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Fire Truck Day at Special Friends Summer Camp brings delight

Fire Department brings fire truck to Special Friends CampAt Warm Beach Special Friends Camp, summer camp for special needs adults, “Fire Truck Day” is a highlight.

One day each week of Camp, the local Fire Department brings the fire truck and aid car to Special Friends Camp for the campers to climb in and explore. The campers get in the driver’s seat, get to sound the horn, blare the siren, and the big moment… they get to turn on the fire hose!

The firefighters help one camper at a time open up the nozzle and let the full blast of water shoot out of the hose onto the ground in front of them. The campers think it’s a blast! Last week, one camper came quietly up to the hose with her “buddy” (volunteer helper) as the fireman smiled and patiently talked her through turning on and off the hose. When finished, she put down the hose and ran over and gave him a big hug. Then she did a little dance of joy. “I did it!” She squealed. Later, she came back to the fireman and asked him to autograph her water bottle. It was the highlight of her day!

Information about Special Friends Summer Camps can be found at http://www.warmbeach.com/programs/special-needs-programs/special-friends-day-camps.
Be a Volunteer for Special Friends – it’s a life-changing experience! Click here for information http://www.warmbeach.com/programs/special-needs-programs/special-friends-day-camp-volunteers.

 

Friends, Faith and Fun at High School Leadership Camp

Warm Beach High School Leadership CampOver 35 high school youth and leaders came together for Warm Beach Camp’s second annual High School Leadership Camp this June. The camp was attended by Warm Beach Camp wranglers, facilitators, and counselors-in-training, as well as high school students from near and far.

David Lawless, Outdoor Education Coordinator/Program Assistant, said “It was really important to me that the camp be a time when campers could be themselves, have fun, and connect with each other in meaningful ways.” Camp activities were planned around these ideas, and Lawless added, “Being real with one another was the thing that made everyone feel like they fit in.”

Campers participated in chapel time and team building activities. During chapel time, campers were encouraged to submit questions about God and Christianity in a “question box.”  The summer camp pastor that week, David Linder, answered the campers’ questions at chapel time. Lawless said, “The kids asked amazing questions and they really got into it. They got into it so much that they asked for more chapel time.”

After several days at Warm Beach Camp, the campers went on a three day campout at Cascade Meadows in Leavenworth, Washington. They went on hikes, enjoyed a huge slip-n-slide, Zombie Tag, an outdoor movie, plenty of camp fires, and lots of food. But more than the activities, the campers seemed to enjoy each other. Caroline Kulper, one of the camp counselors, said “The whole week was a high note. It was so great to see the way these kids, who barely knew each other, become fast friends and work together.”

A camp experience impacts lives in amazing ways. Friendships with caring adults and other campers can last a lifetime and provide a connection that helps young people navigate the challenges of life.

For more information about High School Leadership Camp and other events at Warm Beach Camp, visit the Camp & Events page of our website at http://www.warmbeach.com/programs.

 

New games bring more fun to Warm Beach Summer Camps

playing nine-square at Warm Beach Summer Youth CampIt all started with Ga-ga Ball. Never heard of it?  Well, it doesn’t have anything to do with the pop music singer Lady Gaga. Instead, it is a fast-paced game very similar to Dodge Ball played in an octagon shaped Ga-ga pit. As you can imagine, this means lots of jumping, running, laughing, and fun in a small area. The kids at last summer’s Warm Beach W-Bar-B Youth Camps were immediate fans of this new game.

This year, two more new games have popped up at W-Bar-B: Nine Square and Human Foosball. Looking at the campers lined up to play, these two games are popular additions to the activities.

Nine Square is like playing schoolyard four square with a volleyball twist. The loud groans and cheers echoing from the Nine Square court are a clear indication the kids really get into the game. Not for the faint of heart, Human Foosball looks quite a bit like a life-sized version of the game. Players have to communicate with each other and move together. If not, one or two may end up on the ground, usually laughing. It doesn’t take long to learn the importance of team work.

With amazing counselors at Warm Beach Summer Youth Camp, the connections and life lessons learned playing games flow right into the week’s Bible lessons. It creates an environment of fun, faith and friendships.

Learn more about Warm Beach W-Bar-B Summer Youth Camps at http://www.warmbeach.com/programs/youth-programs/junior-a-jr-high-camps. There is still space available this summer in the Junior High Camps. Register today!

Want an oasis of family time this summer?

Family Camp at Warm Beach Camp webAre you looking for a vacation-style destination with activity options for the entire family? A blend of time together and age-appropriate free-time and faith-building programs? Then come join us at Warm Beach Family Camp this month, July 30-August 3!

Warm Beach Family Camp offers an oasis of family time free from the distractions and stresses of everyday life. Lives are touched. Faith is nurtured. Relationships are strengthened.  A past attendee shared with us how meaningful it was for her granddaughter’s family to be surrounded by God’s people in a relaxed, non-threatening, fun environment where relationships can become a bridge to sharing faith in Christ. Many families appreciate the chance to grow spiritually, to build deeper family bonds and lifelong memories.

We are blessed to have with us outstanding speakers and worship leaders for 2014, such as Rene Schlaepfer, the Program Center evening speaker. For more information about Warm Beach Family Camp including a full list of the 2014 speakers, and to register, log on to www.warmbeach.com.  
P.S. – remember to bring your bikes!

Getting away as a group for fun and quality time

Mini Golf at Warm Beach Camp Conference CenterGolfing, campfires, heated pool, flag football, and a large RV/tent area make Warm Beach Camp, in North Snohomish County, ideal for 60-100 men from Lynnwood Open Door Baptist Church every year.  Since the mid 1990s, the men have been coming to Warm Beach for a summer weekend of fun while connecting with God and each other. They tried public campgrounds in the past, but discovered you never know who you’d be camping next to. Loud music and alcohol-induced exuberance from a neighboring tent are anything but conducive to fireside testimonies! When the men come to Warm Beach Camp, they know they are in a relaxing, Christian community. At the same time, they have the freedom to be left alone to do their own activities and program.

The men start off their retreat with golf tournaments—a large group head to nearby Kayak Golf Course while another group stays at Camp for a lively round of disc golf. With staggered starts, the competition begins! Of course there must be an award ceremony following the tournaments. And it is a fantastic way to break the ice for those who may not know each other well. Golf games tend to be a theme for many of these men as they also end their retreat with a tournament on the Camp’s miniature golf course. This past year the Open Door Baptist Church men decided they liked the camp-out so much, they started another annual event for fathers and sons at Warm Beach.

Just like many other churches, Open Door Baptist finds their calendar very full with community outreach and church events. Combined with tight budgets, they considered cutting out their retreat. Instead, they understand the value of getting away from church for some quality bonding time. With the at home feel of Warm Beach, they appreciate their time here.  Warm Beach Camp whole-heartedly appreciates the Open Door Baptist Church men!

Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center, in Stanwood, WA, is the ideal place for your church, school, or non-profit group. We have a variety of meeting facilities, lodging and recreation nestled in beautiful natural surroundings. Contact Warm Beach Camp’s Guest Services department and discover what we can offer. We are here to help you with all your retreat needs.

guestservice@warmbeach.com
800-228-6724
WarmBeach.com
Warm Beach Camp, life changes here.

Love for horses, passion for nursing

By Bev McDowell, Nurse Program On-Site Coordinator

Love-for-horses-passion-for-nursing-at-Warm-Beach-CampNurses Tressa Brown, LPN, and Destiny Fittis, RN, share a common passion for horses. Growing up, both were involved in the Warm Beach Camp horsemanship program as campers, Wranglers-In-Training and Wranglers. Tressa went on to work as a head wrangler and then led the horsemanship program for two years.

Recently, Destiny and Tressa reconnected through the horsemanship program where they are “doing what they love and loving what they do” at Warm Beach as they blend their love of horses and their passion for nursing. They spend time each week schooling horses, assisting with riding lessons and taking out trail rides. Together, they recently hosted a tack sale to benefit the horsemanship program.

This summer, Tressa will be the nurse for the horsemanship camps while she and Destiny will share the nursing role for High School Leadership Camp.
We are inspired and blessed by the passion these two amazing nurses share and their commitment to excellence in both the nursing and horsemanship programs at Warm Beach Camp.

Florida students volunteer at Warm Beach Camp for senior trip

Senior-trip-Warm-Beach-CampAt Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center, in Western Washington, we have all sorts of non-profit guest groups throughout the year: youth and family camps, leadership conferences, men’s, and women’s retreats, confirmation youth, quilting groups, Outdoor Education, Scouts, and more. Over this past Memorial Day weekend and into the week, Warm Beach Camp was blessed with a guest group that flies all the way from Florida to be here. The Lakeland Christian School (LCS) seniors end their school year with a big mission trip, and for a number of years they have chosen Warm Beach Camp as their mission.

The 100 LCS seniors worked HARD at Camp. Students repaired trails, built picnic tables and fences, erected tents for summer programs, cleared and chopped felled trees in the RV area, raked, weeded, and barked flower beds and berms, prepared arts and crafts for summer camps, tested lights for The Lights of Christmas, and did an incredible job helping with the general beautification of the grounds. Staff members and other volunteers from Warm Beach Camp worked alongside students the whole time, sharing stories, laughing, and fellowshipping together. 

One of the most special moments was when LCS had morning devotions with the Warm Beach Camp staff. Ed McDowell, Warm Beach Camp Director, shared about the Camp’s mission and the programs offered. The LCS seniors learned they helped “Keep the Path Clear to the Cross” for the thousands of guests who will come to Warm Beach Camp. After devotions, students gathered together outside while the Warm Beach Camp staff formed a circle around them and prayed over them.

Lakeland Christian School educates students in the light of God's Word to equip them for a lifetime of learning, leadership, service and worship. It took months of fundraising effort for the LCS to get to Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, WA. We are deeply appreciative to LCS seniors for sharing their mission with us!

 

Special needs adults have the time of their lives at Special Friends Camp

special needs adults have the time of their lives at Special Friends Summer CampSpecial Friends Camp at Warm Beach Camp is place where physically and mentally disabled adults can come to have a one-of-a-kind camping experience. Each camp is staffed by individuals who want every camper to have the time of their life. Every camper gets the chance to participate in all the activities Warm Beach Camp has to offer; horseback riding, swimming, climbing the 40-foot climbing tower, or flying down the zip line. Each camper can also participate in craft time, chapels and a long list of other activities.

At the close of each week, campers gather together for a final chapel time and the summer of 2013 was no different. One afternoon during the closing chapel, one particularly quiet camper rose to his feet and stood in front of all 50 Special Friends campers and their buddies. He seemed so small there in the middle of so many people, but he began to sing quietly. After a few moments the words became clear. Slowly and intentionally he sang, “Jesus loves the people, Jesus loves the people,” over and over. Then he stopped and extended his arms, as though to embrace each section of the amphitheater, and sang, “ALL, ALL, ALL,” until he had sung it to each and every section.

Laurie Fertello, Disabilities Ministries Director, said, “He was singing his own version of Jesus Loves the Little Children.” And that’s what Special Friends Day Camp is all about, letting every camper know that Jesus loves them.

Warm Beach Camp’s Special Friends Day Camp is one of the few camps in Washington State that serves persons age 15 and up who have special needs. Just one hour north of Seattle in north Snohomish County, Special Friends Day Camp offers campers amazingly creative camp activities in a highly supervised, supportive setting. Each camper is matched with a volunteer “Buddy,” who engages with them in the camp experience. For more information and to register for Special Friends Camp, visit http://warmbeach.com/programs/special-needs-programs.

Be a Special Friends volunteer - It’s a life-changing experience! Every volunteer means one more camper can attend. For more information, visit http://warmbeach.com/programs/special-needs-programs/special-friends-day-camp-volunteers

Of course we’re going

Pat and his son, Kaleb age 5, shooting archery at their first Dad and Sons WeekendPat and his son, Kaleb at age 5, at their first Dad & Sons Weekend.So, you have a car wash Saturday and I have a Board meeting in Seattle. What do you want to do about Dad & Sons Weekend?” I asked. “Of course, we’re going,” Kaleb replied.

Not much of a question in his mind. It’s a tradition. As much as kids enjoy novelty, there’s a deep love for traditions that anchor them in positive memories and shared experiences with those they love. Dad & Me Weekends have provided me and my son, Kaleb, a deep tradition for ten years now. As a teen, his life is busier. But when it came to Dad & Sons Weekend this May, there was no question in his mind. We were going. We were going to stay in a cabin with the McDowells. He was swimming Friday night. We were going to do the activities with whatever time we had. And why would I ever question something like that? I don’t know.

Watching all of the dads and grandpas there with kids, grandkids, and sometimes “surrogate” kids, I realize that most guys want to do a good job with their kids. They want to be great dads/grandpas. They want to connect. They want to speak into the lives of their children and anchor them in values that stand the test of time. Dad & Me Weekends provide excellent opportunity for just that.

During the Dad & Me Weekends this spring, Jon and Aaron from Family Lines taught life principles using fly fishing illustrations and interactive activities that created memory points and building blocks for relationships.

One activity had 50 of us quiet and mesmerized. We watched a dad guide his blind-folded and trembling young son through a mousetrap maze using only his voice. We were spell-bound. “Please, God, don’t let him hit a mousetrap,” we collectively thought. We held our breath until his bare feet cleared the final mousetrap. Then – pandemonium! The boy was scooped up into the loving arms of his Dad and neither will soon forget that experience of terror, trust, hope, and sheer joy. I’m pretty sure there were a few moist eyes at the finale.

Dad & Me Weekends are about building memories that anchor relationships. Kaleb and I have shot hundreds of arrows and thousands of BB’s, rode many mountain boards, and our lives are richer for having done it together as a tradition.

Dad & Sons and Dad & Daughters Weekends at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, WA are also offered in September. For more information and to register: http://warmbeach.com/programs/family-programs/dad-and-me-weekends

Faithful volunteers keep grounds looking great

volunteer gardeners Volunteer gardeners Camille McDugald, Jean Bach and Vera Sagan.Have you looked at your yard recently? Did you notice spring is here? Most of us have started up the lawn mower more than once this season, and if you haven’t tended to those flower beds, the weeds have already grown to monstrous proportions. Now, imagine over 200 acres of lawns, flower beds, berm after berm, and forests woven through with miles of trails and you have the scope of grounds keeping work to be done at Warm Beach Camp.

Warm Beach Camp’s need for grounds keeping help is overwhelming. With less staff available to make sure the grounds look great, volunteers are stepping in and taking on this enormous task.

Three faithful women, Camille McDugald, Jean Bach, and Vera Sagan, are volunteers who come weekly to assist Warm Beach Camp in this way. Both Camille and Jean have been volunteering since the spring of 2013, and Vera joined the team a month ago. Together, they have already conquered areas around the Mt. Baker cabins, the Program Center, Cascadian Lodge, Cedar Lodge, and they are now tackling the Maple Center grounds.

All the ladies agree that the best part about gardening is getting to be out in nature and interacting with the guests as they roam by. They also enjoy the things that gardening teaches them about the nature of God.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who help keep Warm Beach Camp looking amazing. We still need consistent grounds keeping helpers. If you are interested in helping, complete online volunteer inquiry form, or call Jessica Wilson, Volunteer Coordinator, at 360-312-3417.

Horsemanship Camp enriches a camper's life

450 horsemanship 0588Warm Beach Summer Horsemanship Camp aims to give campers a fun experience while learning and improving their horsemanship skills. The week is packed with horse related activities such as lessons, trail rides, showmanship, and vaulting. Campers also groom, saddle and care for their horse all week, giving them the experience of owning a horse. We believe that riding and caring for a horse develops life-skills of responsibility, faithfulness, diligence and communication.

In order to offer maximum value in riding instruction, we have a graduated curriculum that allows for various levels of instruction based on the rider’s skill. The instruction follows the guidelines of the international organization, Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA). Warm Beach Camp riding staff are certified and receive training through CHA each year. For a detailed description of Warm Beach Camp’s Horsemanship curriculum, click here.

Horses and horse-related activities fill most of the camper’s day. They take some time out for other fun activities like swimming, climbing tower, and cabin time. Nightly chapels relate horses to our faith journey and demonstrate how the relationship between horse and rider illustrates our relationship with God, the master trainer.

Warm Beach Horsemanship Camp enriches a camper’s life physically, relationally, spiritually and emotionally. It’s a time of new discovery, improved skills, friendships and teamwork. Kids may come for the horses, but they leave with so much more!

Camps are selling quickly. Register now!

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