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As I write this, our first major guest group of the summer is outside my office window, enjoying their family camp. The first horsemanship camp of the season is going on just down the hill at the Stables. The first Day Camp of the year, this one for our Special Friends, is in full swing in the big circus tent. And a brand new team of summer staffers have settled in alongside the year-round staff, ready to serve our campers and guests in Jesus’ name. It is summer!
Each season of the year is a special time at WBC, but summer is the high point! We serve our largest groups. Each new week brings a flurry of activity, with new participants. And each day, people find the answer to the needs of their lives in Jesus. That’s what it is all about. That’s what we are all about.
And, you are a part of all this, too. Because of your financial support, because of your volunteer efforts, Warm Beach Camp is a special place where people find rest, refreshment, and renewal.
You don’t get to hear all the happy sounds out your office window like I do. You probably won’t get to see the crosses hanging on the walls in our staff lunch room, each representing another child who has made a life-choice to follow Christ. You don’t get the privilege and pleasure of hearing people share their testimonies of the life-changing power of the Gospel of Christ they have experienced while at Warm Beach. But, I want you to see and hear it through my eyes and ears. It is for you, too.
May God bless you for what you are doing for Warm Beach Camp. —Ed McDowellAdd a comment
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In December 2009, Doug and Dorothy Wiebe ventured down from Abbotsford, BC, to enjoy an evening attending The Lights of Christmas. As they roamed about the event, they bumped into Camp volunteer photographer, Patrick Taylor, who offered them a tour in his brightly decorated golf cart. As he drove, Patrick told them about the volunteer opportunities at WBC. They were intrigued.
This past Memorial Day Working Weekend, the Wiebes enthusiastically joined the small army of volunteers helping get the Camp ready for summer. The Wiebes were assigned to work alongside Dwight Vlach in the Accommodations Department. They saw how much work there was to be done in keeping up the guest facilities.
But the Wiebes didn’t come just for Working Weekend. They stayed the entire month of June! They each spent 20 hours a week deep-cleaning the dark and long-forgotten corners of the Camp. This not being a very glamorous job, Dorothy’s response was surprising when she was asked how she felt about her volunteer experience.
“We discovered muscles that we didn't think we had. In that way, we felt invigorated even throughout those ‘not-so-lovely’ jobs. We were so glad that we had the opportunity to work alongside the operation of the Camp in general. We felt we understood better the challenges you people sometimes face. In this way, we were enlightened!
“Then, being able to attend the daily devotionals was the highlight of the day. Some of the sharing was heart-rending. We felt encouraged and challenged to walk the 'straight' path to the cross and, thereby, closer to Christ. In this way, we were uplifted.”
One morning during the Camp staff’s devotional time, Dorothy shared one lesson she learned through her volunteer work at the Camp. Most of what she and Doug did was done in solitude, and, at first, Dorothy was frustrated that no one would notice her work. Then, she realized that her pride was in the way. She didn’t need the glory for her labors—God should have the glory. “Thank you so much for enabling me to see this in myself,” she shared.
WBC thanks the Wiebes for their hard work and for the encouragement they were to the Camp staff.Add a comment
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With the arrival of summer, kids are now coming for their week of summer camp at Warm Beach. We have been receiving numerous requests for scholarship help to enable kids to come to camp. We are also working with more than 30 churches and social service agencies who work with at-risk youth. In order to bring groups of their kids to camp, we provide matching funds they can use to raise more money in this effort.
We are excited about several new partnerships with organizations serving at-risk youth. We want every child to have the opportunity for a summer camp experience.
For many of the kids receiving scholarships, 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 good news of Jesus Christ.
Last year, more than $155,000 was given out in Kids 2 Camp scholarships, helping more than 1,100 children and youth 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.
We also request you pray for this ministry to marginalized children and youth, that they will see Jesus’ love in every part of their camp experience, and return home with changed lives. Thank you for praying.Add a comment
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Every 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.Add a comment
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The 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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A 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:
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Recently, 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.Add a comment
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With 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.Add a comment
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by Laurie Fertello
I 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 email@example.com or phone 425-239-9841.Add a comment
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There 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.Add a comment