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This is Matt Lambert’s second year as the Director of Youth and Outdoor Ministry at Warm Beach Camp. While Matt may be new to this position, he is not new to the Camp. Matt has been volunteering and working at Warm Beach since 1997. With all this history under his belt, we wanted to find out more about his hopes and dreams for Warm Beach Camp’s Summer Youth Camps.
The culture of our world is ever changing and alive. Warm Beach’s Youth Camps are no different when it comes to changing with the times, but there are several elements that need to say the same. Matt’s overall vision for Youth Camp is “at Youth Camps, kids would come to know Christ and grow in their relationship with Him.” There is a strategic acronym the staff uses to define the goals at W-Bar-B Youth Camp called “LOCAL”: L-Love God, O-Outdoors, C-Community, A-Adventure, L-Love people.
Matt went on to say, “I hope kids will find a life-long relationship with Christ and not just a sample, not just a good feeling. I want them to have real faith and not a sense of moralistic, therapeutic, deism. I want them to take away life-long friendships with other campers and counselors. I want them to take away what life can be like in healthy community, free from the stress of life.”
This summer’s Youth Overnight Camps will be centered around the theme “Rooted” based off Isaiah 61:3 (NIV) “…They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Kids will find out why they were created, why God chose to save them, and why they should follow Christ. On top of all the great teaching will be plenty of time for recreation and fun! This summer, campers at W-Bar-B can look forward to a few fun new additions like Human Foosball, and Upward Four Square, along with all the regular fun of horseback trail rides (extra fee), high ropes, plenty of pool time and so much more!
To register and for more information: 2014 Summer Youth CampsAdd a comment
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Retreat! This command is not just for the military battlefield. It is for those times when life is too busy, too stretched, and simply overwhelming. Jesus understood the concept of retreat perfectly as indicated in Luke 5:16, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
Do you find yourself in need of retreat? Daily we find individuals and groups getting the respite they need by spending time at Warm Beach Camp. Recently, we found these excerpts online after groups came to Warm Beach Camp. The stories are an inspirational reminder of why we need to retreat!
Siblings of kids with diabetes also need peer support, and I was happy to see Will interacting and making new friends. I doubt, at eight years old, that he engaged in any conversations specifically about his feelings and experiences being a middle child sandwiched in between two kids with major medical issues, but he certainly saw that he wasn’t alone, and that was the whole point of camp. So that none of us would feel alone in our circumstances |bold emphasis added|www.ourhealthydiabeticlife.com
Retreats are the best thing that Blanchet has to offer. They are the highlight of my high school career” … It wasn’t until she attended Kairos this fall that her faith began to deepen in a more profound way. Being vulnerable to Christ’s love and feeling His presence throughout the retreat was a big conversion moment for her and rejuvenated her connection with her faith |bold emphasis added|.www.bishopblanchet.org, Brave Magazine, Winter 2014
Does this bring back memories of your time at Warm Beach Camp? We sure hope to see you again soon, as you follow Christ’s example and retreat!Add a comment
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The Ministry of Marriage Encounter traces its roots back to Spain in the 1950s. Fr. Gabriel Calvo, a Catholic Priest, wanted a means whereby the married couples under his care could learn to communicate better within their married relationship. More importantly, Fr. Calvo wanted these couples to understand the crucial role God plays in a healthy marriage. The intense, interactive weekend known, worldwide, as Marriage Encounter is the result. The Warm Beach encounter is the oldest Marriage Encounter expression in the northwest, dating back nearly 50 years. God continues to use this special weekend to touch the hearts of men and women who seek His best for their marriages.
Marriage Encounter is distinguished from other marriage workshops and seminars by the very real way each participating couple is involved. Rather than merely listening for information, husbands and wives are guided into discussions wherein they explore 12 crucial aspects of marriage with their spouses in the safety and privacy of their individual rooms. Guided by both lay and clergy couples who openly share their own personal experiences in these areas, the Encounter couples experience a safe, nurturing setting where they can truly open up to one another and receive God’s forgiveness, healing, and empowerment.
Here’s how the Marriage Encounter experience touched some peoples’ lives so far this year:
“Freeing! Enlightening! It was a fantastic time to connect with my husband with the distractions of the world left behind. A greater sense of my husband's feelings and love for me was experienced. I gained skills on sharing deeper feelings and recognizing and responding to his feelings.”Past Attendees
“I have been able to share things with my wife that I had not been able to articulate well before.”
Marriage Encounter works best when a couple brings a good marriage they wish to take to an even higher level. However, Marriage Encounter has also proven to be a healing environment where troubled marriages can find relief. Countless letters from Encounter couples have borne witness to the amazing ways God has restored broken relationships. Bottom line—virtually every marriage can benefit, deeply, from a Marriage Encounter weekend.
To register and for more information: Marriage Encounter 2015
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Okay, so there is a lot fun and games… HUGE Highland Games, Cool Machines Show, Climbing Tower, High Ropes Course, Horseback Riding, and a host of other activities. But that’s not what makes Men’s Advance worth attending. Activities are things guys already do together – go to sporting events, play softball, go hunting, or attend car shows – guys like to do stuff when they’re together. A man’s life is meant to be lived engaged, active, focused. A man’s life is meant to be Lived On Purpose!
Dennis Swanberg, keynote speaker for Men’s Advance, gets it. He gets the “Man Code” – the title of his newest book. Guys need challenge and teaching from God’s Word. They need salvation and discipleship. But you have to make it engaging, memorable, focused. Dennis is a comedian, a super funny guy, but really a comedian with purpose. Dennis uses humor and story to open the hearts of his audience so that what God pours in is not just information but life-changing truth.
Men, are you looking for tools to live life with balance, focus, purpose? Dennis Swanberg will deliver. For a preview, check out his website www.themancode.net.
In addition to engaging activities and a keynote speaker, Men’s Advance doesn’t let up in the challenge for men to live authentic, accountable lives together. There are practical faith-building workshops on topics such as missions, finances, freedom from addictions, marriage, single-hood, and more. There’s a special workshop for junior and senior high guys helping them apply “The Man Code” for themselves.
Local church men’s groups accelerate their bond of discipleship through sharing Men’s Advance together. Individual guys, and those without a “formal” men’s group, appreciate the chance to hang out with other guys, pursuing the same truth and purpose of knowing God and living for Him. Men’s Advance is meant to be a “mountain top experience” that lasts a lifetime.
For more information about this year's Men's Advance Retreat March 7-9: Event InformationAdd a comment
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Does it ever feel like the faster you go in life the faster life gets? Like there is an ever dangling carrot in front of your nose?
The more frantic life gets, the more necessary renewal and spiritual formation becomes. True renewal comes from God and his ability to refresh and form our souls like no other.
The Potter’s Wheel event at Warm Beach Camp is a unique time of rest and spiritual formation based on Isaiah 64:8.
“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of your hand.”
“This event is for people who want to grow closer to God and to understand better who they are in Christ.” said Nancy Nelson, Development Director at Warm Beach Camp. Nancy has attended nearly every Potter’s Wheel event since it began over 10 years ago. “Every Potter’s Wheel I’ve gone to has given me a different window to look through to understand just a little bit more about the infiniteness of God and the work he wants to do in us.”
Learn more about this years' Potter's Wheel Weekend Retreat February 21-23: Event Information
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For more than 50 years, Warm Beach Camp has been a place where kids can enjoy a week of summer camp, explore nature, have fun, make new friends, and learn about God. That tradition continued this summer for hundreds of children and teens who came to camp.
One of the Camp Pastors this summer presented the concept to the campers about being adopted into God’s family. He had adoption certificates that the kids could sign and keep as a tangible reminder that they were part of God’s family. Many of the campers signed certificates indicating they were joining God’s family, and even more signed their certificates reaffirming that they were already one of God’s children.
One counselor prayed over a girl in her cabin who had signed an adoption certificate, thanking God for making them sisters in Him. With tears of joy, the camper shared that this was the first time she felt accepted as God’s daughter.
A week of summer camp is an opportunity for each camper to experience living in Christian community. They leave their world behind and for a week live in an environment of Christian love and acceptance. It often has a powerful impact on kids’ lives. They return to their world with a new direction and perspective, and a confidence in God’s love.
This happened many times this summer at camp. Many campers made decisions to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior during their week at camp. More campers re-dedicated their lives, choosing adoption into God’s family. Lives were changed through the summer camps at Warm Beach!
Please pray for the kids who came to camp and made decisions to follow Christ, that their faith in God will continue to grow and blossom.
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Thousands of people will come and enjoy The Lights of Christmas this year, but few realize that the process of getting the more than one million lights in the trees started three months earlier.
For the past 17 years a small group of brave individuals begin the process on the first week of September. They don their layers of warm clothing, and many days, their rain gear. They buckle up their harnesses and climb into the 60-foot lifts. They make themselves dizzy wrapping strings of light around tree trunks. They load and unload the truck with giant penguins and piles of garland. They staple, move the ladder, staple, move the ladder, staple, for three months, rain or shine.
This year, there is a fine crew hanging lights made up of nine young men. They are working hard to have all the lights hung before December 5th, the opening day of The Lights of Christmas.
One of the light hangers is 19 year old Alex Donoho, who volunteers alongside the paid crew three days a week. Alex is a native of Stanwood and attended Stanwood High School. He hopes to one day pursue a career in print journalism. But, for now, Alex says he is enjoying his time as a light hanger. “I’ve learned a lot about light repair and the guys I work with are really great and very focused.” Alex said. He attended The Lights several years ago and wondered what it was like trying to get all the lights up. Now he knows.
We are so grateful for the hardworking, dedicated team for getting all those lights ready for The Lights of Christmas and the thousands of guests who will enjoy them.
If you are interested in volunteering before or during The Lights of Christmas visit our volunteer website or call Jessica Wilson at 360-652-7575 ext. 2276.
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by Margaret 'Sparkles' Spears
Just those two words make me smile.
I scan the Camp in my mind's eye and I see so many faces.
Faces filled with compassion, trust, and willingness.
Willing to be more gentle than normal, more patient than average, more loving than this life usually requires.
At Special Friend's Camp, Counselors and Campers are paired at a ratio of 1:1 for the entire week of Camp. Campers with higher mobility needs may be paired with 2 or more counselors. This provides a consistent and personal relationship environment that encourages Campers and Counselors alike to grow in their love for Jesus and each other.
I look over at an old picnic table in the long house at Chinook and I see a beautiful teenaged girl who has struggled long and hard with self-esteem issues and never feeling good enough. What I see as I watch her with her camper now is tenderness, joy, freedom found in serving someone who has been down a similar road in a very different way. I hear laughter and see glitter nail polish on hands that would fit a five year-olds glove. It's beautiful.
I walk by the Music Station and see a man beating out a rhythm that has been spinning round and round in his head some 50 plus years. But he's not in a corner, being avoided or gawked at, he's in the middle of a 'band' that has formed around him. Seated at the drum throne, armed with his drumsticks, he beats out the foundation for a cacophony of sound that you would think was a symphony by the look on the faces of those taking part. Humming from deep in the throat. Banging of symbols. The tinkling of triangles suspended from above. And every once in a while there is a shriek of sheer delight that escapes the mouth of one that looks as if perhaps they didn't know a sound was even being made.
It's pure beauty. Unhindered, unabashed, unrestrained joy.
The beauty of lives laid down, of people set free to be who they were made to be.
It's Special Friends Camp.Add a comment
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It was a slow day at the craft table at Special Friends Day Camp. Lisa waited patiently for campers to come and join her but it seemed no one was biting. Lisa’s hopes began to rise as she saw a camper, who had not done a craft all week, approach the table with her “Buddy” (a Special Friends Camp Counselor). Unfortunately, the buddy just needed a bathroom break and was asking if her Special Friend could wait with Lisa.
The camper sat down next to Lisa and began coloring. Lisa took the opportunity to try coax the camper into the day’s craft, gluing buttons onto a whimsical tree to make its leaves, but the camper would have nothing to do with it. She was quite content with her coloring.
And then Lisa found her way in. She proposed that the camper color her tree before gluing the buttons on. Wildly clapping and smiling, the camper agreed to the compromise. By days end, the camper had completed three of the week’s art projects.
Lisa dedicated her whole summer to volunteering at Warm Beach Camp. You would not have known that she had never led in crafts projects or worked with adults with special needs before. In fact, Lisa said “If it wouldn’t have been for the Camp, I never would have had an experience like this.”
Lisa admits that when she first found out that she would be the craft director for Special Friends Day Camps, she was a little intimidated. But, through some recent difficult life circumstances just before coming to Camp, the Lord showed Lisa that compassion is something everyone needs. “I would do it again in a heartbeat” Lisa said. “When you have a positive volunteer experience like this, it has a way of moving you on to the next thing the Lord has for you!”
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For every summer camp Warm Beach puts on we have a “Camp Pastor”. These pastors are responsible for giving devotions in the evening, getting to know the campers and counselors, and telling them about Jesus. These pastors come from all walks of life. For two weeks in July Warm Beach Camp invited Peggy Kroeger, YWAM Missionary and Warm Beach Camp staff alumni, to be one such pastor.
She shares her experience in her own words.
Here’s what I learned about Jr. Highers: Their faces do not express what is in their hearts unless you are relentless and then they will cry. Their skill with waiting out the awkward silence almost matches my own. Let’s be honest, a few times, they won the silence. They are both adult and child, mixed together in a way that makes it difficult to navigate things like kindness and discipline. I think it’s mixed up for them, too…
There were many precious pre-teens that I will remember for the rest of my life, but two are worth noting. They are at opposite ends of my experience last week.
One young man was immediately open and responsive. He answered questions eagerly, spoke to me after chapel several times and wrote me an encouraging note. When we ended Thursday night chapel with an invitation to life with God, he immediately approached me and wanted to pray. I encouraged him to choose the words and I would stand with him. Here is what he prayed, “Dear God, I know that I am a sinner, but I love you and I know you love me. Please let your Holy Spirit live inside me. Amen.”
Needless to say that when he was done praying (and quickly walked away) his counselor and I were a little wet around the eyelids.
I didn’t see him smile and I only heard offended or mocking words come from his mouth. I think if I had been one of the campers, I would have been scared of him. As it was, I felt compelled to pray for him all week long. Although I looked for a moment to connect with him, this did not happen. Besides his intense hostility, I saw dignity in his face and I will keep praying that he will see that even if the world seems to be out to get him, God is not.The other camper who impacted me was a young man that maybe only said two words to me directly the whole week.
I was not the kind of teacher I expected myself to be this week and it caused me to realize a couple of things. One is that most people would rather hear your story than your “knowledge.” Even though the theme for the week was “Finding Your Place in God’s Epic Story,” I resisted letting it be as simple as telling my story. I felt compelled to give it more structure and more instruction than they needed. Looking back I realize it would have been easier and also more meaningful if I had stuck simply to my own story with God.
Another thing I realized is that I’m a lot less wordy than I expected myself to be. I prepared super basic things and if the campers had really taken advantage of the questions I asked and offered to be asked, it would have all taken much longer. As it was, they also just shared briefly and were not full of questions.
I’m okay with this, actually- 9pm after a long day of fun and sun is not the time to give long sermons to 12 and 13 yr olds.
So. There is it. Now that I have truly begun to do this big thing I felt called to do, I am feeling a lot like The New Kid but also really free. I’m on the road I know I’m supposed to be on and I know that I’m loved. It’s hard, but I’m happy.Add a comment