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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.

 
 
 

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.

 
 
 

Get the “Scoop”

Posted by on January 30, 2019

How to Get the “Scoop”

By Adam Jalovick

Marketing is as wide and varied as the different kinds of businesses and organizations trying to get their message out. Even within the world of Christian summer camps, marketing can range from college visits, to word of mouth, and of course, camp fairs. The key for every camp is to take advantage of their strengths. For Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost, this means a more intimate and personal approach than a typical booth set-up at any given camp fair.

Our alumni network is extensive and, thanks to the work of Melissa Yonan and Ann Higgins, well connected. The Lord has blessed our camps with a network that loves to give back to camp in various ways. Each spring we work with families who give back in the way of marketing. These families open up their homes, invite their friends who would like to hear about camp, and help us host a pizza and ice cream party. We call these events “Scoops.” You can come and get the camp “scoop,” while we “scoop” some ice cream!

I believe this is one of the most effective ways to share the news about camp. This may not be the fastest or most widespread way to get the word out about our camps, but it is far more personal. Scoops offer parents a well-rounded perspective on our camps than can’t be provided at a camp fair. Instead of just taking our word for it, they have the word of fellow parents and campers who have experienced summers at our camps.

Scoops are typically scheduled Friday evening or on weekends, and generally run for about two hours. While the evenings are free flowing, there is often a time of question and answer with camp representatives, past campers share stories, we show our camp videos, and talk about what a typical camp day looks like. Games and a fun photo booth are also provided for the kids’ entertainment. Also, pizza! Who doesn’t love pizza? We provide great local pizza for dinner, and love to network during this time.

Right now we have three scoops on the calendar, and are currently coordinating to get a few more before the start of the summer! If you’d like to come hear the scoop, please email your RSVP to Dorothy and she will follow up with the address.

  • February 2
    • Alexander Scoop
    • Westford, MA 01886
    • 5:00pm – 8:00pm
  • March 15
    • Great Rock Scoop
    • 256 Andover St. Danvers, MA 01923
    • 6:00pm – 8:30pm
  • March 31
    • Murgatroyd Scoop
    • 52 Powder House Road Extension Medford, MA 02155
    • 5:00pm – 7:00pm

 

Adam Jalovick, Assistant Director & Conference Director
Hannah Jalovick, WILD Director & Leadership Development Director


Adam and Hannah Jalovick joined the CCCI team in 2017, working at MRO in the summers, and living and working in NH during the off-season. They met at Cairn University, where Adam received a BS in Bible and a MA in Religion. If you’d like to get in touch, adam@christiancamps.net

 
 
 

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

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