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What’s Happening at Camp?

Posted by on March 30, 2020

What’s Happening at Camp?

By Bob Strodel, Executive Director

With all the recent news about COVID-19, I thought I’d reach out to our camp family with some comments about the approach that Christian Camps and Conferences is taking regarding our summer season.

Currently our plan is to open the camp gates on June 28th to welcome our first session of campers to Camp Brookwoods, Camp Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost. This date is still three months away and while we know things are tenuous right now, we are assuming that camp will go forward as planned. We believe that after the disruption the quarantine has caused, parents will be really ready to see their kids head up to camp for recreation, fun, and meaningful interaction with other campers.

If you have been at camp before, you know that health and safety are at the top of our priority list. As each camper arrives on Incoming Day we check him or her for temperature, outward signs of illness and medical history. We always have campers use hand sanitation stations when entering the Dining Hall at meal times, and encourage that throughout the day. We also have experienced medical staff on-site to care for campers and staff, with the latest up-to-date information.

Between now and the summer camping season, three months away, we will be monitoring information from the CDC and the Christian Camp and Conference Association to ensure we are staying on top of developments.

We are continuing to accept applications for the summer, and spaces continue to fill up. Some of our sessions are 100% filled, but other still have a few spaces. So please tell your friends and family members about our wonderful camps. We are happy to send out New Information packages to anyone that requests them.

If we are forced to alter or cancel a session this summer due to COVID-19 CDC recommendations, we will let you know immediately. Also, you can be assured that camp is committed to eliminating any financial risks of signing up for the summer. If any of our sessions are cancelled you will have three options:
1) Receive a full refund
2) Transfer to a session later in the summer (if space is available), or
3) Use your deposit for a future summer experience.

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting some fun videos about some new stuff at camp, some old stuff, and some informative stuff. Here is a video we did last week discussing some of the new programs at camp this summer. (Make sure to watch it to the end!)

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, Executive Director

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.

 

 

Winter Reunion 2020

Posted by on December 9, 2019

CAMP BROOKWOODS AND DEER RUN WINTER REUNION 2020

 Here are a few important details below:

WHEN: Monday, December 30 2019 through Wednesday, January 1, 2020. Plan to arrive between 7:00 – 8:00 PM on Monday. Dinner will not be served at camp, so please eat before you arrive. The reunion will end at 2:00 PM on Wednesday.

SALT and LDP: You are invited to come to camp early and your Winter Reunion starts 24 hours earlier. If you are able, please plan to arrive between 5:30 – 8:00 PM on Sunday, December 29th. Dinner will be served at 5:30pm in the dining hall.

WHAT TO EXPECT: This is a unique opportunity to experience New Year’s at camp, be encouraged in your walk with Christ, connect with friends, and catch up with your counselors! Fun, friends, and fellowship! The reunion is a wonderful spiritual retreat where campers can reconnect with their friends and counselors. Campers will have the opportunity to tube down Deer Run’s back hill, snowshoe around camp, make crafts, build cardboard sleds, play games, roast marshmallows, and drink a lot of hot cocoa, and more!

WHAT TO BRING: A sleeping bag, Bible, journal, lots of warm clothes, and your toothbrush!

BUS: The bus will be at the Lexington Service Plaza on the north bound side of I-95 off exit 30. The plaza has a McDonald’s and Gulf station. It will leave Lexington at 6:00 PM on Monday, December 30th, and will return around 4:30 PM on Wednesday, January 1st. The first 45 campers to register for the bus will get a seat. There is no charge for the bus.

AIRPORT: Flights into Manchester Airport in New Hampshire or Logan Airport in Boston, should be scheduled to arrive between 3:00 and 6:00 PM on Monday, December 30th. Flights should depart between 2:00 and 6:00 PM on Wednesday, January 1st. Please notify us of flights by DATE. There is no charge for airport transportation.

Register by clicking on this link.

Any questions you can either email, ben@christiancamps.net or call the camp office at 603-875-3600

Here is the video of the event from last year:

 

Remembering Cheryl Crawford : 1955-2019

Posted by on November 14, 2019

Remembering Cheryl Crawford: 1955-2019

Cheryl Crawford, a member of the Christian Camps and Conferences community, passed into the arms of her Savior on November 3, 2019.

Cheryl committed more than 45 years to the ministries of camps Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost.  In her early days she served as the Deer Run Tripping and Program Director, and in the winter traveled to recruit campers. Cheryl was instrumental in transforming the CIT program into the Leadership Development Program, with the emphasis on training and raising up future camp leaders. She also served as Director of Camp Deer Run over a span of summers in the mid 80’s and 2000’s.  She transitioned into the role of Camp Pastor, while also serving on the Board of Directors for 20 years until her passing. When on camp grounds Cheryl could often be found with a paint brush in her hand as easily as preaching in chapel or helping a staff member connect with a camper. She also enjoyed a boat ride on the lake, a hike in the woods, and a bowl of Moose Tracks ice cream.

Camp Staff 1980: Uncle JJ, Cheryl, Miles Strodel, Becca [Cowan] Johnson

 

Cheryl had gifts in counseling and ministered to thousands of campers and staff through the years. She was never too busy to have a conversation and lend a listening ear.  Cheryl was active in her support of others and many know that once she found out about a problem or need she was busy creating a solution or plan to meet the need. Many staff, campers, and families benefited from her efforts to help and care in practical ways.

Deer Run Staff in 1983: Mary Beth [Fuller] Bowling, Cheryl, Jean DeVaty

Deer Run Staff 2000: Cheryl, Heather [Walker] Sanchez, Jen [Morgan] Haight sitting on Cheryl’s Harley!

 

In her work in residence life at the University of Southern California, Career Counseling at Biola University or teaching at Azusa Pacific University,  she actively recruited staff for the camps, and she continued to be an encouragement to staff to stay strong and faithful through the summer and the school year.  Cheryl served as a model to young women in ministry. Her faithfulness in ministry inspired others to use their gifts to serve God in many ways, and opened the door for other women to pursue degrees in divinity and seek to pastor as Cheryl had modeled for them to follow.

Executive Director Bob Strodel and Cheryl enjoy some Moose Tracks!

In her last months, one of Cheryl’s passions was to return to camp once again to serve.  Her request of donations to the camp’s Scholarship Endowment Fund supports her passion to help more campers experience the joys of camp, to begin or strengthen a relationship with Christ, and raise up a new generation of women and men in leadership.

We will be celebrating Cheryl’s life at a memorial service at Glendora Community Church (CA) on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 1 pm, with a reception to follow at the church. On the day of the memorial in the spirit and in honor of Cheryl, please join us in wearing khaki and blue or an L.L. Bean flannel shirt or Sperry Topsider shoes, which were all Cheryl’s favorites.

To make a donation in honor of the life and work of Cheryl Crawford, click on this link and designate your gift to  Scholarship Endowment. 

 

 

 

Hot Potatoes at Camp

Posted by on May 17, 2019

Hot Potatoes at Camp

Bob Strodel, Executive Director

Campers arrive in 5 weeks and final preparations for another great summer at Brookwoods, Deer Run and Moose River Outpost are underway. In the next several weeks, our facility will be transformed from “Conference Center Ministry mode,” back to “Camp mode.” Bunk beds will be repositioned, boats placed outside, grass mowed, Camp Store restocked, and in mid-June staff will start to arrive for Staff Training (175 between the three camps)! It’s a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun. As Incoming Day approaches and anticipation builds, I wanted to share some camp news:

Jon Cooper, Food Service Director

Our new Food Service Director, Jon Cooper, started working at Brookwoods on May 1st. Jon and his wife, April, have a heart for people and they love ministry through serving great food. Last summer Jon worked at Camp Calumet in Ossipee, NH in addition to a full-time position with a local health care provider. New Hampshire campers will be seeing some new items on the menu this summer! The Coopers and their two children, Clara and Samuel, have moved to camp and are living in the Homestead.

We have a lot to be thankful for! This summer, camp enrollment at all three camps is very high. Moose River Outpost is setting new enrollment records and experiencing some filled sessions. We do have some openings left in a variety of sessions and I’d like to request your assistance by telling others about the great stuff happening at camp. We’d love for them to be part of the summer fun. We offer a $100 referral bonus as thank you for each new family enrolled through the referral of an existing enrolled family. Please call Dorothy at the camp office at 603-875-3600, and she can send a New Information package to new families.

Jason Webster, Heavy Lifter Award at BW Man Camp -2019

Brookwoods Man Camp was a great success! Over the weekend of May 3rd, 52 men came up to Brookwoods to complete a large list of projects: building a bridge, electrical work, splitting logs, repairs to benches at the campfire sites, staining buildings, and spreading mulch. Morgan McRay, the Convergance Coordinator at Sandy Cove Ministries, led the teaching sessions, and Jason Webster, camp Dad, led the praise singing. Over the weekend, 468 man-hours of projects were completed, which is equivalent of one month’s work by our full-time facility staff, for which we are incredibly thankful!

If you missed this opportunity and you’d still like to contribute, join us at Moose River Outpost May 31-June 2! To find out more about the work weekend at MRO click here.

Summer Staff hiring is almost completed at all three camps, but we still have a few openings. We are always looking for great quality folks to join the team. If you know of an individual who fits our staff member profile—think …hardworking…smart…fun… Christian role model, please drop me an email with their contact information. We will be happy to reach out to them.

I’m always excited this time of year, when summer is right around the corner. But this year I’m even more excited! Our 75th Anniversary celebration is July 26-28 (week 5) and I hope many of you can join us!


Bob Strodel has been the Executive Director at Christian Camps and Conferences for 25 years.  This picture is of Bob and his family when they first started working at Brookwoods.  Bob can be reached here.