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Sign of an open heart…

Sometimes people get hit so hard in life that their heart and emotions simply close up and become hard, defensive and protective of self at almost any cost. If you are in this situation, or helping someone in this situation, there are two things to know:

  1. Just one meaningful connection: It only takes one meaningful connection between a person with a closed heart and someone or something else to begin to open up the heart again. ONLY ONE. The connection can be with a horse, a dog, or a coach, friend or relative.  
    I have watched God increasingly use horses at Warm Beach Camp to provide the one meaningful connection needed to open up a hard, scared and broken heart.
  2. Gratitude is the evidence of a closed heart opening up: When you start to hear someone express gratitude for one meaningful connection, be encouraged, because the heart and emotions are risking opening up to the possibilities of giving and receiving love again.

Caution for parents: Parents want to be the meaningful connection with a child who is hurt. However, the meaningful connection may need to be a horse instead. Don’t assume that you are the answer. Be open to who or what God would bring into your child’s life to open up their heart and spirit. Supportively be faithful to the part God has given you as the parent.

Opportunity for all: Shared experiences encourage connection. Consider Warm Beach Camp as a great place to connect and encourage people whose hearts are closed and hard. Pray they will find one connection, open up and receive love, and begin to express gratitude.

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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From Florida with Love

Much of the work of ministry at Warm Beach Camp Lakeland 2016consists of preparing the way for others to experience rest, renewal, and re-connection. With good preparation, guests are able to fully enter into the purposes for which they come. Scripture exhorts us to bear one another’s burdens and thus live out the love taught by Jesus. We do this for each group that comes on the grounds as we prepare clean facilities, good food, and fun activities.

Recently, the Lakeland Christian School senior class came all the way from Lakeland, Florida, to bear our burdens for two days. They helped us accomplish so much more than we could have done otherwise.

The enthusiasm and work ethic of the Lakeland students and staff was a true blessing. This year, the biggest project area was a heroic effort to remove ivy from the entrance berm. They removed 3,000 lbs. of ivy! This work makes possible the eventual replanting with native understory which will provide better habitat and visual screening thus enhancing first impressions as guests come on to the property.

In addition to massive ivy removal, the Lakeland group constructed ten new picnic tables, organized and cleaned the RV campgrounds, built a new fence in front of a staff house, deep cleaned an amazing amount of facilities, prepared Chinook Village for a summer of Special Friends ministry, painted facilities at the Horse Stables, erected tents for summer programs, and restored much needed landscaping areas to spaces of beauty and refreshment.

On top of this, they left a financial gift, which is going toward the eventual interior refurbishment of Cascadian Lodge sleeping rooms. Their sacrificial giving and servant’s hearts are a testimony of the effective discipleship that students receive at Lakeland Christian School. God is bringing his Kingdom to life through this school.

Warm Beach Camp’s ministry will be a blessing to the people of the Pacific Northwest in part because a group of students came all the way from Florida to be a blessing to Warm Beach Camp. And we pray the blessing of love and service extended to us will return to them many times over.

Patrick Patterson, General Manager/C.O.O.
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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Come together...

As a parent, we never know when the meaningful moment is going to come with our kids. These moments we treasure, where all of the sudden we are in the middle of something special, memorable, humorous or tender. The beautiful part is that we are in it together, with our kids.

We can’t plan them, or create them on demand. What we can do is spend time together. One thing is true, these moments are only experienced when we are hanging out with our kids.

One great way to share those moments is a family experience at Warm Beach Camp. When is the last time you and your kids met the challenge together of the human whirlpool at the swimming pool?  Have you celebrated someone getting to the top of a 40-foot climbing wall or marveled at the natural beauty of Port Susan Bay as your canoe slides through the water with each stroke of the oar?  

Don’t you long to share some stories around the camp fire or ride bikes on the miles of trails?  

It is in the middle of this kind of time spent together that the meaningful moments happen. It might be a conversation about faith, or something very funny that will be a source of laughter and joy for years to come.

Come together, come to Warm Beach Camp, life changes here.

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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Dads, create a "win" with your kids

Dad and Me Weekend IMG_3608_web300.jpgOne of the great wins Warm Beach Camp has given to me as a Dad are the Dad & Me Weekends. These weekends are all about a great time with my sons and daughters with all of the fun and ease of great camp experiences...

On Friday after a good dinner, enjoy a night swim. Meet the challenge of the human whirlpool. If you have some energy left, take each other on in mini golf under the stars. Or, enjoy an exciting game of laser tag.

Saturday begins with homemade cinnamon rolls. Can you smell them? They taste awesome. Combine them with a cup of hot chocolate or fresh coffee in front of the roaring fire by the big stone fire place. Wow!  

Enjoy morning devotions as a group, and then it is off to many adventures that may include canoes, mountain boards, climbing walls, biking, hiking, zip lines, high ropes, archery, bb guns, disc golf, more swimming, and rocket building. Maybe even a chance to catch a nap laying out on a sun soaked grassy hillside overlooking horses in the pastures below.

Saturday evening is a traditional camp fire, complete with s’mores and camp fire stories of the day’s adventures.   

Sunday morning is a pancake breakfast hot off the grill. This transitions into group devotions where dads and kids are given practical tips on how to follow God in their relationships with each other. The weekend culminates with the Dad & Me rocket launch combined with burgers on the grill. 

My kids are all getting older, ranging from 17-31 years old. When stories are told at our house, the Dad & Me Weekends are something that stand out in their lives as one of the traditions they value.  

Dads, do you need a “win” with your kids? Come to a Dad & Me Weekend this year.  

2016 dates are:  
Dad and Sons:  June 3-5 and September 9-11
Dad and Daughters:  June 10-12 and September 16-18

More information and to register: http://www.warmbeach.com/programs/family-programs/dad-and-me-weekends

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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Meet Warm Beach Camp’s new Horsemanship Director – Part 2

150 Lisa Tremain crop2Lisa shares more about her life in New Zealand and her heart’s desire to impact lives through a horsemanship experience.

Q:  What were some of your influences growing up?

A: My parent’s worked at camps while I was growing up. Having so many fun activities, like horses, right in your backyard is so cool. We moved around a lot so I got to experience a number of different camps. It is interesting to see how different camps operate and how many incredible ways there are to reach people with the love of God. I think growing up in the camping environment definitely influenced my love for horses, nature and people.

Q: Do you have siblings?

A: I have one brother and one sister. They are both married. My brother has two kids and one on the way. My sister just had a little girl. They live in New Zealand. All of my immediate family lives in New Zealand.

Q: How did you become a Christian?

A: I grew up in a Christian family. We went to church regularly and my parents worked in Christian camping, so I was pretty well surrounded and heard about God from a very young age. When I was about nine I was at a camp and decided to make that my personal faith too. I would have claimed I was a Christian prior to that but that’s when I remember clearly making a decision that wasn’t just my parent’s faith, it’s my faith – I do believe in God and I love Him and know He loves me.

Q: After you were an intern at Warm Beach Camp, what did you do?

A: I ended up getting married to an American. My husband, Tyler, grew up coming to Warm Beach Camp and was really involved here. Right after we were married, we went to New Zealand and worked at a horse program for three months but had to come back because Tyler had difficulty getting a visa. Tyler worked at a church in youth and young adult ministry. It wasn’t possible for both of us to be doing ministry - someone needed to work to pay the bills - so, I worked in the “business world” doing accounting, purchasing and general business administration. Which I also love – I have a passion for paperwork. While I did that, I helped Tyler in the ministries he was running.

Q: How did you get back to New Zealand?

A: We really both missed working in ministry together. I grew up in camping ministry, and to me that is the ultimate lifestyle – I think it’s a great way to show and teach people about God and also have a loving community. Tyler loves camping too. At the time when we looked into getting back into camping ministry it was the recession here so camps weren’t hiring, but in New Zealand they were. It’s always nice to see how God leads and you know it’s the right thing to do. One day I sat down and wrote a list of all the obstacles that were preventing us from going – there were probably 10 different things in the way. When we pursued going back to New Zealand we were just planning a three week trip but then all the things on the list kept getting crossed off. Within a month, every single one of the things that had been on the list for years suddenly weren’t a problem anymore. So, God opened up the doors for us to move back there.

Q: What did you do when you returned to New Zealand?

A:  We worked at the horse camp where we were when we first got married. After a year and a half we moved to another camp where my husband was the Kids’ Camp Director and I helped him with the administration for the camps. Even though I loved it and it was great, I did miss the horse aspect and how much you can use horses to teach simple analogies about God - our relationship with the horse and rider and how that compares to our relationship with God. I did really miss that.

Q: When you came to America, were there things we said you didn’t understand?

A: Even though we both speak English, we say different things. I think it’s easier for New Zealander’s coming to America because we see all the American movies, so when we come here it’s not so foreign. I think people from America who go to New Zealand have a harder time understanding what different things mean. Funny things like the words and phrasings, not even the accent. If you say “this is a cruisey horse” it means they are really laid back and easy going.  I often say “don’t run around the horses as you’ll give them a fright”, meaning you will startle them.  

Q: What are some similarities and differences between New Zealand and here?

A: The Pacific Northwest is very similar to New Zealand, I think that’s why it has been easier for me and why I feel so at home here. The rain is definitely a similarity. Winter is wet in New Zealand, so that’s an easy adjustment to make. It’s beautiful and green most of the time. When I’m in America I miss the beaches – New Zealand has incredible beaches. Here you can drive six hours and get to a nice beach but even then it’s super windy and you have to wear a jacket – that’s just not my idea of being at a beach. You’re supposed to lay on a beach in the sun to get a tan, not a layer of sand! In the part of New Zealand where I grew up, there aren’t mountains like here. I love seeing the snow on the mountains. I never had snow where I lived in New Zealand. It was a cool experience for me the first time it snowed when I was here. It was like a dream come true.

Q: What do you like to do on your days off?

A: The funny thing is, I find myself wanting to go down to the barn on my days off, which is ridiculous considering I’m probably there more hours than I should be. But it’s hard because jumping into the role of Horsemanship Director keeps me busy doing chores and other tasks that even though I’m surrounded by horses all day, I don’t usually have much time to actually ride them. So sometimes on my days off I just want to go and ride to have fun. Other than horses, I really like to play board games - I’m very competitive! I also enjoy being out in nature seeing God’s beautiful creation. At the moment on our days off, we are mostly catching up with our friends and family we haven’t seen for a number of years, hanging out and talking a lot. I love coffee so I love being back where there is drive-thru coffee every block!  I also enjoy crafts and other things, but I don’t have much time for those at the moment.

Q: Looking into the future for the Horsemanship program, are there things you would like to see happen?

A: We currently have western riding and vaulting, so I would like to see some English brought in to give kids a well-rounded experience of horses and the different things you can do with them. At the moment we have our summer programs and Saturday riding lessons and we will continue to do those and grow those programs. Also, I would like to explore other ways we can use horses all year round. I’m interested in how we can use horses to help kids that are in a difficult place in life. I recently visited Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Oregon – they work with rescued horses and at risk youth. I looked at their program for ways we may do something similar, working with kids and helping them in their life. I would like to see ways we can reach out to more kids in our community. I’m excited by the possibilities.

Q: Is there anything else you would like people to know about the impact horsemanship can have for kids?

A: A lot of people see horses as a luxury item, like it’s a fun thing to do. But it can be much more. There is so much we can teach through horses that kids often can’t learn in a classroom. Sometimes in a classroom kids shut down but when they are out on a horse you have the opportunity to input into their lives and help them overcome the struggles they are facing or help them through it. Even just brushing the horse can be soothing or relaxing, or giving them a hug and feeling its breath on their hand can take them to a different place and give them hope. I would like to find ways we can actually help change lives through it.

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The Good of it All...

My wife Bev and I were walking down one of the beautiful trails at Warm Beach Camp praying our way through the people and ministry we love so much. Something became clear in our time of prayer: No matter what occurs in our life, the response of God is to bring good to all of it.

It’s easy to say, but think of all the pieces of hurt and misunderstanding we can hold on to. Think of all the injustice that can be experienced in any one day. If we are not careful, we find ourselves holding on to the experience of all that is wrong and not fair in this world. In fact, our own view of life can become one of discouragement and cynicism if we don’t see God in the middle of it.

When we bring all that is wrong to God, His response is: Look at the good I am going to bring out of this situation. God isn’t excusing or justifying any of the wrong. God is overwriting and overcoming the wrong in this world with good.

I invite you to make a list of all that you are experiencing and holding in your thoughts and feelings as being unjust, unfair, and hurtful. Next, simply ask God, “What is the good of it all that you intend?” His nature is good. All of Him is PURE GOOD.

Anyone following God will be able to say something like, “I never want to go through what I just went through again; however, the good God is bringing out of this is beyond anything I have ever known or experienced.”

Hard things do happen in life. God shows us through who He is “the good of it all.”

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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It's almost dinner time!

The Partners in Ministry Annual Appreciation Event

There is just a little time left to make your reservations to attend the Partners in Ministry Dinner. Please give us the opportunity to say thank you, to share what we’ve done with your investments of time and money, and to take a look at where God is leading us.

GriffinFamilyBe our guests on Saturday, May 7, at 6 pm in the Camp’s Program Center Auditorium for a delicious supper, and special music by the Griffin Family Band. We will also share testimonies and reports on what God is doing through the ministry of Warm Beach Camp. Doors will open at 5:30 pm.

This is not a fund raising event. There will be no appeal given. The dinner is complementary. It is simply a time of appreciation and sharing how the Camp has used your investments in ministry to make a difference in so many lives.

The people who stand with us as volunteers and donors are vital to making the ministry of Warm Beach Camp work, and we think it is important to tell you that. The Partners in Ministry members have a huge impact on the ministry of Warm Beach Camp. Come as we celebrate in the joy of the victories God has given us.

I hope to see you there!

Please note: the dinner is free, but reservations are required. Please help us prepare by making your reservations by April 30. You may reserve your place now by emailing the names of the people coming in your party, or by calling the Camp at 1-800-228-6724.

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Work begins on Cedar Lodge Chapel

ChapelProjectThe refurbishment of Cedar Lodge Chapel has finally begun. New larger windows have been installed in the CL Chapel wall that faces the Program Center, and new siding is going on the exterior. Work will continue around the exterior walls until all three sides have been completed.

Inside, the interior walls will be refinished and a new snack bar area and audio/visual systems are being installed. A movable platform will replace the fixed one, providing more flexibility in the configuration of the room.

The last two family restrooms outside the Chapel near the lobby are also being finished.

This Cedar Lodge Chapel project is the third phase of improvements funded by the Embracing the Vision Campaign. The first two phases, moving the restrooms to the main floor of Cedar Lodge and upgrading the kitchen and the north wing of CL basement, have already been completed. Now the third phase project is underway.

Work should be completed by this fall. We are grateful for the many people who gave to the Embracing the Vision Campaign and made these three phases of upgrades possible.

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"We prayed, Lord use our skills and gifts"

BucklandsIn 1973, a strapping young Military welder met a “cute little sailor” who was a secretary in the Security Department at the Whidbey Island Naval base. Danny and Nellie Buckland got married in the chapel on the base, and the rest is history. The couple recently celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary.

Upon retiring both Danny and Nellie agreed that they would prefer to serve the Lord over spending their time doing as they pleased. The couple agreed that they would both enjoy helping Camping ministries. “We prayed, Lord use our skills and gifts.” said Nellie. The couple soon got connected with Pend Oreille Bible Camp north of Spokane. For four years the couple spent their springs helping Pend Oreille get up and running for summer use.

During that time, the Buckland’s learned about an organization called Hard Hats for Christ. This organization helps to match skilled workers with organizations that need help, and in no time Danny and Nellie joined. They found out about Warm Beach Camp through the Hard Hats organization and began volunteering here just a few weeks ago.

Danny is working on a top secret welding project for The Lights of Christmas. Nellie is working in the paint shop on various projects for both The Lights of Christmas and Special Friends Day Camp.

While the couple has only been at Warm Beach for a short time, they say that they are enjoying their time here. Nellie said, “I am making the name badges for Special Friends Day Camp and as I am making them I am praying for each of the campers.” “As a volunteer, you come in expecting a mess to clean up,” Danny said, “but here you come in and you find this great Volunteer Center, the nice shop, and you think to yourself, this place is awesome! You guys really take care of people here.”

If you are interested in volunteering at Warm Beach Camp please contact Jessica Wilson by email or phone: (360) 312-3417.

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Project Updates - May 2016

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

  • Volunteers are busy with the painting project at the Stables. They are working on the Stables office/snack shop and vaulting barrel gym. When they finish these two buildings, all of the buildings at the Stables and Bayview will have a fresh look. Thank you, volunteers!

  • SidewalkProjectThe repair work on the end-wall in the Cedar Lodge Dining Room is finished! The new windows are larger, and the exterior doors and new siding look great! We are thankful to have this work completed and grateful that the structural damage was not as extensive as feared.

  • Installation of the new, wider sidewalk that goes from the Senior Community to Maple Center is now underway. (See photo at right.) This project is replacing the cracked and broken four-foot sidewalk with a new ten-foot-wide one, improving safety and accommodating more pedestrian traffic. This work will be done between now and the end of May.

  • Poles were recently set at the Amphitheater for a new outdoor sound system that will be installed in May. This project will allow a greater range of programming to occur outside, year-round. Funding for this project is coming from two long-time guest groups, individuals, and Warm Beach Camp.

  • At the end of April, new carpet will be installed in Cascadian Lobby and hallways. Soon fundraising will begin that will allow us to refurbish the interiors of the sleeping rooms in this lodge.

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 email her.

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Camp - a place of safety and love

About a week ago while walking to work, I saw a young lady who was obviously lost. She was standing at one of the Camp crossroads frantically looking at the signs and was obviously debating where in the world she was supposed to go. I approached her and asked if I could help her with anything. She turned around and the first thing out of her mouth was, “Arrow?!?” I suddenly became a bit panicked as I couldn’t place who she was. My mind started clipping through campers from years past and I was drawing a blank. She must’ve seen the look of shock and shame on my face and she saved me without a beat.

“It’s Debrah! I was in your cabin back in 2009. You were my first counselor.”

Debrah! Of course! She’d grown up quite a bit since the 12-year-old I knew back in 2009. We started talking and I asked what had brought her back to Camp. It had been years since she was a camper here. She shared with me the story of the current stage of life, how she was in college and felt like she couldn’t handle it anymore. She talked about the struggles she was facing with her family, her friends, school work, her two jobs, etc. She felt like she was at the end of her rope and wasn’t sure where to go or what to do and “Camp” was the only thing that came to mind. She “Googled” her favorite camp, got in the car, and through the night Siri guided her safely back to Warm Beach Camp, the place she knew so well all those years ago.

Debrah came to a place of solace, to a place of refuge. She came back to Camp because she remembered how much she was loved while she was here. She came back to Camp because of how she connected with God. She came back because after seven years, Warm Beach Camp was the first safe place that came to mind.

Life changes here.

Information about Warm Beach Camp summer camps: Youth Overnight Camps | Horsemanship Camps | Vaulting Camp | Day Camp

CarolineDonohoCaroline Donoho (aka “Arrow”) is the Director of Youth and Outdoor Ministries at Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center. Caroline has a heart for teaching children and believes learning can happen anywhere. Her desire is for youth to know the love of God and their identity in Jesus Christ.

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