WW_Volunteers_A_240Memorial Day Working Weekend is a long-standing volunteer event here at Warm Beach Camp. Many of the Camp’s veteran volunteers come back for this event year after year. They have their favorite jobs and love the fellowship, but many of our newer volunteers may not even know what Memorial Day Working Weekend is.

Working Weekend allows the Camp to prepare for its summer program season by asking volunteers to come and help spruce up the place. This is a great opportunity for individuals and civic, school and church groups to get involved in their community. When asked, several long time Working Weekend volunteers said that what they liked best was the fun of working alongside other people. “I love getting a pair of heavy duty pruning sheers and whacking away at something. It’s really gratifying,” said one.

Volunteers paint, garden, clean, sew, chop wood, power wash, set up tents, help with crafts, and Lights of Christmas projects, or help in child care.

This year, the event runs from May 25-28. Volunteers who are staying on grounds arrive and get settled in on Friday night. After breakfast on Saturday, work begins at 8:30 and goes till 5:30. Sunday is a day of rest, and then it’s back to work on Monday morning.

Volunteers work through the afternoon, enjoy supper together, and then head on home. If you can only make it for one of the work days, we would still love to have you! You are welcome to stay with us while you volunteer or commute from home. Housing, meals and insurance are provided for a small fee.

For more information or to register click here or call Jessica Wilson at 360-652-7575 ext. 2276.

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WB_Horse_240With summer right around the corner, registrations are 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 $121,000 was given for Kids 2 Camp scholarships, helping over 1,200 children, youth, and adults attend events at Warm Beach Camp. With the tight economy, we know that the need for help will continue this year.

We are determined to leave no one behind. Because of the generous help of many, many people, we have been able to keep that commitment for the last nine years. During this time, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been given for the Kids 2 Camp program, and thousands of young lives have been touched.

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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Deedee_200Warm Beach Camp’s volunteers come from far and wide. This past year, we had volunteers from Kansas, California, Virginia, and Texas. Thanks to Deedee Jeffreys, we can now add Alaska to the list.

Deedee came to Warm Beach all the way from Coffman Cove, Alaska, where she owns an RV park. The cold Alaska winters bring the RV park activity to a halt, so Deedee heads south to a warmer climate. When you live in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest is a warmer winter climate! She also has family in the Pacific Northwest to visit, so it all works out very well.

Deedee has long been connected to Warm Beach Camp. She first came as a camp counselor when she was still in high school. More recently, she attended Family Camp several times with her son’s family. When she considered a place to serve as a volunteer while basking in the moderate winter climate of the Pacific Northwest, her thoughts turned to Warm Beach.

Owning her own business, Deedee is no stranger to hard work. She came in time for Thanksgiving Working Weekend ready to work! Then she stayed to help with the final set-up for The Lights of Christmas. Next came The Lights where she helped in the gift shops, Ornament Shoppe and Shepherd’s Keep, and hosted in the Hospitality Center, in Cedar Lodge Lobby, Deer Mt. Lodge, and the Joyland Concert Hall.

She helped with Take Down after The Lights and after all the decorations were put away she stayed around to do some deep cleaning in guest facilities and helped to write grant proposals. She finally pulled herself away mid-February to go visit her grandson, and take some much-needed vacation time.

Deedee said, “Warm Beach Camp is a friendly, safe place” where she came not only to give but to grow spiritually.

Deedee plans on returning next winter to enjoy the climate again, and visit family. And now, she has even more family to visit because we consider Deedee a part of the Warm Beach Camp family. Thank you to Deedee for all her hard work.

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Benefit Event Raising Funds for Kids 2 Camp
Saturday, August 27, 2011

AugExtrav_250The twelfth annual August Extravaganza is just days away! It is a fun event that raises funds for the Camp’s Kids 2 Camp Scholarship Fund, helping kids to go to camp. Last year, the Extravaganza raised $54,000!

You will find some incredible items in the auctions including lots of great gift ideas, and even once-in-a-lifetime experiences … each item going on the auction block. There’s something for everyone at the August Extravaganza!

The auction preview opens at 9 a.m., and the first auction begins at 10 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, kids toys, golf packages, sports memorabilia, home furnishings, and one-of-a-kind experiences. Click here to see the entire list! The event also has activities for the kids and food concessions on site, including Ivar’s clam chowder and the Camp’s famous cinnamon rolls.

Make your plans to be a part of this exciting event this year — the August Extravaganza, Saturday, August 27.

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Extravaganza_Bid_250Benefit Event Raising Funds for Kids 2 Camp
Saturday, August 27, 2011

The twelfth annual August Extravaganza is just days away! It is a fun event that raises funds for the Camp's Kids 2 Camp Scholarship Fund, helping kids go to camp. Last year, the Extravaganza raised $54,000!

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. There's something for you at the August Extravaganza!

The auction preview opens at 9 a.m., and the first auction begins at 10 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, 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 has activities for the kids and food concessions on site, including Ivar's clam chowder and the Camp's famous cinnamon rolls.

Make your plans to be a part of this exciting event this year — the August Extravaganza, Saturday, August 27.

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Memorial Working WkndHave you made any plans for your Memorial Day Weekend? May I be so bold as to offer a suggestion? WBC’s Memorial Day Working Weekend is a long standing volunteer event that draws many of the Camp’s veteran volunteers back year after year. They have their favorite jobs and love the fellowship of working alongside others in support of the Camp’s ministry.

Memorial Day Working Weekend is an event that brings volunteers together to help the Camp prepare for the busy summer camping season. Volunteers paint, garden, clean, sew, pressure wash, chop wood, help with The Lights of Christmas projects, provide child care, or help with other important projects.

It’s a great opportunity for individuals, families, and groups to get involved in something significant. When asked what they liked best about volunteering at Working Weekend they said, “It’s the fun of working alongside other people.” Another said, “I love getting a pair of heavy duty pruning sheers and whacking away at something. It’s really gratifying.”

This year, the event runs from May 27-30. Volunteers arrive and get settled in on Friday night. Then the work begins after breakfast on Saturday morning and goes till dinnertime. Sunday is a day of rest and recreation. Then, it’s back to work on Monday morning until dinner when there is a celebration of everything that was accomplished.

If you can only make it for one of the work days, we would still love to have you! You are welcome to stay with us while you volunteer or commute from home. Housing and meals are provided for a small fee.

For more information contact the Registration Department at 360-652-7575 / 800-228-6724 (Toll free) or registration@warmbeach.com. To register click here.

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Project-Serve_250pxIt’s a cold Saturday in February and the rain is bone chilling. Yet, there is a group of high school age young people wearing yellow rain coats working on one of the Camp’s roads. They are busy shoveling dirt off a truck and into the pot holes that riddle the dirt roads on the grounds. Most high school kids would probably choose a different way to spend a cold, wet Saturday, but these high schoolers are not just any young people. They are here as a group through the Stanwood-based organization, Serve it Up.

Serve it Up is an organization that connects Stanwood High School students who need to complete their community service requirements for graduation with over 40 local organizations that need volunteer help. Serve it Up is part of the non-profit organization, Stanwood Community Ministries, that operates "The Station," a non-profit coffee shop/game room in downtown Stanwood. Since June of 2010, 120 Serve it Up students have contributed 993 hours of volunteer service through 35 projects. Four of those projects have been on the grounds of Warm Beach Camp.

Serve it Up provided two volunteer groups during The Lights of Christmas in December 2010, and two more groups were here to help improve WBC’s grounds last month.

Brian Hoyer, the leader of Serve it Up, says, “The kids always have a good time at Warm Beach,” even after filling pot holes on a rainy day. Brian said, “The staff at the Camp understand youth culture and they communicate with the kids really well. And, it’s great to get everyone outside.”

Are you looking for a way to fulfill your community service requirements? Warm Beach Camp can provide a way for you to meet your requirements that is satisfying and rewarding. We are currently recruiting volunteers to help with everything from painting projects to saddle cleaning. We can customize your volunteer experience to fit your time frame and range of skills, and offer projects that can accommodate groups or individuals from near or far.

If you need more information or would like a complete list of opportunities available, contact Jessica Beach at 360-652-7575 x2276 or jbeach@warmbeach.com. Or, check out our volunteer page.

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George-Colby_250px“It’s difficult to say how long I’ve been volunteering at The Lights of Christmas. It’s been so long I don’t remember,” said volunteer George Colby. After giving it some thought, George figures he has been bringing groups to volunteer at The Lights for more than ten years. This year, he came with three different groups, the Boy Scouts, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and the Camano Chapel youth group.

Volunteer groups make up about a third of the total number of volunteers who help at The Lights. This year, 15 volunteer groups came to serve. When I asked George why he comes year after year, he said, “I think it’s a practical way to be involved in a community service that has a significant purpose. The kids have a great time and it gives me an opportunity to hang out with them in an environment I wouldn’t normally be able to.”

“Volunteering during The Lights of Christmas is not your ordinary volunteer experience,” George said. “It gives kids a chance to do things they wouldn’t normally do, like sell tickets, be a costume character, help in parking, or work in the toy shop. That’s what’s cool about The Lights.”

Not only are the jobs fun but volunteers are served dinner the night they volunteer, receive a ticket to come back to The Lights on another night, and if the group has come from outside the area, provided with overnight accommodations.

“I like volunteering at The Lights because it’s a community service that doesn’t involve trauma, sadness, or brokenness. The whole volunteer experience is based on such a joyful occasion,” said George.

Some of the people who attend The Lights of Christmas come into the event with heavy hearts but, time after time, we are told that the spirit of the event, much contributed to by its volunteers, lifts that sadness and sends guests on their way with a much diminished burden.

Thank you to all of the volunteers of The Lights of Christmas for helping to deliver the hope of the Christmas season to thousands of people.

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250_LOC_volunteersWhen the Stanwood/Camano Rotary Club members first heard about The Lights of Christmas in 1997, little did they know that they would become so involved. Warm Beach’s Development Director, Nancy Nelson, soon recruited her fellow Rotarians to join her in serving as volunteers at The Lights of Christmas.

All the years since, up to 20 members and their spouses have assembled to help the first Friday of December. And there is a job for everyone, whether they want to work inside or out, be up front or in the background, handle money, dress up like “Frosty the Snowman” or help park cars.

Some, like Jim Jonson and Scott Thomas from Thomas and Associates, have been volunteering for many years. Jim recalls, “I was amazed that first year. What a surprise to connect with friends and past business acquaintances.” His business associate, Scott, chimed in, “Volunteering at The Lights has become an annual tradition for us!”

Greg Gilday, the 2009-2010 President of the Stanwood/Camano Rotary Club, joined the volunteer effort in 2006. “What a fun job!” said Greg, a local attorney in Stanwood. “I love working with my fellow Rotarians at The Lights.”

If you are part of a club, Sunday School class, or other group, volunteering at The Lights is a rewarding service project everyone can be involved in. If you would like more information about volunteering as a group for The Lights, contact Jessica Beach at the Camp at 360-652-7575 or 800-228-6724.

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250_LOCTake-DownHave you ever been the “last man standing” after your holiday celebration — the one standing at the sink washing a stack of dishes and filling garbage bags with wrapping paper and bows? That’s what it can feel like around the Camp during the Take-Down Event on December 30th and 31st when it is time to begin putting away the decorations from The Lights of Christmas.

Just like at your home in January, taking down the Christmas decorations can seem like the hardest part of the Holidays. Yet, for The Lights, it is an important part of the event each year. Lots of help getting the work done makes a big difference. We are looking for folks willing to stick around and help after the party’s over.

It usually takes our staff almost the entire month of January to get everything taken down and put away. How much gets done at the Take-Down Event on December 30th and 31st will determine how far into January it will take us to get everything cleaned up and nicely put away.

The Take-Down Event volunteers are some of the unseen heroes of The Lights of Christmas! Would you like to join us? While it may not sound like a glamorous job, we do have a lot of fun, and lunch is provided both days. You can sign up at our website by clicking on Volunteer on The Lights of Christmas menu. Or, you can call the Registration Dept. at (360) 652-7575.

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