By Laurie Fertello, Special Friends Camp Director

1viv 450pxParis (left) and Vivan (right) at Special Friends Camp.Have you ever had someone declare, “You’ll be my friend for life!”? When it happens, it’s a very special day indeed!! And it happens frequently at Special Friends Camps for adults with disabilities at Warm Beach Camp!

One such relationship was shared between Paris, a buddy (volunteer), and Vivian, a camper. They became dear friends at Special Friends Camp and shared precious moments together. They were the best of friends...the “friends for life” kind. When Vivian passed away, Paris was heartbroken, as were everyone who knew Vivian.

When I think about their special connection, their special friendship, I’m reminded that this is what Special Friends Camp is all about. Loving as Jesus would, spending time together, and enjoying all the fun and fellowship camping has to offer.

Vivian found a friend for life in Paris. And Paris will tell you her friendship with Vivian was a tremendous blessing!

Special Friends Camp is a time of true wonder and excitement. As I watch campers arrive and step off the Dart Bus and out of the cars they are greeted by cheering staff and volunteers. I think to myself, “let the friendships begin”!

Staff and volunteers have endless opportunities to share the love of Jesus and relationships develop quickly. Many friendships reach beyond the boundaries of camp to include attending special events together like ball games, parties, church services and weddings. And for some, funerals.

Over 200 volunteer buddies are needed for Special Friends Camp each summer. Would you, or someone you know, be interested in volunteering? If so, go online to www.warmbeach.org/sfvolunteer or contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Faith Oates at 360-761-1267 or via e-mail.

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