Special Friends Camp Buddy 450pxBy Carolyn Cross, Special Friends Volunteer

I recently retired from a very long and rewarding career with Kimberly-Clark! One of the items on my bucket list was to volunteer at Special Friends summer camp at Warm Beach. This camp gives individuals with developmental disabilities an opportunity to participate in a one-of-a-kind camp experience.

To be honest, I was a little nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. On the first day of training I met my fellow volunteers and learned the name of my camper. It was then that my purpose became real and I was caught up in the excitement. As a “buddy," my role was to assist my camper in participating in their activities of choice, share in their joy and excitement, and most importantly, keep them safe!

Special Friends Camp is sheer JOY for these campers! The welcome line greeted campers as they arrived and every day was filled with high-fives, swimming, mini-golf, climbing towers, train rides, crafts and so much more. Being a “buddy” required no special talents other than a caring presence and a desire to ensure your camper’s happiness and safety.

My camper’s happiness and joy was a true reward. Her smile was pure sunlight. I knew this experience would be life-changing and provide another avenue for me to contribute my skills and time. My heart overflows with love for this camp. But more importantly my circle of friends and extended family has grown immensely!

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Graves Photo Blog 450pxVolunteers working on the Cascadian remodel project. Left to right: Benny Kruger, Larry Hagglund, Bob GravesCascadian Lodge was built in 1962 and has housed approximately 136,000 guests to date. Since its original construction, the facility has seen few upgrades or renovations. Two years ago Warm Beach started raising money for an interior make-over. Forty-six donors have contributed to the renovation project that will upgrade flooring, doors, furniture, décor, improve heating sources, lighting and outlets, and address needed repairs. Meeting room upgrades already completed include new carpet and gas stove, and improvements to come are new lighting and décor. Room renovations began in early January and are expected to be completed by June 2018.

It only seems appropriate that volunteers are part of the renovation process since it was also volunteers who built the facility 56 years ago. Volunteers Bob Graves, Benny Kruger, and Larry Hagglund have been working on the electrical components in the rooms since early January. Their work on the facility is an invaluable gift. Volunteerism has been, and continues to be, a sustaining factor in the ministry of Warm Beach Camp.

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Estate Planning 450pxDid you know...

 Warm Beach Camp Foundation offers estate planning services?

If you answer “NO” to any more than one of the questions below, you just might benefit from estate planning services.

Question 1: I am an immortal who does not experience physical death and will not need burial arrangements.  Yes ___   No ____  

Question 2:  I am immune to all forms of disease or injury and will remain fully able to communicate my wishes about the healthcare, financial and practical needs for myself and loved ones under my care.  Yes ___   No ____  

Question 3:  I have sworn an oath of poverty, and have foresworn all earthly possessions and methods of payment (money)?  Yes ___   No ____  

All kidding aside, all of us can benefit from estate planning services such as wills, powers of attorney, and trusts. The Warm Beach Camp Foundation assists those in all stages of life with these important matters. To schedule your free, confidential, and no obligation consultation, contact our Warm Beach Camp Foundation Director, Scott Rossiter at (425) 367-7034 or by email at srossiter@warmbeach.com

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Nativity Volunteer Article 450pxThis year, The Lights of Christmas Festival saw record breaking numbers with 78,753 guests in attendance. Over 700 volunteers and 159 staff worked cleaning rooms, serving food, parking cars, selling tickets, driving the train, helping in Elfland Toyshop, and a number of other festival jobs. The volunteers make The Lights of Christmas possible!

Volunteers came from near and far. Some helped for one night and others helped for the entire event. One volunteer couple, Jim and Chris Nydam, came all the way from Redlands, California, 1250 miles away.

The Nydams heard about the event through friends who work at Warm Beach Camp and they decided to stop in for a night and volunteer. After the experience, they came away with praise for everything from the volunteer sign-up process to the overnight accommodations. When asked what their favorite part of The Lights of Christmas was, Chris said, “The nativity was especially beautiful, from the hanging angel to the music in the background. I could really sense the presence of the Lord on the grounds. What a great event this is!”

While this was their first time to volunteer at The Lights of Christmas, the Nydams are planning to return next year with their whole family. The Lights of Christmas simply couldn’t take place without volunteers like these.

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LOC Blog Picture 450pxEven if you’ve seen The Lights before, you will find lots of fun new things this year! There is lots of activity going on around the grounds at Warm Beach Camp as we get everything ready for The Lights of Christmas to open for the 2017 season.

A new light display has been created to go with the Gloria angels near the Nativity Scene. It is a spectacular light fountain that will be in the middle of the angel display. Then, check out the Nativity Scene where you will find several new Nativity pieces have been added.

The Mountain Cabins have been spruced up with new window shutters and boxes and painted fascia boards. The Pines area has a new spacious planting berm which will be full of light. And, the new sidewalk will be open for pedestrian traffic between Joyland and Cedar Lodge.

Be sure to try some of the new offerings by our food vendors.  Also notice that some of the locations have been rearranged from last year.

In the Live Theatre, the play this year is Back Home on the Tumblin' D by Victoria Ritchey and is the sequel to last year’s play.

Many people tell us there is a special feeling when they are at The Lights. Share this feeling with those you love. Share the ministry of The Lights of Christmas this year.

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LOC Volunteer Blog px450More than 140 volunteers are needed each of the 22 nights The Lights of Christmas is open. We especially need more volunteers for the nights of December 26 through 30.

It takes people serving as parking attendants, costumed characters, greeters, ticket sellers, toy shop “elves,” hosts, security help, and more. The volunteers provide the smiles and warm hospitality that the event is best known for. Plus, the volunteers get to be a part of an amazing event. What better way to experience The Lights than being on the team that puts it on!

We also need about 150 volunteers to come to Thanksgiving Working Weekend on November 23rd to 26th and help put on all the finishing touches. Then, after The Lights closes, we need another 150 volunteers to help with Take-Down, getting lots of stuff down and put away. That will happen on January 6th and 7th.

As a volunteer, you can share the hope and joy of the Christmas season with the thousands of people attending The Lights. What better gift could you give? We have a volunteer task that will work for you!

If you are interested in helping before, during, or after the event, you can get more information or sign-up at our website.  Or, e-mail Faith Oates, Volunteer Coordinator, at foates@warmbeach.com. For the best chance of getting the volunteer assignment you want, sign up as soon as possible!

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K2C Auction 2017The day of the auction the energy in the tent was evident, the items displayed for auction were impressive - vacations, outdoor gear, grills, toys, handmade items, and baked goods… you can’t forget the baked goods! The Kids 2 Camp Benefit Auction takes months of planning, lots of volunteer help, generous donations and a tent full of bidders. Who would have guessed the talk of the day would be a dozen cinnamon rolls and a gallon of granola? The bidding for this item went on for a good 15 minutes, the competing bids swirling around the tent. Finally the cinnamon rolls and granola “SOLD” for $500! Celia Hansen, the Camp’s baker, offered to make a second identical item, for the next highest bidder. Bringing the grand total for this famous Camp breakfast to $1,000!

The day went off without a hitch, fun was had by all and the auction tent was cleared out and cleaned up as quickly as it was all put together. All of this to help fund Kids 2 Camp scholarships that make camp possible for kids who otherwise couldn’t attend. Last year 606 kids got to experience the joy of camp, hear the gospel and experience life change.

By Faith Oates
Volunteer Coordinator

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K2C BenefitAuction IMG 3366“Come one, come all!” to Warm Beach Camp’s annual Kids 2 Camp Auction in the big red and white circus tent near the Camp entrance on Saturday, August 26, 2017, 9:30am-2:00pm.

Enjoy the fun, fellowship, and family atmosphere while helping raise money for the Kids 2 Camp Scholarship fund. The scholarships help kids come to camp who otherwise would not be able to attend because of finances.

Come ready to bid on a wonderful selection of items for all ages including toys, household décor and services, clothing, appliances, tools, sporting equipment, vacation trips, etc. A complete list can be found online. Stock up on gifts for Christmas, birthdays, and anniversaries. There’s something for everyone, even the family pet.

Back by popular demand, the baking squad will provide the following delicious auction items – pies, cakes, granola, and cinnamon rolls – for crazy, fun bidding. It’s a scrumptious way to give to the Kids 2 Camp Scholarship fund.

Too far away or have a schedule conflict? You can still participate by donating online, emailing, or calling Jeannie at 360-312-4984.

Help us claim matching funds of $65K.

Hope to see you at the Kids 2 Camp Auction on Saturday, August 26!

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

K2CAuction2016The eighteenth annual Kids 2 Camp Benefit Auction is just a few weeks away! This fun and important event raises funds for the Kids 2 Camp Scholarship Fund, helping make it possible for kids to go to camp. Last year, the auction raised nearly $141,000!

Last year, we also launched a brand new family fun activity to help raise scholarships — the Kids 2 Camp Benefit Run. It was exciting to watch young children, parents, and grandparents alike experience the beauty of God’s nature while supporting a great cause. Invite your family and friends to join you this year and walk, jog or run your way through a scenic race route unique to the grounds of WBC. Benefit Run packet pickup time is 7:30 am on Saturday, August 26, with late registration at 8 am and races starting at 9:00 am.

The auction preview opens at 9:30 am, and Silent Auction runs from 9:30 to 11:30 am. The Live Auction is from 12:30 am to 2:00 pm. The auctions will feature hundreds of items, including things for the yard and garden, dining opportunities, gift certificates, craft items, tools, gift items for kids, vacation packages, sports memorabilia, home furnishings, and one-of-a-kind experiences. The event also has activities for the kids and food concessions on site, this year featuring a lunch buffet with choice of entrée, soups, salads, and delicious dessert.

This is the largest fundraiser we hold each year for the Kids 2 Camp Scholarship Fund. In 2016, more than $220,000 in scholarship monies was given out, helping to bring more than 1,850 at risk children, families and special needs adults to Warm Beach Camp. We are thankful for everyone who helps support this benefit event to bring kids to camp who otherwise would not be able to attend.

To learn more about the Benefit Auction and to see a list of auction items, go to the Kids 2 Camp Benefit Auction page on our website.

Don't forget to sign up as a runner, walker, or a volunteer for the Kids 2 Camp Benefit Run!

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K2C Benefit Run 2016 Nelsons2 300pxI love the word ALL! God is faithful to ALL generations. At Warm Beach Camp, no child is turned away because of their ability to pay for camp – ALL can attend because of the Kids 2 Camp Scholarship fund. Besides that, ALL can participate to make certain it is possible.

Last year I was at the finish line of the first annual Kids 2 Camp Benefit Run held at Warm Beach Camp, cheering as the runners crossed the finish line. There were runners of ALL ages. Leading the pack was a senior who had been a track star in college.

But what brought joy to my heart was to see the young families complete the 1 mile run/walk, including my own three-year old granddaughter and her nine-month baby sister, who rode along in a stroller.

If you can run or walk, join in the fun on Saturday morning, August 26, 2017 for the second annual Kids 2 Camp Benefit Run to help all children get to camp. There are 1 mile, 5K, and 10K courses. You can register online or get more information at www.kids2camprun.com.

Not up to running or walking? Then join me around 9:30am at the finish line, by the big red and white tent close to the Camp entrance. We’ll all cheer together as the runners complete the course.

All proceeds from the Kids 2 Camp Benefit Run go toward the scholarship fund. Don’t miss out…ALL generations are needed to make certain ALL kids can attend Camp!

PS - After the Benefit Run, you are invited to attend the Kids 2 Camp Auction at Warm Beach Camp, 9:30am-2:00pm. More information at www.kids2campauction.com.

Nancy Nelson, Director of Donor Relations
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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