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A final gift to say “Thank You”

By Ben Hagglund

A-final-gift-to-sayThankyouHow do you say “thank you” to a place and ensure that others have the same opportunities for life-changing and life-saving experiences?

As a boy, I was hooked at Father & Son Retreat. And Day Camp sealed the deal. As a second and third grader, my initial experiences at Warm Beach Camp were beyond comparison. The following year, I spent two weeks in a row at camp: Family Camp and then Chinook Camp, with my birthday in the middle. What could be better? Then, somehow, I found out about Horsemanship Camp and I never looked back.

I remember sitting in church and looking at the back of the Sounder, circling all of the prospective dates in the coming year that I would spend at camp—at least three weeks as a fifth grader, four weeks as a sixth grader. At some point during horse camps, I learned that when I was a little older, it was possible to spend the entire summer at camp. Can you imagine the anticipation?

The experiences were incredible, of course. But it was the people at camp who made the experiences come alive and last forever. My heroes were at camp. They included summer staff, year round staff, volunteers, and family friends. I met my best friends at camp. I learned some of my best life lessons at camp.

My life in Christ was saved and firmly rooted through my experiences at Warm Beach Camp. I was fortunate to see others, children and adults, commit their lives to Christ. I’ve been blessed to hear countless stories of redemption that have occurred at camp.

My dad often told a story of helping his father build the Mountain Cabins at camp when he was a boy. I’m sure my dad smiled and thought about life coming full circle as he watched us boys at Working Weekend. I can’t wait to watch things come full circle for me, as my son and I look forward to the first Father & Son Retreat.

How does a person say “thank you” for all of this? Prayer, volunteering, and donations have always been obvious answers, but one option may often be overlooked. My wife and I are finally finalizing our estate plans. We plan to include Warm Beach Camp in our will. Obviously, we hope to live a life full of God’s blessings and service to the King. But whenever He calls us home, we want to be sure that the last of our earthly treasures will be used for Kingdom work.


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