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About a week ago while walking to work, I saw a young lady who was obviously lost. She was standing at one of the Camp crossroads frantically looking at the signs and was obviously debating where in the world she was supposed to go. I approached her and asked if I could help her with anything. She turned around and the first thing out of her mouth was, “Arrow?!?” I suddenly became a bit panicked as I couldn’t place who she was. My mind started clipping through campers from years past and I was drawing a blank. She must’ve seen the look of shock and shame on my face and she saved me without a beat.
“It’s Debrah! I was in your cabin back in 2009. You were my first counselor.”
Debrah! Of course! She’d grown up quite a bit since the 12-year-old I knew back in 2009. We started talking and I asked what had brought her back to Camp. It had been years since she was a camper here. She shared with me the story of the current stage of life, how she was in college and felt like she couldn’t handle it anymore. She talked about the struggles she was facing with her family, her friends, school work, her two jobs, etc. She felt like she was at the end of her rope and wasn’t sure where to go or what to do and “Camp” was the only thing that came to mind. She “Googled” her favorite camp, got in the car, and through the night Siri guided her safely back to Warm Beach Camp, the place she knew so well all those years ago.
Debrah came to a place of solace, to a place of refuge. She came back to Camp because she remembered how much she was loved while she was here. She came back to Camp because of how she connected with God. She came back because after seven years, Warm Beach Camp was the first safe place that came to mind.
Life changes here.
Caroline Donoho (aka “Arrow”) is the Director of Youth and Outdoor Ministries at Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center. Caroline has a heart for teaching children and believes learning can happen anywhere. Her desire is for youth to know the love of God and their identity in Jesus Christ.Add a comment
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“God, where are you?” This was the question I cried out several years ago. It seemed like God’s voice had been squelched amidst the many demands of pastoring, parenting, and myriad of other responsibilities in my life. In that moment, I realized there was too much noise and far too many distractions. God’s voice was hard to distinguish from everything else…even the good things. Not only as a pastor, but as a Christ-follower, this was concerning me.
Without question, there were some necessary changes that needed to be made. For me, this meant prioritizing a few days each year to retreat from the rhythms and routines of my normal, everyday life and go to a place of safety, quiet, and seclusion.
When we go on retreat, we physically remove ourselves from life’s distractions, the responsibilities of work and home and the demands of people, in order to creatively and purposefully make space for God. In my life, retreats have helped me to slow down the pace of life, take stock of what matters most, and contemplate the important, instead of focusing on the urgent. Over the last decade, these times away have helped me to appreciate simplicity, silence, solitude and community, as well as develop the practice of listening and the art of waiting.
Are you longing for a place where you can just go and be? A place where there’s time devoted to personal reflection and rest, and the opportunity to connect with others in meaningful discussion and to deepen relationships? If so, I invite you to attend Refresh A Women’s Event April 29-May 1, 2016 at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, WA. During the weekend you will enjoy group sessions that include inspirational teaching and vibrant worship, an ample amount of free time to get away on your own or spend with friends, as well as a variety of breakout sessions offered on Saturday.
Speaking of breakout sessions – during the Refresh weekend, I will be facilitating a two-part experiential session, “Creating Space for God.” Attendees are invited to join me as we enter a time of quiet and solace before God. We will learn and apply Christian practices for silence and solitude that allow us to listen to God and oneself, to enliven and enrich one's conversation with God.
Something special happens when we physically get away and create room for our soul. I hope you are able to take this time away to invest in yourself and your relationship with God.
To register and for more information: Refresh A Women’s Event
Jada Swanson is a communicator at heart whose passion is to clearly and creatively teach God’s Word. She is an ordained elder in the Free Methodist Church, and serves as an Associate Pastor at CrossView Church in Snohomish, WA. In addition to pastoring, Jada is a worship leader, conference speaker, spiritual director, and retreat facilitator. She desires to help others create space to connect faith and the sacred ordinary of everyday life in order to deepen their relationship with God and to share His love with others.Add a comment
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Lisa Tremain, a New Zealand native, returns to Warm Beach Camp as the new Horsemanship Director
We are excited to have Lisa back on staff at Warm Beach Camp! Lisa first came as a Wrangler in Training (WIT) in 2003, and since has served in other camp ministries throughout New Zealand.
Recently, we sat down with Lisa and asked her some questions we thought you would like to know. And with her gracious, gentle spirit and her cool New Zealand accent, she shared about herself, her hopes for kids who attend camps and lessons, and her goals for the future of the Horsemanship program.
Q: Were you interested in horses when you were little?
A: My parents started getting into the horse camp ministry and learning about them when I was fairly young. I wouldn’t say I had a particular interest in horses before then. I would often ride double as a child with someone else – they would take me on trail rides and that type of thing. So I liked horses when I was younger. However, when I started riding by myself I was small and so they put me on the small ponies who were very mischievous and they would often run under things that they could fit under but without me fitting under it. So, I actually became quite terrified of horses. When we visited a new camp I went on a trail ride and they put me on a taller horse and I burst out in tears and was terrified. But the owner said he would walk beside me for the beginning of the trail ride, so I agreed to go. Halfway through he said, “Oh, I’ve got to go help someone else.” And off he went to help them so I was left riding by myself on this big horse. But that was the best thing ever because I suddenly realized they weren’t so scary and this horse wasn’t out to take me under a tree. From then on I loved horses and started riding more and more and more. That was a turning point. So, I definitely know how it feels to be terrified – they are a big animal - but I also know how much I changed when someone took time to help me overcome fear.
Q: Do you have a favorite horse activity?
A: I love to jump – yes, jumping is my favorite. I grew up doing English riding. I did Eventing, which is dressage, show jumping, and cross country all mixed together. Jumping is my favorite. There is nothing quite like being on a powerful horse and leaping off the ground.
Q: When did you start Western riding?
A: When I came here to Warm Beach Camp. I was 17 at that time. I came to be a WIT (Wrangler in Training). I did do some Western riding off and on in New Zealand. But Warm Beach Camp is when I actually took instructed lessons and made progress. There is a lot of cross over between English and Western riding. If you start out in one it’s easy to adapt to the other.
Q: How did you hear about Warm Beach Camp and come here to be a WIT?
A: In New Zealand it is really common to do what we call an “OE” – an overseas experience. Usually people will do that right after high school or before college or at the end of college. I had planned to do an OE and come to America to do camping ministry when I was 17 years old. Laurie Fertello, who was the Warm Beach Camp Youth Program Director at the time, came to New Zealand and toured some of the Christian camps. Laurie stayed with our family at Sonshine Ranch when she visited. She and my Mom hit it off. So, when I was talking about coming over, my Mom printed off all the information from the website about the WIT program. When I saw it, it sounded really fun. So I thought, “Sure, I’ll give that a shot.”
Q: How was your experience as a WIT here?
A: I loved it! I went home and got my Visa and came back. I worked year round at the barn at that time, and was a Wrangler the following summer. Then I did an internship in program and marketing.
Q: How did camp play a role in your spiritual growth?
A: Camping really did shape who I became and gave me a really good firm foundation. In New Zealand, we have school for 10 weeks and then have two weeks off, so we would have camps year round. I was in camps, church, and actively involved in youth group. I was constantly being poured into and had people around who wanted to help youth grow in their relationship with God. So, when things got tougher in later years, I definitely clung to that foundation of knowing who God is and how much He loves me.
Q: After being a part of other ministries in New Zealand the past several years, why did you want to move back to America?
A: My husband and I weren’t actually planning to move back to America. But for various reasons we did consider it and when I saw the job opening I applied. This is the job I have always wanted, to run a horsemanship program. And Warm Beach Camp was foundational for me in how camping can be run well. I think this is a great camp that has a lot of good standards and truly shows God’s love through the way that it interacts with staff and the guests. So I was really excited by the opportunity to work here. It was a hard decision, but exciting too. I’m really thrilled to be here and see where the program can go. I hope to impact others’ lives in the same ways my own life was positively impacted by the people at Camp.
Q: Do you have a favorite horse at Warm Beach Camp and why?
A: Oh, how do I pick?! I actually haven’t had a lot of time to ride very many of them yet. And I like them for different reasons. I have enjoyed a horse called Jackson – he is really fun and well trained, so he’s more of a fun horse for me to just get on and ride. There’s another cute one that everyone loves, who is black and white and adorable – Oreo – she’s a young horse and still in training. I love paints - black and white, brown and white… they’re just cute. Oreo is cute. There are some horses with cool personalities and others that are great to teach kids on – good for a nice, gentle ride. I like the challenge so I like horses to challenge me. But, there are others that are my favorite for teaching.
Q: What do you hope the kids who come to Warm Beach Horsemanship Camp will learn?
A: My hope is for kids to learn and grow in their experience and knowledge of horses, how to handle them and interact with them on the ground, and how to ride them. There is so much more to horseback riding than people think as far as how you communicate to the horse. You’re having to use your body language and different cues you are giving the horse and learning how to be in sync with the horse, and to ask nicely and to treat them with respect. To have that partnership form. This can help teach kids core life skills, while also developing and helping them grow in their horse riding ability.
Q: How can horses help kids learn about God and other relationships?
A: There are so many ways of translating it to our relationship with God and how He interacts with us and how we respond to Him. There are many parallels to be able to teach kids not only in general life - how we treat other people, trust other people, respect other people – but how that works with God too, and how He can help us to do that with others.
Q: Are there other things you hope kids experience at Horsemanship camps and lessons?
A: I’m really hoping that we can help kids achieve goals, overcome fears, or that they can feel a sense of growth. That they would be challenged and learn while they are here. And also feeling loved. I want Camp to be a safe place for them to come, where judgments are put aside and they are treated as people no matter where they come from, how they look. I want them to know that they are loved and safe here and have a place they can call home. And through that we can develop mentoring relationships. That’s what I would love to see.Add a comment
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Warm Beach Camp is overflowing with gratitude for the initiatives and transforming work of our Lord Jesus, and gratitude for our donors and volunteers.
One of the privileges of the board is to hear stories about the work of the Kingdom in people’s lives and to see new initiatives like Special Friends Camps, camps for adults with special needs. When we watched the video of the first Special Friends Camp, tears of gratitude were flowing. Like the Psalmist, we gave thanks to the Lord for He is good, and His steadfast love for Special Friends endures forever.
During a recent board meeting, we visited Chinook Village while work was under way. Most of the work was done by volunteers. The generosity and commitment of the volunteers is truly amazing. This December we will celebrate 20 years of The Lights of Christmas. Many volunteers have hung lights, worked on displays, and greeted guests at the front gate by the fire. It’s humbling to think about the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been touched by The Lights.
Gratitude to the Lord and each other has been in our DNA beginning from the Camp’s founding many decades ago and continuing to today. Thank you to all who support and partner with us! Thank you for making Warm Beach Camp a place of profound life change for thousands of people. As Paul said, we do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in our prayers. With gratitude!
David R. Goodnight
Chairman of the Board, Warm Beach Camp
Partner, Stoel Rives
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Judy Lang pulled into Warm Beach Camp (WBC) last December to be a volunteer at The Lights of Christmas, but her journey to becoming a Camp volunteer started many years ago when she first attended Warm Beach Camp as a Seattle Pacific University (SPU) student.
After graduating from SPU, Judy went on to work with refugees, migrants and international college students, teaching English as a Second Language for academic purposes.
In 2006, Judy pursued a Masters of Divinity degree at Regent College, a graduate school of theology in Vancouver B.C. Each year, Regent holds a retreat at WBC for students and faculty. While attending Regent, Judy again attended a retreat at Warm Beach Camp, this time with Regent.
With retirement approaching, Judy contemplated what the coming years would bring.
While at a state park on Labor Day, 2015, Judy bumped into an RV’er who told her about volunteering at Warm Beach Camp. It made sense to Judy that a camp would have opportunities in the summer, but, she said, “I wondered, who does anything at a camp in the dead of winter?” As it turns out, Warm Beach Camp does, and it’s called The Lights of Christmas!
The first week of December, Judy sent an e-mail to WBC inquiring about volunteer opportunities, and a few short days later, she was pulling her RV on grounds to volunteer. She had a great time and never worked the same job twice at The Lights of Christmas. She enjoyed being on the Security team the most as she "got the scope of everything that was going on.”
Judy has decided to stay on as a long-term volunteer. She says she enjoys “doing something that has value and is part of a Christ-centered community.” We are excited to have Judy Lang as part of the Warm Beach Camp family.Add a comment
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Our gift to you!
We invite you to join us in a time of appreciation as we honor you, our donors and volunteers, for the important role you play in keeping this ministry strong and growing. Please give us the opportunity to say thank you, to share what we’ve done with your investments of time and money, and to take a look at where God is leading us.
Please join us as our guests on Saturday, May 7, at 6 pm in the Camp’s Program Center Auditorium for a delicious dinner, and special music by the Griffin Family Band. We will also share testimonies and reports on what God is doing through the ministry of Warm Beach Camp. Doors will open at 5:30 pm.
You will be receiving an invitation card in the mail soon with more information, but please put the date on your calendar now.
The Partners in Ministry, the people who stand with us as volunteers and donors, are vital to making the ministry of Warm Beach Camp work, and we think it is important for you to know that! Come as we celebrate together the victories God has brought about through the Camp.
I really hope to see you there!
Please note: reservations are required. Please make your reservations by April 30.You may reserve your place now by emailing the names of the people coming in your party to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the Camp at 1-800-228-6724.Add a comment
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This past December, the President of the United States signed into law the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act. Among the twenty-two permanent tax breaks included in this landmark legislation was language that made IRA Charitable Rollovers retroactive for the 2015 tax year and permanent for 2016 and beyond.
An IRA Charitable rollover enables individuals, age 70½, who face mandatory required minimum distributions, to contribute up to $100,000 per year from a traditional IRA (or a Roth IRA in certain situations) directly to charity. This qualified charitable distribution provides a dual benefit to donors in that they count toward the required minimum distribution, but are not counted as taxable income when made to a qualifying charity like Warm Beach Camp.
The benefit of making an IRA charitable rollover instead of paying income tax on an IRA mandatory withdrawal generally makes this gift worth considering. As always, be sure to check with your personal tax advisor or financial planner to look at your specific situation.
If you have questions about how to make charitable IRA rollover gifts, simple bequests or organizing your estate documents, our WBC Foundation Director, Scott Rossiter, is ready to assist you. Please call (425) 299-8661 to set up an appointment, or send an e-mail to him.Add a comment
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Here is the latest news on the Camp’s current projects:
- Last fall, the barns at the Stables were painted. There will be more painting going on this spring when the weather gets warmer. The next set of buildings to be painted will be the Stables office/snack shop and vaulting barrel gym. Then all of the buildings at the Stables and Bayview will have a fresh look.
The repair work on the end-wall in the Cedar Lodge Dining Room is finally getting done! New windows, doors, and exterior finish will dress up the appearance of the building, improve energy efficiency, repair the rot in the wall, replace a broken window, and tantalize us with how nice the rest of that wing will look in the future when similar improvements are made. Work will be completed on this project by the end of this month.
- The refurbishment of Cedar Lodge Chapel has finally begun. The water and sewer lines have been connected so the two family restrooms just outside the Chapel can be finished. The windows in the Chapel will be replaced, new window coverings installed, and interior and exterior paint will be applied. Interior work will begin this month and continue through May, and possibly into the summer. This is the third and final phase of the Cedar Lodge renovation project made possible by the funds raised through the Embracing the Vision Campaign several years ago.
- Bids are being received from contractors for the work on installing the new, wider sidewalk from the Senior Community to Maple Center. This project will replace the cracked and broken four-foot sidewalk with a new ten-foot one, improve safety and accommodate more pedestrian traffic. This work will be done between now and the end of May.
- A major culvert on a section of road leading to the wastewater treatment plant failed recently, resulting in a major sinkhole. This led to an extensive culvert replacement project and road improvements from the Stables to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
- We are working through a list of spring projects, getting the roads and grounds ready for summer. Beauty bark is being applied to flower beds on the main grounds, and improvements are being made to the landscaping around Cascadian. Habitat restoration work, planting native plants around Bayview, as required by our County Conditional Use Permit, continues. Extensive work still needs to be done to the gravel roads on the grounds.
If you are interested in volunteering to help with any projects, whether you have a few hours or a few days, call Jessica Wilson at (360) 312-3417 or send her an email.Add a comment
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Some people close to me, but separated by many miles, were really hurting and upset. I wanted to be with them, but that was not possible. I did the one thing I could do, I found another person of faith, and we prayed. We prayed specifically for the details of the crisis. We prayed for God’s peace to sweep in and help settle things. We prayed for perspective. We prayed for His intervention to overtake the pitfalls of human intervention. We prayed in faith, trusting in God and our relationship with Him. We believed and acted with the knowledge that He would hear and interact our prayers.
Within the hour, God’s peace began to completely transform the crisis, and His intervention was overcoming the pitfalls of human intervention. It was beautiful to hear about. I wept tears of gratitude and my sense of awe in God increased.
There are two things I am learning:
- There is no power in the intent to pray
- The power released through prayer with God is only released when we pray
A few years ago I took up a challenge to, whenever appropriate, pray for people when they ask for prayer. I also made a decision to try to avoid the phrase “I will pray for you” when the power of prayer and God’s interaction with our prayers could happen in that moment. I choose to PRAY NOW. There’s a reason why Paul encourages us to pray constantly. The transforming power of God works through prayer. Our awareness of God at work in things that matter to us becomes more obvious. The results and outcomes of any situation are improved through prayer. God’s will, and being aligned with His will, increases through prayer.
The next time you get caught grinding away on something in your own strength, stop the moment when you become aware of your own grind, and pray now. Bring God into the center of the situation as soon as possible.
At first, it might feel awkward, but stay with it, and you will see God’s transforming work become more evident to you simply by taking time to Pray Now!
Warm Beach Camp Executive Director
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Freedom, encouragement, hope – these are the blessings couples experience at Marriage Encounter retreats at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, WA. Marriage Encounter is designed to provide a balance of structured teaching, personal sharing by leadership couples, and practical application during the weekend. Most marriage retreats focus on providing informative content, few engage participants in practicing the tools for a healthy marriage during the weekend.
Marriage Encounter brings a small group of couples together in a relaxed teaching format with leadership couples who share openly from their own stories. By hearing how other couples have wrestled through the challenges of communication, trust, forgiveness, etc, participants can strengthen their relationship and gain hope for their own situation.
As one participant exclaimed, “I was particularly moved by the intimate details shared by the leaders. It was helpful to know that others have struggled through equally challenging times and come out stronger.” Another shared, “I loved hearing personal stories from the team couples. Many of the examples helped us to relate and learn from them.”
Ample time is given for participants to reflect upon the content and to engage themselves through listening, writing, and sharing with their partner. Insights into God’s plan for marriage, trust-building, listening and communicating, forgiveness and honor find practical expression through activity during the weekend.
Couples are able to pace themselves and work through the weekend at the level appropriate to them. While such an actively engaging weekend may sound intimidating to some, these times are always surprisingly healing and healthy for participants. Freedom, encouragement, and enrichment make Marriage Encounter weekends an excellent way to breathe life into struggling relationships and also to make good marriages that much better.
“You all have provided hope for us!” one participant shared. And that sums up what Marriage Encounter is all about – equipping couples with the practical insights and tools that give hope for a sustained flourishing marriage.
In 2016, Marriage Encounter is held April 1-3 and October 28-30. Register online at http://www.warmbeach.com/programs/adult-programs/marriage-envounter. For engaged couples contemplating marriage, the sister program, Engaged Encounter, offers couples a chance to invest in the foundation of their marriage. Retreat dates and details are on the website at http://www.warmbeach.com/programs/adult-programs/engaged-encouner .Add a comment
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A week of summer camp can be a life-changing experience. Young people experience God in whole new ways, make new friends, develop life-skills, and build positive character. And yet, the cost of providing such experiences continues to climb at a faster rate than the ability of many people to afford. For many years, Warm Beach Camp has offered Kids 2 Camp Scholarships as a way to help ensure that no child gets left out of a summer camp experience. We now offer an easier way for people to obtain the support needed to make Camp affordable – Tier Pricing.
Realizing families have different abilities to pay, Warm Beach Camp now has a three-tier fee structure for each summer camp program.
- Tier 1 – covers approximately 75% of the actual cost of camp
- Tier 2 – covers approximately 90% of the actual cost of camp
- Tier 3 – reflects the actual cost of operating and maintaining camp
When you register, you will be asked to select a price tier. This choice is completely up to you and will depend upon which tier you believe will work best for your family’s priorities. We do not ask for documentation of any kind and your choice will not affect your camper’s camp experience. If Tier 1 still presents a barrier, financial assistance through the Kids 2 Camp Scholarship Fund is available through an application process.
We are grateful for the generous donors who make the Kids 2 Camp Scholarships and price subsidies possible. Now, we hope a more automated process of selecting a level of pricing will help more families say “Yes, you can” when their child asks to attend summer camp at Warm Beach Camp.Add a comment