LakelandEvery year since 2007, the senior class from Lakeland Christian School in Lakeland, Florida, has migrated to Warm Beach Camp for their Senior Mission Trip. This year’s group, made up of 11 chaperones and 73 students, spent a major portion of their time doing volunteer work projects for the Camp.

Dean, one of chaperones, says he sees the students tackle jobs here at the Camp with an enthusiasm he has never observed when they are at home. And, their enthusiasm is contagious. Year after year, Lakeland encourages the Warm Beach Camp staff with all their hard work.

Over the years, most of the new picnic tables on the grounds have been assembled by the Lakeland group, and every year they come back to wipe all of them down before summer begins. This year they also:

  • Put up all the tents we will need for summer
  • Chopped, stacked, and replenished firewood supplies
  • Built trails and moved fences for conservation purposes
  • Cleaned up the Chinook and the RV areas
  • Deep Cleaned W-Bar-B
  • Set up summer staff housing
  • Deep cleaned the restrooms at the RV area, Program Center, W-Bar-B, and Mountain Cabins
  • Pressure washed and painted stalls at the barns
  • Deep cleaned the dining room

Our hats are off to the Lakeland Christian Schools Senior class for spanning the continent to come help at Warm Beach Camp! Each one of them left the Camp a better place. Thank you.

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Extravaganza-2The August Extravaganza - Saturday, August 28, 2010

It is fast-paced, exciting, and fun for the entire family. It is Warm Beach Camp’s August Extravaganza.

The eleventh annual August Extravaganza is a fundraising event for the Camp’s Kids 2 Camp Scholarship fund. You will find some incredible bargains, lots of great gift ideas, and even once-in-a-lifetime experiences, each item going to the highest bidder.

The auction preview opens at 9 a.m. and the auctions run until approximately 3:30 p.m. The two live auctions and silent auction will feature more than 350 items including things for the yard and garden, sports memorabilia, dining opportunities, gift certificates, craft items, tools, golf packages, sporting event tickets, vacation packages, home furnishings, and one-of-a-kind experiences. The event also includes activities for the kids, and food concessions on site including Ivar’s clam chowder and the Camp’s famous cinnamon rolls.

There’s something for you at the August Extravaganza!

It is a fun event for everyone, but the best part is, we are raising funds for the Camp’s Kids 2 Camp Scholarship Fund, helping kids go to camp. Last year, the Extravaganza raised more than $66,000 for the Kids 2 Camp fund.

“We want to invite you to the August Extravaganza,” says Gary Kocher, the Camp’s Annual Fund Director and event coordinator. “We’ve combined lots of fun activities into an extravaganza! And, it all helps send kids to camp. I know you will enjoy it!”

Make your plans to be a part of this exciting event this year — the August Extravaganza, Saturday, August 28.

Here are some things you can do to help make the August Extravaganza a success this year:

  • Donate one or more items for the auction — new or near-new household or gift items or an experience or service you can offer to others.
  • Promote your business and help support the Camp at the same time by donating a product or service to the auction. We will make sure your business gets some great publicity through the Extravaganza.
  • Plan to attend the Extravaganza, and bring your family and friends with you.

Call Gary Kocher at 360-652-7575 for more information.

 

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CelebrateA few weeks ago, more than 200 people gathered together at Warm Beach Camp to share a meal and receive a report on the ministry of the Camp. The purpose of the evening was to thank the people who have volunteered their time and talents to the Camp, and the donors who have invested their financial resources in this ministry.

The event was the first annual Partners in Ministry Appreciation Event held on Sunday evening, May 16. Following a delicious soup supper and dessert, Executive Director, Ed McDowell, took everyone on a virtual tour, through words and visual presentations, of the ministries of the Camp. The Kids 2 Camp story, the story of raising up leaders through our Internship program, the impact of our volunteer program on the lives of the volunteers themselves, how the Special Friends camps touch the lives of those with special needs, and a look at the worldwide impact of the Camp through our partnerships with other ministries, all featured on the tour. Ed also reported on the outcomes of the Embracing the Vision Campaign.

We were so happy to have the opportunity to let our Partners in Ministry know how thankful we are for their investments in Warm Beach Camp. If you were not able to attend the event, we want to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to you for your contributions to the ministry of the Camp. Your partnership is vital to keeping the Camp strong and growing in the years ahead. Thank you!

Check out the video that was shown at the Partner in Ministry Appreciation Event:

Warm Beach Camp video

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Curtis and Ed McDowell - Warm Beach Camp's youngest donorRecently, a letter went out from the Camp sharing the need for some new refrigerators to meet new health regulations the County is instituting. A number of people have responded to this appeal, but one donation was hand-delivered by the donor to Ed McDowell, our executive director.

Curtis Willson, the seven-year-old son of Free Methodist missionaries, Ryan and Jen Willson, brought his gift to help with the project — his entire savings — and gave it for new refrigerators. In an envelope was his gift and a letter:

Dear Mr. McDowell, I gave every single dollar I had. I also gave a nickel and a dime and put it in a envelope. The money was mine. I gave the money to help the camp to buy 16 refrigerators. Even though it wasn’t enough to buy 16 refrigerators I just gave that much and then the other people that come to Warm Beach can give some of their money. Then you will have 16 refrigerators. From Curtis Willson.

Many times, the response we receive from our supporters when we share a need is truly humbling. We are so grateful for the way people come alongside the Camp and partner with us in ministry. And while we have certainly received larger donations than the $4.15 Curtis carried into Ed’s office, we have never been given a bigger gift!

Thank you, Curtis, for your gift. And thank you to each person who has given for the refrigerator project. So far, $16,000 has come in towards the $27,400 project goal. Each one of you is a blessing to us and a huge part of what makes the ministry of the Camp work so well.

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Kids 2 Camp scholarship fund at Warm Beach CampWith summer right around the corner, registrations are now coming in for the summer youth camps. It also means that we are receiving requests for help through the Kids 2 Camp program. Without financial assistance, some of the children and youth who will be coming this summer would be unable to experience their week at camp.

A number of these kids come from churches and social service agencies who are working with at-risk youth. For many of these kids, a week at summer camp at Warm Beach can be a life-changing experience. In a caring and compassionate environment, each child is presented with the love and gospel of Jesus Christ.

Last year, more than $155,000 was given out in Kids 2 Camp scholarships, helping more than 1,100 children, youth, and adults attend events at Warm Beach Camp. With the tight economy, we know that the need for help will be as much or more this year.

This scholarship program is only possible because of the generous contributions from many, many people. If you would like to help, you may give a gift through our website, or mark your gift for the Kids 2 Camp program and mail it to the Camp.

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by Laurie Fertello

Special Friends Day Camp - volunteer opportunitiesI wish you could have been there when I had the opportunity recently, to tell two Mothers that their adult sons could come to Special Friends Day Camp!  You would have seen the longing on their faces turn to joy and the tears in their eyes when they finally realized a dream come true for their adult children!

Saying “YES” to people who are so often told “NO”, is a great privilege of mine and I do wish you could be there when these moments of joy and hope rush in!

Would you and your friends, family or youth group join Warm Beach Camp this summer in the ministry to adults with special needs?  For every camper registered, we need one volunteer counselor who becomes a “Buddy” for the week of camp.  You’ll never know such joy in service!

I’m inviting you to consider making Special Friends Day Camp your short–term missions experience this summer.  The cost is minimal, just $30.00 per week and the opportunity “to experience their world” is right here at home!

The need for volunteers will be great this summer as campers are already registering!  Please consider helping Warm Beach Camp by volunteering at one (or all) of our three Special Friends Day Camps: June 29 – July 2, 2010, July 5-8, 2010, and August 23-26, 2010.  After you do, you’ll be the ones telling the ministry stories and saying I WISH YOU COULD HAVE BEEN THERE!

For more information on how to register yourself or your group, please email Laurie Fertello at lfertello@warmbeach.com or phone 425-239-9841.

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Scott-BrandenbergerThere is a running joke at Warm Beach Camp that once you work or volunteer here, you end up coming back over and over again for the rest of your life. Scott Brandenberger, one of our current volunteers, is evidence that this may be more than just a myth.

Rod Brown, former Associate Director at WBC, recruited Scott from Greenville College in Illinois to be a summer staff counselor in 2003. “I didn’t know anyone when I got here.” said Scott.” But he was quick to make friends, friends that he would have for years to come. “That was such a great summer; awesome people. We had so much fun.”

When the summer was over, Scott returned to Greenville College to continue his education. He returned to Warm Beach in 2004 as a Volunteer Counselor for Youth Camps while also completing an Internship with Operation Night Watch in Seattle. After completing his degree in Sociology and Urban Cross Cultural Ministry in 2005, he returned to Warm Beach as a Resident Assistant for the summer staff boys’ dorm.

Since then, Scott’s travels have taken him from Warm Beach to Missouri to Maine and back again. He moved back to the Seattle area three years ago, and up until this past February, has been up and down the coast building everything from houses to boats.

That was when Scott came back once again to join the WBC family, this time as a volunteer working with the other unsung heroes of the Camp’s Maintenance Department. He has been assisting with everything from trash runs to demolition.

When I asked Scott what keeps him coming back time after time, he answered simply, “friends,” — some of those same friends he made that first summer at WBC.

As a volunteer at the Camp, you may not get paid a nickel but the connections you make and the relationships you build with people are ones that can last a lifetime. To learn more about our volunteer opportunities go here. If you are interested in volunteering, please call Jessica Beach at 360-652-7575.

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By Maggie Allen, Executive Assistant

Is this your year to experience the joy of The Lights of Christmas from the inside out? Have you ever wondered what it takes to staff a night of this amazing multi-faceted event? ("How do they do that?") Well, it takes a lot of warm, smiling, hospitable people with willing hearts and helpful hands - one hundred fifteen volunteers or more each night, plus a small army of staff.

Even though nearly all of the Camp's staff are involved in the effort, it takes a combination of staff and volunteers working together to make it all happen. You, your family, or your church group could complete the team.

Whether you can help with one night, or a number of nights, young and old alike, we need your help. And, no matter what your skills and interests are, there is a task that will work for you!

Do you know someone who enjoys a fast pace and dealing with money? They could be ticket sellers or retail sales clerks. How about the animal lovers or horse people? The Shepherd's Keep and Pony Rides need you! Then, there are those gregarious folks who just naturally make guests feel welcome and comfortable; they would shine as hosts in the various entertainment and dining venues, and as outdoor greeters.

What about the behind-the-scenes, low-profile folks? We definitely have a place for those servant-hearts. Each night there are many cars that need to be directed to a parking space. As guests finish enjoying their dinner or snacks at one of dining spots and leave their tables, those tables need to be bused and cleaned. And, some of the best FROSTYS or WHISTLESTOP CHARLIE BEARS have been the shyest people - being in costume can bring out the clown in all of us.

Children and teens can definitely be an important part of volunteering at The Lights. Call for details on opportunities for youngsters to volunteer on their own or with their parents in a learn-as-you-serve role.

We often work with teams such as youth groups, civic organizations, 4-H Clubs, home fellowship groups, Sunday School class groups, and families. If you are looking for a unique service project or an unusual fellowship event, we have some great ideas to help you meet your goals! Call early this fall to save your group's spot as a Lights of Christmas Team! For the answers to all your questions e-mail Jessica Beach, Volunteer Coordinator.

Looking for a paid position for the holidays? We also have a limited number of seasonal, paid positions available during The Lights of Christmas. For more information, or an application, email Becky Collins, or call her at the Camp at 360-652-7575.

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Little did Linda Visser realize in 1984 the long relationship she was beginning with Warm Beach Camp when, at the suggestion of Pastor Phil and Darlene Brooks, she started serving as a Volunteer Nurse. For the past 21 years, Linda has made the trek from her home in Wenatchee, Wash., to provide top-notch nursing care for a couple of weeks each summer, in addition to serving at a fall weekend teen retreat each year.

Standing less than five feet tall, Linda is known at Camp as the "little nurse with a big heart for service." For Linda, this opportunity has been a match made in Heaven, a great fit for her nursing skills with Warm Beach's mission of sharing the Gospel through Christian Camping.

When Linda first started volunteering at camp, her youngest child, Heidi, accompanied her on rounds in a backpack. According to Linda, volunteering at Warm Beach has had many positive effects on their family. "My children have been close to Warm Beach all these years," exclaimed Linda, "and the Lord used this opportunity to shape me and my family in areas of service and leadership."

Not only did her three children attend every appropriate youth camp (at a discounted rate) that was in session while she was volunteering, two of them went on to work at Camp. Her son, David, went through both the Counselor In Leadership Training (CILT) and the Wrangler In Training (WIT) programs, and served as a lifeguard his last summer here. After receiving wrangler training, Linda's oldest daughter, Erika, served as a wrangler and counselor in the Camp's Horsemanship program.

Linda brings a rich background to this job. She is currently the Nursing Program Director at Wenatchee Valley College. She holds a BS in Nursing from Seattle Pacific University and a Masters of Science in Nursing from Gonzaga University in Spokane. Besides this formal education, Linda has had years of practical experience in nursing education and clinical practice (both family practice and acute care pediatrics).

With a confident look, Linda testifies that, "God is faithful. He always provides wisdom - the right amount at the right time for the particular situation that I am dealing with as a volunteer nurse."

While their children are now grown and in careers of their own, Linda still arrives at Camp every year in her little VW Bug. Her husband, Gary, owner of CNS Solutions, a company specializing in computers, networking, and software, is getting the itch to also volunteer at the same time.

Through the years, Linda has encouraged other nurses to volunteer at Camp. Linda assures prospective volunteers that, "The program is well organized with protocols and standing orders provided by Dr. Dale Thuline and Dr. Garret Stanley, local physicians. Their medical expertise is only a phone call away."

There are still openings for volunteer nurses this year. If you are interested in serving in this capacity please email Maggie Allen, Volunteer Coordinator, or call her at 360-652-7575.

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By Beth Ensley, Development/Marketing Associate

From June through September nearly every year, Don Gazaway volunteers his time, energy, riding tractor, and weed eater, taming the fast-growing thorny blackberries, stinging nettles, and tall grasses along the dirt paths, steep banks, and parking lot areas. Keeping the paths cleared at Warm Beach Camp is a challenging project. Thanks to Don's dedicated labor, many campers and visitors are able to more fully enjoy the winding paths and quiet, wooded solitude at WBC.

Friends to the camp for 50 years, Don and his wife, Joyce, have roots in the Free Methodist Church that run deep: They grew up in strong Christian homes, attending FM churches, and met while attending Seattle Pacific College (now University).

Among the earliest WBC lease lot owners, they chose their first treed lot in 1956, not long after the property was purchased and became Warm Beach Camp. In 1995, these retired teachers became part-time residents on their lot along W-Bar-B Road. Here they reside in their fifth-wheel RV during the summer months, away from their winter Sky Valley home in Desert Hot Springs, California.

The Gazaways are woven into the WBC heritage in many ways, and the family camping background and commitment is long-standing. Joyce, her dad, and aunt worked at the old Burlington FM camp location for years. Joyce's brother is John Glancy, a member of the Camp's Board of Directors, and this couple - along with her sister and husband, and brother and wife - recently memorialized one of the rooms at the newly dedicated Mt. Baker cabins at Warm Beach.
Volunteering and family heritage are only part of the story, however. Don and Joyce are also quite the team when it comes to making quilts! Don measures and precision-cuts the fabric pieces, while Joyce sews and quilts the project to completion. Some quilts have made their way into the Extravaganza auction at the Camp, while others have gone to family and friends through the years. Ask them to show you some of the photos of their many and varied quilts; they are colorful, complex, and creative! Ever heard of the Azteca Rose quilt pattern? Don assures us that this was the most complicated appliquéd quilt ever constructed by Joyce and him.

Quilt: A cover made of two layers of fabric stitched together with an interior padding of cotton held in place by decorative intersecting seams. Don and Joyce's lives make a wonderful analogy to a quilt. The two layers of fabric represent each of them; the cotton padding holds the life experiences shared together; and the decorative intersecting seams are the visible evidences of God's colorful, intricate handiwork weaving them together - all of it reflecting His presence and purpose in their lives.

The Gazaways' servant hearts demonstrate love and dedication to God. They firmly believe the Lord has brought them both through deep waters over the years, and He has always been faithful. We're glad their heritage has been long and faithful, not only to the Lord, but also to Warm Beach Camp.

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