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A Program in God’s Time

By Jessica Beach, Volunteer Coordinator

Every once in a while, God makes Himself and His timing unmistakably known. This certainly was the case one day this past January when I met Debbie Clymer for the first time.

Debbie, a speech therapist, was interested in exploring volunteer options at Warm Beach Camp, so she came to meet with me to discuss possibilities. As we talked, I learned that Debbie had time available to serve, was very eager to help, and was over-qualified for any position I had written down prior to our meeting. As Debbie continued to tell me about herself, I was concerned that we might not be able to find a task that would best use all she had to offer. Yet Debbie insisted, “I don’t know, I just feel like I’m supposed to be here.”

Just then, I recalled an announcement that had been made in a staff meeting just the day before about a new riding program that was about to begin. Mark “Skip” Skipton, Horsemanship Director for the Camp, was looking for volunteers to help start up this program that would serve those with mental and physical disabilities. By having them participate in a program of ongoing riding lessons, they can reap the benefits of improved balance, increased flexibility and strength, and better self-esteem, all while having fun. With Debbie’s therapy background, I thought it might be a good fit.

As that thought crossed my mind, Debbie was saying, “I’d really like to get in on something on the ground floor.” My excitement began to rise!

When it came time for me to make suggestions, I calmly listed the options I had written out earlier in the day and just before I thought I might burst, I said “… and as we were talking, one other option came to mind.” As I described the program, I thought Debbie might lift right out of her chair with excitement.

We headed down the hill to the Stables to meet with Mark. Thirty minutes later, it was a done deal! Debbie would be Mark’s assistant for the program. As we drove back up to Cedar Lodge, Debbie said with a smile on her face, “One day earlier and this never would have happened.”

It was clear that God had guided Debbie to the Camp at just the right time. Since then, time has been flying as the program has come together.

Debbie discovered that one of the largest therapeutic riding programs in the country was hosting its first ever training program in less than two weeks. So, Mark, his wife Patti, and Debbie headed off to Little Bit Ranch in Woodinville for an Open House for those starting this kind of riding program. Debbie, who is familiar with the therapeutic population in this area, began recruiting volunteers for the riding program. These are the people who will facilitate and monitor the riders in the program. And, by the end of February, the program was in full-swing.

We are still looking for more willing volunteers to help with the program. Volunteers need to be 14 years and older and must attend at least two training sessions.

For more information about becoming a volunteer or to register a rider, contact Debbie Clymer at 360-652-2414 or send an email to Patti Skipton.

Whenever you show up, it will be the right time.

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