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Clean, Renewable Energy at Warm Beach Camp

11986970 10153544225733119 5969414245536615790 nWarm Beach Camp and Conference Center welcomes the New Year with a brand new solar power system on the flagship building, Cedar Lodge. This solar system quietly generates clean electricity through a 9.6 kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system mounted on the southwest-facing Cedar Lodge roof. This system connects to the Snohomish County PUD power grid. Electricity generation from the system reduces the energy Warm Beach Camp purchases from PUD. This connection also allows the Camp to feed power back into the grid if the solar panels were to produce more than Warm Beach Camp demands.

“We are thrilled with the community partnership between the Camp, PUD, and Arlington Electric. This solar project will be a showcase of clean energy stewardship for the thousands of guests who attend events at Warm Beach Camp. A TV monitor inside Cedar Lodge displays a graph of energy production in real time. This allows guests to see the difference this project is making and we hope it stimulates a vision for what we all can do to live more sustainably,”says Patrick Patterson, Warm Beach Camp General Manager.

The solar power system was provided through a grant from Snohomish County PUD’s Planet Power program. Installation was completed by Arlington Electric & Solar Company. Visitors are welcome to see the project first hand. For more information on Planet Power, visit www.snopud.com.

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Love is stronger than…

When we think of strength and power, images and ideas of being a super power or a super hero often come to mind. Our conversation trends towards great acts of might. We also use strength to describe the child who is “strong willed” or the outstanding athlete. And, we talk about the person with a strong mind as one who is smart and/or overly opinionated.

The Bible talks about a strength that is stronger and more effective than any other form of strength and power we think about. In a word… LOVE.

One of the Bible writers, Paul, says that even if he knew all of God’s plans, even if he could literally move mountains through the power of his faith, even if he had all knowledge, it would all come up empty and weak compared to love. (Read 1 Corinthians 13)

As a person, this means that I need to learn to lead my life from a position of love. Any physical, intellectual or emotional strength applied in this world will only have lasting effectiveness for good if coming from a place of love.

As a husband, my wife must know and sense that all of my care and concern for her flows from strong love. As a father, all the rules, structure, correction, discipline will come up empty if they are not rooted and expressed in love.

As a leader, any difference Warm Beach Camp hopes to contribute to this world will only work from a place of love. At Camp, all kinds of fun and cool things are possible. Sometimes these even take the forefront of our communication and celebration. However, it is the love of God flowing through the staff and volunteers of Warm Beach Camp that provides the eternal good in others.

There is nothing stronger in conflict than love. Love can overcome rage. Love can rise above betrayal. Love can open up a hardened and hurt spirit. I see it happen all the time at Warm Beach Camp.

I have come to know two things about this incredible love: Love doesn’t naturally happen in ourselves and the source of this love comes from God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. God’s Holy Spirit comes alongside of us to help us live our lives from a place of love.

If you want to live a strong and effective life, live a life filled with love. There is nothing stronger than God’s love in this world.

Ed McDowell, Warm Beach Camp Executive Director

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The Lights of Christmas 2015 – a season of blessing

“Welcome to a Christmas wonderland!” exclaimed one young guest in describing The Lights of Christmas, at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, WA. The annual holiday festival held in December, treated guests to magnificent light displays, grand Christmas music, fun children’s activities, live theater, hot fresh donuts, and much more. Friends and families gathered around the warming fires kindling relationship. Children laughed with delight at Bruce the Spruce the talking Christmas tree. Grown-ups and kids alike waved at strangers as they took the train around the event. The Lights of Christmas celebrated the faith, love, and hope of the season with beauty, pageantry, and joy.

The weather has been fairly mild and dry for the past six years – not so for 2016. Rain, wind, or showers graced us 10 out of 19 nights. However, the spirits of guests were not dampened as just over 68,000 people attended The Lights of Christmas, making 2015 the third highest attendance on record!

“We are thankful for hundreds of staff and volunteers who gave one or more nights to make The Lights of Christmas possible.” said Patrick Patterson, Warm Beach Camp General Manager. Intrepid parking attendants braved the night-time weather directing thousands of cars. Security staff walked miles each night. Greeters, ticket sellers, and retail clerks welcomed thousands each night. One of the truly distinguishing features of The Lights of Christmas is the staff. Over and over again, guests comment about the heart-felt hospitality that makes The Lights of Christmas a welcoming, encouraging, and blessed event.

Many gifts are given at Christmas time. Perhaps, some of the best are memorable times – love, laughter, and life together. Our prayer is that God’s Spirit would use The Lights of Christmas to do His work of healing, reconciling, and redeeming. The hospitality, beauty, and fun experiences lay the groundwork for the deeper message of Christmas to take root in people’s hearts.

Plans are underway for this year’s 20th year celebration for The Lights of Christmas! Registration for Overnight Getaways and Holiday Theatre opens on May 3, 2016. More information can be found at www.WarmBeachLights.com.

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Celebrating Veterans at The Lights of Christmas

The Lights of Christmas is pleased to partner with VFW (Veterans Of Foreign Wars) Burien-Highline Post 4314 to offer a special discount of 50% off normal pricing for the Nightly Festival on Saturday, December 5, 2015. To receive the discount, veterans simply show their VFW card or retired military ID at the ticket booth.

“Behind this special night is a VFW Post 4314 member who has volunteered at The Lights of Christmas for 8 years. He had an idea, talked to us, and then talked to VFW Post 4314, and here we are, doing something special together for veterans from all over,” stated Ed McDowell, Executive Director of Warm Beach Camp.

On Saturday Night, all veterans are invited to come to The Lights of Christmas from 5-10 pm at ½ price.  Parking opens at 4:30 pm.

This Veterans day, The Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach Camp want to send a strong message of gratitude for those who have served to guard freedom, fight for what is good, and defend us from what is bad.  We are grateful to VFW Post 4314 for encouraging this special night at The Lights of Christmas.

We hope many veterans will be able to join us for this special night and that their lives will be filled with the joy and wonder of Christmas.

For more information about The Lights of Christmas Holiday Festival go to our website.

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The best gift of all

NativityandFamily web858There is lots of activity going on around the grounds at Warm Beach Camp as we get everything ready for The Lights of Christmas that opens on December 3 for the 2015 season. It takes lots of people to get everything put together for The Lights. Why do we make all this effort for an event that lasts just 19 nights?

It is because this event touches a lot of people. This lavish celebration of the amazing love that God gave us through the gift of the Christ Child brings the real meaning of Christmas into central focus.

I hope you will be able to come to The Lights this year! There are some new features I think you will enjoy seeing, like the new 18-foot-long Barkentine ship lighted with thousands of lights, a brand new play in Dinner Theatre by author, Victoria Ritchey entitled, “The Christmas Changeup,” and lots more! There is something that will cheer the heart and brighten the spirit of everyone who comes.

I encourage you to share The Lights with your family and friends as an opportunity to share the message of Christmas with those who have not yet received God’s gift in their life. You will find moments when it is just natural to share your faith. Many people tell us there is a special feeling when they are at The Lights. Share this feeling with those you love. Share the ministry of The Lights of Christmas this year.

After all, this just might be the best gift of all that you give this Christmas season.

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Warm Beach Camp Foundation names new director

Scott Rossiter Pix AOver the past five years, the Warm Beach Foundation has helped more than 300 families create power of attorney and medical directive documents, wills, trusts and other estate plans, and gain peace of mind.

Warm Beach Camp is pleased to announce the Foundation has a new Director, Scott Rossiter. Scott has a long history with the Camp, starting in 1989 as a summer staff worker while in college. In 2005, he joined the Camp staff, working full-time in Guest Services. Four years later, he took over the reins of the Food Service Department. Now, he is taking the lead on the Camp’s Foundation.

The Warm Beach Foundation offers full service assistance in putting your planned giving in order. You can make sure your wishes will be honored, make legal arrangements for the care of your minor children, provide for your heirs, lessen the impact of taxes on your estate, and leave a legacy with gifts for ministries you believe in.

The Foundation’s services are free of charge, with only the cost of legal fees for the documents required to be prepared by an attorney. And, there is never any obligation. Give Scott a call or an email to learn more about the options available to you, and to get your questions answered. Contact him by email or call 360-652-7575, ext. 2448.

Everyone can leave a legacy by planning for it. What can your legacy be? Let’s find out together.

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

...at Warm Beach Camp!

LOC VOL 2013 AIt takes between 120 and 160 volunteers each night to put on The Lights of Christmas, about 2,750 spots to fill in total! Last year The Lights of Christmas volunteers contributed over 10,000 hours of volunteer service.

With The Lights of Christmas fast approaching, we are looking for volunteers, especially in Parking and as Fireside Greeters, among a long list of other jobs. Often, there is a challenge filling spots the week before Christmas and the four nights after Christmas. We could really use you during December 17-23 and 26-29.

The volunteers provide the smiles and warm hospitality that the event is best known for. Plus, the volunteers get to be a part of an amazing event. What better way to experience The Lights than being on the team that puts it on!

We also need about 150 volunteers to come to Thanksgiving Working Weekend, November 26 to 29, to help put on all the finishing touches. Then, after The Lights closes, we need another 150 volunteers to help with Take-Down, getting lots of stuff taken down and put away. That will happen December 30 and 31.

Whew! Are you out of breath yet?

As a volunteer, you can share the hope and joy of Christmas with the thousands of people attending The Lights. We have a volunteer task that will work for you!

If you are interested in helping before, during, or after the event, you can get more information or sign-up at our volunteer website. Or, give Jessica Wilson, Volunteer Coordinator, a call at (360) 312-3417. She can answer any questions you may have. For the best chance of getting the volunteer assignment you want, sign up as soon as possible!

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Project Updates - November 2015

Here is the latest news on the Camp’s current projects:

  • Construction is now completed on the two new Chinook Village dorms to serve the Special Friends Overnight Camps. Curtains are being sewn for the window coverings and will be installed in the spring. We will also be finishing up the landscaping in the spring, after the temperatures warm up.
  • The exteriors of the Stable barns have been painted thanks to the help of several volunteers. The stables are now a nice “barn red” color. The next set of buildings to be painted will be the stables office/snack shop and vaulting barrel gym. Then all of the buildings at the Stables and Bayview will have a fresh look.
  • Work has been completed to create 100 more parking spaces for The Lights of Christmas. These spaces are needed to handle the ever-growing numbers of vehicles that arrive each evening of The Lights.

Sidewalk Project AAfter the first of the year, work will begin on these projects:

  • The work to repair the end-wall in the Cedar Lodge Dining Room will finally be done early next year. There is significant rot that must be removed and the wall repaired. In addition, new windows and doors will be installed during the repair. A back-order on materials and the need to coordinate this work around guest groups have caused this work to be delayed.
  • The Cedar Lodge Chapel refurbishment project will also be done early next year. The windows will be replaced, new window coverings installed, and interior and exterior paint will be applied.
  • The sidewalk at right was installed in the mid- 1970's. A new wider sidewalk from the Senior Community to Maple Center will be installed to improve safety and accommodate more pedestrian traffic. This project is being funded in part by a significant gift from a family.

If you are interested in volunteering to help with any projects, whether you have a few hours or a few days, call Jessica Wilson at (360) 312-3417 or you may email her.

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American Bus Association names The Lights of Christmas one of North America’s 100 best events for 2016

The American Bus Association (ABA) announced that The Lights of Christmas, held each December, has been designated as one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2016 by an experienced expert tourism industry selection committee. Inclusion in the Top 100 list, published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine, indicated The Lights of Christmas offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travellers from around the world, according to ABA.

With the release of the American Bus Association's 2016 Top 100 Events in North America, ABA celebrates 34 years of the program. What began as a way for motorcoach operators to incorporate new product into their itineraries has grown to one of the most sought-after lists by travel professionals, motorcoach operators and the general public.

ABA's 2016 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected The Lights of Christmas from hundreds of event nominations submitted by ABA members. Judges considered the event's broad appeal, its accessibility to motorcoaches and skill at handling large groups, and a variety of other relevant criteria.

The Top 100 Events list is available online at www.buses.org/Top100.

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3 days to see... creation + Dessert Matinee Giveaway

3 days to see... creation

Earlier this fall I spent a week in the Olympic Rain Forest in Washington State camping and hiking with my oldest son. While everyday was beautiful, the first couple of days were filled with thoughts about all of my responsibilities. On the third day I began to take in the beauty of the rain forest. There were plants I didn't recognize. A red frog nestled in the leaves was simply spectacular. Sitting on a hill above a creek I could see and hear different birds and the chatter of chipmunks.

Most of our life is spent thinking about how we make a difference in the world. On the third day, I became immersed in the rain forest, appreciating the difference God's creation was bringing to me. There was a deep sense of rest as the sights and sounds of the rain forest renewed me. The time my son and I shared was full of life and new perspective.

This is what Warm Beach Camp is all about. A place to come, connect, and be renewed.

Ed McDowell, Executive Director


Enter to Win

Advanced reservations required and dependent on space availability. Valid for 2015 only. Not redeemable for cash. Contest entries must be submitted by Nov. 11, 2015 midnight. One winner will be drawn randomly from among the entries. Value of $60. The prize is not redeemable for cash. Expires 12/20/2015. See official rules.

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See The Lights of Christmas from the inside out!

The Lights of Christmas opens this year on December 3rd, but the crew that hangs all those lights is already hard at work. It takes about three months to get the Christmas lights in place! An event like this doesn’t just happen by itself. It takes lots of planning and a lot of help to make it all come together!

During October and November, all the effort is in the preparations. Decorations will be cleaned up and painted. Light displays will get put together. The volunteers needed to staff the event are being recruited. If you are interested in helping make The Lights of Christmas happen, there are lots of ways you can pitch in.

Volunteers are needed to help with several projects for The Lights. These include testing the strings of Christmas lights, painting decorations, and more.

TWW Vol 2015The final big push to get ready for The Lights happens during Thanksgiving Working Weekend, November 26 to 29. Join a crew of volunteers for an extreme makeover weekend as we transform the grounds into a Christmas wonderland.

During The Lights of Christmas, there is no lack of things to do on the 19 nights we are open. More than 100 volunteers per night power the event. As you can imagine, there are a wide variety of jobs: indoor hosting, parking attendants, pony ride attendants, train attendant, and much more. Volunteering during The Lights gives you the opportunity to get a glimpse behind the scenes to see how this event happens.

The final critical need for help happens after the event when it is time to take things down and put them away. Take Down happens on December 30 and 31. If enough people get involved in this process, everything gets done over a couple of days. If there are not enough volunteers for Take Down, it takes much longer to get the decorations put away.

Are you interested in helping with any part of The Lights this year? To register or for more information about the above mentioned events, you can visit our volunteer website, or call Jessica Wilson at either 360-312-3417 or 360-652-7575 ext. 2276.

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