I grew up going to summer camps both individually and with my entire family to a place that remains a place of great importance for my family. In fact, we still gather there with a few other families we have known throughout generations.
Some of you may have seen a post or two in the past about how Bethany Hills is my happy place and how our families celebrate Thanksgiving there on occasion. And if you follow me (@JPlovesCOTTON) on Instagram or if we are Facebook friends you may have seen some of the crazy fun my family likes to have while we are there — like this human version of Hungry, Hungry Hippos (that was so amazingly fun I don’t even know what to say) and this human version of foos ball (the bruises have finally subsided LOL)!
We always take time to just enjoy being together. We cook together, make smores together, ride the see saws or swing. There is time to celebrate birthdays — this year’s was big 50 for me, a few years ago my brother-in-law’s birthday meant we had a camo themed night where we fried up fish! This photo gives you an idea of the scale we talk about when we think of Thanksgiving!
But we also keep a service mindset and having a credentialed builder in the family, means we frequently do quite a bit! We have made benches like you see in the photo above, covered sofas, made curtains, and more.
I can remember Thanksgiving weekends spent reroofing the puttery shop where campers go to do crafts in the summer. Another year we refinished the hardwood floors in the rec hall (you can see how nice they look in the hippos video LOL). And another year, we rechinked a historic cabin there…. that means we basically went back in to replace all the stuff that used to be between the logs and had overtime fell out… it was the hardest job of all if you ask me.
This year, we did something that took money and time. We found a bell to replace the one that was broken several years ago… that left the bell’s ring pretty hollow and certainly not strong enough to be a call to action for a hundred or so campers.
After years of discussion by lots of people, my sister found a new, albeit antique, bell for us! Once we decided it was a go, I put together a crowd-sourcing campaign to help our group of families pay for it. It is GORGEOUS! Lots of people who had been to camp there over the years joined the families who would end up building the new structure to house it.
While I always capture a lot of photos of whatever we have going on, this year I am trying to use more video. So throughout the weekend at various points, I shot video of the work being done and the progress made. I love how it captured so many of the awesome folks who were there for the weekend.
The progress continued past my videography and we are so excited to see the finished product, complete with a copper roof! I can already imagine how this will become part of this place that is such a big part of my family and life.