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The Waitlist

Posted by on February 22, 2019

The Waitlist

by Bob Strodel, Executive Director

This is a true story, but the names have been changed…

In September your daughter Wendy gets her Deer Run re-enrollment in the mail, along with a fun “cabin picture.” The picture now adorns her dresser. As she delivers the camp application to you, she asks if she can please return to Deer Run next summer. “Of course, Honey, I’m glad you had a great time at camp—let me have the application and when I get to work on Monday, I’ll send it in.”  Happy daughter sets off to immediately text her friends that she can’t wait to see them at Deer Run, and the application goes into your briefcase for Monday’s to-dos.

Fast forward to December, three days after Christmas. Your spouse calls you at work and says, “I called Deer Run today to update Wendy’s cabin mate preference and she’s not registered. Wendy said you sent it in…back in September? And the bad news is that her session is full with a waitlist. I’m a bit concerned.” Your heart rate accelerates as you look down into your briefcase and discover Wendy’s camp application, tucked behind paperwork. You immediately panic as you imagine the tears of frustration and disappointment that await you.

 Welcome to the waitlist! Between Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost, camp only has 344 camper beds. When registrations have filled these beds for each particular session, a waitlist is established. Names are recorded and placed in a first-come, first-serve basis. When a bed becomes available through a cancellation, our wonderful registrar, Dorothy Legro, will start at the top of the list and offer the space to the next camper.

Why do we have a waitlist and why can’t camp make more space? Actually, in the past 25 years, camp has grown to accommodate additional campers. Not only have we physically added new cabins, but also we added a whole new camp, Moose River Outpost! The Board of Directors ultimately decided that in order to maintain an excellent quality camp, we needed to limit the number of campers in each cabin and have capped the number of cabins at each camp.

When will I know if a spot opens up? We are totally dependent on cancellations to open up spots, so it is impossible to predict. If your child is #3 on the list, your chances are better than if they are #30.

How to avoid the waitlist?  Sign up early! We have families too, and we understand that you may not know your family’s summer schedule nine months ahead. Therefore, camp’s cancellation policy will refund your deposit before the end of February. This allows you to get your camper signed up and provides you with some time to adjust your summer schedule. You can be placed on the waitlist for multiple camps and multiple sessions. If a spot opens up at Moose River Outpost, you will be offered that spot, even though you might simultaneously be on Brookwoods’ waitlist.

What if you are new to camp and didn’t have the opportunity to sign up early and are already on the waitlist?  Dorothy can place your camper on a waitlist for several sessions to help increase your chances of coming to camp. If you don’t get into camp, we will send you enrollment information early the following year.

I hope this helps the “mystery” of the waitlist. Our hearts go out to those campers who unexpectedly find themselves on the waitlist, it’s hard for us too! We are happy to answer additional questions if you would like to call the Main Office at 603-875-3600.

One final thing: As I write this blog today we DO HAVE SPACES at all our camps.  Some sessions have a waitlist, but others are still open, so I encourage you to get your campers enrolled!


Bob Strodel has been the Executive Director at Christian Camps and Conferences for 25 years. He has listened to many “waitlist stories” from panicky moms and dads. This picture is of Bob and his family when they first started working at Brookwoods.  Bob can be reached here.

 
 
 

Winter Reunion 2018

Posted by on December 30, 2018

Season’s greetings campers,

Have you been missing camp lately?

Well then you should have joined up at the recent Winter Reunion.

Here is the video of the event:

You also missed out on these cool shirts……

A Christmas Eve Pageant

Posted by on December 24, 2018

For years, whenever Christmas pageants are talked about in a certain little town in the Midwest, someone is sure to mention Wallace Purling. Wally’s performance in one particular production of the annual Nativity play has slipped into the realm of legend. The old-timers who were in the audience never tire of recalling the evening’s events.

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

Still, Wally was well liked by the other children in his class, all of whom were smaller than him—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 Wally out, but he would hang around anyway—not sulking, just hoping. Wally was always helpful, willing and smiling. He was also the protector, paradoxically, of the underdog. If the older boys chased the younger kids away, Wally would 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, beards, crowns, halos, and a full stage of squeaky voices.

No one on or off stage 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 set’s painted wooden door. 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 walk 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 the Staff at Brookwoods, Deer Run and Moose River Outpost.

Luke 2: 9-14: “And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’”

 

Bob Strodel is currently serving as the Executive Director at Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc. Bob and Debbie have been at camp since 1994 and enjoy seeing Camp’s third generation of campers become a part of the camp family.   bob@christiancamps.net

Director of Ministry Services

Posted by on December 17, 2018

bob Bob Strodel, Executive Director

I wanted to provide you an update on the search process for the Director of Ministry Services position at CCCI.

Over the past several months we have conducted a search for the right individual for this position.   A detailed job description was formulated and the opening was posted on several sites, including: InDeed, ACA website, CCCA website and through an announcement on camp’s social media network.

We received a surprising strong level of applicants for the position, and many additional phone or e-mail conversations with me from folks who wanted more information.   A detailed weighted matrix was established to screen the candidates, and the top candidates were given phone interviews, followed by a video conference interview with the HR Committee of the top candidates.

An offer has been extended and accepted by Tim Nielsen, who has directed Camp Sandy Cove since 1989.  He is a former Brookwoods camper, and has earned an MA in Christian Education.  His undergraduate work in Communication was done at Houghton College in New York.  Tim has been involved with ACA and CCCA for many years as a true camp professional.

When we looked at the candidates, Tim provided a great mix of experience, stability, prior history with the camp and ability to make an immediate impact.  Tim loves the ministry of camping, and we believe that this love, combined with emotional ties to Brookwoods, will foster a long-term stable relationship.

I would like to thank the HR Committee (David Bass, Bob Bennett and Jon Bryan) working through this process with me over the past several months, and for their blessing they provided on the hiring of Tim.

Tim and Adina are finalizing arrangements for transition to New Hampshire with Tilba and Dagny.

New Camp Registrar

Posted by on September 12, 2018

Bob Strodel, Executive Director

We are very pleased to welcome Dorothy Legro to the team at camp.  Dorothy will be serving as the Camp Registrar at Brookwoods, Deer Run and Mooser River Outpost.  Originally from Massachusetts, Dorothy has a host of fine customer service experience with several professional firms.  She moved to Alton a few years ago with her dogs, Ben and Jerry, and enjoys gardening and spending time with her family and church friends.    The Registrar is responsible for working with parents in getting our 1000+ campers signed up for each summer.  Dorothy will be serving you with a smile on her face, which you can almost hear,  if you give her a call at the camp office with questions or concerns.