Offsite group retreats are worth it

InvestInYourGroupRetreats, camps and conferences have the common goal of seeing people’s lives positively impacted. Getting out of your normal environment and routine opens the heart and mind to new ideas and relationships. Any experience that dislocates a person from familiar patterns, places, roles and responsibilities, creates space for new learning, renewed inspiration, and perspective.

The most important investment you’ll make in your group is creating the space and time for refreshment, renewal, and re-connection. A successful retreat begins with purpose and goals -  desired outcomes. What do you want people to come away with? Information? Understanding? Stronger relationships? Personal renewal? The way you answer these questions will inform not only what you do with the time but where you will go. So, begin with the end in mind.

You’ve probably heard about the importance of “SMART” goals.
S – Specific     M – Measurable     A – Achievable     R – Realistic     T – Time Bound

  1. Goal/Objective. Briefly describe each goal/objective and when it should be accomplished
  2. Measurement. How will the goal/objective be evaluated?
  3. Importance. A goal may be essential, important, or simply desirable. Be sure to understand the relative priority placed on an individual goal.
  4. Consider goals/objectives as desired outcomes for your organization, for your attendees, with respect to personal enrichment, learning, health/safety, financial.
  5. Take time to write down goals, measurements, and importance.
  6. Keep the list reasonably short and simple enough to be understood by the whole leadership team.
  7. Engage your whole leadership team in formulating your event’s purpose and goals.

Once your goals are firmly in mind, program planning and site selection flow with greater purpose and clarity. Understanding your goals also informs your speakers, staff, and site staff as each seek to support your event’s goals. Venue providers want to know what you hope to accomplish so they can put before you the best combination of facilities, meeting spaces, menu options, and activities to help you reach your goals. The more clear your goals become, the more support you find in reaching them.

Invest in your group by spending time clarifying your goals and planning for a successful retreat, camp, or conference. As you look for space to hold your event, search for a facility partner who will place your goals in the center of the discussion. A reliable facility partner makes your goals their goals and brings together all of the available assets to support your program. Off-site events require some work, but they are well worth it in the end.

“Two hours into our retreat at Warm Beach Camp was more productive than eight hours of meetings back in our normal workplace.”

Event Planner

To find out more about Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center rental facilities, contact the Guest Service Department at 800.228.6724 x2275 or check out our website.

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HighlandGames MensAdvance 858Sometimes you get funny looks from men when you invite them to Men’s “Advance.” Men’s Advance, a premier men’s ministry event in the Seattle area, is a weekend that challenges men to live into their God-given potential. It gives men hope that they can really be the person they want to be, who God created them to be. Through music, drama, testimony, and motivational teaching, men are filled with vision for their lives at Men’s Advance. Activities such as H.U.G.E. Highland Games, a “Cool Machines” show, and more, give guys things to do with one another that forms and strengthens friendships. Men’s Advance encourages connection with God and with other guys. For, it is in relationship with God and others that men “advance” in their faith and life.

Dr. Stu Weber is this year’s keynote speaker. This U.S. Army Green Beret Veteran, with three bronze stars, discovered his calling through the trauma and uncertainty of the Vietnam War. Stu came through the war with a call to proclaim Christ and His Kingdom and to call men to become all God intends them to be. Stu is an author, pastor, and teacher and also a devoted husband and family man with three sons and nine grandchildren. Widely-heralded for his clear, practical, and challenging messages, Stu has spoken for national men’s ministry events such as Promise Keepers, Men at the Cross, and Iron Sharpens Iron. He also maintains a consistent ministry to the U.S. Military both at home and abroad.

Men’s Advance is sponsored in part by H.U.G.E. Men of God, who sponsor local men’s forums each week for seven weeks leading up to Men’s Advance. What better way to prepare for Men’s Advance than to already be worshipping, praying, and connecting with guys in the local community. A list of Men’s Forum locations and times can be found at www.hugemenofgod.com.

So, men, if you want to advance in life and faith, then Men’s Advance is for you! Register today at www.Mens-Advance.com.

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WarmBeach-Team-Building-SPU-Girls-Basketball-858What do groups from the University of Washington, church mission groups, college and high school sports teams, nonprofits, businesses, public safety organizations, and youth groups all have in common? They build a high performing team by investing in a Warm Beach Camp challenge Team Building program.

Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center’s Team Building program is so much more than a high ropes course and climbing tower. The staff work to create an experience designed to help groups and teams improve performance and grow together in trust, problem-solving, communication and more. The staff also bring a portable team building programs to locations between Seattle and Bellingham.

Group leader, Sister Kathy Stark summed it up well when she said, “the recreation staff here goes above and beyond their job duties.” The staff helped Kathy’s special needs group reach their goals and have a fun, positive experience.

Warm Beach Team Building leaders Lindsay Baer, Kurt Von Pessler, and Joe Wiederhold, put incredible heart and experience into working with group leaders to create a custom team building experience, choosing elements that best suit the group’s needs. The dedicated Team Building-Recreation staff enjoy facilitating groups to reach great heights!

For more information log on to http://www.warmbeach.com/programs/team-building.

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LOC CL Lawn 4615Warm Beach Camp offers your business or organization the opportunity to give The Lights of Christmas Nightly Festival gift certificates to your employees, clients, customers, or vendors and pay nothing in advance. An evening at The Lights is a unique and thoughtful gift, and would give you a chance to say "thank you" to those with whom you work and serve.

With this program, you may request as many gift certificates as you need and pay nothing in advance. You only pay for the gift certificates that are actually redeemed. Your company will be billed $15 for each redeemed gift certificate after the event closes for the season.
• Say "Thank You and Merry Christmas" to customers, employees and vendors
• Use as a promotional incentive
• Create goodwill and build community

The gift certificates are good any of the 19 nights of The Lights of Christmas. To request gift certificates, go to The Lights of Christmas website for Tickets and scroll to the bottom of the page, or call the Registration Department at 800.228.6724 ext. 2282.

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David-Sadie IMG 7732 June2014 webPhoto by © The Rovensky's | Facebook.com/therovenksys
By Sadie Rose Lawless
Last February, my then-fiancé and I were given a weekend to Engaged Encounter at Warm Beach Camp shortly after we announced our engagement. "Gift" was a loose sense of the word at the time, as we were in the midst of trying to navigate the future on our own, as well as wedding planning stress. The day the event began, I was dreading the weekend. "Should I be dredging up possible problems to discuss?" "Do I have to talk to anybody?"

In reality, we covered everything you forget in the fog of engagement and planning and being in love. We learned that our differences, suddenly very apparent as we grew closer, were for our benefit -- to be the ultimate complementary teammates! The couples on the panel shared genuinely, letting us in on years’ worth of marriage insight in a mere weekend. We didn't have to say a word to the other couples in attendance, and were able to think through our thoughts on each topic separately before talking as a couple.

As if the experience of the weekend wasn't enough, we connected with one of the host couples who then began meeting with us for regular pre-marital mentoring. Due to the tools we learned at Engaged Encounter for communication and conflict resolution, we made it to the wedding and continue to grow together as the (sometimes blatantly opposite) team we are becoming.

Warm Beach Camp holds Engaged Encounter weekends a few times each year. The next scheduled weekend is October 24-26, 2014. To learn more and to register: Engaged Encounter.

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858 summer camp at Warm Beach StanwoodWhen you think of summer youth camp, do you think of a week of fun with lots of silly songs or chants, games, and activities? At Warm Beach, our youth camps are all that and more! The great outdoors and adventure is just part of the summer camp experience. Some of the most meaningful moments at camp come during Bible study and cabin discussion times.

“It’s time to have a heart-to-heart talk with these girls about brokenness and hurt,” thought summer camp counselor, Julie. That night, the girls opened up and shared their frustrations and fears. Amid tears, the group prayed together and wrote letters to God revealing their deepest worries. That night, they burned their letters in the campfire. Freedom and peace filled their hearts and made all the difference for the rest of the week.

A week of summer camp is fun. Even better are the friendships kids make and growing closer to God. That is what camp is really all about.

Warm Beach Camp also offers Fall Junior High and Senior High Retreats where hundreds of youth come together to have fun and to grow in relationship with God and each other. For dates and more information: Fall Junior High and Senior High Retreats

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Warm Beach mission team in South KoreaIn the first light of the July 14 morning, 10 team members embarked on their journey to South Korea. A merged group created the unique team, with some from Warm Beach Camp, some friends of team members, and many from North Cascades Christian Fellowship (NCCF) in Sedro-Woolley. Shon Bentley, Pastor of Student Ministries at NCCF, returned as the leader and coordinator for his second year.

One team member, Kimberly, enjoyed the trip and found the time not only a cultural learning experience but also personal. "The time away helped me re-prioritize God in my life, where He belongs," says Kim when asked how God used the trip to teach her something about herself.

Since 2010, Warm Beach Camp has partnered with Myungsun Church in Suwon, South Korea to exchange cultural experiences. Students from South Korea attend a week-long summer camp at Warm Beach, while the Warm Beach team teaches English at Camp Horeb in South Korea. They also visited other local ministries and shared many cultural experiences.

While there, the Warm Beach team was well taken care of by the hospitality of their Korean hosts. Kyle, a team member who experienced his first-ever airplane transport and international travel, was amazed by the hospitality. Eager to return, Kyle says God used the trip to teach him more about openness and giving.

The Warm Beach Korea concept is special, providing the unique opportunity for people to encounter experiences not in their everyday lives. While immersed in another world, team members see God's love beyond their world.

"One of my treasured memories from this experience,” team member Michael shared, “was seeing [young] kids love God so much they fall face-first [to] the ground with tears rolling down their faces because they are filled with Jesus Christ. It was a beautiful sight to see." This is just one of the special encounters and seeing God’s Spirit at work.

Plans are underway for next year’s mission trip to South Korea, tentatively scheduled for July 20-August 3, 2015. If you are interested in being part of the mission team, or for more information, see the website at: https://www.warmbeach.com/programs/global-initiatives/warmbeachcamp-korea

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858 family-camp IMG 5265Foster and adoptive families came for the first ever “Refreshed Families” family camp hosted in partnership with Warm Beach Camp and Overlake Christian Church. From Texas to Washington, families gathered sharing the common bond of having foster/adopted children.  

The full range of camp favorites was in play including shaving cream and cheese puffs, High Ropes Course, horses, s’mores and an awesome party. There were also times of teaching, prayer and fellowship where everyone was able to explore the beautiful and unique journey of foster/adoption.  

Sometimes a “win” is all a family needs to go the next “leg of the journey.” This family camp gave everyone a chance to experience a real win in their family life. At our closing ceremonies, all of the foster/adoptive parents created a tunnel with outrageous cheering that all the kids ran through with a real sense of victory. When families win, everyone wins.

REFRESHED FAMILIES?   ABSOLUTELY YES!!!!   

Dates for next year’s Refreshed Family Camp is August 2-5, 2015. Registration and more information coming soon at https://www.warmbeach.com/programs/family-programs/refreshed.

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Canoeing during Summer Youth Camps at Warm Beach CampThe theme of this year’s Junior and Jr. High summer Youth Camps was “Rooted.”  Not only did the kids get rooted, they went deeper. Deeper in fun, deeper in relationship, and deeper with God.

Each week, summer camps brought excitement, fun and spiritual growth for the campers. From High Ropes to trail rides and canoes and more, campers were outside having a blast, even on rainy days. Canyon ropes elements such as the trapeze and team swing didn’t disappoint anyone looking to challenge themselves. The fun didn’t end after sunset either. Nightly chapel times and activities kept the campers engaged and learning.

In the midst of all the activities, God worked and His Word took root. His loving Presence was evident. Friendships were made and existing friendships became stronger. Cabin groups bonded with counselors enough to ask hard questions about God.  The level of discussion went deep. One camper mentioned a few times that she was an atheist. By the end of the week, she was changing her mind. She left camp with a booklet of Bible verses chosen just for her by a summer camp counselor.

We were blessed to see God work in the lives of campers at Warm Beach Camp. Every week there were new believers accepting Christ and even more youth rededicating their lives to God. Evidence of God’s life changing grace and the freedom of being rooted in the love of Christ.

Check our website in November for information about next year's summer camps, or contact the Registration Department at 800-228-6724 ext. 2282.

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Warm Beach Family Camp swimming pool timeFor many, Warm Beach Family Camp has been a memory making tradition for multiple generations. At Friday night’s program this year, four families raised their hand who have been attending every summer since 1958. Yet, Family Camp isn’t just for those who have been coming for decades. Each year, new families join in and experience the fellowship, fun, and focus on God that Family Camp brings. This year we had about two dozen families come for the first time. Some were grandparents with grandchildren, others single, and of course many parents with children. Family Camp really is a place for everyone!

Next year, look for some exciting program changes along with the traditional activities that make Warm Beach Family Camp so special. There’s the variety of inspiring, Spirit-filled, speakers and age-group programming. The young adult group continues to grow creating fellowship for young singles and families. Family activities will expand with some good old-fashioned camp fun. Traditions such as the Bike Parade and softball game will continue.

Join us for next year’s Warm Beach Family Camp, August 5 – 9, 2015. The memories you make will last a lifetime! Registration for next year is open now! Click here for more information and to register.

For those who attended this summer's Warm Beach Family Camp – remember to check out the photos on our private online photo gallery. The link can be found in the Family Camp evaluation request email, or send us an email at enews@warmbeach.com and request the photo gallery link.

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