Fire Marshal Visits Bethany Birches Camp

by Brandon Bergey, Executive Director at Bethany Birches Camp

This post is about a sad story.  It’s the story of the BBC Cabin the day the fire marshal came to visit.

Quick Tangent – if you didn’t know, the cabin is our only year-round use building. It’s where we host winter camps. It’s where skiers stay while they ski surrounding mountains and that provides us some extra revenue. Possibly most importantly, it’s where our non-counseling staff and volunteers stay during summer camp!  And, summer is rapidly approaching.

Back to the story – Bruce and Jay were friendly and clear.  They have concerns about how quickly people could get out of the building in case of fire.  They gave us a conditional permit, which ends April 1, 2012!  After that, no one can sleep in the building until it’s amended to meet Vermont Life Safety Code.

How big of a deal can 8 violations really be?  Apparently a big enough deal to cost $20-$30K (incomplete estimate) – YIKES!  And, at our board meeting we recently decided to add $10K to that number (probably out of our own savings) to accomplish a Master Plan item that will not only make the building much better by including proper bathrooms but will also take care of the two exits we need to add to the loft sleeping areas.

For more info on the report and the list of violations, see this blog post. Our need is great. If you are able to help, we would be so thankful, and so will the kids of Central VT (did I mention one of our campers recently made a $10 donation online – don’t worry, he’s 17 with a job).

HERE ARE A FEW WAYS TO HELP:

  • Give money!  Just the materials are going to cost over $10K.  Send a check or give online and give to general operations or where needed most.
  • Give time: we’ll need volunteers to do most of the work.  Consider getting a small crew of experienced people together and come up for a weekend.  A few experienced laborers can make a big dent in just two days.  Call the office or email me.  Signing up for blog posts or liking our Facebook page will keep you in the know on this project also.
  • Give material: perhaps you own or have influence in a supply chain that could get us sheet rock, lighting, paint, etc.  If it’s in the above list, we need it.

And so the story of an old camp, that’s doing the best it can, continues.  We have always been provided for by those that care about Bethany Birches’ Mission.  God continues to use people in special ways to do this work of helping young people develop their relationship with him as we provide them with a Christ-centered camping experience.

Praise God for the two hour emotional cycle I experienced after the fire marshal’s visit.  At first I was frustrated and annoyed.  Then, humility kicked in.  So often, when I receive correction, direction, instruction, if I am able to release my frustration, I begin to sense God at work.

Join me in praying… God, join us in this endeavor and in all of our endeavors.  I pray that you will bring the resources and people needed to accomplish this change and that it will not distract from the bigger things ahead.

This post is about a sad story.  It’s the story of the BBC Cabin the day the fire marshal came to visit.

Quick Tangent – if you didn’t know, the cabin is our only year-round use building. It’s where we host winter camps. It’s where skiers stay while they ski surrounding mountains and that provides us some extra revenue

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