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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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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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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We have several projects currently underway at the Camp:

  • Construction continues on the parking pad and sidewalks for the ADA restroom being put in at The Pines. This is the final part of the ADA project we started last spring for the Special Friends Camps that included the purchase of a special trailer-mounted ADA mobile restroom.

Projects recently completed include:

  • Thanks to the volunteer support of Ray Samuelson, Rob Down, and the vaulting club, the workout building at the Stables is complete. The old draft horse barn was converted to a secondary work-out room for the Warm Beach Vaulters.

The Conditional Use Permit application is still awaiting approval from the county. This permit is needed before we can begin on the Cedar Lodge renovation projects. Please pray that the Lord will go before us in getting this permit approved.

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help-wantedEach summer, Warm Beach Camp seeks to fill between 40 and 50 summer job positions with people who have a desire to serve God, minister to people, and be part of a ministry that touches the lives of thousands of campers during this two-and-a-half-month period. In most cases, no experience is necessary.

There are currently summer employment openings for male camp counselors, and positions in Food Services and Accommodations.

Do you know someone looking for something new and exciting to do this summer? They could experience the life-changing work of summer staff employment at Warm Beach Camp. We are looking for those with a passion for ministry, enough energy to last a summer, are at least 18 years old by June, and graduated from High School. Warm Beach Camp may be the perfect opportunity for summer employment! Click here for an updated list of current summer employment openings.

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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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PRESS RELEASE

Kimberly Barnes vaultingOn March 6, 2010, three Warm Beach Vaulters received awards at the national convention of the American Vaulting Association (AVA) held in Portland, Oregon March 5-7, 2010.

Coach Patti Skipton received the “2009 Trainer of the Year” award in recognition of her outstanding horse training ability. Nancy Stevens-Brown, AVA past president told Patti, “I am giving you this award because your horses always look so happy when they compete.” Patti will also be coaching the Friendship Team at the World Equestrian Games held at the Kentucky Horse Park this fall in Lexington Kentucky.

Stanwood High School Graduate (2009) and Seattle Pacific University student, Kimberly Barnes, received the 2009 Silver Women’s High Point award. This award recognizes vaulters who accumulate the most points in at least three AVA recognized competitions throughout the year.

“I was so surprised at first. I really didn’t expect it. It was an awesome way to end my vaulting career, since I’m off to university now,” said Kimberly.

Twin City Elementary Fifth Grader, Kaleb Patterson, received the Bronze Men’s High Point award. This is Kaleb’s second 2009 High Point Award, having received the Copper High Point award for 2008.

“Winning two times in a row was really exciting and showed that I earned may way to the Silver level,” said Kaleb.

Vaulting is the sport of dance and gymnastics performed on the back of a moving horse. Since arriving from Europe in the 1970’s, this sport has made its way to Snohomish County in a big way. The Warm Beach Vaulters, from Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood Washington, is the third largest club in the nation growing from just a few vaulters in 2006 to over 40 today. Warm Beach Vaulters are based at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, Washington.

Situated on a picturesque bluff overlooking Port Susan Bay, Warm Beach Camp hosts over 300 church, school, non-profit, and governmental agency groups a year. In addition to hosting camps, conferences, and retreats, Warm Beach Camp also provides programs for all ages including environmental education, challenge course team-building, horsemanship camps, special needs camps, and the Northwest’s premier holiday event, The Lights of Christmas. For more information on Warm Beach Camp and the Warm Beach Vaulters, log on to www.warmbeach.com

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We have several projects currently underway at the Camp:

  • We are converting the old draft horse barn to a secondary work-out room for the Warm Beach Vaulters, thanks to volunteers Rob Down and Ray Samuelson.
  • The parking pad and sidewalks for ADA restroom are being put in soon at The Pines. This is the final part of the ADA project we started last spring for the Special Friends Camps that included the purchase of a special trailer-mounted ADA mobile restroom.

Projects for this summer include:

  • Re-furbishing the exterior of the Warner Retreat House, include taking out the fireplace, installing a new roof, and removing the carport. This house is known as the Nutcracker Suite during The Lights of Christmas.
  • Painting the exterior of the Program Center and replacing the railings around the courtyard flower beds
  • Installing new carpet in the Program Center meeting rooms A, B, and C.

The Conditional Use Permit application is still awaiting approval from the county. This permit is needed before we can begin on the Cedar Lodge renovation projects. Please pray that the Lord will go before us in getting this permit approved.

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Cedar LodgeWhat an exciting moment when, on the last day of 2009, the final pledge was received to complete the funding for the first three phases of the Cedar Lodge renovation. This date was significant in that it meant we had met the last requirement to claim a grant from a foundation for $490,000 for this project.

This project includes moving the public restrooms to the main floor of Cedar Lodge, and expanding the kitchen and Cedar Lodge Chapel.

The first project slated for completion is the restrooms. We hope to begin construction this fall. Phases II and III are scheduled to begin in May of 2011. This all hinges on receiving our Conditional Use Permit from the county, followed by the building permits for each phase of the renovation projects after that.

We are currently working on the detailed plans for these projects, and lining up the help that will be needed to get these projects completed. Please pray that the Lord will bring everything together to allow us to proceed.

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Camp Pastor BoBo Robinson can still see the tears running down the face of Kevin, a 15-year-old camper.

“The night before, he had given his life to the Lord,” says Bo, a Warm Beach Camp pastor and supervisor. “Even though his counselor had told him to behave, Kevin had violated camp rules.”

Bo could identify. As a youth, he had come to Warm Beach Camp and broken a few rules. As a 13-year-old at W-BAR-B, he had actually punched a fellow camper in the face. Though they provided for the family, Bo’s parents partied heavily on the weekends. “One night when I was a child, my dad told my mom and me that he would kill her if she ever left him. She actually believed him, so she took me and my sister and left him.”

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