News from the Mountain Top – March 2021
News from the Mountain Top
Dear Campers and Camp Supporters:
Spring has been “springing up” on the mountain top this week! My little daffodil bulbs are pushing their way up thru the wet soil and are about six inches high. But here comes another snowstorm! We expect a couple days of snow. By the time you read this, the storms will be behind us, and we will have shoveled our way out. The mountain can use another soft blanket of snow. The melting snow slowly soaks into the ground leaving the earth in place. Heavy rains can mean mud and ash flows from the burn area running into Camp and across the roadways.
Since I have been thinking of spring all week, I have a sense of renewal on my mind. We are soon to have budding leaves, colorful wildflowers, fluttering butterflies, and busy hummingbirds. My heart feels lighter, and I am starting to make my spring project list.
As we turn our attention to repairing, fixing, building, sorting, and cleaning, I feel a sense of renewal and optimism. Maybe, just maybe, we will make it through this frightful time – a year of significant loss and sadness for the world.
Although we won’t be operational this summer, we will be offering many opportunities for you to come up and socially distance to work on volunteer projects. Fire clearance will continue with raking and removing pine needles from around buildings and trimming up branches on trees as high as we can reach. These lower limbs are called ladder fuels, and trimming them up protects the trees from catching fire during a wildfire. We need volunteers to wipe down the furniture in the cabin rooms using Simple Green to help remove smoke oils from the wooden furnishings. Our cabins will smell nice and fresh when campers return.
Over the next couple of months, Camp staff will be working in Craig’s Cabin to lay new tile floors in the bathrooms and kitchen, re-carpet, and paint the living room walls. By the time we open in the fall, the camp will be spruced up and ready to go.
Golden are the precious memories I hold close to my heart – the memories of the happy campers playing in the woods, singing around the campfire, and hiking to the lake. Special are those of you who give of your time and talents to keep Camp going for those yet to come. You are my heroes. You see what is right and good about the work we do at Camp, and you genuinely believe Camp changes lives for the better. Thank you for your continued support through your volunteer efforts at Camp and through your meaningful monetary gifts.
I hope the best for you and your families as we make it through to vaccinating the populous. Soon we will gather together on the mountain top, hugging and laughing and loving life once again. Until we do, there is much to get done, and your help and involvement are critical to the success of reopening Camp (Fall 2021).
You are missed by all who live here, including Camp dog, Daisy Doodle. Ever vigilant and waiting for a car to roll into camp, Daisy sits on my front porch staring for hours at the empty parking lot. I can only imagine that for a dog as outgoing as Daisy, she has had just about enough of being socially distanced from all her favorite campers.
If you are available to help with camp projects over the next few months, please click on the link under “Around Camp” to register your name and contact information. I will reach out to you with volunteer opportunities as we get things organized, and together, we’ll offer love and renewal to our beloved camp.
Be safe and stay healthy. I cherish you all.
Your Beloved Camp
Time to spring forward
Following twelve months of uncertainty and apprehension, a brighter view is coming into focus. While you still cannot partake of the full wonders of your camp on the mountain top, sunnier days are ahead.
As the beauty of Spring peeks through the cold of Winter and new growth defies the hurt of the El Dorado fire, Camp continues to need your love.
Volunteer this Spring and Summer to recharge your soul while you help ready the camp for in-person groups once again.
Get ready to celebrate
With Rev. Ray Manker’s impetus, 60 years ago this month, the purchase of the property to become de Benneville Pines Camp and Conference Center was finalized. The historic photo above captures what remained of the Boy Scout Lodge which burned down in the late 50’s. Homet Lodge was built on the same spot. Oh, what a time we’ve all had since the Manker family visited the-yet-to-be-built camp, and there is so much more to look forward to.
Keep an eye on your inbox for updates on the festivities. In the interim, be sure to peruse old photos and write Camp recollections to share with everyone else who loves Camp de Benneville Pines.
What better way to celebrate Camp’s 60th anniversary than to gather in loving community. Thank you First Church San Diego for hosting this district-wide celebration!
Campers Say and Do
Where were you in ’62?
Camp de Benneville Pines has been offering a mountain respite to UUs and friends for 60 years. In the early days, young families, like the Whittier UU group above, made their impression on the new camp. If you, or someone you know, were a part of the building, creation, and enjoyment of Camp through the 1960s, send us stories, memories, pictures, and articles. Do you have an account of the above image? Send it to us.
We will share stories and photos throughout the year, leading up to the grand celebration of Camp de Benneville Pines’ 60th anniversary in December 2021.
Send digital files to email@example.com. You may also mail mementos to de Benneville Pines History, 41750 Jenks Lake Road West, Angelus Oaks, CA, 92305-9789. Do not send anything that you must have returned. If you don’t want to part with originals, please make good quality copies to send.
Next month, we will feature a photo from the 1970s. If you have one you would like us to consider, email it to the address above.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daisy Doodle got an email
Daisy was so excited to get an email and photos from her friend, Handsome. And she is hoping to get more emails, cards, letters, and pictures. If you, or a young person in your life, would like to make Daisy feel less lonely, let her know what you love and miss about Camp.
Send your messages to email@example.com or Daisy Doodle, 41750 Jenks Lake Road West, Angelus Oaks, CA 92305.
In the meantime, find out what Daisy has to say, and share some Spring happiness with someone you love. Daisy’s quarterly newsletter for children is just a click away.
Watch this Video
Here comes the sun
Spring is in the air, and hope is on the horizon. Enjoy this video of the Beatles’ song of promise and new prospects.
Keep the spirit of de Benneville Pines and yoUUr faith alive in your heart.