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At Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center, in Western Washington, we have all sorts of non-profit guest groups throughout the year: youth and family camps, leadership conferences, men’s, and women’s retreats, confirmation youth, quilting groups, Outdoor Education, Scouts, and more. Over this past Memorial Day weekend and into the week, Warm Beach Camp was blessed with a guest group that flies all the way from Florida to be here. The Lakeland Christian School (LCS) seniors end their school year with a big mission trip, and for a number of years they have chosen Warm Beach Camp as their mission.
The 100 LCS seniors worked HARD at Camp. Students repaired trails, built picnic tables and fences, erected tents for summer programs, cleared and chopped felled trees in the RV area, raked, weeded, and barked flower beds and berms, prepared arts and crafts for summer camps, tested lights for The Lights of Christmas, and did an incredible job helping with the general beautification of the grounds. Staff members and other volunteers from Warm Beach Camp worked alongside students the whole time, sharing stories, laughing, and fellowshipping together.
One of the most special moments was when LCS had morning devotions with the Warm Beach Camp staff. Ed McDowell, Warm Beach Camp Director, shared about the Camp’s mission and the programs offered. The LCS seniors learned they helped “Keep the Path Clear to the Cross” for the thousands of guests who will come to Warm Beach Camp. After devotions, students gathered together outside while the Warm Beach Camp staff formed a circle around them and prayed over them.
Lakeland Christian School educates students in the light of God's Word to equip them for a lifetime of learning, leadership, service and worship. It took months of fundraising effort for the LCS to get to Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, WA. We are deeply appreciative to LCS seniors for sharing their mission with us!
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Special Friends Camp at Warm Beach Camp is place where physically and mentally disabled adults can come to have a one-of-a-kind camping experience. Each camp is staffed by individuals who want every camper to have the time of their life. Every camper gets the chance to participate in all the activities Warm Beach Camp has to offer; horseback riding, swimming, climbing the 40-foot climbing tower, or flying down the zip line. Each camper can also participate in craft time, chapels and a long list of other activities.
At the close of each week, campers gather together for a final chapel time and the summer of 2013 was no different. One afternoon during the closing chapel, one particularly quiet camper rose to his feet and stood in front of all 50 Special Friends campers and their buddies. He seemed so small there in the middle of so many people, but he began to sing quietly. After a few moments the words became clear. Slowly and intentionally he sang, “Jesus loves the people, Jesus loves the people,” over and over. Then he stopped and extended his arms, as though to embrace each section of the amphitheater, and sang, “ALL, ALL, ALL,” until he had sung it to each and every section.
Laurie Fertello, Disabilities Ministries Director, said, “He was singing his own version of Jesus Loves the Little Children.” And that’s what Special Friends Day Camp is all about, letting every camper know that Jesus loves them.
Warm Beach Camp’s Special Friends Day Camp is one of the few camps in Washington State that serves persons age 15 and up who have special needs. Just one hour north of Seattle in north Snohomish County, Special Friends Day Camp offers campers amazingly creative camp activities in a highly supervised, supportive setting. Each camper is matched with a volunteer “Buddy,” who engages with them in the camp experience. For more information and to register for Special Friends Camp, visit http://warmbeach.com/programs/special-needs-programs.
Be a Special Friends volunteer - It’s a life-changing experience! Every volunteer means one more camper can attend. For more information, visit http://warmbeach.com/programs/special-needs-programs/special-friends-day-camp-volunteersAdd a comment
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“So, you have a car wash Saturday and I have a Board meeting in Seattle. What do you want to do about Dad & Sons Weekend?” I asked. “Of course, we’re going,” Kaleb replied.
Not much of a question in his mind. It’s a tradition. As much as kids enjoy novelty, there’s a deep love for traditions that anchor them in positive memories and shared experiences with those they love. Dad & Me Weekends have provided me and my son, Kaleb, a deep tradition for ten years now. As a teen, his life is busier. But when it came to Dad & Sons Weekend this May, there was no question in his mind. We were going. We were going to stay in a cabin with the McDowells. He was swimming Friday night. We were going to do the activities with whatever time we had. And why would I ever question something like that? I don’t know.
Watching all of the dads and grandpas there with kids, grandkids, and sometimes “surrogate” kids, I realize that most guys want to do a good job with their kids. They want to be great dads/grandpas. They want to connect. They want to speak into the lives of their children and anchor them in values that stand the test of time. Dad & Me Weekends provide excellent opportunity for just that.
During the Dad & Me Weekends this spring, Jon and Aaron from Family Lines taught life principles using fly fishing illustrations and interactive activities that created memory points and building blocks for relationships.
One activity had 50 of us quiet and mesmerized. We watched a dad guide his blind-folded and trembling young son through a mousetrap maze using only his voice. We were spell-bound. “Please, God, don’t let him hit a mousetrap,” we collectively thought. We held our breath until his bare feet cleared the final mousetrap. Then – pandemonium! The boy was scooped up into the loving arms of his Dad and neither will soon forget that experience of terror, trust, hope, and sheer joy. I’m pretty sure there were a few moist eyes at the finale.
Dad & Me Weekends are about building memories that anchor relationships. Kaleb and I have shot hundreds of arrows and thousands of BB’s, rode many mountain boards, and our lives are richer for having done it together as a tradition.
Dad & Sons and Dad & Daughters Weekends at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, WA are also offered in September. For more information and to register: http://warmbeach.com/programs/family-programs/dad-and-me-weekendsAdd a comment
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What groups hold events at Warm Beach Camp? A diverse range of groups from churches to nonprofit organizations and schools come from all over western Washington and the lower mainland of British Columbia, Canada. Hosting guest groups at Warm Beach gives us an opportunity to meet our mission with wholehearted love. Many guests have never been in a Christian environment before and we get to demonstrate the love of Christ through warm hospitality, excellent service, and good food (yes, God is in the kitchen too!).
This week, we are blessed with three elementary schools attending Warm Beach Camp’s Outdoor Education program. Two of the schools are public, and one private Christian school. We treat them all with warm hospitality, inviting them to this beautiful and lush setting. While here, students get to learn about the natural environment, have fun, and build relationships.
Teachers, Pauline and Maria of St. Mark’s Parish School, express how much they appreciate the friendliness and professionalism of Warm Beach staff and the Outdoor Education instructors. For many students, this is their first time to a camp or away from home. The students feel safe and comfortable at Warm Beach. Other students with more experience help those who are nervous about being away from home. And teachers enjoy seeing the kids develop a sense of stewardship while also having fun. Outdoor activities such as the climbing tower, canoes, and swimming pool, ensure that the kids don’t even miss electronics or TV while at camp.
We trust when they leave they have a sense there was something special about Warm Beach Camp -- that God touched their hearts through our hospitality and through the beauty of the natural environment. Warm Beach Camp, life changes here.
Come away and experience rest and renewal with your group at Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center. For more information, contact the Guest Service Department at 800.228.6724 ext 2275 or send event inquiry form.Add a comment
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When you think of “Camp,” what images float through your mind? The outdoors, games, crafts, s’mores? More than anything else, what makes Summer Camp fun and special are the people. Staff create the safe, fun, engaging atmosphere that impact campers. Over and over, the answer to the question, “What is your camper’s favorite memory about camp?” is, “Counselors.”
Camp leadership recognize the sacred trust we are extended by the parents of campers. Parents want their children to have a safe and enriching experience that makes a lasting difference in their lives.
Summer Camp preparation begins with proper staff selection and training. Here are some basic points about what we do to choose the very best people and train them well:
- Paid staff are always 18 years or older and graduated from high school.
- Prospective staff members complete an extensive application including four independent references.
- Applicants are interviewed in person or via Skype.
- National background checks are completed before hiring.
- Staff receive online training prior to arrival and a full week of on-site training prior to the start of Camp.
- Training includes a child protection plan, safety, first aid/CPR as well as activity-specific training.
- Throughout summer, daily staff meetings and weekly debriefings help keep staff sharp throughout the summer.
Our goal is to hire bright, dedicated young people who love God and kids. The staff make all the difference in the quality of experience for a camper. We want the campers’ fondest memories to be of their counselor and other staff who took care of them and loved them unconditionally.Add a comment
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After a dramatic realization during a Special Friends Day Camp in 2012 Laurie Fertello, Disabilities Ministries Director, realized the importance of further developing the spiritual ministry of Warm Beach Camp’s Special Friends Day Camps. The program had been growing by leaps and bounds since 2006 and now averaged over 50 campers plus buddies per camp. Laurie was now on a path to help each camper better understand and know Jesus Christ.
One problem the Special Friends Day Camp had consistently faced is that there was no place for all campers, buddies, and leadership to meet and learn together. There was no place that was both big enough and handicap accessible.
But in the spring of 2013, the Lord sent to Camp a team of four men from Mobile Missionary Assistance Program (MMAP). These men spent three weeks painstakingly building a brand new amphitheater that can now accommodate 130 people. Now there’s plenty of room for the Special Friends Summer Camps, and it’s even handicap accessible.
So in 2013, Special Friends Camps began having chapel together each day. Sister Sparkles (Margaret Spears) led each day’s devotion with enthusiasm in the center of the newly built amphitheater. Campers looked from every angle. At the end of each week Sparkles would invite campers to make decisions for Christ. Through this, the Lord carried out the plan he has for every person on earth. Campers began accepting Christ into their lives. By the end of the third week of Special Friends Day Camp, over 50 campers had made decisions to make Jesus their Special Friend.
Warm Beach Camp’s Special Friends Day Camp is one of the few camps in Washington State that serves persons age 15 and up who have special needs. Just one hour north of Seattle in north Snohomish County, Special Friends Day Camp offers campers amazingly creative camp activities in a highly supervised, supportive setting. Each camper is matched with a volunteer “Buddy,” who engages with them in the camp experience. For more information on attending or volunteering at Special Friends Camp, visit http://www.warmbeach.com/programs/special-needs-programs.Add a comment
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Have you noticed that life is not getting any easier? Life’s questions are not getting less complicated and if you are in High School, life can be especially confusing and hard. Preparing for a life of leadership responsibility and effectiveness requires not just education, but training and mentorship.
For years, Warm Beach Camp has been providing quality training to its High School leaders that participate in the Counselor In Training (CIT), Wrangler In Training (WIT), and Facilitator In Training (FIT) programs. Last year Warm Beach Camp saw the need to add another layer of training and mentorship to these great programs in the form of High School Leadership Camp. This one week camp takes place prior to participants heading off to their respective, program specific, training. It seeks to provide mentorship and training in areas of leadership in a more generalized format that can be applied to everyday life, as well as develop individual talents, create a sense of community, all in a fun environment.
Last year, Warm Beach Camp hosted its very first High School Leadership Camp for 25 participants from a wide variety of backgrounds. Participants enjoyed a camping trip to Baker Lake, where they hiked the rain forest, canoed, and enjoyed the views of majestic waterfalls. Warm Beach Camp Program Intern Mory Browning said, “Being able to get out and enjoy Mt. Baker for a few days was great.” But the best part of the week, said Matt Lambert, Director of Youth and Outdoor Ministry, was “seeing how far the kids got in their vulnerability in one week. Not only that, but how seriously they came to take what they believed about themselves and God.”
Warm Beach Camp will again be hosting High School Leadership Camp June 22-28. This program is available to all high school students whether or not they are continuing on in one of the summer leadership programs: CIT, WIT, or FIT. For more information and to register visit our website at: Warmbeach.com/programs/youth-programs/high-school-leadership
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Warm Beach Camp is pleased to receive a USDA Grant with their CREP program for hedgerow plantings along the ditches and stream running through the pastureland. Work has already begun to clear invasive, non-native Himalayan Blackberries and prepare for plants such as dogwood and ninebark. The new plants will grow to shade the waterways reducing water temperature and improving oxygenation. “Our goal is to maintain or even improve water quality as it flows through our property to the Puget Sound,” says Patrick Patterson, Warm Beach Camp General Manager.
This project is coordinated by the Snohomish Conservation District (SCD) who assisted Warm Beach Camp in obtaining the grant funds. “SCD has been an amazing partner in resource management and conservation for many years,” says Patterson. “The CREP program that SCD helped us access, will help us meet the goal of improving water quality as it makes its way through our pastureland to the Flood Control District’s collection pond, where it is then pumped into Port Susan Bay.”
SCD also consults with Warm Beach Camp on their Farm Plan and habitat improvement projects elsewhere on the property. Over the years, SCD has assisted Warm Beach Camp with fencing set-backs, drainage improvements, mud control, manure control systems, and more. This year, hundreds of native plants were recently purchased at SCD’s native plant sale for projects near the horsemanship facility. This new planted area will create a songbird habitat and visual screening for neighbors along 81st Avenue. The Snohomish Conservation District is an invaluable partner in natural resource management.Add a comment
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You know you and your group need a retreat. A time to plan, brainstorm, and connect. Sometimes you have to completely disconnect to really connect. What does that mean? Well, imagine having a romantic dinner date in your own dining room. The table is set with beautiful flowers, candlelight, and a delicious meal. Sounds great, doesn’t it? That is until you hear the noises of your children with the babysitter in the playroom. Or the doorbell, your cellphone, or that strange sound coming from the water heater. The distractions are numerous. They can also happen if you hold a retreat at your own church or office. Before you know it, you have lost focus on the task at hand. This is why it’s important to get away for your retreat.
After you establish your retreat purpose and goals—who, why, and expectations—do the fun part and find the perfect location. This is very important. Are you looking for pure productivity toward a specific plan or do you want a chance to connect as a team and build relationships?
If you are productivity focused, find a facility with a good meeting room setup and the equipment you need. Make sure lots of coffee, tea, and snacks are at hand to keep you going! Allow space for mental breaks, where participants can stretch their legs and get some fresh air. For retreats focused on reflection, relationships, or renewal, be sure to choose a site with abundant natural beauty. Panoramic views and sunsets can provide tremendous inspiration. Look for recreation opportunities, too. Not much compares to the growth that takes place when we step out of our comfort zones and challenge our fears. It also provides ample opportunity to support and encourage one another. Just think of the stories you will be able to share with your fellow retreaters long after the event!
For either type of retreat, Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center may be the ideal place for your church, school, or non-profit group. We have a variety of meeting facilities, lodging and recreation nestled in beautiful natural surroundings. Located just one hour north of Seattle in Snohomish County, Warm Beach Camp hosts hundreds of youth, adult, and family groups annually.
Contact Warm Beach Camp’s Guest Services department and discover what we can offer. We are here to help you with all your retreat needs.
For more information email the Guest Services Department
or call 360-652-7575 / 800-228-6724 toll free during office hours 8:30am - 5:00pm (Mon-Fri).
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On March 7-9, 2014, over 250 men descended upon Warm Beach Camp for what may be the Seattle area’s largest overnight men’s event – Men’s Advance. Men from diverse church backgrounds ranging from Assemblies of God to Lutheran and Free Methodist, gathered for prayer, worship, teaching, and good ole fashioned guy-type fun.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Dennis Swanberg, cracked the ManCode, one of his most influential books. Swanberg spoke with great humor and sound biblical truth about the core necessity of relationships in a man’s life – first of all with God, then with family and importantly, with other men. “Guys have to learn to become real, to be vulnerable with one another to really grow,” says event organizer and H.U.G.E. Men of God chairman, James Brooke. There is a powerful spiritual work that God does when people come away from the distractions and routines of life, hear with fresh ears, and engage in prayer, song, and conversation.
Of course, guys connect best when they are doing something and Men’s Advance is loaded with plenty to do. Activities such as a “Cool Machines Show,” chainsaw carving demonstrations, giant sling shot, H.U.G.E. Highland Games, mountain biking, climbing tower, high ropes course, horseback rides and more, gave the guys something active and engaging to do together. No men’s gathering is complete without food and Men’s Advance does not disappoint! Five amazing meals were served during the weekend in addition to a BBQ sampler on Saturday afternoon. The king of all meals – the one everyone looks forward to – is the legendary prime rib dinner on Saturday.
God’s Spirit moved powerfully throughout the weekend. From the decisions made at chapel times to the earnest conversations with friends, evidence abounds of God’s transforming work in the lives of men. Lives are now changed. The trajectory of their families, their workplaces, and their communities are changing – for the good. We give God all of the glory and praise.
Men’s Advance is a program of Warm Beach Camp in partnership with H.U.G.E. Men of God. Honoring God, Unifying Men, Growing in Christ, and Equipping Disciples – that is what H.U.G.E. Men of God is all about. They are men from various churches in Washington working together to reach men in their local churches to impact their communities for Christ. Men’s Advance is the pinnacle event for those in the H.U.G.E. Men of God network and also for other churches men’s groups. Men’s Advance is open to any man and any church group regardless of denomination or affiliation. Our prayer is that Men’s Advance continues to strengthen local church men’s ministry, build deeply into the lives of individual men, and unify the Body of Christ for greater Kingdom influence.
Next year, Men’s Advance is March 6-8, 2015. The keynote speaker is Stu Webber, a legendary figure in the realm of men’s ministry nationally. Reservations for 2015 open March 18, 2014. Group leaders can book space now for next year’s Men’s Advance. Register by April 15, 2014 and receive a 10% discount! For more information or to register: Men's Advance 2015
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