Campers and staff wind up "incredible" summer at BCH Center

Camp 2011 Archery Megan Emery from St. James's Church in Amesbury tries her hand at archery. The summer camp season is wrapping up at the diocese's Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center in Greenfield, N.H., one that interim summer camp director Matt Lindeman characterizes as "incredible," having served 946 campers representing at least 122 congregations in and outside of the Diocese of Massachusetts (many of whom, he said, returned for multiple sessions, bringing the overall total to more than1,000 for the summer).

"We had a fantastic group of chaplains this year who really got into the spirit of camp and were able to join in on activities," Lindeman reports.

"We had a great year for musicians as well," he said, adding that they recorded an album of worship songs incorporated into this year's camp Bible study theme of "Seeing God, Seeking God." "This year's band was called 57 Strings, named for the tally of guitar strings we've gone through this summer!" he said.

Camp 2011 Eucharist Twilit Eucharist at the camp's outdoor chapel "I'm extremely grateful to the incredible staff here at the camp, both to the year-round staff who keep the registrations organized, the bills paid, the water hot and the food delicious, and to the fantastic group of counselors, team leaders and program staff who constantly put the needs of their campers before their own," Lindeman said.

Even though summer is turning a corner toward fall--"There's a chill in the air again, and a brilliant clarity to the sky," Lindeman notes--he's already thinking about next year.  "We look forward to continuing to grow and live into our mission as we approach our 10th summer here at the camp. We thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and support, and look forward to 'Day One' already!" 

"Three in One":  Among the summer campers from other dioceses were three special guests:  Hadeel Saadeh, Yousef Barhoum and Rita Abu Hanna.  Hosted by Bishop Gayle E. Harris and the Diocese of Massachusetts, the three teens from the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem spent two Gayle Harris with Diocese of Jerusalem guests Hadeel Saadeh, Yousef Barhoum and Rita Abu Hanna with Bishop Gayle E. Harris weeks in July at the camp.  They said they loved everything about it, but especially the beautiful natural setting, the worship and the camp staff who made them feel special. 

"I can't tell you how fantastic these three young people are. Their visit was not only an active engagement with our continuing relationship and ministry with the Diocese of Jerusalem but also a way to forge relationships on a personal level," Bishop Harris said the day before their departure for home.  "For us it is easy, comfortable and convenient to be Christians. For them, since they are in the minority, it is a daily encounter. We gained more than we gave in the opportunity to have them come here and open our eyes to the larger world."

Camp program counselor Enos "Junior" Mullings made a video, "Three in One," of Hadeel, Yousef and Rita during their summer camp experiences--including an overnight at "Otter Outpost," the camp's remote campsite.  Watch it here.