News & Updates

See & read about what is going on in the Warm Beach Camp & Conference Center community

Warm Beach Camp — a Tropical Paradise!

By Matthew Lambert, Guest Services Associate

Each year, Warm Beach Camp serves many different guest groups, providing facilities and services to support conference and retreat programs run by other non-profit organizations. Occasionally, a group comes to WBC with a unique approach to their time here. One such group who came recently, the Arthritis Foundation Families, held a retreat for kids and teens with rheumatic diseases, and their families, called “KAT-FISH” Camp.

The theme of their camp was “Escape to Paradise.” According to the KAT-FISH newsletter, 50 families loaded their bags with sunglasses, sunscreen, straw hats, and Hawaiian print T-shirts, and traveled from as far away as Alaska to reach their “tropical destination” … Warm Beach Camp!

Family, or “ohana” in Hawaiian, was the centerpiece of the weekend. Highlights included an arthritis-friendly hula performance and lesson set to Hawaiian music, and hula-hoop and limbo contests. The kids also experienced all of the summer camp activities WBC is known for like the high ropes course, climbing tower, and draft horse wagon rides.

Parents had the opportunity to enrich their rheumatic disease knowledge with seminars on topics such as arthritis 101, reflexology, pain management, diet and inflammation, and stress management techniques.

Established in 1948, the Arthritis Foundation exists to provide support for families who are dealing with rheumatic diseases – the more than 100 types of arthritis and its related conditions. An annual retreat has been a part of their program for the past five years, but this was their first time to WBC.

These are just a few of the comments taken from the evaluations after their event:

“Thank you for being so friendly and giving my family this opportunity.”

“Very friendly, fun, safety is #1 concern of your staff.”

“Thank you for a nice warm pool for my children.”

Julie Gabeleins, the leader for the Arthritis Foundation Families said, “Whether KAT-FISH families remember their high-ropes experience, an interesting fact from the parent track, or the laughter at the talent show, there is one shared experience that all the families took away with them-that for one weekend their children living with arthritis and their siblings, as a 13-year-old KAT-FISH participant put it, could all “be the same.” That truly is paradise found.

Warm Beach Camp may not be the tropical paradise that most people think of, but there is a warmth here that a lot of people tell us they feel. Julie stated that, “… there is something different about this place than other places we have gone to.” We call it, “Keeping the path clear to Cross.” It is the mission that Warm Beach Camp is called to.

Ministry is the Connection Between Instructor and Student

About a year ago, a wonderful 85-year-old grandmother entered my life. She approached us with the interest of taking riding lessons after many years of being out of the saddle. Inez grew up with horses and even raised a horse from a foal to his last day on earth. Her daughter was involved in a local Pony Club and Inez had ridden until her kids moved on to adulthood. She deeply missed riding and the bond that comes with riding ...

Hearing from God

The past year has been difficult, bringing physical challenges, relationship losses, and employment transitions. My husband and I came to Warm Beach Camp & Conference Center for several reasons. One of the most important was to hear from God. One of the things I appreciate most about Warm Beach, is it provides the perfect environment to listen to God’s voice. I hear His laughter in the sound of children at play and see His joy on the faces of little ...

Trust in Hope

Hope in the context of the Bible is not the same as hope in the context of our current culture. Our culture often uses hope as wishful thinking, "I hope so…." Biblical hope, on the other hand, is an assurance of a promise that will come to pass! Down at the Stables, we have another "Hope" I'd like you to get to know. A large, beautiful, gentle giant of a draft horse named Hope. As an equine partner in our ...