Volunteers from Minot AFB help at Camp Bentley

Sometimes help comes from the most seemingly unlikeliest of places and Tuesday that help came from a group of volunteers from Minot Air Force Base who put in a solid day’s work at Camp Bentley.

Camp Bentley, an American Baptist Bible Camp 25 miles east of Velva, played host to a group of volunteers who helped put new shingles on the roof of one of the buildings at the camp.

Tam Wistoff, along with her husband, Dave, manages Camp Bentley. She said workers will usually put tin on the roof of one of the buildings every year, but had previously heard that some people from Minot AFB would be interested in helping with whatever needed to be done at the camp. A phone call was made to the air base and 12 volunteers showed up.

“They had all the (old) shingles off by noon,” Wistoff said. “They’re strong and young and strong and have been a true blessing.” The volunteers came at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and were served breakfast before starting the roofing project, she said. They were also served an evening meal. The airmen were not able to finish the project since they had to go back to their regular jobs, but managed to take off all of the shingles and had all of the nails pulled by the end of the day.

There’s always a project needing to be done, Wistoff said, but helping put shingles on the roof was the one Minot AFB volunteers came to work on.

This year’s camp season for Camp Bentley started on May 25, but it has been in operation since 1947. The season started off with a week-long work camp where the staff and volunteers worked on projects to get the camp ready for campers. Then the campers arrived and each week featured different groups and ages, such as men’s camp, women’s camp, family camp, senior high campers, junior high campers, junior campers, and a camp session for golf and scrapbooking. Wistoff said in between those sessions are reunions and weddings taking place at the camp.

Wistoff said they had about 30 senior high campers, around 40 junior high campers and around 70 junior campers. The family camp had 162 people, she added.

“We have chapel, quiet time, play games and have waterfront activities,” Wistoff said, describing some of the activities available to campers at Camp Bentley. “Kids just love it. And it’s generational. We had three or four generations of families at family camp.”

“People find the Lord here,” she continued. “I’ve heard from numerous people that (Camp Bentley) is where they have asked Jesus into their hearts. It’s a wonderful place. It feels like holy ground here.”