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Brookwoods and Deer Run Announcement

Posted by on June 1, 2020

Brookwoods and Deer Run to run this summer with adjustments for safety.

It has been a difficult spring for everyone, and I hope you and your family are well and coping with all the disruptions to our daily lives. I am writing to let you know that after thoroughly reviewing the guidelines set forth by the experts at the American Camp Association, the Christian Camp and Conference Association, and our local government officials, listening to our camp community, and following much discussion and prayerful consideration, the Board of Directors and myself are happy to inform you that we WILL be able to operate camp, with some stipulations and changes, in New Hampshire!

Our first and primary concern is the health and safety of our campers and staff. In close consultation with our full-time staff, seasonal staff, experts, and our medical team, we have developed what we believe to be the safest plan. In order to host campers, we will institute the following major changes to our “normal operations.”

 

  • We will need to limit attendance to just 4-week campers, 12 and over.   This will limit the amount of exposure to everyone at camp, as we can create a “compartmentalized program” to help protect the campers and staff.

 

  • We will not conduct regular “cabin overnights” off our property for the younger campers.

 

  • The activity program will be adjusted for smaller groups, and we will be introducing strict cleaning and hand washing protocols.  Masks might need to be worn in certain situations or activities.

 

  • We will not be able to accept International campers or those that arrive by airplane.

 

  • We will ask all campers and staff to pre-quarantine two weeks before arriving at camp. The form can be downloaded here.

 

  • We will also ask that parents pick up campers, who attended the first month, on July 24th.  This will allow the camp to be totally cleaned before the final set of month campers arrive.

 

Additional information of the changes can be found HERE. We are still awaiting some final guidelines from the New Hampshire Governor, which will be released early the first week of June, and will inform you if something should change from what we’ve already described.

 

We are confident that we can operate camp safely.  However, we realize there may be some of you whose children are registered for the summer who would prefer they not attend this year. We understand completely. If that is the case for you, please use the on-line form below no later than June 15th and let us know that your child will not be in attendance. If you have already paid for camp in part, or in full, we are offering the following options, as you are able:

 

  • Option 1Extend to 4-Weeks:  If you have a currently enrolled 2-week camper 12 and over who might want to “extend” and attend Brookwoods or Deer Run for 4-weeks.  This will be on a space available basis. See below for the on-line form to notify us of your decision.
  • Option 2Roll Funds Forward to Next Summer: We would ask you to consider rolling forward any tuition paid for this summer to 2021. If you choose this option, we would guarantee your child a place in the same session for 2021. By choosing this option, you greatly help us manage our cash flow and have funds on hand for current operations. See below for on-line form to notify us of your decision.
  • Option 3Donation: If you are able, consider donating all, or a portion, of your paid deposit or tuition to camp’s General Fund. A donation at this time would help us manage the costs of operating camp this summer and also go toward replacing lost revenue from our shortened spring conference season. A tax-deductible receipt will be issued to you. See below for on-line form to notify us of your decision.
  • Option 4Full Refund: You may request a full refund by completing the on-line form on our website by June 30th. A full refund will be issued to you within 120 days of your request.

 

Access this Online Form to choose which option is best for you.

Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

We are tremendously excited to be at camp this summer, and I hope your campers are too!

 

Cordially,

 

Bob Strodel

P.S. Join us for a Town Hall meeting for an opportunity to ask questions.

 

Summer Magic

Posted by on May 8, 2020

Summer Magic

by Bob Strodel, Executive Director I’ve heard it said that your most favorite music is probably the tunes you enjoyed in high school. That’s not surprising as the developmental years in life are so formative and make such long lasting impressions. One of the BEST parts of my job at camp is  visiting and catching up with alumni, and the FUN part of that is hearing “old camp stories.”    Last week I enjoyed a phone call with an alumnus, both a Brookwoods camper and staff member from the 1950’s. He is 83 years old and his memory of his camp days seemed as sharp as the day he served. His enthusiasm was contagious as he regaled me with camp stories, including the ability to recall the names of his fellow staff members and some of the challenges they faced “back in the day.” I was ready to hire him once again on our waterfront staff!    Occasionally, I post a “Throwback Thursday” picture on my personal Facebook page. I’m always fascinated to see the comments unfold from alumni that recognize themselves or their friends who were “tagged” in the photograph. The comments are never anything like, “that was the worst time of my life,” but rather tend toward wonderful, uplifting memories of people, places, and events they enjoyed at camp and look back on fondly. Last week, I posted a photo of the 1981 Deer Run CITs. It resulted in a long string of comments, including: “Such wonderful memories”…”Oh, to be a kid again”…” You look the same”…” That was a great summer.” There is something special about summer camp—I call it “Summer Magic.” The temporary community we call camp manages to form experiences, friendships, and memories that last a lifetime. At Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost, this is what we try to encourage through our programs: shared experiences, appropriate challenges, and conversations about life and our Lord. Parents who have made the camp investment for their kids, also see this growth and development. If I could summarize the most frequent feedback I’ve received from parents over the last 26 years, it could be categorized in these three areas: 
  1. What did you “do” to my kid at camp? They now clean their room and read their Bible.
  2. How do you get such a great set of people at camp? My kid(s)’ best friends are all from camp and they are such a positive influence.
  3. Where did you find such great staff?
Of course, not every child is a good match for camp experiences, but I’ve enjoyed seeing the high rate of “happy campers.” And when parents can help prepare their children for the camp experience, this can help even more campers be successful in our camp environment. Currently we are confident that on June 28th we will be able to welcome campers at Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost. That date is two months away and while we don’t want to ignore what is happening around the world, we believe this period is a “blizzard” and not an “ice age.” I know that parents want to send their kids to camp this summer after the disruption to normal life, the extended distance education experience, and the need to get out of the house for recreation, fun, and interaction with friends. Our hope is that we will be able to provide a safe place for that to happen. We are continuing to accept applications for the summer and spaces continue to fill up.  Some of our sessions are 100% filled, but others still have a few spaces. Please tell your friends and family members about our wonderful camps. We are happy to send out New Information Packages to anyone who requests one.  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 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.

What’s Happening at Camp?

Posted by on May 4, 2020

What’s Happening at Camp? – May 4th Update

By Bob Strodel, Executive Director

We know the last seven weeks have turned many lives upside down and presented many challenges for those in our camp family. Life is anything but normal right now! Our hearts are with you and our hope is that you feel God’s presence, provision, and love during these difficult times.  I know of several members of our camp family who are personally dealing with the COVID-19 virus, and we pray the Lord will heal their bodies and those of the people they love.

At Christian Camps and Conferences, we understand that a lot is up in the air right now. Even so, our current 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 about two months away. While we know things are tenuous right now, we are very hopeful that camp will go forward as planned. We are praying that this will be so. Our ministry at Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost is life-changing and we want to see kids head up to camp for adventure, fun, and meaningful connection with other campers and staff. Our unique camping environment—founded on the Christian faith and centered in the person and work of Jesus Christ—changes kids’ lives.

 Our lives have always been in God’s hands.  Nothing has changed!  

I want to encourage members of the camp family to remain positive.  Don’t be an Eeyore!   The  Governors  of New Hampshire  and  Maine  are  gradually  “opening  back  up”  the  States,  which  is  encouraging  to  all.  While we  don’t  have  a  final  timeframe,  progress  is  happening  in  the  right  direction!  

If however, 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 your kids for the summer. If any of our sessions are cancelled you will have four options:
1) Receive a full refund
2) Transfer to a session later in the summer (if space is available)
3) Use your deposit for a future summer experience, or

4) Designate your money as a donation to help the camp ministry. (As you can imagine, COVID-19 has negatively impacted our ministry due to loss of spring conference group income. Now, more than ever, we are relying on, and are grateful for, the financial support of our camp family and friends.)

We also understand some of you might not feel comfortable sending your kids to a camp this summer. We hear you. Let us know, and we will honor our assurance that camp is committed to eliminating any financial risk for you; you will have these same four options. Be assured, though, that health and safety are at the top of our priority list. As each camper arrives on Incoming Day we will 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 mealtimes 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.                      

We are continuing to accept applications for the summer, and spaces are filling 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 information packages to anyone that requests one.

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 several weeks ago week discussing some of the new programs at camp this summer. (Make sure to watch it to the end!)

Here is a recent video I sent out to all the parents.

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!  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

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.

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)
3) Use your deposit for a future summer experience, or

4) Designate your money as a donation to help the camp ministry. As you can imagine, COVID-19 has negatively impacted our ministry due to loss of spring conference group income. Now, more than ever, we are relying on, and are grateful for, the financial support of our camp family and friends.

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.

10 Tips for Staying Sane Working from Home

Posted by on March 27, 2020

10 Tips for Staying Sane Working from Home

by Rebecca Moore, Camp Mom and Entrepreneur

#1 Create A Schedule
Create a schedule for yourself and your family. Let them weigh in, but make sure that the non-negotiables are crystal clear. Examples: breakfast on your own, clean up after yourselves, phone-free time during “remote school hours”, lunch together, chores before entertainment, daily fresh air minimum, screen time limits, if the dog barks let him out, etc.

#2 Be Still
This is important. Get up 2 hours before your family. Before starting your work or making breakfast, take 30 minutes of quiet time to center yourself. For us as believers, we can meditate on Scripture and spend time in prayer. Remind yourself what is truly important: your and your family’s health and well-being, safety, and shelter. The rest is frosting. Think of one person whom you can help and set your intentions to reach out to them during the day.

#3 Eat Healthy Meals
Plan out healthy meals for your family. Plan to eat at least one meal together daily. Don’t let your teen’s lunch times slip to mid-afternoon. Resist the urge to snack all day. Put out a “Kitchen Closed” sign in between meals (the kids hid ours!)  If that doesn’t work, cut up fresh veggies and set them out on a plate to ensure your family munches on healthy stuff first.

#4 Time Block Tasks
Either on a calendar or an app, identify the top 3 things you must complete each day and block out time to complete them first. Then break down all other tasks into 20 minute chunks and keep the list handy, checking off completed tasks. Limit your time spent on social media, news, and any other activity that can turn into a “rabbit hole” and suck your productivity.

#5 Take Breaks
Make sure to get up from your desk every hour to improve your circulation for at least 5 minutes. You can use a timer to schedule breaks. Or, use the inevitable interruptions to get up and move! (I keep a mini notebook handy to jot down what I was working at the time of the interruption so that I can immediately pick up where I left off.) Breaks are important to clear your head (I also use them to complete quickie chores like tidying up, letting dog in/out, loading washing machine, yada yada.)

#6 Buy Noise Cancelling Headphones
By far the single most useful tool for working at home (besides my laptop) has been my noise cancelling headphones. When I wear them, I am able to concentrate and completely block out all the annoying home noises. All I need to do is play the babbling brook soundtrack on Spotify and I’m in “focus heaven”. I recommend investing in a really good pair. Your sanity will thank you.

#7 Create a Work Space (or 2 or 3)
My office is in our finished attic. It’s awesome. But when I need to keep a pulse on the household (and my kids’ studies), I have another spot, namely the dining room table. It is important to stake out a designated place to work and make sure your family honors it. Let your kids choose their own work space to work nearby (NOT on their beds) so that all their belongings and projects stay in one spot.

#8 Quiet Zone
It’s easy to let structure fall by the wayside in these uncertain times. But we ALL need some structure to stay sane. Make it clear what times of day are considered family’s “work” time (e.g. 9am-12pm, 12:30-5pm.) and agree that this time (and your designated work space) remain a quiet zone. This means no blaring music, horsing around, or hollering. Infractions will result in phone confiscation.

#9 Exercise Daily
We all know it is unhealthy to be sedentary. Social isolation should not be an excuse to become a couch potato. Make sure to build exercise into your day, even if it’s a cheesy exercise video, a walk around the block, or jump-roping in your basement. Include the kids and make it fun!

#10 End Time
Agree to end your day at a specific time (this one can be difficult!)  Plan something fun to do each evening with your family (board games, cooking experiment, karaoke, art project, build something, movie) to lighten up and laugh!  If you have an evening conference call, let your family know in advance and find a private corner to take the call so everyone else can enjoy the evening.


Rebecca Moore pictured far right.

Rebecca Moore has lived in Lexington with her husband and 3 Deer Runners for the past 23 years. A dot-com veteran, MBA, and art history major, she founded InANutshell Consulting to empower women to envision and build their own businesses. Her clients share the belief that running a small business is one way to cultivate purpose in their lives and make a meaningful impact. You can connect with her on Facebook @inanutshellceo, instagram @inanutshellceo or via email, rebecca@inanutshellconsulting.com