The naturalist John Muir, who was raised as a Scottish Presbyterian, spoke of going to the woods as "going home." Most who have visited, worked, played, and lived at Bethelwoods would surely agree with that sentiment. Ideally, a home is a place where you are welcomed and affirmed, where you can rest, play, and learn in a community that acknowledges you as a unique child of God. Bethelwoods has served as a home for several generations in that way and its valued ministry continues on today as well.
I grew up attending summer camp there in the 1980's and then returned to work as a counselor for four summers in the early 1990's. In those experiences, I crossed paths with those who I'd never see again but who left a positive impact on me that I still carry now. I also made friendships with others that have lasted throughout the years and that continue to shape and mold my direction in life. In our current age with the ephemeral nature of virtual meetings, text messages whizzing around, and social media feed updates, it's the tangible memories of gathering with others in a place so real and set apart like Bethelwoods that speak to me the most.
Sit back for a minute and try to imagine those memories in your mind's eye because I am certain that you too share many of them in your own way:
Director of Children's Ministry, EPC Columbia SC
When I first started working at camp in 2012, it was the office assistant position. It was a summer only position. I applied so I could be close to my 2 youngest children who both worked at camp that year. In the fall of that year I was asked if I would be interested in being the office manager starting in 2013. I accepted the position with great excitement.
Not only was working for a Christian non-profit something I always wanted to do, but it gave me the opportunity to meet more people.
My family had recently moved and I was hoping to find some new friends. And boy did I ever. There have been quite a few people that have become very close friends that I met at camp either through working together, our non summer programs, our guest groups, camper families, and members of the ministry team.
So essentially, camp to me is building relationships, learning about others, helping others, while keeping Christ at the center of it all.
- Colleen Johnson, Office Manager