enough to make the audience a bit tense with embarrassment.

“No! Begone!” the prompter whispered.

“No!” Wally repeated automatically. “Begone!”

Joseph sadly placed his arm around Mary and Mary laid her head upon her husband’s shoulder and the two of them started to move away. The innkeeper did not return inside his inn, however. Wally stood there in the doorway, watching the forlorn couple. His mouth was open, his brow creased with concern, his eyes filling unmistakably with tears.

And suddenly this Christmas pageant became different from all others.

“Don’t go, Joseph,” Wally called out. “Bring Mary back.” And Wallace Purling’s face grew into a bright smile. “You can have my room.”

Some people in town thought that the pageant had been ruined. Yet there were others—many, many others—who considered it the most Christmas of all Christmas pageants they had ever seen.

 

 

Merry Christmas from your Camp Family at Brookwoods, Deer Run and Moose River Outpost.