The greatest “difference-maker” in a child’s camp experience is the care and competency of the staff. Warm Beach Camp hires the best college-aged summer staff following a rigorous application and interview process. Hiring decisions are prayerfully made after review of an extensive application, four independent references, and a national background check. We are looking for young adults with a passion for the Lord and for sharing God’s love with kids. 

Camp counselors arrive over a week before camp for intensive training. They are trained in basic child development, conflict management, communication skills, group facilitation, safety management, First Aid, and more. Specific care is given to equipping staff members to successfully handle the wide range of behaviors campers exhibit during a week of camp. Staff also learn to effectively share their faith story and how to share God’s Word with campers in both a small group format and as teachable moments throughout the day.

Horsemanship staff invest an additional week in a certification clinic through the Certified Horsemanship Association, a national leader in horsemanship staff training. Recreation staff undergo extensive training in the standards of the Association for Challenge Course Technologies, a leader in course safety and design. The Camp Nurse position is filled with someone trained as a nurse. Medical doctor’s standing orders create the foundation for the nurse’s practice while at Camp.

Camper safety is of paramount concern. Our goal is that each camper experience care and growth spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Behind all of the “fun & games” of summer camp, a sacred trust is given from parents to the Camp. Trust is a gift we steward with the utmost care. 

Register this month for summer W-Bar-B Ranch, Horsemanship, or Vaulting Camps and receive $75 off when you mention this email. Offer expires March 31, 2012.

Register online at www.warmbeach.com and enter promo code 0475. The discount will be applied when we manually process your credit card purchase. Call with any questions at 1-800-228-6724.

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“How can we challenge each other this week?”

It was the first hour of camp and a group of girls sat in a circle listening to their counselor, “Oreo.” After some silence, one girl spoke up. “We can love each other.” Another chimed in, “Yeah, like Jesus loves us!” Seeing a teachable moment, Oreo asked, “What do you mean by that? How is Jesus’ love different?” The girls sat in thought. One of the girls said, “It’s unconditional.”

Later that week, Oreo found one of her girls sitting alone. As she sat down with her, the girl said, “I couldn’t have come to camp this week if God hadn’t made it possible for me. I know now that I’m supposed to be here. I’ve learned so much about Jesus and the way we’re supposed to share His love. Being here has deepened my relationship with Christ.”

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Tony sat with his cabin, listening intently. His counselor paced back and forth on the amphitheater stage, preaching salvation. “Becoming a Christian isn’t about saying magic words or getting your act together for Jesus,” he announced. “It’s about asking Him to save you from your sins.”

Something dawned on Tony. Was that really all there was to it? He had tried being good before, but according to his counselor, saintly living wouldn’t save anyone. His counselor spoke again. “Jesus accepts you as you are. If you want to start following him tonight, now is the time.”

Tony’s heart started pounding as it all came together. In the middle of his peers, he shouted out, “Lord save me!”

For a second, the words hung still in the night air. Then he heard the whole amphitheater begin to clap. His counselor smiled from the stage. “Tony, welcome to the family of God!”

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Secret plans were being laid in Cabin 1. Counselor “Chip” briefed his boys on the scheme. “Okay boys, remember to be perfectly quiet. And don’t spill anything!” The boys turned out their lights and snuck into the night with bowls full of water.

They stopped at next door at Cabin 2. Chip mouthed “One, two… three!” and everyone rushed inside to surprised shouts and giggles. Chip gathered his boys in the center of the room. “Cabin 2, we’re here to do a foot washing. Jesus showed his friends that love serves others, even if that means washing smelly, sweaty feet!” The boys in Cabin 2 sat in stunned silence. Instead of a prank, they were getting… a footbath?

Cabin 1 got down on hands and knees while Cabin 2 slipped off socks and shoes. As the boys stepped into soapy water, the odor of stinking feet faded into something sacred.

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Susan Chin was screaming twenty-five feet off the ground. Below, the ropes course supervisor reminded her, “Sue, don’t worry! You’re safety line will hold you.”

Susan looked at the cable and ropes stretched out into the air in front of her. She stepped out, her weight dancing on the tight cable. Susan wobbled precariously, put out her other foot and slipped off the line! “Oh!” she gasped. She hadn’t moved! Her feet dangled in the air, but her harness held her in place.

Later that afternoon, Susan’s cabin sat in Bible Study. Her counselor asked, “What does it mean to have faith in Christ?” The cabin was quiet until Susan piped up.

“I guess it’s like the ropes course I was afraid of this morning. Jesus holds me safely through my falls, I just have to trust that He can take all of me and not let go.”

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Front and center stands a boy with a sign reading, “Bored and Restless.” He pans it slowly across the chapel before flipping it around to reveal a message: “Eagerly pursuing God.” The room erupts into a chorus of applause.

Throughout the chapel, other campers write down their stories. A few stare at blank sheets, silently asking heart questions. Others jump forward quickly, excited to show God’s change in their lives. A hefty teenager steps up. His sign reads, “Insecure about appearance.”  On the other side he declares, “Filled with joy for who God made me.” A young girl walks to the front to present her transformation: “No purpose… He has a plan just for me!”

It’s the last summer night of Junior High camp. The room is filled with the presence of Grace that speaks for itself, no words needed. In this place, young people are being made new.

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Here is the latest news on the Camp projects currently underway:

  • We now have a hearing date set for the Conditional Use Permit. At the November 29 hearing, the Hearing Examiner will hear our proposal and listen to any community comments on our application. Both Camp representatives and key leaders in the surrounding community have worked diligently together for several years to prepare a proposal that is acceptable with the community and, we pray, will be approved by the County. Please join in praying for the meeting on November 29. We are still hopeful that our CUP permit will be approved before the end of this year.
  • CL_RR_Construction_250Work is moving ahead on the Cedar Lodge Restroom project. Because of some of the additional projects we have been required to do to bring the building up to current code, the work is taking longer than had been first expected. These projects include installing a sprinkler system on the main level, updating the sprinkler system on the lower level, and adding a fire detection system throughout the building. We also realized that it would save money down the line by re-roofing the center part of the structure as a part of this phase while we were changing the roof-line anyway. These projects have added significantly to the cost of this work and extended the time necessary for completion. We are still hopeful that the new restrooms will be in service by late March or early April, 2012.
  • This time of year is when a lot of our attention turns to preparing for The Lights of Christmas. Work is progressing very well on getting the lights up. We have a great crew this year working on the light-hanging! The other focus right now is on some new mural scenes and sets, and on the displays for the fence surrounding the restroom construction area in front of Cedar Lodge. Beginning the second week of November and continuing through the end of the month, we need a number of volunteers to help midweek with installing the pond scene, Natural Wonders, the nautical scene, preparing numerous panels of artwork and archways, and setting up tents. There are jobs requiring both heavy and light work. November 28-30 is also a key time to finish anything left undone — decorating some remaining facilities that cannot be touched until then, and cleaning up each venue — putting on all of the finishing touches just prior to opening night, December 1. Please pray for safety and a good supply of willing hands to help.
  • Help is still needed on a large firewood cutting and splitting project.

If you would be interested in volunteering to help with any projects, whether you have a few hours or a few days, contact Jessica Wilson at the Camp by phone at 1-800-228-6724 or email jwilson@warmbeach.com.

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LOC_Gen_Adm_250Warm Beach Camp would like to offer your business or organization the opportunity to give out General Admission gift certificates to The Lights of Christmas to your employees, clients, customers, or vendors. An evening at The Lights is a unique and thoughtful gift, and would give you a chance to say "thank you" to those with whom you work and serve.

With this program, you may request as many gift certificates as you need and pay nothing in advance. You only pay for the gift certificates that are actually redeemed at the event.

• Say "Thank You and Merry Christmas" to customers, employees and vendors
• Use as a promotional incentive
• Create goodwill and build community
• Pay nothing in advance, and pay later only for the certificates redeemed
• Your company will be billed $15 for each redeemed gift certificate after the event closes for the season.

General Admission dates for 2011: Dec. 1-4, 8-11, 15-23, 26-28. For more information or to request gift certificates through the Business Partner Program, call the Camp at 1-800-228-6724, or go to the Business Partner Program page on our website.

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TWW_Vol_250The Lights of Christmas is really a year-round event! Oh, most of it goes on unseen, but it is all important to the success of the part that everyone does see during December. Planning happens early in the year, and all year long, strings of lights are being tested and repaired. The light hanging crews start putting up the lights the first week of September, and won’t finish working until the lights are all down, around the end of January.

But, there are two events that are absolutely critical to making The Lights happen — Thanksgiving Working Weekend just before the event opens, and Take Down the three days after it closes.

These events are orchestrated by Velda Millard and Kayla Cost, The Lights of Christmas Program Coordinators. They make sure the volunteers are assigned where their help is needed, and that the supplies, equipment, and instructions are all ready before everyone arrives.

Thanksgiving Working Weekend, November 24-27, is when all the finishing touches are put on the event. With plenty of help, everything gets done and other than some cleaning up, the event is ready to open. Without enough help, the last few days before we open can be a mad scramble!

Take Down is December 29-31. By the end of Take Down, the goal is to have all the major decorations and equipment down and stored away. If we don’t have enough volunteers it can take several months to get everything put away. A good Take Down crew is essential to starting off the next year’s event successfully.

The Thanksgiving Working Weekend and Take-Down 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, you get to meet new people and we do have a lot of fun. You can sign up on our website, or call the Registration Department at 1-800-228-6724.

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Giving goes both ways at Special Friends Camp. As volunteer counselors create space where the disabled are free to live beyond limitation, they find themselves also being ministered to in the process. Here’s a peek at the blessings they experience with campers:
“My camper, Molly, loved to sing. Each day we would go through camp praising the Lord. Molly’s voice was not strong, nor on key, yet she boldly sang for everyone the wonders of Christ’s love.”
 “One of my former campers approached me with the news, ‘I got baptized!’ He reminded me of our conversations about the Bible and how he had been encouraged at camp to trust in God. The Lord really does plant seeds!”
 “It had been a rough week. But on the last night, I overheard a camper whisper from his bunk, ‘I love you guys. This was the greatest week of my life!’ That made it all worthwhile!”

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cl_construction_250“Where are the restrooms?” has been the oft-asked question of guests in Cedar Lodge, and the answer has been as long and complicated as the walk to get there! For more than 30 years, there has been talk about moving the restrooms to the main floor, but, for a variety of reasons, it was never possible. At long last, work has begun on this project, and that long walk downstairs to the restrooms is about to come to an end!

Funded through gifts received from the Embracing the Vision campaign, the work, projected to cost just over $1,000,000, includes replacing the roofing on the A-frame center section of Cedar Lodge, relocating the water and electrical connections to the building, upgrading building infrastructure to meet current building codes, along with the construction of the new restrooms that you will see, and, under them at the basement level, storage rooms that you probably won’t get to see. The new restrooms are expected to open in March 2012.

If you find yourself on the grounds during the construction process, we ask for your patience. As with most improvements, there is a period where, before it gets better, it becomes more of a challenge. We are doing our best to make things as convenient as possible for our guests during this time.

We sincerely thank each of you who have helped fund this work. You have helped us keep a promise! Soon, when the question is asked, “where are the restrooms?” we can say, “right over there!”

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