Category Archives: Camp News

Men’s Silent Retreat

2017 Men’s Silent Retreat

We are excited to invite you to our first

Men’s Silent Retreat at

Beautiful Birchwood Camp

Friday, September 8, 7:30pm- 

Saturday, September 9, 9pm.

$75 per person includes meals, lodging, programming

 

(Men 18+ years, Bring a Bible, Journal, Pen, Sleeping Bag, Pillow, Towel, Personal Care Items)

 

Jesus modeled for us the importance of retreating in order to be alone with the Father. The Psalms give us examples of prayers offered while men were alone, seeking the face of God.

A silent retreat is an extended time in which an individual seeks to be alone with the Lord to listen and be transformed by His Word and Spirit. At a specific place for a specific amount of time, a person retreats (stops) from their everyday routine and relationships to meditate (listen) on God’s Holy Word and then do what His Word says (follow). The purpose of a silent retreat is to STOP! LISTEN! FOLLOW!

The goal for each participant is to open the Word of God and listen. A Bible and journal are all that is needed to bring. Good things, even music, books, instruments, computers, and cell phones can also keep us from hearing the voice of God through His Word and Spirit. Each person on a retreat is going to pray and meditate and listen for God’s agenda, not his own. As the Lord leads, we are confident that He will make Himself known in a way that will have a profound impact on each participant.

“From all that I said about our worried, overfilled lives, it is clear that we are usually surrounded by so much noise that it is hard to truly hear our God when He is speaking to us. We have often become deaf, unable to know when God calls us and unable to understand in which direction He calls us… A spiritual life requires discipline, because we need to learn to listen to God, who constantly speaks but whom we seldom hear. When, however, we learn to listen, our lives become obedient lives.”
— From Making All Things New, Henri Nouwen

  • Friday evening — Travel to Birchwood Camp; 7:30pm Registration; 8pm Introductions, Orientation, and Instruction
  • Friday evening 9:30pm – Saturday 6pm — Complete silence, including at all meals.
  • Saturday evening — Break the silence at a feast and celebrate what the Lord is doing!

 

2017 Birchwood Auction

UPDATEThanks to everyone for making this a wonderful event this year! In spite of the overcast weather, people came to join in the fun! We started with a Fun Run, then everyone enjoyed the camp activities (boating, SUP, archery, challenge course), and hot dogs & s’mores by the fire circle. In addition, we raised over $18,000 during the auction to support the mission and ministry of Birchwood Camp. THANK YOU!

AUCTION ITEMS: See below for a short list and some photos of a few of our auction items. We’ll be updating this list as more items come in, so check back! We usually have a wide variety of items, from beautiful handmade goods to gift certificates to local businesses to overnight getaways to fishing trips. If you’d like to donate an item for our auction, please contact our office manager, Radie (907-688-2734 or info@birchwoodcamp.org).

  • 2018 Rainbow fishing trip for two with Dave Wilson of “Let’s Go Fishing Charters”
  • Delicious homemade cookies baked by Carla Wight
  • Birchwood Camp Counselor for an hour
  • Round fused glass plate with fused glass making tutorial by Mindy Meyn
  • Fused glass spoon rest
  • “Descending Dove of Peace, Symbol of Holy Spirit”, designed and crafted by Al Kline
  • “Peace Be With You, Risen Christ”, designed and crafted by Al Kline
  • Dessert a month for a year by David and Christine Duprow
  • Use of a Girdwood cabin
  • “Rue Clar Flower Stall, Paris”, canvas print, photo by JoAnn Shore
  • Walrus on white ivory base by Fritz Waghiyi of Savoonga on St Lawrence Island
  • Howling Husky on old ivory base by Nelson, Siberian Yupik
  • Swan on slice of old ivory by Archie Slwooko of Savoonga
  • Framed photo, “Commemorating the 1989 Wasilla Restart of the Iditarod”
  •  “The Fish Trap”, B&W framed print
  • Leather bracelet with different stones design by Michele Stone of BlingAndBracelets
  • Leather bracelet with flower design by Michele Stone of BlingAndBracelets
  • 14 Days house and pet sitting (cats excluded) provided by Meghan Woods
  • Tickets for 4 to the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward, AK
  • Tea lover’s gift basket which includes tea, scones, caramel waffles, & shortbread cookies
  • Handwoven table runner or wall hanging
  • Birch bowl made by Gayland Wohlgemuth
  • REI macro chairs
  • Handmade scarf by Carla Wight
  • Dimond Center Family Fun Pack
  • Gift certificate for a skating party at Dimond Ice Chalet
  • 14 days of House and Pet Sitting (excluding cats due to allergy)

Birchwood Camp Jamboree

Jamboree

It’s been a beautiful (if a little rainy) summer this year in Alaska and what better way to celebrate the end than by coming out to Birchwood Camp!  We invite you all to come out to camp and join us for the Birchwood Jamboree, August 13th, and help us celebrate the end of another summer camping season.

Go for a jaunt around camp on the 1mi Fun Run or 5k running course, take a boat or Stand Up Paddle Board out on Psalm Lake, check out the new Archery Range, or head out to the Challenge Course. Then, top it all off with a camp cookout – complete with s’mores ($25/person registration for activity + dinner, $100 family cap). Not ready to go home yet? Then stay and check out the silent and live auctions for the chance to bid on some amazing and unique items!

Just want to go on the lake and eat a s’more? That’s fine! Not really into camp activities and just want to check out the auction? That’s fine too! We’d love to see everyone there, no matter how long or short your visit is.

Please RSVP to the camp office (907-688-2734) so we know how many marshmallows we need! Questions? Please call Liz Ashlock (907-748-2565). Already know you won’t be available on the 13th, but want to donate? Check out the link on the home page of Birchwood Camp’s website.

Hope to see you August 13th at the Birchwood Camp Jamboree!

New Camp Director Announced

Meet our Next Camp Director!

The Birchwood Camp board of directors is pleased to announce the selection of Relena Lyddon Myers as the next Camp Director. Relena brings nonprofit and camp executive experience and a passion for camping ministries. Relena is completing her coursework in Outdoor Leadership at Denver Seminary. Relena will move to Birchwood Camp in June with her husband, Tommy, and their two children.

RelenaBirchwood Camp is a United Methodist camping ministry of the Alaska United Methodist Conference. Birchwood Camp builds community on common ground by offering camps for children, youth and adults and hosting groups from faith communities, nonprofits, schools, government and private organizations.

You may send words of welcome to Relena and her family at rmlmyers29@gmail.com.

Our current Camp Director, Marie Sweezey, will remain in her role until July 1 (read more about the Sweezeys transition here). She will have a period of training and overlap with Relena in June. If you have questions about the leadership transition, contact Board President Nora Ortiz Fredrick at ofredrick@me.com.

Birchwood Volunteer Club

We are looking for volunteers to join the newly established Birchwood Volunteer Club. The Volunteer Club will meet on the first Sunday afternoon of each month (with some exceptions for holidays or summer camps) to work on various maintenance & grounds projects around camp. Volunteer Club members don’t need to be available every month but can attend when their schedule allows. Once you “join the club” we’ll send you details and a reminder about the monthly work day.

We are looking for people with the following skills:

  • General construction/repair skills
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Chainsaw & log-splitting

Upcoming Volunteer Club Workdays 

  • June 4
  • July 2

If you want to join the Birchwood Volunteer Club, contact Tommy, our Property Specialist: 907-688-2734 or manager@birchwoodcamp.org.

 IMG_0294

Leadership Announcement

Update: May 3, 2016 the new Camp Director is Announced! Read about it here.

November 9, 2015

The Birchwood Camp Board of Directors is sad to announce the resignation of Marie Sweezey, Camp Director, and Stephen Sweezey, Program Manager/ Camp Manager, effective at the end of the summer camping season 2016. The Sweezeys will return to the Lower Forty-Eight to be closer to family. “Marie and Stephen will be greatly missed at Birchwood Camp and throughout the community,” said Nora Ortiz Fredrick, Birchwood Camp Board President.

Over the past six and a half years, Marie has brought significant positive changes to Birchwood camps, collaborative relationships, finances and facility management. Marie has done an outstanding job working with the many campers, families, organizations and private groups that come to Birchwood Camp to build community on common ground. Stephen’s leadership has deepened the reach that Birchwood Camp has on the lives and spirituality of campers and guest groups. His commitment to innovative programs and activities means many people cherish their Birchwood Camp experience.

“We both love the community, mission and ministry of Birchwood Camp,” said the Sweezeys in a joint letter to the Board, “and we feel honored to have had the opportunity to lead this wonderful organization. However, we feel that is the right time for us to transition out of leadership at Birchwood.”

The Board of Directors will begin a nation-wide search to recruit qualified leaders to continue the important ministry work of Birchwood Camp. Information about open positions is available on the Job Opportunities page.

For more information on the leadership transition, contact Nora Ortiz Fredrick.

Send a message to Marie Sweezey. Send a message to Stephen Sweezey.

2015 Annual Dinner & Auction

Annual Dinner and Auction 15

UPDATE 10.6.2015: Thanks to everyone for making this a wonderful event again this year! We had a full house of Birchwood supporters in the Lodge on Sunday enjoying good food, community and fun. In addition, we raised over $11,000 to support the mission and ministry of Birchwood Camp. THANK YOU!

WHO: Everyone’s invited! This event is for people who care about camp and support our mission and ministry; it is also a great time to find out more about what Birchwood Camp is all about. Bring a friend! Kids are welcome to attend with their parents– we will have childcare available in Caribou Cabin after dinner. Seating is limited so please RSVP to 907.688.2734 or by email.

WHAT: Birchwood Camp’s Annual Meeting, Dinner and Auction. During this annual event we do a few things: celebrate of the past year of ministry, elect new board members, enjoy a meal together, and support the mission of our camp through the live and silent auction. This year the funds raised at this event will help purchase a new, efficient water heater & boiler for the camp’s bath house.

WHEN: Sunday, October 4, beginning at 4:00 pm with tours of the Camp. The silent auction will open at 4:30 pm in the Main Lodge. The meal will begin at 5:00 pm, with the program and live auction to follow. We plan to wrap up the event around 7:30 pm.

WHERE: This year the Annual Dinner & Auction will be held in the Main Lodge at Birchwood Camp. Click here for directions.

DSC_0160

HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US on October 4th!

 

click here to rSVP BY EMAIL

 

AUCTION ITEMS:  See below for a short list and some photos of a few of our auction items. We’ll be updating this list as more items come in, so check back! We usually have a wide variety of items, from beautiful handmade goods to gift certificates to local businesses to overnight getaways to fishing trips. If you’d like to donate an item for our auction, please contact our office manager, Radie (907-688-2734 or info@birchwoodcamp.org).

  • 2016 Rainbow fishing trip for two with Dave Wilson of “Let’s Go Fishing Charters”
  • One week stay at Las Vegas, NV Condo (3 bedrooms, 2.5 bath, gated community with pool, 7 miles from the strip & the airport)
  • Two night stay for two in Alaska Cottonwood B&B, located in a quiet but centralized Anchorage location
  • Round-trip tickets for two from Anchorage to Seward in Coastal Classic Adventure Class on the Alaska Railroad
  • Family season pass to the Alaska Fine Arts Academy in Eagle River
  • Dimond Center Family Fun Pack 5 bowling passes, 5 ice skating passes, 1 week gym pass, VIP savings book
  • Guardian Angel “Designed and crafted by Al Kline
  • Beautiful nine piece Nativity Set, designed and crafted by Al Kline
  • Psalm Lake Print Limited edition glicee print of original watercolor by Aileen Austin
  • Anchorage: Life at the Edge of the Frontier, Photo book
  • Framed Photo  by Walt Hays: Autumn in Hatcher’s Pass, Alaska
  • Handmade Scarf & Hat Hand knit from yarn made with wool, silk, angora, mohair, and camel-hair
  • $50 Gift certificate to Moose’s Tooth
  • Homemade Leche Flan – a Delicious Filipino dessert made by Radie Rapanut, our office manager & amazing chef!
  • $50 Gift certificates (2) to Skinny Raven
  • Handcrafted Holiday Snowman
  • Delicious homemade cookies baked by Carla Wight
  • Two large 12 x 12 fused glass plates with beautiful deep fall colors; handmade by Mindy Meyn
  • Goblet by Bruce Shellenbaum; made from local birch
  • Bowl by Bruce Shellenbaum; made from Birchwood Camp wood
  • Pizza Coupons to Round Table Pizza 2 coupons for one large 3 topping pizza from Round Table Pizza in the Dimond Mall
  • Large handmade Zebra tote bag by Megan Rutherford
  • Canvas Print (16×32) of Denali photo
  • Small birch bowl from Birchwood Camp birch tree; handmade by Gayland Wohlgemuth
  • Birch Plate Large birch plate/dish from Birchwood Camp birch tree; handmade by Gayland Wohlgemuth
  • Handmade table made from spruce and diamond willow, 32″ tall and 36″ across; crafted by Wayne Martin
  • Athabascan fan made with spruce feathers and decorated with caribou hair
  • Sourdough Waffle Feast for 6-8 people served at the location of your choice
  • Fun Halloween themed wreath
  • Lime green with poppy flowers designed bracelet and a pair of matching earrings
  • Appetizers for 12 people- perfect for your party of choice!
  • Loaves of homemade bread
  • Intricate 13.5″ round mosaic art piece created by Karen Williams

Birchwood Camp’s Wish List

Canoes and Psalm Lake

We are often in need of new and/or gently used items for the camp. We keep a “wish list” posted on our support and sustain page. Please email us or call us at 907-688-2734 if you have an item to donate or would like additional details. We will provide you with a donation in kind receipt that you can use for tax purposes.

Current Wish List:

  • A new riding lawn mower
  • A small tractor with front end loader and PTO drive
  • A new electric range (residential) for the Caribou Cabin kitchen
  • A sponsor for our new outdoor pavilion (to replace the failing picnic shelter)
  • Sponsors for the furniture (tables & chairs) for Lower Fireweed Hall
  • Curtains for Fireweed Hall (contact for specifics)
  • Sponsors for a new septic system
  • Snacks & food items for summer staff (contact for specifics)
  • Assorted craft supplies (contact us for specifics)
  • Air miles to help transport our interns and summer staff to Alaska

2015 Spring Open House: Sunday, May 3

You are invited to join us for this awesome, family friendly event on Sunday, May 3, 2015! Those who would like to get some exercise & see a nice view of our camp grounds can join us for  our 1 mile Fun Run/Walk at 2pm. Proceeds from the Fun Run support Birchwood Camp’s scholarship fund. We’ll also have free open house, campfire & fun around camp, with activities to enjoy with your family. We hope you’ll join us for all or part of our annual spring Open House at Birchwood Camp!

2pm: Annual 1 Mile Fun Run/ Walk

2014 Fun RunJoin us for some exercise in the beautiful outdoors and help make camp experiences possible for kids!  You can run, walk, skip, bike or even cart-wheel.  Fun Run participants must check in at the Camp Office between 1:45-2:00 pm During this time, participants will pick up their bibs, sign in for their event, and get a quick trail briefing. Fun Run start time is 2:00 pm.

We love it when participants pre-register for the Fun Run, as it makes everything run smoother on May 3rd. See the links below to register online.  Sorry, there will be no refunds if you register early and can’t make it!

Your Fun Run entry fee is by donation and supports camp programs & scholarships. We suggest a minimum $10 donation per person, and we encourage you to generously support camp in whatever way you can.
 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

An awards ceremony for the top finishers for the 1 mile fun run/walk will take place at 2:30 pm at the fire circle.

2:30 – 5:00 pm: Open House

Around the camp fire

Enjoy a free, family friendly afternoon at our site in Chugiak (South Birchwood Exit). There will be lots of great activities like s’mores around the camp fire, games & fun around camp. Our trails will be open for hiking, and we hope to have canoeing available, weather permitting.

Tours of the cabins & camp grounds will be available for those new to Birchwood Camp. Our open house is a free event and a great way to introduce friends & young children to Birchwood Camp! Everyone is welcome – no need to RSVP.

 

2014 Annual Dinner & Auction

2014 Annual Dinner & Auction

WHO: Everyone’s invited! This event is for people who care about camp and support our mission and ministry; it is also a great time to find out more about what Birchwood Camp is all about. Bring a friend! Kids are welcome to attend with their parents– we will have childcare available in the Main Lodge after dinner. Seating is limited so please RSVP to 907.688.2734 or by email.

WHAT: Birchwood Camp’s Annual Meeting, Dinner and Auction. During this annual event we do a few things: celebrate of the past year of ministry, elect new board members, enjoy a meal together, and support the mission of our camp through the live and silent auction. This year the funds raised at this event will support our camp scholarship fund and the help add bathrooms to Fireweed Hall.

WHEN: Sunday, October 26, beginning at 4:30 pm. The silent auction will open at 4:30 pm in Fireweed Hall at Birchwood Camp. The meal will begin at 5:00 pm, with the program and live auction to follow. We plan to wrap up the event by 7:30 pm.

WHERE: This year the Annual Dinner & Auction will be held in the beautiful, new Fireweed Hall at Birchwood Camp. Click here for directions.

AUCTION ITEMS: We will be posting a list of auction items here and updating it periodically. We usually have a wide variety of items, from beautiful handmade goods to overnight getaways to fishing trips. If you’d like to donate an item for our auction, please contact our office manager, Radie (info@birchwoodcamp.org).

Hope you can join us!