Kids-in-PoolAs part of The Lights of Christmas, there is a wishing well set up near Cedar Lodge, and a reflecting pond on the lawn in front of the Lodge. Each year, people at The Lights throw coins into these ponds, and we collect the money for the Kids 2 Camp fund.

At the end of The Lights this year, we collected the coins, dried them off and counted them. The total came to $560!

Thousands of dollars are raised every year for Kids 2 Camp scholarships to send kids to camp, and much of it comes in the form of small gifts from individuals. But it all adds up! And every penny counts. This includes the ones thrown into the ponds at The Lights! Next summer, several children will be able to attend summer camp because of the spare change people throw into the wishing well at The Lights of Christmas.

To all of you who gave to the Kids 2 Camp fund this past year, thank you for making this program possible. Thanks for helping to send children to camp where they can have a fun experience in a loving and caring environment, and have the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Christ. It does make a difference!

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Dad & Me Weekends offer an oasis of quality time loaded with memory making experiences. Every year over 100 dads invest in relationship with their kids through Dads & Sons and Dads & Daughters weekends. Here’s what one Dad said about the weekend he spent with his son:

Dad and SonThe staff was wonderful and we really appreciated all the activities laid out before us, without the pressure of timelines. It was so nice to have a few things structured for us that helped us to have form to our day, yet without pressure. This was a big weekend of firsts for my son, BB guns, archery, canoes, rockets, mountain boards, and his first time on a horse as well. My son really enjoyed the mountain boards most of all! I really appreciated the time we spent bonding, the way the camp leaders helped the boys relate to us as fathers and associated it with the love and guidance of our Father was wonderful. I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful experience and I don’t think either of us will ever forget.

I appreciated the way that Christ was approached gently as well. I have committed my whole heart to Christ, but my son is still in transit. I hope and pray for him to come to that point some day himself and I hope not by the painful path it took me. But the gentle and more relational approach, while still unabashed honesty of the leader’s profession of faith, was at a level where he didn’t tune it out and I think it made an impact. It certainly has laid open the door for further discussion and opportunities. Thank you so much!

Over and over again, Dad & Me Weekends offer testimony of how life changes here. Our 2011 schedule is:

Dads & Sons: June 3-6, September 9-11

Dads & Daughters: June 10-12, September 16-18

We hope to see you there!

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special_friends_2010_280pxThis year, Warm Beach Camp kicked off the summer with Special Friends Camp which is specifically designed for adults with developmental disabilities. Campers enjoyed WBC’s fun activities which include: singing songs, swimming, train rides, horseback riding, the ropes course, and the climbing tower. Activtities are designed to accommodate every individual, regardless of their physical limitations. A recreational staff member, David Lawless said, "One camper didn’t have the mobility or the strength that it takes to climb the ropes course. So the staff just pulled him up with a rope while he made climbing motions with his hands; I have never seen a smile so big."

Although Special Friends Camp is in its fifth year, this will be the first year that WBC has partnered with Camp Barnabas of Missouri in order to host an overnight camp. WBC Youth Program Director Laurie Fertello expects this to be the first of many years in which an overnight camp will be offered to those with disabilities.

Amid the joys and fun memories that typically come with camp, there was also something else which seemed to permeate the loving atmosphere at WBC. Special Friends Camp was conducted with a sense of purpose which could be noted by both counselor and camper alike. In the closing week of the overnight camp, both camper and counselor gathered around a handmade 5 by 3 foot wooden cross. Those who surrounded the cross had a brief ceremony in remembrance of Christ who died for them.

WBC’s Special Friends Camp seeks to bring dignity and hope to the lives of those who are often overlooked. An unexplainable kind of joy is present in this camp and it deepens each year as new people discover Special Friends Camp.

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Darrell-WeilandYou’ve been thinking about it. You know you need to make some plans, but there just never seems to be a good time! Sound familiar?

The assets you own when you die comprise your estate. Your will is the primary instrument to determine how these assets will be disbursed after your death. It provides a way to care for the people and organizations important to you now, after you're gone.

Dying without a will means that the state will determine how your property is distributed, even though you may not be pleased with the outcome. Your will is a legal document that directs the state to recognize your wishes.

You can include provisions to help save on taxes and conserve your property for those you intend to benefit. If you have minor children, you should also indicate who you want to serve as their guardians. The wonderful thing about creating your will is the freedom and peace of mind it gives you to enjoy your family now, knowing that you have provided for their long-term security. It can also allow you to provide a legacy for the charities you support and believe in.

If you have been putting off obtaining a will, or you have an outdated will, now is the best time to take care of this. You can be “will” prepared!

Our Warm Beach Camp Foundation Director, Darrell Weiland, will be happy to meet with you for a no-cost, no obligation, consultation to explain your options and answer any questions you may have. He can help you determine the estate plan instruments that are best for you and your situation.

Reach Darrell by calling (425) 308-6712. You may also contact him by email at

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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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By Mark Cutshall

Challenge-Course-imageIt’s called the Warm Beach Camp Challenge Course, and for 15 single adults from First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, it proved to be one the most useful tools to prepare them for their upcoming short-term mission to Guatemala.

“The series of interactive trust-based challenges allowed us to think, work, play and celebrate together. We got to know each other and really learn that, on a mission trip, everyone’s voice and everyone’s gifts are important and needed. It is an invaluable experience,” says Rosalind Renshaw, Associate Pastor, who leads an annual mission trip to Central America.

“Because of the Challenge Course experience, we learned that we were only going to accomplish what we could do together; those who were typically out in front slowed down to be with the entire group,” says participant Craig Schoning.

“At Warm Beach, our facilitators were skilled. There was lots of humor. The exercises were fun and physically not difficult. Because of the Challenge Course, everyone felt valued and involved; no one felt left out.”

Mission accomplished.

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By Mark Cutshall

He was one frustrated, angry fifth-grade boy. Frustrated by looking up at the top of a climbing tower he knew he could never reach. And angry with his teacher, Marcie Trudeau, who wanted the best for him and was willing to say, “You know our class motto, Jeremy. You can at least give it a try. You never know what you can accomplish.”

And so grudgingly, Jeremy strapped in to the harness, swallowed hard, and with 27 curious classmates from Issaquah’s Cascade Ridge Elementary School looking on, he planted his boot on the wall and held on.

Marcie stood by – and watched. This was the school’s eighth annual Outdoor Education camp at Warm Beach and, by all accounts, it had become an unqualified success. “This three-day environmental education camp is part of our science curriculum and gives our students an appreciation and a link to nature and what their role can and should be in becoming future stewards of the earth. It’s a marvelous opportunity for social growth, and, of course, the kids come away with incredible memories of great times together.”

Cascade Ridge is one of 30 public and private schools and organizations that will partner with Warm Beach Camp this year and take advantage of the Camp’s geography as a natural, outdoor classroom. Camp experiences can range from daylong opportunities to overnight camps tailored to each school’s needs and goals.

“If you’re looking for a facility for students to experience and learn about their natural environment, you just can’t find a better place than Warm Beach,” said Marcie.

Last year at camp, Marcie looked up and saw blue skies, tall trees and, yes, that 40-foot climbing tower where Jeremy stood secure. He had taken but three steps, but by now, all of his classmates were fully engulfed with cheers and shouts.

And so he kept climbing. With each new step, the words “Yes! . . . Go! . . . You’re doing it!” followed him up the wall. Another reach up, another foot closer. Breathing. Stopping. Until, finally, incredibly, he could go no farther. Because he was at the top.

“I have never seen a kid so moved to achieve something he never thought he could do. I could not have been more proud of my students that day, especially this boy,” says Marcie, who watched his descent with tears in her eyes.

Amazed, excited and crying themselves, each of Jeremy’s classmates converged to hug and congratulate him.

A Kodak moment of affirmation, a picture of shared fulfillment and a class act of cooperation played out in a natural learning environment.

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By Mark Cutshall

Special Friends Camp

Crystal is almost deaf. Yet, she changed volunteer Kiya Tafoya forever at Special Friends Camp, a day camp uniquely designed for adults, age 15 and up, with developmental, emotional and physical needs.

“One day during worship, we were dancing in the back of the room. She couldn’t hear the music, but it didn’t matter. We were so in the moment where God was present,” says Kiya.

Campers attend a daily chapel in the morning, followed by generous free time in which they choose from a list of safe, fun, supervised activities. The “challenge by choice,” approach gives each person endless opportunities to choose their own level of activity without any undue expectation, pressure and stress.

One-on-one assistants (Camp Counselors) are provided for each camper.This “Buddy” assists the camper as needed and helps them enjoy all that camp has to offer.

“These men and women campers I came to love confront limits every day. When they come to Warm Beach Camp, those limits are laid aside. At Special Friends Camp, there is no limit to what they can do, and there’s no limit for them to experience love, affi rmation and acceptance,” says Kiya.

Three not-so-little things, that Kiya herself discovered—and no doubt will realize again this summer—at Special Friends Camp.

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SummerCampKids2010_280pxLift up your shield as we welcome you to Tales of the Kingdom, the 2010 theme at Warm Beach Summer Camps.  Tales of the Kingdom combines story and history, drawing campers into a thrilling Medieval journey full of fun summer camp activities.  

Campers and counselors begin their week getting to know one another on a deeper level, growing together through a process of team building. Just as the medieval knights enjoyed the camaraderie of friends at the roundtable, campers will also form friendships with their cabin groups as we explore how our King continues to work in our lives. In the midst of understanding and getting to know God, there will be lots of fun adventures and many tournaments with an end-of-camp outdoor medieval meal. Campers will leave Warm Beach Camp knowing that they are the champions, and that their quest is to share the love of our King to the world. To the King!

W-Bar-B youth camps and Day camps begin the week of July 11, 2010. Horsemanship Camps and Special Friends Camps are also available. For more information call the Registration Department at 360-652-7575, in-state toll free 800-228-6724.

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by Camilla Blue

SwimLessonLydia I grew up at Warm Beach Camp and my first pool experience was there. When Warm Beach Camp announced that they were offering swimming lessons, it seemed appropriate to sign up my son and daughter, Daniel and Mercy, for the pre-beginner class.

My kids had opposite reactions to the entry level swimming class. Daniel hates the water, especially when water gets in his eyes. He dreaded the very idea of taking lessons. He was nervous and apprehensive, and I was worried that he would refuse to participate. On the other hand, Mercy couldn't have been more excited. She had such a fearless confidence that even before her first lesson began, she believed that she knew how to swim.

When arrived Monday night for the first class, our swim instructor, Lydia, did an amazing job of putting the kids at ease. Lydia was just wonderful! She was a natural with all the kids in the class. She first talked about getting one ear wet. Then the other. What about a nose? Then she had the kids splash her.

With each activity, my kid's confidence grew. All the way home they talked about how much fun they had and how excited they were for their next lesson. I love Warm Beach Camp!

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