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My name is Sara Rodriguez and I stepped into the role of Youth Program Manager at Warm Beach Camp in October 2017. I have been working in camp ministry in several different capacities for nine years. I attended Indiana Wesleyan University for my Bachelor of Science in Adolescent Ministries and Leadership. Then I spent two years teaching outdoor education at a camp in Texas while going to Dallas Baptist University for my Graduate degree in Christian Education and Business Ministry.
I started going to camp as a fifth grader. It was a place for me to slow down and take a break from my fast-paced life. At camp, my faith became more than a list of things to check off – I was led to a real relationship with the One who loves me more than anyone ever could. My faith became my own. I grew more confident in my identity and role in the body of Christ, and I made lifelong friends. The impact camp had on my life has driven me into full-time camp ministry.
I am finding myself in my dream position here at Warm Beach Camp. I am beyond excited for what the summer holds. This year, the program will revolve around the book of Ephesians. God gave me this idea one day when I was praying about a theme that could meet the needs of all our campers. Wherever a camper is in their faith journey, there is something special and powerful for them this summer. Ephesians covers everything from knowing you belong to Christ, to finding your identity in Him, to taking action as a follower of Christ. I cannot wait to see how the Lord works in the lives of the campers this summer.
This summer’s theme verses will be Ephesians 2:4-5:
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
Almost all our summer camp guides (counselors) have been hired, and are now spending time preparing for this summer’s ministry to serve campers. It is going to be a summer your camper will never forget!
Be sure to sign up today on the website before sessions fill up! www.WBYouthCamps.com
I look forward to meeting you all this summer.
Youth Program Manager
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We have kids attend who come from many diverse backgrounds; culturally, emotionally and spiritually. Everyone walks through the doors on the first day of Horse Camp with a different experience or expectation of what a week at camp will be like.
One particular young lady who attended had recently been transitioned into a new family. She was timid around all the new kids who were at camp with her, and she was very afraid and unsure being around horses. Over the first two days, I watched as the other children embraced her. They drew her into their groups with open arms and they encouraged her as she cautiously approached each day with her horse. I have often taught that horses aren’t judgmental – they don’t care what background someone comes from, what color their skin is, what kind of clothes they wear, how they do their hair, or whether they have makeup on or not. Horses display unbiased love and long for love in return. What amazed me about this week of camp was that I saw this same love also displayed by the campers. It was more than just the horses that did a healing work in this young lady’s life.
The environment at camp as a whole – from the horses to the campers, to the staff – was open, inviting and encouraging, allowing this young lady the freedom to open up her heart to new friends and experiences in ways she hadn’t thought possible on the first day of camp. This was the realization of our purpose to provide a safe, fun, encouraging environment that draws campers into God’s loving embrace. I can’t wait to see more campers experience this same embrace at Horse Camp this summer!
Information about this summer’s Horse Camps can be found at: www.WBCHorsemanship.com.
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center
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I lived in hiding for over a decade, presenting a façade to everyone I met. I was the loving, respectable, stay-home housewife. The honorable mother and godly Sunday school teacher. No one knew the shame, the secrets I carried.
No one, that is, except God.
He saw my deepest wounds and everything I tried so hard to hide. He knew me well before my husband pulled me off the streets of Tacoma. He saw the high school dropout who spent more time drunk than sober, the girl without hope, or even a thought for her future.
But His vision, His love, went much deeper, and His call reached much farther than merely granting me salvation. He wanted to give me deep, unyielding spiritual and emotional freedom, the kind that says, “Yeah, I was a mess. I still am. But you know? That’s okay, because I’m loved and eternally accepted.”
And so, bit by bit, God began to expose and then uproot all the lies I had come to believe about myself. Lies like, “I’m unlovable. Ignorant. Shameful. Worthless.” He began to replace those lies with truth until, over time, I came to believe everything He said about and to me. The process was far from quick or easy, but it’s one He wants to take us all on.
Often, when we think about grace, we stop at salvation, which is awesome enough. But God wants to take us to total freedom so we can walk into any room, encounter any hardship, and remain strong and unshakable in our identity in Him. He wants us to give His voice prominence over all the others that bombard us each day, and learn to rest, truly rest, in His love for us.
Living loved is more than the intellectual consent that God loves us. It’s allowing the truth to permeate so deeply that our hearts begin to heal, our perceptions become clear, faith replaces fear, and we know-know-know with every fiber of our being that we are God’s beloved daughters.
Join us May 4-6, 2018 at Refresh Women’s Event and learn how to walk in love’s deep, all-consuming freedom. Learn More
Refresh Women's Event 2018 keynote speaker
Founder of Wholly Loved Ministries
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We love good beginnings. They are filled with hope, optimism, and joy. Some of my favorite new beginnings are newfound love, babies, weddings, faith, and a new favorite place to go for rest and renewal.
Warm Beach Camp is a place of new beginnings in faith, relationships, and personal growth. Life changing decisions are made that alter the direction of a life forever.
New beginnings also serve as reminders to those who have been down the road a ways in life, to go deeper and further. Watching “new love” can remind us to tend to the love of our life. Seeing a couple get married can remind us of the covenant love we made in marriage. Holding a new born baby can spark the need to keep cultivating love and attention with our children and grandchildren of all ages. Finding a new favorite place for rest and renewal reminds us of the significance of tending to our own soul. What once began as new, challenges us to go deeper and further in life and faith.
Warm Beach Camp encourages people to go deeper and put down roots that grow deep into the soil of Jesus. Paul wrote to the church in Colossae with this exact encouragement: “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your life be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7
I was a junior in high school when I made a significant decision to be a follower of Jesus. I remember that decision. The day is a reference point as clear today as it was the day I made it. When I see people make new faith decisions at Warm Beach Camp, it reminds me to go deeper and further in my life with Christ. Paul gives two images:
- Deep roots in Him: You are planted in Jesus - let the core of your life go deep into the soil of Jesus. He is filled with life-saving and life-giving nutrients.
- Build on Him: The most stable and strong life is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
When we live this way, there is one more thing according to Paul: We will overflow with thankfulness. It is a joy being around people who are thankful.
Celebrate the good start. Then, go deeper and further in Jesus. Let Him fill your heart with overflowing thankfulness.
Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center
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Soccer goals have been installed on the East recreation field.
Canoe dock repair and replacement will occur this Spring.
The Program Center Auditorium stage will get acoustical treatment soon.
Cascadian remodeling continues. Rooms 12-19 will be completed at the end of April this year.
Lawn irrigation is being installed in front of the Mt Baker Cabins to keep those lawns green and healthy all summer long.
Metal roofs on our buildings are being power washed, which improves the care and general appearance of the facilities.
Whistler Mini-Lodge will receive upgrades to the meeting room and remodeling of one of the bathrooms later this year.
The Stables will have cross-ties installed, providing improved safety and covered space for tacking up horses.Add a comment
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“Chaos” would be the word to describe my household when my husband has to go out of town for a week. All of a sudden the stack of dishes looks bigger, the children are screaming louder, and my nine year old has more homework than ever. When my husband is out of town my moto is, “lower your expectations.” There is just too much to get done, so I settle for safe and fed. When my husband returns home, we hit our stride and the state of chaos subsides.
In the day-to-day operation of Warm Beach Camp, there are thousands of tasks to be accomplished that contribute to a fantastic guest experience. It’s the volunteers who come alongside the staff to make our mission possible. Volunteers make the mini-golf course look bright and inviting, help improve and maintain the grounds, and work on paint projects for summer camp and The Lights of Christmas Festival, and much more. Volunteers allow Camp to make sure guests are not just safe and fed, but they also leave cared for and loved. This is the heart of Christ.
By Jessica Wilson, Development DirectorAdd a comment
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Ginger joined the Warm Beach Camp staff in the fall of 2017 as the Assistant Director of Horsemanship. Ginger brings a passion for ministry to people who are hurting – physically and emotionally – through and with horses.
Ginger carries a life-long love of horses expressed through an extensive career in horsemanship training, competition, riding instruction, and managing her own horse farm in the Maple Valley area. She and her daughters became involved in vaulting and were introduced to the Warm Beach Vaulters at regional competitions. As she watched the Warm Beach teammates accept, encourage, and pray with each other and other vaulters, a seed was planted in her heart. The seed began to grow as she witnessed the hand of God in a young, deeply hurting vaulter’s life. This young vaulter experienced healing specifically through the love of the staff and by helping another vaulter in need through the Adaptive (Special Needs) Vaulting Program at Warm Beach Camp.
Ginger believes that horses, especially combined with the ministry of the Holy Spirit, have a unique place in physical and emotional healing for people. This fueled her desire to provide a context for others to experience this healing, and a business plan was formed for Therapeutic Vaulting and Horse Assisted Learning programs.
At the same time, God was moving Warm Beach Camp to seek avenues of expanding the use of horses in therapeutic ways. The Assistant Horsemanship Director job opening at Warm Beach Camp coincided with Ginger’s determination that God was calling her to this work. And the rest, as they say, is history!
We are excited to have Ginger as part of the staff family at Warm Beach Camp, along with her husband, Bob, and daughters, Stella and Anna. Ginger’s unique perspective and gifts will certainly be a blessing to many, and we look forward to what God is going to do through these new programs. If you get a chance, introduce yourself and listen to her story. You will be glad you did!Add a comment
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One summer day in 2016, I witnessed the power of service and ministry come together at a Vaulting Camp at Warm Beach Camp. One child who was largely confined to a wheelchair found mobility, and another child struggling with the deepest, darkest depression, found purpose. Their smiles were infectious! I could see a life changing event was occurring.
I had the opportunity to watch the Lord work in His miraculous way as he brought these two lives together – one child’s life began to open with new possibilities, and the other child began to grasp light and hope. The twofold ministry of “your life matters” struck a chord deep within my soul. The relationship demonstrated between horses, children, and the compassionate camp staff was beautiful to behold. I went away from that horse camp demonstration with an idea brewing in my heart. The Lord fanned the flames of that spark resulting in the development of a Therapeutic Horsemanship program at Warm Beach Camp.
All creation matters. Horses are a unique platform for ministry to occur. A horse’s movement at the walk mimics the human gait. While providing mobility, they assist in regulating a rider’s circulatory, respiratory, endocrine and nervous systems. Horses are immensely patient creatures who interact with humans on a fair and honest level. Their feedback is consistent and purposeful, which provides opportunity for self-reflection, behavior moderation, and sensory integration. Relationally, they reach into the soul where many humans struggle with trust, acceptance and confidence.
Warm Beach Camp now offers two types of Therapeutic Horsemanship classes. Horse Assisted Learning is an unmounted activity in which participants practice cognitive, behavioral and emotional skills while partnering with our horses in a class structure. Therapeutic Vaulting is a mounted activity in which participants develop balance, strength and flexibility while gaining personal confidence. We have patient, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, amazing horses, and an awesome God who brings things together in his perfect timing.
More information about the Therapeutic Horsemanship classes can be found online at www.WBCHorsemanship.com. If you have a heart for horses and special needs, we also have openings for volunteers. Come be a part of something special!
Therapeutic Horsemanship Coordinator and
Assistant Horsemanship Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center
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As the ministry of Warm Beach Camp takes shape for another year, there is an underlying conviction that the contribution to do good in this world flows from the quality of our relationship with God.
In Psalm 139:23-24, King David declares the following: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” The leader of the nation recognizes that the quality of his relationship with God has a direct relationship to his influence and effectiveness as king.
In Galatians 5, Paul writes to the followers of Jesus in Galatia to embrace the freedom in Christ, and out of the relationship with Christ, focus on serving other people in love. Paul quotes from the Old Testament, “For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Paul understands the church’s relationship with Jesus is meant to express itself to people in love.
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center is focusing on the quality of our relationship with God. There is a culture of seeking God, listening for His leadership, and responding to His guidance. Out of the growing quality of our relationship with God, we seek to serve and love effectively for the common good of individuals and society. In every program, event, and act of hospitality, we share a desire to help people and draw them towards Jesus through our words and actions.
Join us in meaningful relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. Join us in bringing good to many people through camps, retreats and conferences that invite people to a better place and space in their lives.
Our hope is that everyone who comes to Warm Beach Camp could say the following: I am in a better place in my life because of time spent at Warm Beach Camp, connecting with God and receiving the love people extended my way.
Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center
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No man should miss this year’s Men’s Advance weekend, March 2-4, 2018, because you’ll get to see a live human getting grilled. And you thought the ropes course was going to be exciting! Actually, we plan to make our main sessions interactive as I, the keynote speaker, take live questions from the audience. Why would we do this? We found this approach scratches a real itch where men clearly need a forum to ask thoughtful and difficult questions about God, the Bible, or Christianity.
What kind of men and what kind of questions? Men who sometimes feel like their questions are taboo and can’t be asked in church, or have been told to “just have faith and believe.” Men who are young in the faith, and those struggling with difficult Bible passages which just don’t make sense. Older disciples feeling their faith tested by the challenges of skeptical friends. Men who are struggling to integrate truth they’ve been taught with the truth claims of Scripture. Men stumbling over Christian stances on moral issues. Men who are seeking and have serious doubts about Jesus because some part of the Christian faith seems utterly unbelievable.
Men’s Advance is a great opportunity to talk openly about the Christian faith and its relationship to reasons and evidence. We’ll explore the basis for the Christian faith from the ground up, which will build you up and challenge you to be a more confident, winsome witness to God’s grace in a dark world. And, as promised, part of the adventure will be opening the door wide to express your questions, doubts, or Bible problems.
So, warm up the BBQ! Bring your friends and watch me be grilled. Don’t forget to register!
Rick Thiessen, AC3 Senior Pastor
2018 Men's Advance Keynote Speaker
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By 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!Add a comment