"This is a dream come true," exclaimed Dawn Morton, as she unfolded the story of how she and husband, Eugene, ended up at Camp. They arrived here last September with their motor home to become year-round volunteers.
"I grew up in the city," Dawn continued, "but always felt like a displaced country girl. After volunteering at a few Working Weekends, I always wanted to live at Camp. Now I walk the grounds and feel like I have come HOME!"
Over the last few years the Mortons have been swept off their feet in a flurry of activity. They met and fell in love while attending the Shoreline FM Church, and in 2004 their pastor, Jeff Horton, helped them tie the knot, with their church family actively involved in the wedding celebration.
After Dawn retired from working 17 years in various positions in the corporate office of Gene Juarez Beauty Salons, they sold their home, and went "camping."
Preparation for volunteering began many years ago for the Mortons. Dawn graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in teaching. After teaching for several years at the elementary level, raising her children, and working in an office environment, Dawn now does many different things at Camp - painting, computer input, stuffing envelopes, sewing, raking leaves, and Lights of Christmas projects, all the while radiating the love and grace of Jesus.
Eugene, clad in bib overalls with pockets weighted down by tools, declared with a captivating twinkle in his eyes, "I'm just a farm-boy at heart."
Born in Kansas, he grew up helping his dad farm. After a stint as an "electrician's mate" in the Navy during WW II, he became an industrial commercial electrician, beginning in Oregon. His trade took him all over the Northwest, and even to the Azores, the group of islands off the coast of Portugal.
Gene retired in 2003 after 60 years in the electrical field. But, he's not through doing electrical work. His latest project was wiring the Camp Horsemanship Director's new office near the stables. While willing to do whatever is needed at Camp, Eugene makes it clear: "Electrical is what I love to do, and I'm still licensed in the state of Washington!"
There's no doubt the Mortons have transitioned into the staff and life at Warm Beach. After being at Camp for five months, Dawn sums it up, "The environment is so peaceful. It helps me unwind; it touches my heart. I've always loved to go to the ocean and the woods to experience rest. We have made incredible friendships with everyone at Camp and the trust we feel is hard to put into words."
Between the two of them, they have six children and a host of grandchildren spread out across the U.S. The closest ones reside in Stanwood, though - another plus for living at Warm Beach Camp.
In between stints of volunteering at Camp they are planning a few road trips in their RV to Arizona, Alaska, and the East Coast.
We are thrilled that this couple has chosen to keep actively working during their "golden years" of retirement and have lined up with their talents, expertise, and experience to embrace Kingdom work here at Camp. The Mortons are like GOLD in the hands of the Master and worth it to Warm Beach Camp!