News from the Mountain Top – February 2021
News from the Mountain Top
Dear Camp Supporters and Valentines,
As I think of Camp de Benneville Pines and all it has been through in 2020 – pandemic and forest fire – my heart is full thinking of all of you who have stepped up to help in so many ways.
Over 80 people showed up to help fill sandbags and get them placed over six different weekends. And 45 people showed up over four weekends to rake pine needles and trim limbs away from structures, making our Camp more fire safe. Staff and volunteers worked to stain decks and cabins prior to the fire, and 1,180 of you responded to our various fundraising campaigns over the year. Donations came in from all over the country as folks reached deep to support their home on the mountain top.
Others contributed to the fundraising efforts in creative ways by sending us hand-made face masks to sell and glass hearts to give to donors. Still others gave concerts, sold cookbooks, sponsored movie nights and talent shows. One volunteer paid for and installed security cameras and made sure Camp’s fire alarm system was fully operational. Another paid for and installed a weather station on top of Homet Lodge. Board members took on grant writing projects, multiple fundraising campaigns, and initiated fire recovery plans. Several UU Churches held special collections, and a core group of former LRY campers set up a matching fund and went to work to raise over $30,000.
So much love flowing to the mountain top! How can I not reach out today with a special Valentine love letter to you? Some people just go the extra mile, and de Benneville would not be here if it were not for the efforts of the self-appointed caretakers of this sacred space.
Please know that your caring has meant so much during this extended period of closure. You show others by your example what being a loving steward of Camp truly means. You uphold the values of Camp and the principles of your faith.
You are the Camp’s heart and soul, its visionaries, working to preserve Camp for everyone yet to come.
To me, a camp without the campers is but a lonely place resting in the woods, waiting to come to life. Through your efforts, you nourish the hopes and dreams of the next generation of UU campers. Your actions help to ensure that Camp will be here for them. I hold a special place in my heart this Valentine’s Day for what de Benneville Pines has been to so many over the last 60 years and for what we dream it will be once again.
Thank you for being a Camp Valentine.
Be safe and stay healthy. I cherish you all.
Your Beloved Camp
Love from the mountain top
Even if I had never met you (or I still have not), I know I would love you. You are fun. You are loving. You are caring and giving. I am empty without you. You fill me up and make me complete. You sustain me through challenging times, and you love me through sunny days and stormy weather. I am better because of you. Even when we are apart, thoughts of you inspire me to improve.
Always Your Beloved,
Camp de Benneville Pines
Coming soon to a screen near you
Oh, how you miss live entertainment. You might even want to perform for others. Camp Connect Open Mic Night is coming in Spring 2021 to offer you that opportunity. Almost. It’s live, but not quite in person. However, thanks to Zoom and participation by you, it’s as close as we can get to being there at this time.
Join family and friends for a fun filled all-ages evening of sharing talents and showing appreciation.
If you would like to perform or otherwise help at Camp de Benneville Pines’ first ever Virtual Open Mic Night, click below to find out more information and complete the application. All types of visual and aural family-friendly performances and behind the scenes/tech support are welcome.
Campers Say and Do
Writing from the heart
In honor of February, the “month of love”, a dozen participants came together at Camp Connect on a Friday evening to learn “How to Write a Love Letter”.
A warm and loving welcome made everyone comfortable as novice and practiced writers were first instructed in designing a love letter to a special place. What arose were wholehearted and endearing sentiments for places as varied as a childhood bedroom and an annual one-week beach respite from a too-busy single-mom life.
After sharing their sentiments for place, participants turned their thoughts and pens to the love they have for a friend, family member, or pet. The moving letters evoked smiles and tears as some read their notes to long-time friends, children, animals, and those no longer with us.
Having been warmed up, attendees now were ready to write a letter of deep love and passion. A letter to be shared with only one person. Before everyone left to create this ultimate valentine, they were given advice, tips, and faith in knowing that writing from the heart will always produce the needed words. A tenet to keep with you always.
The Natural World
Love is all around
Love is in the air – and on the ground, in the clouds and in the plants. At Camp de Benneville Pines and in your heart, love is always present. The world around us can offer surprising reminders of love. Take a walk and take time to notice heart images created by nature.
Allow your walk in the beauty of the outdoors to remind you how much you love Camp de Benneville Pines. As you think about Camp and the 60 years it has been there for you and others and what you hope for its future, take a few minutes to write a love letter to your very lonely Camp on the mountain top. Letters can be short and sweet, long and deep, or anywhere in between. Camp would love to receive artwork and words from youngsters, too.
Send your love letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters to Daisy-Doodle can be e-mailed to email@example.com. You may also mail your letters and artwork to Camp de Benneville Pines Love Letters, 41750 Jenks Lake Road West. Angelus Oaks, CA 92305.
Watch this Video
Measure your life in love
As you move into this year looking forward to happier times, you may have bitter-sweet thoughts due to events and experiences in 2020. Listen to this beautiful song covered by students at Tesoro High School and be reminded that love never ends.
Keep the spirit of de Benneville Pines and yoUUr faith alive in your heart.
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