Menu Our Camps

A Great Summer Job…

Posted by on January 25, 2019

You Can Get a Great Summer Job….

By Jason Daily, Brookwoods alumnus

Unit Directors, Jason is far left.

In 2003, I pulled down Camp Brookwoods Road after driving 790 miles from Columbus, Ohio. I was in search of a completely different summer from the typical internships, work-study, etc. During my 13-hour drive, I did a lot of daydreaming about what the summer ahead would be like. I arrived, not knowing a soul, yet excited for the experience awaiting me.

June through August was a brief period of time that drastically changed the trajectory of my entire life, including my relationship with God. I’m not exaggerating this—I’ve heard many fellow camp alumni say something similar. I’m continuing to find that the impact is exponential.

First, I gained lifelong friends. When I arrived, I didn’t know a soul. Fourteen short, fun-filled, intense weeks later, I left with awesome memories, best friends for life and a huge network of brothers and sisters scattered around the world. I experienced the joy of being a part of a Christian community in a new way. My experience this first summer is one reason why my wife and I continue to seek this kind of deep community in our local church.

I appreciate now just how much of my time at Brookwoods was an investment in my future. It was one of the most valuable leadership development experiences of my life. There are so many parallels to the skills I needed as a counselor, that help me thrive in my job today as an executive coach. For example, planning leadership development sessions for high-performing teams in a corporate setting isn’t much different from planning cabin/unit nights and Bible studies. Facilitating and leading groups is essential to a great cabin dynamic. These skills are fundamental to thriving in the professional world as well.

I also coach many leaders who are searching for their purpose, or are trying to better understand the effects of their behaviors in relationships. Bunking up with a group of twelve 13-year olds in the Otter Cabin could be a case study on emotional intelligence and active listening!

Brookwoods friends in Colorado. Jason is 2nd from the right.

In the 16 years since my first summer, I’ve only been back to camp a few times…but camp has never left me. Instead, I’ve traveled to visit the friends I made that summer. Camp truly knows no boundaries. It exists in the weekly phone calls and texts that I have with my best buds (five of them were groomsmen in my wedding) and the annual get-togethers despite the 2,000 miles that separate us.

However long the drive or flight might be for you, I promise you’ll be glad you drove down that bumpy road through the gates of Brookwoods and Deer Run or MRO’s 3-mile driveway. If you need any more convincing, you can ask anyone about Mission Impossible, Hawk Parties, trips to the White Mountains, sleeping under the stars, swamping canoes; this list goes on and on and on. Just make sure to turn off your cell phone, because you can’t miss a minute of the experience that awaits you!

Click here for a job application to join the adventure!

Jason Daily is an executive coach and leadership development consultant. He served as a counselor in the Otter Cabin in 2003, Unit Director in 2004 and 2006, and served on the conference staff in 2006. Jason lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife Shannon and daughter Josephine.  jndaily@gmail.com

Epiphany

Posted by on January 11, 2019

What Is the Epiphany and How Do I Celebrate It?

Craig Higgins

“I’ve had an epiphany!” Have you ever heard someone say that? I don’t know that I’ve ever said it, but I’ve felt that way—the excitement of new insight breaking through my thick head! An epiphany is a manifestation—a disclosure of something not previously fully seen. For Christians, the Epiphany is a festival day—and an entire season—in the traditional worship calendar. And what we celebrate is God’s full disclosure of His love for the whole world.

The Epiphany is celebrated on January 6—the first day after (yes, just like the song) the Twelve Days of Christmas. The focus is the visit of the Magi, the Wise Men of Matthew 2. In some places, this is the day (sometimes called Three Kings Day) on which gifts are exchanged, remembering the gifts brought by the Magi to the Christ Child.

Remember: The Wise Men were Gentiles, the first non-Jewish people to worship Jesus! This event, therefore, is an epiphany of God’s love for the whole world—the revelation that Jesus is not only the Messiah of Israel, but the King and Savior of all the nations of the earth. The Epiphany season then lasts from January 6 until Ash Wednesday.

 

Celebrating Epiphany

First, don’t cut Christmas short; celebrate all twelve days! In our house, we set up our creche well before Christmas—but baby Jesus doesn’t appear in the manger until Christmas Eve. Similarly, our three Wise Men start on the other side of the room and only make their appearance on the Epiphany!

Do something special on January 6. One tradition is to bake a King Cake, in which some trinket is hidden. Whoever gets the trinket wins a small prize—which could be a book, or simply the privilege of not doing the dishes!

Last—and most importantly—the entire Epiphany Season is a time to focus on the church’s global mission. Matthew’s Gospel opens with Gentiles worshiping the Christ Child, and closes with Jesus sending His church to make disciples of all the nations. So, during the Epiphany season:

  • pray for missionaries, especially those in distant or difficult places.
  • pray for the mission of the church—including the mission of camp!
  • consider ways that you can make a special offering in support of the church’s mission.

Maybe you’ve known about the Epiphany for years; maybe this celebration is new to you. In any case, why not make it a part of your year? After all, don’t we all need to be reminded of God’s amazing love for the whole world?

Dr. Craig Higgins is the founding and senior pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in the Westchester suburbs of New York City. Whenever possible, however, he is at camp, where his nametag reads “Resident Theologian.” His wife, Ann, serves year-round as camp’s Director of Development. They have three young adult children, all three of whom were campers, and all have been either LDPs, on staff, or both. You can find him on email, craighiggins@trinitychurch.cc

Your Story: Winter Reunion

Posted by on January 4, 2019

Your Story: Winter Reunion 2019

As I reflect on the Brookwoods and Deer Run Winter Reunion, I thank God for the opportunity to be a part of it. Approximately 130 campers and staff attended, ranging from campers, full-time staff, summer staff, LDP, SALT, and WILD. I attribute the success of the Winter Reunion to the Lord and thank Him for how He faithfully blesses the ministry of Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost.

“Your Story,” was our weekend theme, a spin off of the Toy Story movies. The supporting scripture was Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—.” Craig Higgins, former Brookwoods Camp Pastor, camper bible study author, and Senior Pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Purchase, NY, was our guest speaker.

Craig communicated that our individual stories are important because they help us understand where we come from and that our stories are significant. As followers of Jesus, our story is God’s story—the story of Jesus Christ: Christ the Savior is born, Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again. But wait, the story does not end there, our story is a RESCUE story. The salvation story of what God has done through Jesus is an amazing story of incredible love, forgiveness, liberation, and resurrection. This is the story that defines my story, and your story. Because of God’s amazing grace, we have the freedom to live out our stories. We are free to worship, to live missionally-minded, and to live NEW lives. As we remember who wrote our story, we are empowered to go out into the broken world, to love all sorts of people, just as Jesus did, and to ultimately live out God’s story.

Whether it was building gingerbread houses, tubing, broomball, playing games with friends, lip syncing across the stage, or fellowshipping around the bonfire, campers and staff had an uplifting time at Winter Reunion. As 2018 came to a close, this was the charge we all needed. Not only are we ready for 2019, we’re counting down the days until Incoming Day where we can continue to empower campers and staff to live out their stories, as God intended us to do.

Blessings to you in 2019,

Ben Tabone

P.S. To see a video clip from Winter Reunion click here!

Ben pictured far right, Glen Boulder Trail, Pinkham Notch

Ben Tabone serves on our full-time staff and is looking forward to his second summer serving as Brookwoods Co-Director. He spent many summers at Northern Frontier camp in New York’s Adirondacks and more recently on staff at Camp Spofford in Keene, NH. ben@christiancamps.net

 

 

 

 

Annual Fund: The 5 W’s, 1 H, & 1 TY

Posted by on December 21, 2018

Annual Fund: The 5 W’s, 1 H, and 1 TY

Ann Higgins, Director of Development

 

For this week’s Friday Blog I thought I would use this familiar journalistic device to talk about camp’s Annual Fund. I hope the information is helpful and answers some questions you might have about supporting camp.

What?

As in “What’s the Annual Fund, anyway?” As a non-profit organization, Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc. (Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost) is allowed to accept tax deductible donations from those wishing to support the work. The Annual Fund is an ongoing opportunity for the extended camp family to partner with us in the ministry through their financial support. Our theme is “Join the Journey” because we believe that everyone at camp is on their own faith journey to learn more about themselves, who they were created to be in Christ, and how to best serve the Kingdom. When you give, you come alongside the many campers and staff who are encouraged along their way at camp.

Why?

Camp’s Annual Fund is made up of two parts, General and Scholarship giving. General (undesignated) giving helps with those unexpected expenses. As you would predict, appliances wear out, recreational equipment breaks, and camp often experiences weather-related and other damage to facilities. Undesignated gifts allow us to use the funds where they are needed most. The Scholarship Fund is used to make camp a possibility for those who could not attend without financial assistance. Currently, about 25% of our campers require some assistance to attend. This equates to about $220,000 each year. Recently, our camp family has been faithfully fulfilling this need, which also helps us keep our tuition costs within reach for more families. Put simply, a strong Annual Fund makes an organization stronger and insures its longevity.

Who/Where?

The Annual Fund benefits all of our campers: Camp Brookwoods and Deer Run in New Hampshire, and Moose River Outpost in Maine.

When?

A goal is set annually by the Board of Directors for the Annual Fund for our fiscal year, January 1st through December 31st. This year, Scholarship giving has been strong as the Weekend of Giving in July boosted the fund by $59,000 in just three days! There are still a few more days left in 2018 to help us reach our overall giving goals. As a reminder, to qualify for a 2018 tax deduction, online gifts must be made by midnight on the 31st and checks must be dated and postmarked on or before the 31st as well.

How?

There are many ways to support camp. The most direct and familiar way is by donating via check or credit card. The year-end mailer can be viewed here and you can give online here.

Camp is also able to accept gifts of stocks and securities, transfers from an IRA, gifts through life insurance, and real estate. For more information on those types of gifts, please check out this section of our website.

There is also an option for scheduled, automatic giving through our monthly donor program, the Campfire Circle. Circle members receive special communications and a small welcome gift upon joining. You can find more information here.

So, that’s the 4 W’s and that one H. Last but not least, the most important thing is the TY—that’s for a great big Thank You! to everyone who supports camp through their prayers, or gifts of time, or financial support. It takes all of you to make our camps the special gospel-centered communities we desire them to be. May God bless us in the New Year as we seek to serve Him and witness more lives being transformed for Christ. Thanks be to God and Merry Christmas!

Ann Higgins is the Director of Development for Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost where the best part of her job is interacting with the thankful and generous camp family that supports our mission. You can reach her at ann@christiancamps.net

Why a Leadership Program?

Posted by on December 14, 2018
These SALTers biked 40 miles on the Kancamagus Highway!

Why You Should Apply for Leadership Programs Before Graduating?

As a high school student, there are tons of Leadership Programs to choose from all over the country. Here are 5 reasons why you should apply to one before you graduate.

  1. It will change your life.

When you are in school you are set up for a clear trajectory – to graduate – and after graduation you get to decide what the next trajectory will look like.

Leadership Programs take place in the perfect sweet spot before this next big trajectory happens for you, and they can be instrumental in helping you determine what that next trajectory should be or look like.

How can this happen? Keep reading.

  1. You will discover more of who you were made to be.

The more we experience, the more we discover ourselves. We discover what drives us, what bothers us, how we deal with conflict, what we delight in, what we get life from, and what zaps our energy like nothing else.

Leadership Programs are saturated with a myriad of unique experiences that will help you discover more of how God created you to reflect Him, like nobody else can.

(Side note: These experiences are hard to come by when we spend our summers watching Netflix.)

Second year LDPs on their Canadian Adventure in Chibougamau, Quebec
  1. You will learn how to live and perform closely with others.

Many people enter college and careers without knowing how to communicate well, work together to get a task done, or manage conflict with one another in a way that promotes unity and problem solving.

Being a part of a Leadership Program means you are living in close quarters with other people, overcoming challenges together.

  1. You will gain life-long friendships.

When you have shared experience with a close group of peers, they start to become your friends, even if you wouldn’t have chosen them to be your friends in another context.

Then, after 2 summers together, staying in touch throughout the year, and multiple reunions, this commitment to one another begins to go deeper than just casual friendships. These camp friends start to feel more like family.

One thing you will learn in Leadership Programs is that you need each other. What a gift to carry these relationships through the next trajectory.

WILD on the top of Mt. Bigelow
  1. You will grow in ownership of your faith.

Being away from your family, church, and the friends you may have known most of your life, gives you a chance to step back and reflect on what you believe and why you believe it.

Maybe you have doubts to wrestle through, or maybe you will discover there’s more to this Jesus/gospel thing that you weren’t aware of before.

The truth is that Jesus loves you and He wants you to love Him, and Leadership Programs, through a credible Christian camp, are a great space to go deeper into what this means for you. As a warning, however, you should know that it could change the trajectory of the rest of your life—in the best way you can possibly imagine.

At Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc., there are 3 outstanding Leadership Programs to choose from:

  • WILD—Wilderness Intensive Leadership Development at Moose River Outpost
  • SALT—Service and Leadership Training at Brookwoods and Deer Run
  • LDP—Leadership Development Program at Brookwoods and Deer Run

For more information about our Leadership Programs, click here.

The 2019 detailed information packet is here.

and you can Apply here.

Priority Deadline for Applicants is December 15th.

Hannah Jalovick is the Leadership Development Director at CCCI and is the WILD Director during the summer at MRO. 2019 will be her 7th CCCI summer. Her first two summers were spent on the Kennebec River as a Windfall Rafting guide. She and her husband Adam both work full-time at CCCI in marketing and programs. Hannah would be happy to answer any of your questions about CCCI’s Leadership Programs, email her at hannah@christiancamps.net or call the Main Office: 603-875-3600.