Special Friends Camp Buddy 450pxBy Carolyn Cross, Special Friends Volunteer

I recently retired from a very long and rewarding career with Kimberly-Clark! One of the items on my bucket list was to volunteer at Special Friends summer camp at Warm Beach. This camp gives individuals with developmental disabilities an opportunity to participate in a one-of-a-kind camp experience.

To be honest, I was a little nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. On the first day of training I met my fellow volunteers and learned the name of my camper. It was then that my purpose became real and I was caught up in the excitement. As a “buddy," my role was to assist my camper in participating in their activities of choice, share in their joy and excitement, and most importantly, keep them safe!

Special Friends Camp is sheer JOY for these campers! The welcome line greeted campers as they arrived and every day was filled with high-fives, swimming, mini-golf, climbing towers, train rides, crafts and so much more. Being a “buddy” required no special talents other than a caring presence and a desire to ensure your camper’s happiness and safety.

My camper’s happiness and joy was a true reward. Her smile was pure sunlight. I knew this experience would be life-changing and provide another avenue for me to contribute my skills and time. My heart overflows with love for this camp. But more importantly my circle of friends and extended family has grown immensely!

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Cedar Lodge flooring project 450pxCedar Lodge entryways will receive new flooring soon!Here are the projects currently being planned or underway:

  • Cedar Lodge entryways will receive new flooring soon.
  • Whistler Mini-lodge is scheduled for refurbishment of the restrooms and lobby.
  • New sprinkler irrigation is being installed around the Mt. Baker Cabins in late February.
  • The Stables are getting an ADA ramp and platform to meet the needs of the Therapeutic Horsemanship program.
  • Cascadian Lodge remodel is in process. Upgrades include new flooring, lighting, doors, furniture, room décor, improved electrical power, and upgraded heating. The goal is to complete the project by June of 2018.
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Graves Photo Blog 450pxVolunteers working on the Cascadian remodel project. Left to right: Benny Kruger, Larry Hagglund, Bob GravesCascadian Lodge was built in 1962 and has housed approximately 136,000 guests to date. Since its original construction, the facility has seen few upgrades or renovations. Two years ago Warm Beach started raising money for an interior make-over. Forty-six donors have contributed to the renovation project that will upgrade flooring, doors, furniture, décor, improve heating sources, lighting and outlets, and address needed repairs. Meeting room upgrades already completed include new carpet and gas stove, and improvements to come are new lighting and décor. Room renovations began in early January and are expected to be completed by June 2018.

It only seems appropriate that volunteers are part of the renovation process since it was also volunteers who built the facility 56 years ago. Volunteers Bob Graves, Benny Kruger, and Larry Hagglund have been working on the electrical components in the rooms since early January. Their work on the facility is an invaluable gift. Volunteerism has been, and continues to be, a sustaining factor in the ministry of Warm Beach Camp.

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Warm Beach Camp’s annual Men’s Advance weekend kicks off on Friday, March 2, 2018. Whether listening to the keynote speaker, pastor Rick Thiessen, participating in breakout seminars, or through recreational activities, unique opportunities are available to equip participants for the challenges of life.

A team of gifted ministry leaders from around the Pacific Northwest will share their stories of God’s strength and love through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and how He can change lives. One of the breakout session leaders is Mike Henry, Freedom Ministries Pastor from Sage Hills Church in Wenatchee, Washington. Mike’s passion is to see believers set free to fully trust and live out their faith in Jesus. In 2017 over 150 believers attended seminars and workshops at Sage Hills Church to help them identify and break patterns of doubt, bad habits and self-defeating belief cycles that keep us in spiritual slavery. This impactful material and quality teaching will be brought to Men’s Advance.

Perhaps you’ve had one of those rollercoaster seasons of life? One where there are highs and lows, but often more lows than highs? Toward the end of last summer, I found myself inhabiting a heart space I can best describe as a sort of ‘transactional survival.’

“We tend to want to blame Satan, but often we are self-deceived. We disregard our own bad behavior and ungodly belief-cycles.” – Mike Henry, Freedom Ministries

It was only through an intentional time of prayer and reflection that the Holy Spirit revealed the destructive ways I was looking at life. More than that, the Lord graciously brought me to an honest moment where I could admit I had helped plow the soil and sow the seeds of my own discontent rather than trust Him fully with the outcomes. Praise be to Jesus, I was no longer stuck, but was free!

It is this freedom in Jesus Christ that sparks passion in the leadership and speakers for Men’s Advance. It is a weekend for men who want to encounter Jesus, and be strengthened and empowered for life. Won’t you come and join us?

Information and registration for Men’s Advance can be found at: www.Mens-Advance.com.

Scott Rossiter
Warm Beach Camp Foundation Director

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In following God, there is a tension everyone deals with: Allowing the everyday pleasures and desires in the world to move us away from experiencing the love God has for us. This is a real challenge because the needs, opportunities, and demands of the world are a constant everyday reality. God often gets marginalized or eliminated in our time, thinking, and community.

In the Bible the following is written in the book of 1 John 2:15-16: Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.

Eugene Peterson, in The Message, interprets this passage as the world squeezing out the love of God in our lives.

Any of us following God don’t get up in the morning saying, “I want my love for God squeezed out of my life today.” The truth is, we have a desire for a deeper presence of God and His love in our lives moment by moment.

A practical question emerges: What can I do to keep God and His love the priority of my life? Here are a few recommendations:

  • Spend time with God: Love in any relationship is best nurtured and safeguarded by spending time together. The same is true with God. Explore ways of spending time with God that work for you.
  • Talk and listen to God: The nature of prayer is dialogue – talking and listening. The apostle Paul encourages us to pray all the time. What he is saying is keep the communication going all day long.
  • Give generously: Giving is the best antidote to falling in love with our own stuff. Giving helps others, and it has the benefit of not letting us grip too tightly to things.
  • Read the Bible: God’s Word has life-giving truth and perspective that help keep us moving the right way with God and guarding against getting lost in the world.
  • Live in community: Be involved in a community of people who are also followers of Jesus. Encourage each other and support each other.

The Warm Beach Camp experience is all about drawing people closer to God in a world that squeezes out God’s love. The next time you come, experience a deeper connection with God and His love.

In Christ,
Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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Cascadian Room Remodle 450pxJanuary is a transition month between The Lights of Christmas Festival and our winter/spring retreat season. Here’s what is happening this winter:

  • The Lights of Christmas scenes, sets, and décor are going back into storage and the grounds are being restored for winter retreats.
  • Cascadian Lodge remodeling has begun! The facility is receiving insulation, noise reduction, new fixtures, carpet, furniture, and interior décor.
  • The Stables will have cross-ties installed, providing improved safety and covered space for tacking up horses.
  • Automatic door openers will be installed on at least one set of doors in the Program Center, Maple Center, and Cedar Lodge. This will enhance accessibility for those with mobility challenges.
  • Tree thinning will occur in areas that need more understory planted later this spring.
  • Whistler Mini-Lodge will receive upgrades to the meeting room and remodeling of one of the bathrooms.
  • Metal roofs, sidewalks, mini-golf, pool, and tennis courts will receive power wash cleaning.
  • Landscape maintenance such as pruning and cleaning the beds will occur in February and March so that beauty bark can go down before the weeds start pushing up.
  • Planning is underway for a new cabin in Chinook Village and possible road paving that may occur over the next couple years.

Interested in volunteering?
Whether you have a few hours or a few days, your help is appreciated! Contact Faith Oates, Volunteer Coordinator, (360) 761-1267 or email foates@warmbeach.com.

Interested in donating?
If you are interested in supporting the projects financially, donate online or contact Jeannie Patterson, Administrative Assistant: 360-312-4984 or email jpatterson@warmbeach.com.

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Estate Planning 450pxDid you know...

 Warm Beach Camp Foundation offers estate planning services?

If you answer “NO” to any more than one of the questions below, you just might benefit from estate planning services.

Question 1: I am an immortal who does not experience physical death and will not need burial arrangements.  Yes ___   No ____  

Question 2:  I am immune to all forms of disease or injury and will remain fully able to communicate my wishes about the healthcare, financial and practical needs for myself and loved ones under my care.  Yes ___   No ____  

Question 3:  I have sworn an oath of poverty, and have foresworn all earthly possessions and methods of payment (money)?  Yes ___   No ____  

All kidding aside, all of us can benefit from estate planning services such as wills, powers of attorney, and trusts. The Warm Beach Camp Foundation assists those in all stages of life with these important matters. To schedule your free, confidential, and no obligation consultation, contact our Warm Beach Camp Foundation Director, Scott Rossiter at (425) 367-7034 or by email at srossiter@warmbeach.com

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Nativity Volunteer Article 450pxThis year, The Lights of Christmas Festival saw record breaking numbers with 78,753 guests in attendance. Over 700 volunteers and 159 staff worked cleaning rooms, serving food, parking cars, selling tickets, driving the train, helping in Elfland Toyshop, and a number of other festival jobs. The volunteers make The Lights of Christmas possible!

Volunteers came from near and far. Some helped for one night and others helped for the entire event. One volunteer couple, Jim and Chris Nydam, came all the way from Redlands, California, 1250 miles away.

The Nydams heard about the event through friends who work at Warm Beach Camp and they decided to stop in for a night and volunteer. After the experience, they came away with praise for everything from the volunteer sign-up process to the overnight accommodations. When asked what their favorite part of The Lights of Christmas was, Chris said, “The nativity was especially beautiful, from the hanging angel to the music in the background. I could really sense the presence of the Lord on the grounds. What a great event this is!”

While this was their first time to volunteer at The Lights of Christmas, the Nydams are planning to return next year with their whole family. The Lights of Christmas simply couldn’t take place without volunteers like these.

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The good news of Jesus coming is for everyone. Everyone is invited. Everyone is included.

It is meant to be shared in everything we do. The life He offers to everyone who believes in Him is nothing to be ashamed about. Quite the opposite. His good news is meant to flow through every aspect of our lives.

Interaction with other people is meant to be filled with grace. When truth is shared, it is meant to be shared in love. We are meant to live generously with each other. Sharing with each other sacrificially in times of need.

The good news of Jesus challenges us to love and forgive people when we are in conflict with them. Jesus reminds us to lead from a position of serving.

We are also told that we are not left to do this ourselves. The Holy Spirit has been given to guide us into all truth, comfort us in times of hurt, and to give us the words to say in pressurized situations. The Holy Spirit is an encouragement to come alongside of us.

One thing is asked of all of us: To believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God sent to save us from all that separates us from God.

The Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach Camp is meant to lift up the beautiful truth that Jesus, the Son of God, has come. He is here. No one needs to be separated from God anymore.

From all of us at Warm Beach Christian Camps and Conference Center,
Merry Christmas.

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes…” - Romans 1:16

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LOC Display Blog px450Fall is a time of year in which we wrap up summer projects and begin to prepare for The Lights of Christmas. Work currently underway includes:

  • New flooring for Warner House has been laid. The next area to receive new flooring will be the Cedar Lodge entryways.
  • Following The Lights of Christmas, the remainder of the storage containers in the maintenance yard will be re-positioned for more usable storage space. Efficiently designed storage is very important to the stewardship of The Lights of Christmas.
  • At the stables, worn out corral fencing is being replaced this fall. As time, volunteers, and donations allow, we would like to add loafing sheds to some of the horse corrals that would allow the horses to be under cover some of the time. Plus, we will be adding cross-ties to the interior of the barn. Cross-ties create wider spaces for campers to work around their horses. These projects are on-going throughout the winter.
  • New road signs are installed thus improving ease of navigation around the grounds.
  • This month, the roads are receiving new gravel and grading that will allow for better driving and walking experience during The Lights of Christmas.
  • November is the month in which most of the outdoor scenes and sets are erected. We can always use more help Mondays through Fridays between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm in putting up tents, artwork, the nautical scene, the ponds, gnomes, and more.
  •  Wonderland (Mt Cabin) area is receiving a thematic makeover which will take two years to accomplish. Phase one includes new lighted elements and design touches to the Mt Cabins. Wonderland is a new holiday fairy tale area.

If you are interested in volunteering to help with any projects, whether you have a few hours or a few days, call Faith Oates at (360) 761-1267 or email her at foates@warmbeach.com.

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LOC Volunteer Blog px450More than 140 volunteers are needed each of the 22 nights The Lights of Christmas is open. We especially need more volunteers for the nights of December 26 through 30.

It takes people serving as parking attendants, costumed characters, greeters, ticket sellers, toy shop “elves,” hosts, security help, and more. The volunteers provide the smiles and warm hospitality that the event is best known for. Plus, the volunteers get to be a part of an amazing event. What better way to experience The Lights than being on the team that puts it on!

We also need about 150 volunteers to come to Thanksgiving Working Weekend on November 23rd to 26th and help put on all the finishing touches. Then, after The Lights closes, we need another 150 volunteers to help with Take-Down, getting lots of stuff down and put away. That will happen on January 6th and 7th.

As a volunteer, you can share the hope and joy of the Christmas season with the thousands of people attending The Lights. What better gift could you give? We have a volunteer task that will work for you!

If you are interested in helping before, during, or after the event, you can get more information or sign-up at our website.  Or, e-mail Faith Oates, Volunteer Coordinator, at foates@warmbeach.com. For the best chance of getting the volunteer assignment you want, sign up as soon as possible!

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