The Wagemanns Join the Staff at WBC
by Nikki Rossiter, Staff Writer
Six years ago, Patrick Wageman would have had a hard time picturing himself as a barn manager at a Christian camp in Washington State. At the time, he was working as an irrigation specialist for an art institute in California. “It was hard to be a Christian and work there,” Patrick said of his work environment.
He was a single father with three kids when he met his future wife, Karin. She had four children of her own. In fact, it was through their children, who were best friends, that Patrick and Karin found each other. Since marrying, they have added one more daughter together.
Karin has worked with horses for most of her life and was training horses and teaching riding while working for a gourmet caterer when she ventured into the world of Christian Camping at Canyon Meadows Camp in California.
Canyon Meadows wanted to take their Food Service to a higher standard, from serving “camp food” to serving food more appropriate for conference center dining. Karin took the position of Director of Food Service and began revamping their food service program.
A year later, the Camp decided to start up a Horsemanship Program but didn’t know where to begin. They asked Karin to take the position of Horsemanship Director and create a brand new program from scratch. Though it was a tall order, because of her experience with horses, Karin was up to the challenge and excited about the possibilities. Within three years, the Horsemanship Program became, in the words of the Camp Director, “the ‘jewel’ of the Camp!”
During that time, Karin actually attended a CHA certification clinic at Warm Beach Camp. She loved the Camp and the scenery and knew she wanted to return someday, if the Lord allowed.
Karin’s next move, however, was not to Warm Beach. She found herself at a crossroads when Canyon Meadows was sold to a new owner. Although it meant leaving people that had become family to her, Karin decided it was time to move on. It was during this time of transition that she and Patrick got married and started on a new ministry adventure together.
This adventure came in the form of another Christian camp, The Oaks, in California. Patrick joined the staff as the Director of Grounds, and Karin became the new Food Service Director.
Patrick and Karin enjoyed their time at The Oaks, but while Karin was continuing to give riding lessons with her own horses in her spare time, she missed being a part of a camp horsemanship program. The Oaks had many wonderful things to offer, but they didn’t have that. Again she remembered her desire to return to Warm Beach. She kept checking the Camp’s website, looking at the job opportunities that were being offered.
When she first read about the opening for a barn manager, she was intrigued, but was concerned that the responsibilities were just too much for one person to handle. When she finally called to follow up on the position, she talked to Mark Skipton, the Horsemanship Director for WBC, and found that he was thinking about splitting the responsibilities of the job into two positions. One job would involve managing the barn and caring for the herd. The other position would involve teaching riding lessons to students and campers.
It turned out to be a perfect fit for both Karin and Patrick. Karin would teach riding lessons, and Patrick would join the staff as the new barn manager. Together they made a good team and a perfect fit for the needs of Warm Beach Camp’s Horsemanship Program.
Patrick and Karin live on the grounds at Warm Beach Camp with three of their children: Tyler, 18, Bethany, 9, and Michelle, 4. Tyler helps out at the Camp in the Program Department and in Food Service, and loves the outdoor activities. Bethany has volunteered at The Lights of Christmas, and, along with her little sister, is taking vaulting lessons. Michelle is enjoying living at the camp and making new friends. The only down-side has been that she is a little sad at not being able to bring all of her pets with her from California.
Overall, the transition has been a very positive one for all of them. Patrick and Karin both especially like being a part of such a caring and supportive staff and were most impressed with the Camp’s focus on staff unity and teamwork. The lack of sunshine took a little getting used to at first for these California transplants, but they have adjusted well and are enjoying all of the opportunities that living at Camp provides for them and their children.
We are delighted to welcome the Wagemann family to Warm Beach Camp. You will enjoy getting acquainted with them the next time you visit the Camp