K2C Auction Silent

The 17th annual Kids 2 Camp Benefit Auction was held on Saturday, August 27. The bidding was brisk with more than 300 items going to the highest bidders. When the dust settled, more than $141,000 was raised for the Kids 2 Camp Fund!

By the end of this year, we are projecting that over $202,000 will have been given out in scholarships, helping bring more than 1,700 campers to Warm Beach Camo. We are committed to not turning any child away from camp, but this requires funds for scholarships to make that possible. Each year, many people help provide the financial resources so this can happen.

We are extremely grateful to each of our auction donors who gave items to be placed in the auctions. We also want to thank all of the very generous bidders who came to the event.

More than the money raised, the success of this event is measured in the lives of the kids who will get to go to camp. Mark your calendar now for the next Kids 2 Camp Benefit Auction on Saturday, August 26, 2017!

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LOC Vol Elfland 1This year, The Lights of Christmas is celebrating its 20th year! There will be lots of celebration and plenty of fun. While the event doesn’t open till December 1st, the crew that hangs all those lights is already hard at work. It takes about three months to get the Christmas lights in place! An event like this doesn’t just happen by itself. It takes lots of planning and a lot of help to make it all come together!

During October and November, all the effort is in the preparations. Decorations will be cleaned up and painted, light displays will be assembled, and the volunteers needed to staff the event will be recruited. If you are interested in helping make The Lights of Christmas happen, there are lots of ways you can pitch in.

During Thanksgiving Working Weekend over 100 volunteers come together for one final push to get ready for The Lights. This event will take place November 24th to 27th. Join the crew of volunteers for an extreme makeover weekend as we transform the grounds into a Christmas wonderland.

During The Lights of Christmas, there is no lack of things to do on the 19 nights we are open. More than 100 volunteers per night power the event. As you can imagine, there are a wide variety of jobs: indoor hosting, parking attendants, pony ride attendants, train attendants, and much more. Volunteering during The Lights gives you the opportunity to get a glimpse behind the scenes to see how this event happens.

The final, critical need for help happens after the event, when it is time to take things down and put them away. Take Down happens on December 29th and 30th. If enough people get involved in this process, everything gets done over a couple of days. If there are not enough volunteers for Take Down, it will take much longer to get the decorations put away.

Are you interested in helping with any part of The Lights this year? To register, or for more information about the above mentioned events, you can visit our volunteer webpage or call Jessica Wilson at either (360) 312-3417 or 1-800-228-6724, ext. 2276.

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I listened as he unpacked events in his life that were not fair. I wanted to take care of it for him, but this was his life, not mine. I was here to walk with him through a disappointment brought on him by others.

After taking some time to think and pray about it, we went to my favorite place of perspective, the campfire, and I spoke words of blessing and encouragement into his life. We reminded each other that it is not the unfairness of life that defines us. What we do and how we live in response to unfairness is where character and greatness resides.

There was nothing fair about the cross of Jesus. Yet, I have a life of eternal good in front of me because of all that unfairness. What is even more amazing, is that Jesus declared going through this unfairness as the Father’s will.

Jesus’ brother, James, writes to followers of Jesus in Jerusalem, “…when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4, NLT)

It is a given that life is unfair. There is something so much greater than the unfairness of the moment.  There is a powerful good that rises and produces life in me in no other way. It was as if through Jesus, God the Father was saying to all the unfairness of all time. “Bring it on. Give me the death blow. There is a deeper good, and not even death can stop it!”

I watched the young man rise up from the unfairness and choose to let the greatness of his God-given character rise and grow. 

Life is unfair but, thanks to God, it can still be good!!!

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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Andrew Michele Ed Aug2016Responding to Vision matters. I will never forget the first meeting with Andrew and Michele. It was a simple vision that would require collaboration and commitment. I had clear conviction and desire from God to see a family camp for foster and adoptive families. Michele and Andrew have been living out a commitment to the health of foster and adoptive families through the Refresh Conference, Harvest Hands Alliance, The Permanence Project, Overlake Christian Church, and being adoptive parents themselves.

We met, shared the vision, and the response was immediate. “We are all in.”  

Three and a half years later, more than 400 attended the third “Refreshed Families” foster and adoptive Family Camp at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, WA. Volunteers and staff serve to make the event possible. Donors give campership money to help families experience a much needed win in their lives.

Michele, Andrew and I met again to share vision about the future. Every foster and adoptive family needs a win. We looked at how we could improve the Refreshed Families camp to support even more people every year. We committed all to God as we look forward to next year.

To all who have responded to this vision – thank you.  

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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Warm Beach Camp FoundersFrom left to right: Charles Kirkpatrick, Stanley Watkins, Forest Bush Sr., S.E. FosketIn the mid 1950’s, a group of people launched an incredible vision to build Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center. The leaders of the Washington Conference of the Free Methodist denomination came together to sell two small camps that were going to be overtaken by the construction of I-5.

The vision they pursued was multiple times the scope of what was being given up. Two small properties for a big spacious property overlooking Port Susan Bay. They went from a vision of serving hundreds to envisioning ministry to tens of thousands every year.

The photo is an iconic picture of four great men who gave leadership to the vision. As a boy and young man, I had the privilege of knowing each of these great men. There were many others that were working right alongside them.

Earlier this year, the last of these four men, Forest Bush, went home to be with Jesus. At a recent Warm Beach Camp Board of Directors meeting, we took time to remember what they, in faith and obedience to God, had begun. 

As a Board, we were overwhelmed with two clear thoughts:

  1. WHAT A VISION - The vision of Warm Beach Camp begun all those years ago has grown to over 92,000 people in 2015.
  2. WHAT A SACRED TRUST - We have a sacred trust to continue this vision in the same faith and obedience to God in changing times. 

Dear Father,

Thank You for the founders of Warm Beach Camp. Thank You for the vision You gave to them. Thank You for their faith and obedience. Thank You for all the lives being changed every year through Your gospel and creation. 

Guide us in continuing this sacred trust. Guide us in keeping the path clear to the cross of Jesus Christ.  Guide us to develop the ministry for current and future generations. 

Thank You.

In Jesus' name,
Amen 

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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Here is the latest news on the Camp’s current projects:

  • Chapel Project Update716Work continues on the refurbishment project in Cedar Lodge Chapel. New windows and exterior doors have been installed, and the interior walls have been refinished. The last two family restrooms are now finished. Work still in progress includes the new audio/visual systems, new chairs, a snack counter, and possibly lighting and ceiling paint. This is the final project of the Embracing the Vision Campaign that provided funding for the new restrooms on the main floor of Cedar Lodge, and the remodel work in the kitchen and north end of the basement. We are grateful for the many people who gave through the Campaign to make this all possible.

  • New carpet has been installed in Cascadian Lobby and the hallways. You will have to take a peek next time you are on the grounds! Fundraising through a room memorialization program has begun that will allow us to refurbish the sleeping rooms in this lodge as well.

  • Volunteers have finished the painting project at the Stables. Over the last two years, all of the buildings at the Stables, along with Bayview Ranch House, have been repainted. They look really nice with their fresh new paint. Thank you, volunteers!

  • The new wider sidewalk is in that goes from the Senior Community to Maple Center. This project replaced the old four-foot sidewalk with a new ten-foot-wide one, improving safety and accommodating more pedestrian traffic.

  • The new outdoor sound system in the Amphitheater has been installed and is now fully operational. This is a huge improvement, allowing a greater range of programming to occur outside, year-round. Funding for this project came from two long-time guest groups, individuals, and Warm Beach Camp.

  • A new pedestrian entry for The Lights of Christmas near the front entrance is complete. This will direct the people parking across Marine Drive into the RV area where they will have a safer, more direct route to the ticket gates than has been possible in the past.

  • New storage shed and corrals at the Stables are being installed. This allows for improved vaulting tack storage and improvements to winter horse feeding.

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 you can contact her by email.

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Silent Auction450The seventeenth annual Kids 2 Camp Benefit Auction is just a few weeks away! This fun and important event raises funds for the Kids 2 Camp Scholarship Fund, helping make it possible for kids to go to camp. Last year, the auction raised more than $111,000!

This year, you will find some incredible items in the auctions, including lots of great gift items, some real “finds,” and even some nice get-away experiences. There’s something for everyone in every price range!

The auction preview opens at 10:00 a.m., and the first auction begins at 10:45 a.m. The auctions run until approximately 3:00 p.m. The two live auctions and a silent auction will feature hundreds of items, including things for the yard and garden, dining opportunities, gift certificates, craft items, tools, gift items for kids, vacation packages, sports memorabilia, home furnishings, and one-of-a-kind experiences. The event also has activities for the kids and food concessions on site, this year featuring a lunch buffet with choice of entrée, soups, salads, and delicious dessert.

This is the largest fundraiser we hold each year for the Kids 2 Camp Fund, and is important in providing the needed funding that allows any child who wants to come to camp the means to attend. Besides, it is just plain fun for everyone! Mark your calendar for Saturday, August 27, and plan on being there.

For more information, or to see a list of the auction items, go to the Kids 2 Camp Benefit Auction webpage.

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Volunteerism has been an important part of Warm Beach Camp since its inception. In the early years, there was only one paid staff couple. The kitchen, program and hospitality staff were comprised solely of volunteers. Many of the original buildings were constructed using mostly volunteer labor.

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As WBC has grown, so has its volunteer family. There has been a slow but steady increase in participation from 30,150 hours in 2008 to 50,916 hours in 2015. Today’s volunteers participate in nearly every area of ministry just like their predecessors did in 1959.

A major portion of the Camp’s current volunteer base is made up of RV Volunteers who live and travel in RV’s. They stay and volunteer at WBC for anywhere from one month to several years, providing stability and consistency in many of our programs and projects. This added workforce accomplishes work that would not get done otherwise.

The Camp currently has 20 RV sites dedicated to RV Volunteers. In our peak seasons, summer and The Lights of Christmas, often every site is filled. This summer, for the first time, WBC has had to turn away volunteer help for lack of space. Additional long term Volunteer RV sites are needed in order to accommodate the numbers of volunteers that want to stay and serve for an extended period of time.

The Camp is looking to develop five additional long term RV sites and improve three to five existing sites at a total cost of $30,000. Each site will produce an additional 500-2,000 volunteer hours per year depending on the length of stay of the volunteers, providing a significant return on investment for years to come.

We praise the Lord for drawing volunteers to the ministry of Warm Beach Camp and trust that He will continue to give us the means to provide for them.

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August 27, 2016

K2C Fun Run 1Warm Beach Camp helped more than 1,600 campers attend camp last year who would otherwise have been left out. This is possible only because of the generous financial help from many people. This year, the Camp is offering a new way to come alongside and help raise funds for Kids 2 Camp. It is the Kids 2 Camp Benefit Run scheduled for August 27 at WBC.

The Benefit Run Schedule:

7:00 am - Packet pick-up
7:30 am - Late registration
8:00 am - 10k race starts
8:15 am - 5k race starts
9:30 am - 1 mile race starts
11:00 am - Lunch available for purchase

Camp is a place where kids can leave behind the cares, distractions, and problems of everyday life. It’s an opportunity for them to experience a breather — to catch a vision for the bigger picture of their lives where the love of God can become more real.

Join us for a fun run to benefit the Kids 2 Camp Scholarship fund at Warm Beach Camp. For more information, please visit the Benefit Run website, or call the Camp at 1-800-228-6724.

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A young couple got out of their car, just arriving for camp, and walked up the sidewalk to Cedar Lodge. He turned to her and said, “I feel like I am coming home.”

There is a desire in all of us to feel like we are coming home. The descriptions of “home” may vary from person to person. Unconditional love, acceptance, certain types of food, relationships, traditions, a place and space that feeds the soul, are all parts that make up this ideal of “home.”

Bev, my wife, often asks me this question: “Does it feed your soul?” What a great question when we think about home and all that it means. My favorite place at home is the fire circle. Recently, I went to the fire circle by myself and built a fire, and people started to gather. We laughed, talked, prayed, and even spent time just staring into the beauty and warmth of the fire. I was home. My soul was being fed.

The truth is, this desire to come home is from God. He is with us on a journey that brings us home to be with Him forever. Being with Him is the ultimate place of unconditional love, acceptance, feasts, relationships, and traditions that will last forever. With Him, we know that our soul is fed.

At camp, coming home might be connection with friends, cinnamon rolls, riding a horse, or paddling a canoe. It might be a favorite space or the sunsets. Whatever it means to you to come home to camp, please know that it is evidence of a deeper reality: God, through His Son Jesus Christ, invites us to live with Him forever. 

Coming Home…

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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Sometimes people get hit so hard in life that their heart and emotions simply close up and become hard, defensive and protective of self at almost any cost. If you are in this situation, or helping someone in this situation, there are two things to know:

  1. Just one meaningful connection: It only takes one meaningful connection between a person with a closed heart and someone or something else to begin to open up the heart again. ONLY ONE. The connection can be with a horse, a dog, or a coach, friend or relative.  
    I have watched God increasingly use horses at Warm Beach Camp to provide the one meaningful connection needed to open up a hard, scared and broken heart.
  2. Gratitude is the evidence of a closed heart opening up: When you start to hear someone express gratitude for one meaningful connection, be encouraged, because the heart and emotions are risking opening up to the possibilities of giving and receiving love again.

Caution for parents: Parents want to be the meaningful connection with a child who is hurt. However, the meaningful connection may need to be a horse instead. Don’t assume that you are the answer. Be open to who or what God would bring into your child’s life to open up their heart and spirit. Supportively be faithful to the part God has given you as the parent.

Opportunity for all: Shared experiences encourage connection. Consider Warm Beach Camp as a great place to connect and encourage people whose hearts are closed and hard. Pray they will find one connection, open up and receive love, and begin to express gratitude.

Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

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