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Little did Aidan Espinosa, age 15, realize that his life was about to change when he stepped into the Special Friends volunteer training session this past summer to help with the camps for adults with special needs. Originally, Aidan had signed on in order to fulfill his volunteer hours requirement for high school graduation. In the process of becoming a buddy for a Special Friends camper, he not only found a safe place to belong himself, but his world perspective was expanded.
Even though Aidan was a bit nervous at first, he realized it would be an awesome week when he saw the first special friend get out of the car and run through the “welcome tunnel” of cheering staff. Aidan, better known as “T-Shirt” to the campers, shared, “Part way through, it wasn’t about getting volunteer hours anymore; it was about the experience with the Special Friends. By day three, I knew I needed to come back!”
He went on to expound, “I was accepted by the staff the minute I walked through that door for training. When in life can you be that vulnerable and transparent with others?”
Aidan’s mom, Terra, was a bit nervous as well. After a phone call midway through camp from her son, she was really glad that he was having this experience at such a young age. As a matter of fact, together they decided to cancel Aidan’s own week as a camper at W-Bar-B Ranch so he could return a second week to volunteer at Special Friends Camp.
“All in all,” Terra exclaimed, “I was totally inspired, and I may go and volunteer myself!”
This handsome young man is Vice President of his Sophomore Class at Arlington High School and on the varsity football team. In between football workouts and the latest musical production practices, Aidan is challenging others to return with him to volunteer at Special Friends Camp next summer.
And there’s already life-changing ripple effects from being a buddy. Aidan claims, “I will be more engaging with the special needs students at my school.”Add a comment
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This year, The Lights of Christmas is celebrating its 20th year! There will be lots of celebration and plenty of fun. While the event doesn’t open till December 1st, the crew that hangs all those lights is already hard at work. It takes about three months to get the Christmas lights in place! An event like this doesn’t just happen by itself. It takes lots of planning and a lot of help to make it all come together!
During October and November, all the effort is in the preparations. Decorations will be cleaned up and painted, light displays will be assembled, and the volunteers needed to staff the event will be recruited. If you are interested in helping make The Lights of Christmas happen, there are lots of ways you can pitch in.
During Thanksgiving Working Weekend over 100 volunteers come together for one final push to get ready for The Lights. This event will take place November 24th to 27th. Join the crew of volunteers for an extreme makeover weekend as we transform the grounds into a Christmas wonderland.
During The Lights of Christmas, there is no lack of things to do on the 19 nights we are open. More than 100 volunteers per night power the event. As you can imagine, there are a wide variety of jobs: indoor hosting, parking attendants, pony ride attendants, train attendants, and much more. Volunteering during The Lights gives you the opportunity to get a glimpse behind the scenes to see how this event happens.
The final, critical need for help happens after the event, when it is time to take things down and put them away. Take Down happens on December 29th and 30th. If enough people get involved in this process, everything gets done over a couple of days. If there are not enough volunteers for Take Down, it will take much longer to get the decorations put away.
Are you interested in helping with any part of The Lights this year? To register, or for more information about the above mentioned events, you can visit our volunteer webpage or call Jessica Wilson at either (360) 312-3417 or 1-800-228-6724, ext. 2276.Add a comment
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Volunteerism has been an important part of Warm Beach Camp since its inception. In the early years, there was only one paid staff couple. The kitchen, program and hospitality staff were comprised solely of volunteers. Many of the original buildings were constructed using mostly volunteer labor.
As WBC has grown, so has its volunteer family. There has been a slow but steady increase in participation from 30,150 hours in 2008 to 50,916 hours in 2015. Today’s volunteers participate in nearly every area of ministry just like their predecessors did in 1959.
A major portion of the Camp’s current volunteer base is made up of RV Volunteers who live and travel in RV’s. They stay and volunteer at WBC for anywhere from one month to several years, providing stability and consistency in many of our programs and projects. This added workforce accomplishes work that would not get done otherwise.
The Camp currently has 20 RV sites dedicated to RV Volunteers. In our peak seasons, summer and The Lights of Christmas, often every site is filled. This summer, for the first time, WBC has had to turn away volunteer help for lack of space. Additional long term Volunteer RV sites are needed in order to accommodate the numbers of volunteers that want to stay and serve for an extended period of time.
The Camp is looking to develop five additional long term RV sites and improve three to five existing sites at a total cost of $30,000. Each site will produce an additional 500-2,000 volunteer hours per year depending on the length of stay of the volunteers, providing a significant return on investment for years to come.
We praise the Lord for drawing volunteers to the ministry of Warm Beach Camp and trust that He will continue to give us the means to provide for them.Add a comment
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Saturday, August 27, 2016
The seventeenth 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 more than $111,000!
This year, you will find some incredible items in the auctions, including lots of great gift items, some real “finds,” and even some nice get-away experiences. There’s something for everyone in every price range!
The auction preview opens at 10:00 a.m., and the first auction begins at 10:45 a.m. The auctions run until approximately 3:00 p.m. The two live auctions and a silent auction 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 Fund, and is important in providing the needed funding that allows any child who wants to come to camp the means to attend. Besides, it is just plain fun for everyone! Mark your calendar for Saturday, August 27, and plan on being there.
For more information, or to see a list of the auction items, go to the Kids 2 Camp Benefit Auction webpage.Add a comment
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August 27, 2016
Warm Beach Camp helped more than 1,600 campers attend camp last year who would otherwise have been left out. This is possible only because of the generous financial help from many people. This year, the Camp is offering a new way to come alongside and help raise funds for Kids 2 Camp. It is the Kids 2 Camp Benefit Run scheduled for August 27 at WBC.
The Benefit Run Schedule:
7:00 am - Packet pick-up
7:30 am - Late registration
8:00 am - 10k race starts
8:15 am - 5k race starts
9:30 am - 1 mile race starts
11:00 am - Lunch available for purchase
Camp is a place where kids can leave behind the cares, distractions, and problems of everyday life. It’s an opportunity for them to experience a breather — to catch a vision for the bigger picture of their lives where the love of God can become more real.
Join us for a fun run to benefit the Kids 2 Camp Scholarship fund at Warm Beach Camp. For more information, please visit the Benefit Run website, or call the Camp at 1-800-228-6724.Add a comment
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The Partners in Ministry Annual Appreciation Event
There is just a little time left to make your reservations to attend the Partners in Ministry Dinner. Please give us the opportunity to say thank you, to share what we’ve done with your investments of time and money, and to take a look at where God is leading us.
Be our guests on Saturday, May 7, at 6 pm in the Camp’s Program Center Auditorium for a delicious supper, and special music by the Griffin Family Band. We will also share testimonies and reports on what God is doing through the ministry of Warm Beach Camp. Doors will open at 5:30 pm.
This is not a fund raising event. There will be no appeal given. The dinner is complementary. It is simply a time of appreciation and sharing how the Camp has used your investments in ministry to make a difference in so many lives.
The people who stand with us as volunteers and donors are vital to making the ministry of Warm Beach Camp work, and we think it is important to tell you that. The Partners in Ministry members have a huge impact on the ministry of Warm Beach Camp. Come as we celebrate in the joy of the victories God has given us.
I hope to see you there!
Please note: the dinner is free, but reservations are required. Please help us prepare by making your reservations by April 30. You may reserve your place now by emailing the names of the people coming in your party, or by calling the Camp at 1-800-228-6724.Add a comment
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In 1973, a strapping young Military welder met a “cute little sailor” who was a secretary in the Security Department at the Whidbey Island Naval base. Danny and Nellie Buckland got married in the chapel on the base, and the rest is history. The couple recently celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary.
Upon retiring both Danny and Nellie agreed that they would prefer to serve the Lord over spending their time doing as they pleased. The couple agreed that they would both enjoy helping Camping ministries. “We prayed, Lord use our skills and gifts.” said Nellie. The couple soon got connected with Pend Oreille Bible Camp north of Spokane. For four years the couple spent their springs helping Pend Oreille get up and running for summer use.
During that time, the Buckland’s learned about an organization called Hard Hats for Christ. This organization helps to match skilled workers with organizations that need help, and in no time Danny and Nellie joined. They found out about Warm Beach Camp through the Hard Hats organization and began volunteering here just a few weeks ago.
Danny is working on a top secret welding project for The Lights of Christmas. Nellie is working in the paint shop on various projects for both The Lights of Christmas and Special Friends Day Camp.
While the couple has only been at Warm Beach for a short time, they say that they are enjoying their time here. Nellie said, “I am making the name badges for Special Friends Day Camp and as I am making them I am praying for each of the campers.” “As a volunteer, you come in expecting a mess to clean up,” Danny said, “but here you come in and you find this great Volunteer Center, the nice shop, and you think to yourself, this place is awesome! You guys really take care of people here.”
If you are interested in volunteering at Warm Beach Camp please contact Jessica Wilson by email or phone: (360) 312-3417.Add a comment
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Judy Lang pulled into Warm Beach Camp (WBC) last December to be a volunteer at The Lights of Christmas, but her journey to becoming a Camp volunteer started many years ago when she first attended Warm Beach Camp as a Seattle Pacific University (SPU) student.
After graduating from SPU, Judy went on to work with refugees, migrants and international college students, teaching English as a Second Language for academic purposes.
In 2006, Judy pursued a Masters of Divinity degree at Regent College, a graduate school of theology in Vancouver B.C. Each year, Regent holds a retreat at WBC for students and faculty. While attending Regent, Judy again attended a retreat at Warm Beach Camp, this time with Regent.
With retirement approaching, Judy contemplated what the coming years would bring.
While at a state park on Labor Day, 2015, Judy bumped into an RV’er who told her about volunteering at Warm Beach Camp. It made sense to Judy that a camp would have opportunities in the summer, but, she said, “I wondered, who does anything at a camp in the dead of winter?” As it turns out, Warm Beach Camp does, and it’s called The Lights of Christmas!
The first week of December, Judy sent an e-mail to WBC inquiring about volunteer opportunities, and a few short days later, she was pulling her RV on grounds to volunteer. She had a great time and never worked the same job twice at The Lights of Christmas. She enjoyed being on the Security team the most as she "got the scope of everything that was going on.”
Judy has decided to stay on as a long-term volunteer. She says she enjoys “doing something that has value and is part of a Christ-centered community.” We are excited to have Judy Lang as part of the Warm Beach Camp family.Add a comment
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Our gift to you!
We invite you to join us in a time of appreciation as we honor you, our donors and volunteers, for the important role you play in keeping this ministry strong and growing. Please give us the opportunity to say thank you, to share what we’ve done with your investments of time and money, and to take a look at where God is leading us.
Please join us as our guests on Saturday, May 7, at 6 pm in the Camp’s Program Center Auditorium for a delicious dinner, and special music by the Griffin Family Band. We will also share testimonies and reports on what God is doing through the ministry of Warm Beach Camp. Doors will open at 5:30 pm.
You will be receiving an invitation card in the mail soon with more information, but please put the date on your calendar now.
The Partners in Ministry, the people who stand with us as volunteers and donors, are vital to making the ministry of Warm Beach Camp work, and we think it is important for you to know that! Come as we celebrate together the victories God has brought about through the Camp.
I really hope to see you there!
Please note: reservations are required. Please make your reservations by April 30.You may reserve your place now by emailing the names of the people coming in your party to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the Camp at 1-800-228-6724.Add a comment
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This past December, the President of the United States signed into law the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act. Among the twenty-two permanent tax breaks included in this landmark legislation was language that made IRA Charitable Rollovers retroactive for the 2015 tax year and permanent for 2016 and beyond.
An IRA Charitable rollover enables individuals, age 70½, who face mandatory required minimum distributions, to contribute up to $100,000 per year from a traditional IRA (or a Roth IRA in certain situations) directly to charity. This qualified charitable distribution provides a dual benefit to donors in that they count toward the required minimum distribution, but are not counted as taxable income when made to a qualifying charity like Warm Beach Camp.
The benefit of making an IRA charitable rollover instead of paying income tax on an IRA mandatory withdrawal generally makes this gift worth considering. As always, be sure to check with your personal tax advisor or financial planner to look at your specific situation.
If you have questions about how to make charitable IRA rollover gifts, simple bequests or organizing your estate documents, our WBC Foundation Director, Scott Rossiter, is ready to assist you. Please call (425) 299-8661 to set up an appointment, or send an e-mail to him.Add a comment