Warm Beach Camp has been blessed with many volunteers, both young and old. Without them, our organization would not be able to function the way it does. Here, we would like you to meet two of our younger volunteers who are leaving their mark on this ministry.
Michael Stemple is not your average 20-year-old. I found this out when I asked him how he came to live and volunteer here at Warm Beach Camp. About four years ago Michael and his mom, Linda Roodzant, moved from Arlington to Warm Beach Camp, and Linda's plan was to be a full-time volunteer. The two of them moved their fifth-wheel mobile onto the grounds and settled into their new home.
Not long after, Linda fell and shattered an ankle, leaving her unable to fulfill the volunteer requirements for her and her son to live on the grounds. So, Michael, at the age of 16, stepped forward to volunteer and fulfill the weekly commitment.
Over the years Michael has become a Jack-of-All-Trades here at the Camp. He has volunteered in recreation, helping on the high ropes course and climbing wall. He has been a volunteer light hanger, decorating the grounds for The Lights of Christmas. During The Lights Michael has filled several volunteer positions including security with his step-dad, Dale Roodzant. Michael has also worked with the Maintenance Department and is currently volunteering in the Accommodations Department.
However, Michael's connection to the camp extends much further beyond the volunteer hours he puts in. Michael spent a lot of time in his formative years here at Warm Beach Camp since his grandparents, John and Barb Manke, were residents and former staff members at WBC.
While living at the camp, he has built strong relationships with several of the Camp's staff. Those relationships are a part of what makes Michael's time here so fulfilling. He says, "There isn't any other place out there to work at like this."
Michael also appreciates that where he lives and volunteers is also a place where he can share and grow in his faith. "This is a God place," Michael said. He expresses the same sentiment as many of our guests do, that the spiritual atmosphere at Warm Beach Camp is special; it's a place set apart, where you can feel and experience God. And, for Michael, this is a place where he can be God's hands to others.
"God has always been important to me. Even though I can't always express my faith through words directly to the guests, I am able to show them God's love by treating them well, and by doing my job well."
Micah Reinsma is another exceptional young volunteer here at Warm Beach Camp. Micah's volunteer career began at the age of eight! He and his father have helped direct traffic during The Lights of Christmas for the past seven years. Micah is now 15 years old and has filled many volunteer positions, including serving in the Recreation Department where he assists with the climbing tower and high ropes course, and has assisted in the maintenance department.
Micah is a self-starter and a great helping hand. Maggie Allen, Volunteer Coordinator for the Camp, says, "Micah is dedicated to his position in parking during The Lights of Christmas. He is very dependable and has been helping around here since he was really young. At the age of 12 he began helping to direct traffic on his own, and has done so well that, now, they often put him right up in the lead position."
Micah's interest in ministry extends beyond the boundaries of Warm Beach Camp and even those of the United States. In 2006 Micah was a member of a Teen Missions team that traveled to Trinidad. The team of 18 youth spent two months building dormitories and a Teen Challenge course at a YWAM (Youth with a Mission) base. Micah said this was a life-changing experience that helped him to learn to trust in God.
Micah lives at home with his parents, brother, and four sisters and is home schooled. When I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up Micah told me that he wouldn't mind working for Boeing or pursuing a degree in Forestry. Micah has many outdoor interests including hiking, camping, hunting, climbing, sailing, and crabbing.
While the news media spends a lot of time reporting about notorious troubled youth today, you won't hear about these two young men on TV. But, in my opinion, their dedication to ministry and heart for service to others certainly make them noteworthy. Don't you agree?