God is at work all around the Camp this summer — in more ways than we can imagine. One of the areas is the Special Friends Camp program.
Special Friends Camp is a place for special needs teens and adults to experience all the fun of camp, regardless of the challenges they face. Campers get the opportunity to go swimming, play mini-golf, ride a horse, go on the zip line, and do almost anything else other campers get to do.
Campers are provided camp counselor “Buddies” who assist campers for the week. Many of these are volunteers, about 45 to 50 each week, helping to fill a vital role, making sure their campers have a safe and fun time at camp! Many are high school aged youth. They grow personally as God uses them to show His love to these special campers. Adults also come out to be buddies, or help with crafts, do face painting, or lead other activities.
This year, Special Olympics brought several of their special needs teens and adults out to experience the fun of overnight camp for a week, joining our campers for some of the activities.
God is also touching the lives of the campers’ parents and caregivers, who are able to experience a much needed break when they can bring their child to camp, knowing that they will be cared for, accepted, and even celebrated.
Several generous donors and charitable foundations have partnered with the Camp to help cover program expenses, and to fund two brand new dorm style cabins that will be available for overnight special needs camps and retreats, and will open up new opportunities for year-round programs and events.
Yes, God is at work in the Special Friends Camps. He is using a lot of people to be His hands and feet, touching lives in a special way. Thank you to all who have had a part in making this program possible this summer!
Provided by Mr. Ed Covert, executive director at Redwood Glen, Loma Mar, Calif., a Salvation Army camp.
Arrange for your child to stay with a grandparent or friend for a night or two. This way, your son or daughter can experience what it is like to sleep somewhere new and different.
Make sure your child can manage basic personal hygiene such as brushing teeth, changing clothes and bathing. Bed wetting should not preclude a child from attendance at camp; however, the camp staff needs to be aware of the issue so that appropriate arrangements can be made and to ensure the camper’s dignity is protected.
During the weeks leading up to camp, take time to share your own camp stories and memories with your child to build excitement and anticipation for camp. If possible, pull out old camp photos or scrapbooks for your kids to look at.
Do not schedule a significant family event while your child will be away at camp. No child wants to be abandoned at camp while mom, dad and the rest of the family go on a fun family vacation or have a special celebration.
Develop a checklist of items needed for camp (or get one from the camp) and work with your child to get everything together. Call the camp if there are items that you cannot secure for your camper. It is not necessary to buy a lot of new gear; most camps will have extra supplies or resources that will ensure that each camper arrives at his or her cabin with all the essentials to have a successful week at camp.
Mark the first day of camp on the family calendar. Together with your child, mark each day off and spend a time talking about what a great experience it will be.
Write your child a couple of letters and pack the sealed envelopes in their luggage a day or two before they leave for camp. Tell your son or daughter they can open them while they are away at camp. It’s also equally important that you write a letter and send it through the mail. “Mail Call” is always a big event at camp and every child loves to get mail from home.
Pack paper, postcards and stamps so that your child can write to you.
Encourage your child to have a backyard sleep out by pitching a tent in your backyard. This will give your son or daughter the freedom to navigate through their feelings of anxiety, curiosity, and excitement within the safety and security of their own home. Also, consider going to the library and checking out a kid’s book about summer camp and read it together by the light of your flashlight in the tent.
When you arrive with your child at camp, make a point of meeting and connecting with the camp staff so your child can see that you are interested in, and trust the people that will be caring for them.
A cabin of boys came as part of a big group, already aware of who the “problem” was. They made it pretty obvious by their attitude and comments toward him. Their camp counselor, Simba, could see how the camper’s antics got him labeled as a problem. So Simba decided to take action, using the power of words and the heart of Christ. Instead of thinking of this camper as a problem, he renamed him as a child of God needing love and grace.
Simba looked for opportunities throughout the week to positively reconnect the group of boys, demonstrating empathy and good friendship behavior instead of sharp words. By the end of the week, the boys in the cabin were renewed in knowing each one of them is a child of God, a son of the Father.
“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” – Proverbs 12:18
Warm Beach Camp counselors do much more than supervise campers all week. They listen, share, model good behavior, and love each of their campers (even those with extra grace required). They understand the power of camp and look for opportunities to be a beacon of light in the lives of the youth who come here. It doesn’t matter if the campers are part of a large church group, are rich or poor, or have never heard the Gospel. The counselors work hard to treat all campers as equals and provide them with an opportunity to grow in Christ and know they are loved.
It's not easy to raise three boys, especially if you are a single mother. Each summer, the boys head out to Camp—a respite for Mom and a highlight for the boys.
As the boys become teenagers and are in high school, imagine the profound joy of Mom when she hears one of her sons ask, “Can I go to Warm Beach and volunteer with Special Friends Camp?” Some stories only become deeper and richer with time. Later that summer, Mom heard “I want to do that again next year!” Camp, a place of both giving and receiving.
About 300 women from the Pacific Northwest attended Refresh - A Women’s Event 2015 for a weekend of fun, worship and nourishment for the soul.
Keynote speaker, Kim Meeder, boldly shared God’s timeless messages of Truth, Hope, Encouragement and Purpose for every woman. You can listen to her speaking sessions from the weekend in the audio files below. We hope you will be encouraged and strengthened in your faith.
Here's a new definition of joy. "Joy is a pervasive sense of well-being." What would a "spiritual selfie" of your life reveal? Would it reveal that you are living a life of joy?
Joy comes when we: have clear direction in life live in God's presence spend time praising God thank God for what he has already done
What does a "joy-filled" life looks like? The song we used to sing says it well. Joy is the flag flown high from the castle of my heart O let it fly in the Sky let the whole world know that the KING is in residence here
Joy on the inside reflects on the outside, not dependent on circumstances.
Pastor Phil Brooks, Warm Beach Camp Volunteer Warm Beach Camp, life changes here
Imagine a warm, sunny summer day at Warm Beach Camp. The shade has stretched over the side of Cedar Lodge lawn. Chairs and picnic blankets cover the grass. Parents and grandparents chatter as kids play in the sunshine. Smiling faces show and laughter fills the air as games of hopscotch, Frisbee and volleyball spring up among newfound friends. Welcome to an afternoon at Family Camp.
Whether it’s the thrill of creating new traditions or re-visiting fond memories of years past, Family Camp is a special time where people of all ages come together to relax, renew and reconnect with God and each other.
Age group sessions are offered in the morning and evening. A variety of fun activities for the whole family fill the afternoon and special evening activities conclude the day. The schedule is relaxed with a variety of options to provide the freedom to create an experience that is as laid-back or action-packed as each family chooses.
While only a brief period of days are spent together at camp each August, the benefits of that special family time are likely to be evident throughout the year.
“We really used this time to reconnect and reset as a family. We heard God’s call for us… Family Camp did not disappoint and we treasure this time.” says one first time camper. “It is always a great time we set aside, and we see God work,” says another camper, who has attended with her family for over 20 years. “We are more quiet and listening [after camp]. We always learn and grow. We push the reset button.”
Join us with your family this August as we, once again, hit “reset” together at camp.
Each summer, the Camp seeks to fill between 40 and 45 summer job positions as well as over 70 volunteer nurse positions throughout the year.
Summer staffers serve during the two-and-a-half-month period from mid-June to the end of August. Generally, summer staff are college-age, and in most cases, no experience is necessary. There are currently openings for counselors, workers in food service, accommodations, and maintenance.
Warm Beach Camp’s volunteer nurses serve during week-long camps, weekend retreats, and The Lights of Christmas. Volunteer nurses receive room and board for themselves and their family, plus there are discounts available for family members to attend camp sessions at the same time.
If you or someone you know is looking for something new and exciting to do this summer, we are looking for those with a passion for ministry and joy of working with people. If you are interested in paid summer positions please contact Christina Barnes by email or call her at (360) 216-4262. If you are interested in Volunteer Nurse positions please contact Jessica Wilson by email or call her at (360) 312-3417.