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I love coming to The Lights of Christmas! True, it’s often a bit warm for me - but the things I see – those things make it worth all the sweat and the few pounds of snow I shed!
I see so much each evening. Folks of all ages in and out of Joyland Courtyard - eating cotton candy and snacks from the Cafe, visiting the Ornament Shop, listening to the choirs and other groups in the Concert Hall, shopping at The Emporium. There is much hustle and bustle and eager anticipation as they come and go.
I watch the Dinner Theater guests come in, often rushed and hassled from a day of Holiday busyness, but then laughing and content as they wander back to their cars at the end of the evening. I see the school band and vocal performers on their break bursting out of the auditorium after a performance, ready to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas.
Oh! And I see the children! Have you ever seen Christmas through the eyes of a child? The wonder and amazement that fills them as they take it all in refreshes my heart. And not just mine! I watch the parents and the grandparents gratefully smile as they watch the little ones and regain a bit of their own wonder as they do.
I love coming to The Lights of Christmas Festival, because I see God at work in people’s hearts and lives through the beauty and wonder that is all around them. I see the Holy Spirit quietly speaking the truth of God’s miraculous gift to a broken world.Add a comment
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Kristine Campbell, a Warm Beach Camp resident and volunteer, has been participating in the Therapeutic Horsemanship Program, at Warm Beach Camp for several months. Kristine has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a disease of the central nervous system. MS can cause fatigue, eye problems, cognitive problems, heat sensitivity, and balance issues, just to name a few. For Kristine, having MS means that she has to be vigilant whenever she is walking so that she doesn’t lose her balance.
About a year ago, Ginger Reitz, Therapeutic Riding Coordinator, encouraged Kristine to come to the barn and give riding a try. Horseback riding can improve balance and core strength and can also help with anxiety, cognitive and social conditions.
Kristine said, “When I am on my horse I feel free. I don’t have to worry about my balance and I feel like I am doing something I like that will help my health.”
The Therapeutic Horsemanship Program at Warm Beach Camp uses horses to encourage and strengthen individuals in a safe and supportive Christ centered environment.
More information about Theraputic Horsemanship can be found here.Add a comment
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In December 2017, Tracy Graves and her three kids decided to make their Christmas all about giving and dedicated the entire month to volunteering at The Lights of Christmas festival. Tracy, Jessica (14), David (13), and Isabell (11) joined their grandparents, Bob and Evie Graves, and the whole family teamed up to help make The Lights of Christmas a success. David worked with his grandpa at the Polar Express train. Jessica joined her grandma helping in the Ornament Shop and bussing tables in Tinhorn Town. And Isabelle worked with her mom, Tracey, at the petting farm and pony rides.
“The kids loved it.” Tracy said. “We want to do it again and again.”
Every year, volunteers come from far and wide to help make The Lights of Christmas happen. It takes over 125 volunteers each night and last year volunteers donated over 15,000 hours of service. Volunteering focuses on others, and is fun. There is something for the whole family.
“As a parent, it’s nice having the kids understand that they can give back at Christmas time.” Tracy said.
We all know that Christmas isn’t just about the giving and receiving of gifts. It’s about celebrating Christ’s birth. Christ, who loved others, valued community and a spirit of giving. Thank you to the Graves family for embodying the spirit of Christ through their volunteer service.
If you would like to volunteer for The Lights of Christmas 2018 sign up today!Add a comment
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This August, several Warm Beach Camp staff returned from a two week ministry trip to the Republic of Korea. The theme for the camp the team cohosted was, “I am blessed.” The Holy Spirit knit the team together with Korean hosts. Lives were touched and children and youth came to faith in Christ.
Camp in Korea is much like camp in the U.S. with the addition of English language learning lessons that are the main attraction for Korean families. Educational enrichment is something of a national obsession in South Korea with English learning one of the top priorities.
Our passion is Jesus and our platform is an English Summer Camp we call Warm Beach Camp Korea. The love of Christ was on full display as US and Korean team members worked side by side in worship, teaching, games, and activities. Elementary age kids took part in English classes taught by the US team, while middle and high school youth joined their US counterparts for team-building and leadership classes. Campers responded to the gospel; lives were touched for eternity.
Stepping into ministry with South Korean friends humbles, inspires, and amazes. Their devotion runs deep and their passion is strong.
Koreans are blessed with contagious joy. Whenever ministry teams co-labor with Korean friends for the sake of the gospel, they are blessed, inspired, and humbled.
Blessed with rich new friendship and a clearer vision for Christ and His global church, the Warm Beach Korea Team came home inspired by the message they preached, “I am blessed.”Add a comment
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After a little rain to cool the runners off, the summer sun peaked out from behind the clouds. The hustle and bustle from attendees entering the auction tent filled the room with excitement and joy. The day was packed with activities and fun. We were all excited to raise money for the many kids wanting to go to camp.
In fact, 80 people showed up in the rain that morning to participate in the Kids 2 Camp Benefit Run. There were runners of all ages including a cross-country team who were here for a weekend retreat, and families who were running together.
Then, even more people arrived for the Kids 2 Camp Benefit Auction. With nearly 300 items in the Silent and Live Auctions, there were lots of treasures for the bidders to bid on. The Silent Auction items went quickly, and we took a short break for lunch.
The anticipation grew as the auctioneer took the stage for the Live Auction. It was obvious by the bidding, that everyone wanted to help support Warm Beach Camp and the Kids 2 Camp Scholarship Fund! By the end of the day, more than $235,000 was raised, the most money ever raised from this event! All we can say is, “Wow!” and “Thank You!”
We want to give thanks to everyone who participated: the enthusiastic runners, the generous donors and bidders, and our cheerful volunteers.
The success of this event will bring kids a life changing experience at camp. We are projecting more than $265,000 worth of scholarships will be given this year, bringing more than 1,530 campers to Warm Beach Camp!
Do you want to join the fun? Next year’s Kids 2 Camp Benefit Day will be held on Saturday, August 24, 2019. Mark your calendars!Add a comment
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In early July 2018, Lon Osborn and his wife Addie, and one-year-old daughter Naomi, pulled into Warm Beach Camp. Lon recently accepted a position as the Technical Lead for The Lights of Christmas. This new position is responsible for display maintenance, programming automated displays, as well as creating and implementing new display ideas.
Lon is uniquely suited for this position with a degree in Engineering and a degree in Applied Science, as well as a background in maintenance, and visual media.
Lon found his passion for ministry after several years working in the engineering industry. “I did work in the engineering industry for two years and the whole time I was unsettled in my heart. I knew God had more that I could be doing with my life.” So Lon quit his engineering job, took a job with a mission organization as a photographer, and traveled the world for two years taking pictures, interviewing people and recording their testimonies. Not long after returning to the United States, Lon felt the call to accept the position at Warm Beach Camp.
Warm Beach Camp is excited to have the Osborn family as part of the team. Welcome!Add a comment
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All summer, young people and families attending camps at Warm Beach are leaving lies they have come to believe at the cross of Jesus Christ. Lies many of us begin to believe about ourselves and our families.
After hearing the truth about their identity in Christ, campers are invited to leave lies at the cross. Some of the lies include:
- I am the problem, others would be better off if I wasn’t here.
- My parent left me because he/she does not love me.
- People don’t like me.
- I can’t sing.
- I am ugly and not beautiful.
- I can do this by myself.
- Our family is the worst family, a fraud.
- I am a terrible parent.
Children, teenagers, and families are invited to accept the truth about who they are in Christ. The truth is they are loved. The truth is, Jesus is for them. The truth is, they will never be abandoned by God. The truth is, there is nothing about their past that would turn Jesus away from them. The truth is, each one is a child of God.
It is a powerful moment when one chooses to leave lies and deception at the cross of Jesus Christ. There is freedom in picking up one’s true identity in Christ.Add a comment
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When Joel and Marilyn Hume got married and started having children, it seemed only natural to start helping with the children’s programing at Warm Beach Oasis Family Camp each summer. Joel and Marilyn have volunteered in the 1st and 2nd grade kids’ class for the past 25 years.
Volunteering at Family Camp has been a joy for Joel and Marilyn. Marilyn said, “When they grow up you find out how much Camp meant to them.”
Family Camp is a special time when people of all ages come together to relax, renew, and reconnect with God and each other. For kids and adults alike, Family Camp is a memorable experience with lasting impacts.
Warm Beach Camp would like to thank Joel and Marilyn for their faithful service over the past 25 years. Volunteers like the Humes make Family Camp a joy for the whole family.
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If you would like to be a Family Camp volunteer, e-mail Faith Oates or call 360-761-1267.
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Saturday, August 25, 2018
Last year, 1630 campers were able to attend a life-changing week at camp because of Kids 2 Camp scholarships and the generous people who made it possible. That’s why the Kids 2 Camp Benefit Day, on Saturday, August 25, is such a big deal! And, it’s fun for everyone!
The day kicks off with the 3rd annual Kids 2 Camp Benefit Run/Walk, an event for the entire family. It begins at 8:00am and includes a 10K, 5K, and 1-mile course through the beautiful grounds of Warm Beach Camp. The competitors out there will be pleased to know the 10K and 5K will be chip-timed!
After the Run, the 19th annual Kids 2 Camp Benefit Auction begins with hundreds of items going on the auction block. Both the Silent and Live Auctions include a variety of outdoor items, vacations, gift items, dining opportunities and more! The Auction runs from 9:30am to 2:00pm.
The Kids 2 Camp Benefit Day also features fun activities for the kids and lunch for purchase.
And, it all goes to support Kids 2 Camp scholarships to bring kids to camp!
Would you like to help make the Kids 2 Camp Benefit Day a success? Here’s how:Add a comment
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Navigating home and social life for foster and adoptive families can come with a unique set of challenges. That is why Refreshed Family Camp is so important. Refreshed Family Camp, at Warm Beach Camp, provides foster and adoptive families a time and place to find refreshment by drawing closer to God and each other. The schedule is relaxed with a great variety of options and blend of age levels for a great family experience.
Another great benefit of this camp is it gives foster and adoptive families the chance to see they are not alone. They are part of a community that loves and cares for them. One mother said, “Thank you, truly, for sowing into our family, for believing in us, for cheering us on, for honoring us, for valuing us, for refreshing us, and for enabling us to get away and experience a few days at camp, where we can come closer as a family and closer to Jesus. We are so very, very, grateful!”
“Wins can be hard to come by in the foster and adoptive community. Camp is an awesome environment to experience a win. Dance parties, human whirlpools, field games, s’mores and bicycle parades come alongside age level programming, times of teaching, and opportunities for rest.” Said Ed McDowell, Director of Warm Beach Camp.” When you’re a family that isn’t quite like the rest, it’s important to take time to be Refreshed in a place that loves and accepts you just the way you are.Add a comment