Category Archives: Camp Bishopswood

Bishopswood needs our help to open its doors in 2016

Estimates are in and the comprehensive Bishopswood septic system will cost $185,000. As Bishop Lane says in his letter to friends of our diocesan camp: Read it here

“Now is the time to make a gift toward this project. I have committed diocesan resources so that contracts can be made and work can begin, but there is no budget for this work. The funding of this project is completely in the hands of all of us who love Bishopswood and want to see another generation of children benefit from its ministry.” 
 
Bishopswood Executive Director Mike Douglass also has a letter that details the need and urgency for year-end gifts so that camp can open next summer. Donations may be made online on the Diocese of Maine home page at www.episcopalmaine.org. or use this direct link to the secure online donation page. Also checks may be sent directly to Bishopswood at 98 Bishopswood Road, Hope, Maine  04847. If you would like to learn more about the project by having Mike call or email you, please be in touch with him at mike@bishopswood.org. Congregations are encouraged to share this notice in their bulletins, newsletters, and announcements. Click here for a ready-to-print bulletin insert.

 

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Filed under Camp Bishopswood, Diocesan Life, Faith Development, Youth and Young Adults

A parish retreat at Bishopswood builds bonds of connection

by Kirsten Lowell
St. Ann’s, Windham

IMG_9793Moments of solitude, moments of fellowship, moments of peace, and moments of laughter. Moments like these were enjoyed throughout the woods of Camp Bishopswood in Hope over Labor Day weekend. More than 50 members of the St. Ann’s community in Windham gathered at beautiful Camp Bishopswood for a weekend of play, relaxation, discussion, learning, and worship. There were parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, friends new and old.

The discussion over the course of the weekend focused on a video by Brené Brown, “The Power of Vulnerability,” which deals with the topics of courage, compassion, and connection. We learned about love and how it can, at times, seem harder than we originally thought. We gained courage to be vulnerable with one another and grow deeper in connection with each other. We showed compassion throughout the weekend by lending a helping hand, offering encouragement, and unconditionally loving one another. We connected through meals, focus groups, living in cabins together, playing games, and worship.

We no longer were strangers, or someone we simply said hello to on Sunday mornings. We left each discussion time with a better understanding of where we each come from and where we are currently.

The youth led a magnificent worship service for us including readings, dance, and music. They worked so beautifully st. anns retreattogether to create a worship service where there was a little bit of something for everyone. It was wonderful to see the youth use their talents to praise God and bring joy into the lives of others. On Sunday morning we enjoyed Eucharist in the chapel overlooking the beautiful lake. During this time we had come together in prayer during a healing service and prayer circles, at which point a young child, just three years old, joined in prayer and laying of hands for his mother. The power of prayer felt throughout the chapel was definitely something all present will remember for quite some time.

The weather was extremely cooperative, which allowed for some extended outdoor play Sunday afternoon. Each of the kayaks and canoes was put to good use by young and old alike, exploring the beautiful Lake Megunticook. A few were even brave enough to try their hand at paddle boarding, some more successfully than others.

IMG_9792Having Camp Bishopswood as a place for retreat from daily life allowed for some reflective alone time for many as well. Some enjoyed their time at Chapel Rocks, others enjoyed time sitting on the Great Hall Porch rocking away in the rocking chairs.

Camp is a place where age does not matter, and St. Ann’s weekend retreat truly reflected that. It was a time when teens and youth were placed in the same discussion groups with the elders of the church. It was a time when each person served one another, both at meal times and in worship. Each person laughed as we roasted marshmallows around a lakeside campfire and many of us stayed up late chatting in the cabins.

Not only did we learn about courage, compassion, and connection, we used the weekend together as a time to put these three things into practice along with the hopes of bringing them back to the rest of the St. Ann’s community who could not join us for the retreat.

We used our time together in focus groups and in play to truly build long lasting friendships and relationships. Folks are already looking forward to next year’s retreat!

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Filed under Camp Bishopswood, Diocesan Life, Fun, St. Ann's Windham

What about BION?

Boys at BION

Boys at BION

BION is a five-day camp for kids in grades 6-12 at Bishopswood and led by Maine Episcopal Youth Events.Fifty four teens were at BION in August. Campers in the six cabins were each given different topics to comment on. Here’s what they had to say:

“The experience at BION was fun; it was also a wonderful way to connect with God. The cooks prepared amazing food. During worship we had laughs but also became spiritually more mature. There were a variety of activities that we enjoyed with our friends.”

“Some of our favorite activities were: Ultimate frisbee, theatre games, paracord bracelets, swimming and noodle hockey.”

BION 3 036

Girls at BION

“We enjoyed the focus group called Arts & Creation because it gave us a chance to be creative while learning about God. We also enjoyed the focus group Scraps of Scripture because we got to find Bible quotes and bring them home to keep. As always, High School Huddle was awesome because it gave us a chance to connect with people our own age on a deeper level and talk about things we’re all going through.”

“We love upbeat songs like Prince of Peace, Big House, I Am the Resurrection, and Fear Not because they have hand motions and they pump us up. We also like the slow songs like Sanctuary because of the harmonies and they help us to get in the mood for worship.”

“We had a ton of fun as new campers. We liked that the cabins were very clean when we arrived. We had a lot of fun during rest hour. We are all coming back next year to BION Camp and bringing friends!”

The next BION Camp will be August 18-22, 2015. See more at www.maineyouth.org.

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Filed under Camp Bishopswood, Fun, Youth and Young Adults

Camp Bishopswood names Michael Douglass next executive director

June 13, 2012

The Board of Trustees is delighted to announce that Michael Douglass of Freedom, New Hampshire, has been named the next executive director of Camp Bishopswood.

Mike comes to Bishopswood with a strong background in year-round and summer camp ministry, middle and high school education, and marketing and development. He will join the staff in early fall.

Speaking on behalf of the Bishopswood Board of Trustees and the Search Committee, Board Co-President Robert A. Johnston expressed his enthusiasm for Mike’s candidacy, “We feel that Mike is the perfect person to continue the wonderful ministry that is Camp Bishopswood. His strong background in residential camping and teaching, combined with his boundless enthusiasm and strength of character will allow him to be an outstanding leader for many years to come.”

The Search Committee engaged in an extensive nationwide search that attracted an exceptionally strong group of applicants.

With a BA in behavioral science from the University of New Hampshire and a Masters in Education from Plymouth State University, Mike served as a year-round program director at Calumet Lutheran Camp and Conference Center in New Hampshire for five years and as a math teacher in two New Hampshire public schools.

Mike is quick to share his passion for camp ministry, “As a young camper at church camp and at boy scout camp, I knew I would always be involved with camp. I believe that camp is an amazing vehicle for children and youth to develop a relationship with God and become part of a community that supports them.”

We look forward to welcoming Mike to the camp community this summer.

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Filed under Camp Bishopswood, Diocesan Life