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Operation Valentine

Posted by on March 1, 2019

Operation Valentine

by Melissa Yonan, Alumni Director

Feb 2019, rolling and cutting out cookies

When I was an undergraduate student at Indiana University in the 1980s, my second semester highlight was the Valentine’s Day package that arrived from Hope Church (Wilton, CT). Moms would collect smallish boxes for weeks and bake dozens and dozens of cookies. They met in the Fellowship Hall before Valentine’s Day and put their assembly line to work. Every college student at church got one of those loved-filled packages. Sharing these cookies with my friends and the simple act of being remembered was priceless.

While I was living in Washington, DC, I invited several friends to come over and make cookies for Valentine’s. Our cookies were going all different directions. One friend was putting a care package together for her boyfriend’s young daughter, another baked for her niece and nephew in Colorado, and another baked for one of her pediatric cancer patients. My packages were destined for college campuses, to the Deer Runners, women I first came to know as Junior Unit campers and had mentored when they were on staff.

Since our inaugural Operation Valentine in 2007, Camp has sent 1,157 care packages to our college-aged Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost alumni who have attended camp for many summers. We started small in 2007. I invited my Bible Study (in Washington, DC) to come up to camp to bake cookies. They bought plane tickets, flew up, and the rest is history. None of us will ever forget it (Hello, sundae bar). Set up in the “New Wing,” we rolled out cookies, assembled our heart shaped cookie cutters, sprinkled colored sugar, and baked away. It was a precious time for each of us and together as a group: camping out in the Loon, hanging out by the fire in the Dining Hall, and snowshoeing out to Plum Island.

Cookies…cookies…
and MORE Cookies!

We put Operation Valentine in the Weathervane, and shortly thereafter, an alumna contacted me and said, “I want to come to Cookie Camp!” Of course this should be an alumni program! Since then, Deer Run alumnae and camp moms spend the weekend at camp, making hundreds of homemade Valentine cards, baking over 3,000 sugar cookies (hearts, deer, moose, and trout), and assembling boxes with devotionals and candy. To all who have been a part of Cookie Camp and Operation Valentine over the years, bakers and postage donors, THANK YOU! We “love” and “like” the social media thank you’s students post after they get their packages. It’s more than homemade cookies, or the cheesy camp one-liner, “We miss you s’more,” it’s about the act of being remembered, and that the Lord, their God, is the real deal when it comes to LOVE.

P.S. I’m beyond thrilled that one of my friends from the 2007 Cookie Camp (DC friends) sent her son to Brookwoods for the first time last summer. How awesome is that? I think he liked the sundae bar, too.

Melissa Yonan, Alumni Director

Melissa (pictured far right, in 2007 with her DC Bible Study) has been a part of the camp family since 1982 and has been the Director of Alumni Relations since 2005. She can name all the past Deer Run Directors in order! She is responsible for our vast alumni network and serves as Editor for the camp newsletter, The Weathervane, as well as the Director for our annual Alumni Camp weekend. These days she is busy planning for the Brookwoods’ 75th Anniversary. If you have camp stories you’d like to tell, she’d love to hear them, contact her here.

 

 

Why We Send Our Children to Camp

Posted by on February 15, 2019

Why We Send Our Children to Camp
By Marta Hummel Mossburg, alumna

After 36 hours of planes, trains, trams, cabs and tugging overstuffed suitcases on cobblestone streets, my eldest son, Hank, and I arrived at our hotel in Tel Aviv overlooking the Mediterranean Sea last night. This afternoon we start a 10 day tour of Israel, tracing Jesus’ steps through this ancient land graced with the birth of our Savior.

The trip stretched our budget, means two weeks away from my husband, and other two children, two weeks away from school for Hank, and promises a lot of trekking. It also, through direct contact with the places Jesus lived and routes he walked, immerses us in our shared story of salvation amid few distractions, great discussion, gorgeous views, and others seeking to know more clearly how to know Christ and make him known. In other words, it’s a lot like camp, with different scenery.

More importantly, though, it is a part of a strategy of embedding Hank’s identity (and each of our children) in Christ and deepening his understanding of the God who both knitted us together in our mother’s womb and has the power to move mountains. My husband Dave and I know it will not happen by osmosis. As Rod Dreher wrote in The Benedict Option, “American Christians are going to have to come to terms with the brute fact that we live in a culture … in which our beliefs make increasingly little sense. We speak a language that the world more and more either cannot hear or finds offensive to its ears.”

In a country where “my truth” now substitutes for “truth” and even those who profess faith in Jesus define themselves by their online presence or arbitrary cultural hierarchies, we want our children to know first and foremost they are followers of Jesus. And not only to know it, but to be able to explain it and defend it with grace, courage, and humility, even if it costs them “friends,” or likes online, or real consequences like actual friends, or job opportunities as they grow up.

That is where camp (and this trip) come in. It is a place where the joy that comes from living a life rooted in Christ is manifested daily. It is where friendships that last lifetimes are formed, God’s beauty and power amazes and daily habits of praying and reading the Bible often start for the first time. It is where God is bigger than one denomination and different worship preferences and His presence so palpable it’s almost as if His footsteps are visible on the paths to the beach and Dining Hall. And it is where the songs – often Bible verses – become so ingrained that I teach them to my children 25 plus years later.

If we want to reach the culture for Christ, our children first need to know what it can and should be so they do not absorb what others tell them it is. Camp is one significant way to give our children a glimpse of the Promised Land in addition to teaching them the tools they need to live lives of purpose and excellence through daily routines and physical challenges many never thought they could achieve.

Besides, who wouldn’t want to go to camp? When summer hits, I always long for the chance to be on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee once again, waterskiing and hiking and laughing in grungy clothes and no makeup. I know a lot of us who went, saw our best selves there and conjure those memories not to relive those days, but to be the person God created us to be in the present. It’s one of the best gifts I received and want to regift it to our children, for their spouses and children – and the world.

Editor’s note: Here’s the LINK to register for camp!


Marta Hummel Mossburg went to camp in the “ancient 80s”, as her children Hank (10), Charlie (8) and Elsa (6) say. Hank is going to camp for his third time this summer and Charlie will go for the first time. She and her family live in Chattanooga, TN. Reach her at martamossburg@gmail.com.

 
 
 

Happy 75th Anniversary Brookwoods!

Posted by on February 8, 2019

Happy 75thAnniversary Brookwoods

Mark your calendars for July 26-28th! We hope that you will come back to camp, relive memories, rekindle friendships, and jump in the lake! We will celebrate the legacy of Brookwoods and Deer Run, sharing how our camp days have shaped our lives. Included in our weekend celebration we will also wish Deer Run a Happy 55th Birthday and a Happy 20th to Moose River Outpost. (Yes, this is Brookwoods’ big birthday, and yes, we’re hoping lots of Deer Runners will join us!)

More about the festivities later, but first, a little history, in 1944 Dr. Lawrence Andreson answered God’s call by founding Camp Brookwoods for boys. He and his wife Duggie purchased the land and set to work, prepping the property and hiring staff. Twenty years later, the Andresons started Camp Deer Run for girls, sharing the property and waterfront, but run quite separately. In 1972, the Andresons made the difficult decision to sell Brookwoods and Deer Run. There was no “camp as we know it” the summer of 1973, but Miles Strodel ran camp trips out of his garage in Lexington, MA. Through a series of miraculous events, (watch “The Miracle”) the property was purchased by George Bennett, Sr. and reopened in 1974. Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc. was established as the non-profit parent organization and Camp has been going strong ever since. This summer we will celebrate the start of it all, all that God has done, and is doing to build lives of faith and character.

 We’ve got a great schedule planned.

BW 50th Breakfast Cookout at Inspiration Point

There isn’t enough space here for us to give you all the details, because there’s a lot going on: dinner cookout, s’mores, singing, waterskiing, archery, breakfast cookout at Inspiration Point, and more. The schedule on the web will give you an idea of the flow of the weekend. We will have golf carts available to help folks get up and down the hill to the waterfront so everyone can enjoy the fun. Keep reading for highlights and how you can help make the weekend extra special.

 To share a story with us click here and then scroll down.

We would love for you to share one of your favorite camp memories. Or, if you’d like to send us some pictures, we’d love that too. We’ll be making decade boards to be displayed in our Anniversary Museum and later hung in Moose Hall after the celebration.

 Anniversary Museum

We will have a designated space to display camp pictures, stories, and memorabilia. If you have some camp mementos that you would like to share, we would be happy to display them. Also, we have several camp alumni authors and we’ll have a library with their books. If you have a publication to contribute, please let us know!

 Camp Store

We’ll be stocking up on your favorite camp items so that you can go home with a new camp sweatshirt and you can give that vintage one to your camper! Deer Run alumna Dara Mongelli Dunn designed a commemorative poster for purchase, you can check it out here. Also, local artist Peter Ferber is painting three camp scenes that will be made into prints. Later this spring, we will post pictures of them on the Anniversary website. We still have a limited number of “The Waterfront” giclee prints, also by Peter Ferber, that were commissioned to celebrate Deer Run’s 50th birthday, available for purchase.

 Download a song here!

We were planning ahead during the summer of 2017 and made a live recording of some our favorite songs during morning worship outside in the Chapel. On the 15th of each month, a new song will be released! Download them for free and take those beautiful camp voices with you, wherever you go!

 See Who’s Coming here!

On Mondays, we’ll update our lists, both who is registered and who is planning on coming. If you’d like help getting in touch with your camp friends to plan a reunion at the Anniversary, please contact me.

 Register for the Anniversary here!

We have several different options for you to register: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Based on how much time you’ll be able to spend with us, there’s an option for you.

 Looking for a place to stay click here!

We wish that we could have you all bunk in with us at camp, but we can’t! The campers will be using all the cabins! But have no fear, in addition to a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn in Rochester, we’ve listed some other lodging options for you to explore. Airbnb.com might also have some good options. It is a good idea to book early if you can.

Sunday Worship

Brookwoods Alumnus Peter Greer will bring us God’s Word on Sunday morning. Peter spent 8 summers at Brookwoods as a camper, LDP, and on staff. His wife Laurel (Steinweg) served on Deer Run staff for 3 summers, and they first met under the Moose at Brookwoods. Peter is president & CEO of HOPE International, helping underserved communities around the world, author, husband, and dad. Peter and Laurel call Lancaster, PA home and have three kids, Keith, Liliana and Myles, and are foster parents for children that God puts in their path. Peter grew up outside of Boston, and they still cheer for the Red Sox and the Patriots.

 If you have any questions about the Anniversary, pictures to share, or a great idea for the weekend, please email me, I’m always happy to talk about camp!

BW 50th tent on the BW backfield, 1994
BW 50th Saturday Evening Dinner, 1994
Deer Run getting ready for her 50th, 2014
Uncle JJ and Camilo led Sunday worship at BW’s 50th, 1994

 

Melissa Yonan, Alumni Director

Melissa has been a part of the camp family since 1982 and has been the Director of Alumni Relations since 2005. She can name all the past Deer Run Directors in order! She is responsible for our vast alumni network and serves as Editor for the camp newsletter, The Weathervane, as well as the Director for our annual Alumni Camp weekend. These days she is busy planning for the Brookwoods’ 75th Anniversary. If you have camp stories you’d like to tell, she’d love to hear them, contact her here.

 

 

In loving memory of Bobbe Hackman

Posted by on January 18, 2019

In loving memory of Bobbe Hackman

July 4, 1922 – December 20, 2018

It is with full and heavy hearts that we remember Eileen “Bobbe” Hackman, our much beloved friend and Deer Run hero. Bobbe served as the first Deer Run Director, from 1964-74. She set Deer Run’s standard for “Camping with Excellence.” Deer Run has evolved since her tenure, but you can find her fingerprints everywhere.

My friendship with Bobbe was one of the highlights of my job. When I first walked into her condo in Wheaton, IL 14 years ago, I had no idea how this lovely and wise Deer Runner would impact me. Life would take me to Chicago once a year and getting on Bobbe’s calendar was always my first priority. I treasured my visits with her; we could have talked for days. I loved her camp stories—the time they did a night hike up Mt. Washington (she admits that this might not have been a great idea) and when it was just girls eating in the Dining Hall. She was happy to hear my camp stories from the 1980s and to look at the current pictures I pulled up on my laptop. Every time I left her house, I thought to myself, “I want to grow up to be just like her.” So confident, so generous, so smart, so thoughtful, and last but not least, stylish‑way more stylish than I ever will be.  We exchanged many notes over the years and I hope that I still have them. She was always happy to take my call. I smiled ear to ear when she sent See’s Candies for my counseling staff the summer I directed Deer Run, and I was overwhelmed when she remembered my 50th birthday.

Close friends with Miles and Grace Strodel from Wheaton College, Bobbe was recruited by Miles in 1951 to be the first girls camp director at Camp Sandy Cove, located in North East, Maryland on the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay. (At the time, Miles was directing Camp Sandy Hill, the brother camp located 5 miles down the road.) Bobbe directed at Camp Sandy Cove for three summers. After leaving Sandy Cove, it didn’t take her long to get back into camping as she went on to serve as the girls’ program director from 1955-58 at HoneyRock, Wheaton College’s camp, in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. While at HoneyRock, Bobbe started the candlelight tradition where campers, holding their candles, walked from the chapel to the pier. There was an anchored boat at the pier, which held a large cross where the campers placed their candles. Gathered around, campers recited verses, shared their testimonies, and sang choruses as the cross was towed across the water by canoes. Bobbe would later go on to serve on HoneyRock’s Board of Directors.

In 1964, Miles and Grace called her again. When Laurence Andreson (Doc A., Brookwoods’ founder and owner) and Uncle Miles started seriously looking for property to start a girls’ camp, Miles told Doc A., “If you‘re going to start a girls camp, the only person you should hire is Bobbe Hackman.” At this point in time, the Strodels had lost touch with Bobbe. They located her in Denver, CO and she agreed to come back east and start Deer Run. Bobbe served through the summer of 1974. She enjoyed the challenge of establishing new programs, activities, and traditions. Bobbe brought the tradition of candlelight campfires to Deer Run that we still enjoy to this day. (In the Deer Run files, there are notes of those sacred campfires down by the water—staff in their canoes at dusk.)

Bobbe’s staff in their Sunday whites. Bobbe is 4th from the left in the front row.

Bobbe was the epitome of class, always wearing “crisp whites” on Sundays to Chapel, (we might argue, she was the first person to be “Staff Sharp”) as well as white gloves for White Glove Inspection. She was known for always being available to talk to her staff and made sure each camper felt welcomed. Bobbe encouraged campers to be creative, to try new things, and to accomplish goals that they never dreamed of attempting. At each session’s closing campfire, she made a point to recognize staff and camper accomplishments alike. As I talked to those who knew her well, one thing in particular came up several times—they deeply admired her and also wanted to be like her. She was professional, authentic, full of class and grace, thoughtful, and hard working.

Bobbe was dedicated to education and learning. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at Wheaton College in 1944 and received her Master’s degree from University of Pennsylvania, both in the field of Physical Education. She started a doctoral program, but gave it up to spend her summers working at Deer Run. Her teaching career included Denver Public Schools, Assistant Professor at Wheaton College, and she served as an Associate Professor at Elmhurst College (IL) for nearly 30 years. Bobbe was not only the Chair of the Health and Physical Education Departmentat Elmhurst, but she also coached the women’s basketball team to a winning season in 1972-73 (10-4).

Over the years, she enjoyed photography, listening to jazz, bird watching, playing tennis, sailing her Daysailer on Lake Winnipesaukee, crossword puzzles, and travel. As a life-long learner, Bobbe enjoyed engaging conversation on nearly any topic.

Throughout her life, Bobbe was motivated and sustained by her faith in Christ and her unwavering trust in the love and goodness of her Lord.  She will be greatly missed by her friends, neighbors and family. I’m thankful to have known her. Her shining example and love for me will live in my heart forever.

Eileen “Bobbe” Hackman was born July 4, 1922 in Coopersburg, PA and joined her heavenly Father on December 20, 2018 at the age of 96. If you would like to make a donation to camp in her memory, here is the link.

 

Melissa Yonan is the Director of Alumni Relations for Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run and Moose River Outpost, since 2005. First arriving at Deer Run in 1982, she can name the Deer Run Directors in order! These days she is busy planning Brookwoods’ 75th Anniversary. If you have camp stories you’d like to tell, she’d love to hear them, contact her here.

Love your neighbor

Posted by on February 9, 2017

In loving memory of Don Byker

At Brookwoods and Deer Run, we are blessed beyond measure to have such supportive and caring neighbors. Not everyone wants to live next to 300 campers: think cabin nights/noise, Changeover/unusual traffic for those that live around the corner from Camp on Damon Drive. You’ve probably seen the “Woodland Waters” sign many times, with the names of the families… that also call Chestnut Cove “Home.

Of course, this camp story starts before Don and Wyn built their house on Damon Drive. Miles Strodel was serving as Gordon College’s Athletic Director and Wyn was Gordon’s Women’s Athletic Director and Women’s Basketball Coach. Miles, Brookwoods’ Director, had a particularly good sense for people and their talents; he invited Wyn to be the Brookwoods’ archery instructor. Her first summer was 1979. Even though Wyn was technically the one with the “summer camp job,” Don was her biggest supporter, helping set up and take down the range every summer, and everything in between. It was Don who insisted that Deer Run needed more shooting room and a much larger shed. He built that shed and would have cut down most of the trees if we had let him. Everyone that knew Wyn, knew Don, because they were a team, best friends, married for 58 ½ years. He loved her with all his heart and was by her side for everything.

Born in Iowa, raised in Michigan, Don became a New Englander, at the same time as having one foot (if not two) in the Philippines. With a lifelong passion for education, he taught at Unity Christian High School in Hudsonville, MI and then as a professor at Calvin College and Harvard University (PhD from Univ. of Michigan). Most of us are more familiar with Don’s entrepreneurial side, first as a business consultant at Boston’s Bain & Company and then Don co-founded Affinity Industries in Ossipee, NH in 1990. Don “retired” in 2001 and co-founded Dignity Business Partners in 2010. Retire? Our guess is that he has never worked harder or tirelessly than with Dignity and the Community Transformation Plant (Cagmanaba, Oas, Albay Philippines) a missions-oriented business designed to create meaningful jobs and high-quality exportable products that can transform the lives of the people in the Philippines’ Bicol region.

Let’s get back to the neighbors. God calls us to LOVE our neighbor (Mark 12:31). Don modeled this kind of love, God’s love, daily, for all of us. He did this immeasurably. I’m thankful for the love he put into our Leadership Development Program campers, as they worked side by side on Habitat for Humanity projects in Carroll County, Camp’s neighboring county. Don practiced selfless, humble and effective service to the world’s poor and forgotten. His heart for the Philippines is so deep, you could not count the number of people that he touched there, from the Grace Christian Mission School down the road from the Dignity processing plant, to the GCM school in Boso Boso, outside of Manila. I can’t say it better than Don’s Dignity partner and friend Stephen Freed, “It would be difficult to overstate how fully he reflected the character of Jesus, and how deeply he loved and helped so very many of us. How profoundly he will be missed by so many.” And the same is true for our Camp family. Don showed us what it looks like when you share God’s love.

Don is survived by his wife Wyn, his children, and grandchildren: son and daughter-in-law, Patrick and Ingrid Byker and his son-in-law and daughter-in-law Guy and Patience Wood. His grandchildren, Thomas and Helen Wood, have all spent many summers at Camp Brookwoods and Deer Run. Wendy Byker Wood, Don and Wyn’s daughter born in 1960, has been in heaven since 1998.

A service to celebrate Don’s life will be held Saturday February 18th at 2:00 pm at First Christian Church of Ossipee, NH (50 Route 16B Center Ossipee).

In lieu of flowers, Don would wish for contributions to be made to the Scholarship Fund for Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run’s, and Moose River Outpost.

Donate to Scholarships Here.

or

Dignity Coconuts

www.dignitycoconuts.com/donbyker

I’m so very thankful to have had this neighbor, this friend, this mentor, and this brother in Christ. We will miss you.

If you want to send a note to Wyn, you can send an email to wyn.byker@gmail.com or send a card:

Wyn Byker

159 Damon Drive
Alton, NH 03809