Youth Peace Travel Team 2015 – Camp Bethel

artwork challenge course games team shot

Hello again friends! We have just finished up our second week of camp, this time at the amazing Camp Bethel! Camp Bethel is HUGE and incredibly beautiful! It seems like almost everyone we’ve met out east has some sort of connection with this camp, and now we get to share in that! Here are some of our thoughts from the week! Hope you enjoy!

What can I say about Camp Bethel? First of all, the camp itself in absolutely massive, but secondly, it is not even big enough to hold all of the energy and incredible fun that all the wonderful people bring with them! This camp prides itself on being a family style camp, even though their camper numbers are super high! It was truly awesome to get to interact with all the super enthusiastic staff and campers throughout the week! I got the opportunity to go on a canoe trip with one of the units, and it was without a doubt a highlight of the week! Another highlight was getting to work with the Day Camp that Bethel puts on! The YPTT got to lead a session with each of the six units at this camp (all elementary students). We led some fruit of the spirit discussion and games and some fruity songs as well! It was super fun and filled with all the energy and excitement that young kids bring! Another highlight from the week was getting to sing and goof off with all the campers and staff throughout the week. There were constantly games and songs that we were always more than welcome to jump into and join! Camp Bethel was most definitely an incredibly fun and exciting week! – Kerrick

What a fun week at Camp Bethel! The staff here has the highest amount of energy that I’ve ever seen in a camp staff. It was so awesome! Singing is a part of almost every camp, but at Bethel it is a GIGANTIC part of camp and worship. We sang songs after every meal, before worship and units would sing as they walked between activities. I loved hearing familiar repeat-after-me songs that I could join in on everywhere I went. Bethel offers a free Day Camp and over 80 children registered. YPTT spent two days with them. Our first day we led sessions with the elementary students about the fruit of the spirit and the second day we led cardboard games. It was such a joy to spend time interacting with the little ones. Another highlight was skit night. Each unit performed a skit that they created. Some were even based off of funny events that happened during the week. Camp Bethel was quite an exciting time. – Annika

The first thing I noticed about Camp Bethel was the water. There were streams winding their way throughout the camp, and a couple shallow ponds. I found the setting to be very peaceful. Yet as people began arriving the peace was quickly balanced by incomparable energy and enthusiasm. There were so many people, and so much energy that I was a bit overwhelmed at times-but song time was a blast. It was interesting to get to know a camp that was so different from my home camp (Mardela) in both size and worship styles. The people who call Bethel home are so different than those from Mardela, and it was fun getting to know them and doing my best to keep up with them at song time. I especially loved visiting campers and staff during “Home in the woods,” when people sleep out in the woods for a night. One group fed me! Around the fire, I was able to interact with some cool people, and was sad to depart the camp early on Friday for National Junior High Conference before being able to get to know these people more. Overall, Bethel was a unique experience. – Brean

Thank you for reading and sharing in a part of our wonderful journey around the camps! Thanks to Camp Bethel for the wonderful and exciting week! Until next time friends, spread the peace! – YPTT 2015


The 2013 Youth Peace Travel Team visits Camp Bethel!

June 30 – July 5, 2013

“The Church isn’t the building, it’s the people.” Each camp we’ve visited has its own landmarks and specific charm, for sure, but the previous statement can certainly be applied to church camps. Our experience at Camp Bethel was augmented by the presence of an enthusiastic staff who put one hundred and ten percent into everything they did. If campers lacked energy or enthusiasm for an activity, their counselors were there to pick up the slack and refresh the campers’ spark. Even kitchen staff got in on the fun, creatively passing out ice cream bars via “Sheriff Twin Pop” and having everyone eat one of the dinners with unusual utensils (ladles, ice cream scoops, tongs…). A meal time which ended without a time for singing, jumping, and clapping did not exist at any point this week.
This group of campers participated and stayed attentive throughout our Peace Sessions every morning. They added a part of a massive “peace quilt” at the end of every session throughout the week to reflect that session’s theme (Conflict Transformation, Creation Peace, Biblical Peacemaking, Bullying, and Just Peace). Morning watches, vespers, and skit night all utilized the staff, counselors, and campers abilities to speak, act, sing, and reflect. Did we mention it poured rain every single day of camp this week? It took a lot of energy sometimes to make up for the weather and we’d like shout out to Katie and Maureen who did phenomenally as they organized and led the camp!

On another note, the 2013 YPTT crew has essentially transformed part of its downtime into a theological book club and here are some of the things we’ve been reading:

A Quaker Book of Wisdom – Robert Lawrence Smith
Biblical Peacemaking – Dale Brown
Velvet Elvis – Rob Bell
Jesus for President – Shane Claibourne
How Coffee Saved My Life: And Other Stories of Stumbling to Grace – Ellie Roscher
The Book of Psalms – Robert Alter
Love Wins – Rob Bell
The Middle Man – Dorothy Brandt Davis and Sara Elizabeth Davis
Enemy Pie – Derek Munson
Alexander Mack: A Man Who Rippled the Waters – Myrna Grove

Ode to Camp Bethel

Camp Bethel, Camp Bethel, what a sacred space
You welcomed us in like one great big embrace

With campers many, a new challenge came
We had to split in half, step up our game

The joy, the laughter, the smiles with all
We learned many new songs and had a ball

The counselors, you amazed us all, for real for real
Your dedication to campers, your overflowing zeal

We loved meeting you, summer staff, memories hilarious and grand
Interacting with such inspiring peers, to you we clap our hand…s

From Rest Period Song, silly skits, great worships too
we are so grateful to share in such greatness with you

And campers, you impressed us something wonderful
Your talents, leadership, with joy your hearts were full

For me personally, as this summer we roam
I cherish the love found at Camp Bethel, my home.

Tyler Goss