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Knee-Mail

"Kneemail" is a regular email from Ken Bontrager, Executive Director at Camp Deerpark. You can sign up to receive Kneemail in your inbox by joining our email list! Sign up here 

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March 15, 2019

Hello Friends:

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,…” Philippians 1:27 - 2018 Theme

Please keep Camp Deerpark and our team in your prayers as we strive to be faithful.

What’s Going On at Camp Deerpark:

Have you ever walked into a room and it is obvious that the occupants of the room had been arguing and stopped because you walked in?  Have you dinned at a restaurant where it was obvious that employees hated their jobs?  Every year for the first few staff meetings of the year we talk about the core values of Camp Deerpark.  This week was core value #3 Hospitality.  Because we will be talking a lot about hospitality this coming week with the MCA folks we took our staff discussion in a slightly different direction and talked about the culture of camp when there are no campers or guests here.  I would like to share with you several comments that stuck out to me.  When asked to identify things our staff appreciate about living or working at Camp Deerpark, they answered: friends, access to the woods, having a shop to fix my car or do a wood project, the knowledge base of co-workers, these staff meetings, having meaningful work, being part of an important ministry, and connections with summer staff, campers, weekend guests, and volunteers. When asked what things our staff would like to see change, they responded: better communication, increased unity between long-term staff and summer staff, closer relationships within the staff, closer relationships between staff who live on site and staff who live off site, more Sunday afternoon soccer games, and more all staff meals and activities.

I think you are getting my point.  We are blessed to have a group of staff who enjoy being together and create a warm atmosphere for guests and campers to enter.  Please continue to keep this group of folks in your prayers as we welcome some of the most amazing guests and campers in the world.

Praise God With Us For:

  • A crew of men from Carlisle Brethren in Christ are here at camp this weekend working on shaping beams that will be used for the front porch of the Program Center.
  • Yaneli is back.  Yaneli Mauricio has been serving at camp on weekends in the dining room.  Over the past month our groups have been small and we did not need Yaneli. We are grateful for her flexibility.
  • We are excited to have our history book release party next weekend in Brooklyn.  I will be picking up the first 100 copies from the printer on Saturday morning.  May God be glorified as folks hear the stories of Camp Deerpark.
  • This week my computer crashed.  I am grateful for Scott Clark who does our IT work.  Also grateful for a back-up computer that was donated by Berg Construction a few months ago.  I was back up and running in a few hours.

Please Pray For:

  • A few women from Living Word church are in Promise Woods cabin #6 praying last night and today. 
  • Pastor Arnaldo Bauta is here this weekend with a group of men.  Pastor Bauta has been here several times with other men’s retreats, but this is his first attempt at bringing the men from his church.  Pray for them.
  • It was good to hear from our friend Devonne McMorris today.  Pray for her as she ministers to her family.
  • We will be hosting several other camps from the Mennonite Camping Association on Sunday to Wednesday.  Pray for Hyacinth Stevens who will be speaking on the topic of Radical Hospitality. 
  • Deborah and I will be at LMC Celebration of Church Life tomorrow.
  • Kevin is hard at work hiring the summer staff who will be the front line of loving children this summer.  Please pray for that process.

Thank you so much for your prayers for the children, youth, and families of New York City.

Blessings,

Ken Bontrager, Executive Director

 
March 1, 2019

Hello Friends:

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,…” Philippians 1:27 - 2018 Theme

Please keep Camp Deerpark and our team in your prayers as we strive to be faithful.

What’s Going On at Camp Deerpark:

We woke up this morning at Camp Deerpark on March first with 2-3 inches of snow.  To be perfectly honest I am finished with snow and ready for spring.  Yesterday the llamas were scheduled for their monthly shot of ivermectin, which protects them from the Meningeal worm.  Bernice was being obstinate as usual and would not come inside.  Because it has been cold both llamas have been doing their business inside the shed.  Leonard and I found ourselves wondering why we even have these llamas in the first place.  The truth is in the middle of the winter it is easy to lose sight of the beauty of our mission here at Camp Deerpark.  The photo below is to remind all of us that summer is coming.  The grass will be green again.  The gaga pit will be filled with children, the swings will be swinging, and the llamas will be loved.  Thank you for your prayers and support as we prepare for summer. 


Praise God With Us For:

  • I have been asking you to pray for several outstanding foundation grant requests.  Today we received a check for $25,000 from the Fred J. Brotherton Charitable Foundation towards the Promise Woods Program Center.
  • The financial audit here at camp yesterday was painless.  Barb and Brian always do a great job of keeping everything organized.  We don’t have much money, but we keep good records of what we do have.
  • Kevin partnered with Hyacinth Stevens and Mennonite Central Committee in the Bronx on president’s day to provide a job training seminar.  It was a relatively small number of participants, but the information was very helpful.  The focus was centered around resume writing and job interviews. 
  • The history book is at the printer and should be coming off the press by March 15.  Big thanks to Donna Stoltzfus and Deborah Bontrager who put in many hours to make this project happen.  Also thanks to the book committee chaired by Lowell Jantzi, which included Donna Stoltzfus, Veronica Dingwall, and Jim Baer.  Also thanks to a generous donor books will be given away at the book release party on March 23 at United Revival in Brooklyn and at the PA Banquet on April 5.  You may contact Camp Deerpark This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to purchase a book for $15 plus shipping.  

Please Pray For:

  • Bonnie is a pastor’s wife who is taking a personal retreat in Promise Woods cabin #5 this weekend.
  • Pastor Arnaldo Bauta who will be here at camp this weekend with their intercessory team fasting and praying.  They are specifically praying for their men’s retreat here at camp in two weeks.
  • The men from Spanish Evangelical Church who will be retreating at camp next weekend.
  • March 15-17 Pastor Arnaldo will be bringing the men back to camp for their retreat.
  • Camp Deerpark will be hosting the eastern regional Mennonite Camping Association gathering from March 17-20.  Pray for Hyacinth Stevens who will be our speaker sharing with the group on the topic of Radical Hospitality.
  • Kevin is hard at work hiring the summer staff who will be the front line of loving children this summer.  Please pray for that process.

Thank you so much for your prayers for the children, youth, and families of New York City.

Blessings,

Ken Bontrager, Executive Director