Since Friday, I have been in Washington State with the senior class. Their classes are done, finals are over, and now they’re enjoying a few days of fun and service together before baccalaureate and commencement on Sunday and Monday.
Warm Beach Christian Camp
This is my eighth senior trip, and my fifth trip to Warm Beach Christian Camp and Conference Center (WBCC) in Stanwood, Washington. Located right on the west coast of Washington, Stanwood is about an hour north of Seattle. The camp property has beautiful views of the sound and the mountains in the distance. I wish that I could describe how beautiful the camp is, but I could never do it justice.
After a long day of travel on Friday, Saturday was a fun day in Seattle. We started the morning off at Pike’s Place Market, home of the original Starbucks store and much more. From Pike’s Market, we took the seniors up to the top of the iconic Space Needle – a must-do activity for first-timers to the city. We wrapped up the day at Safeco Field, watching as the Seattle Mariners lost to the Texas Rangers.
On Sunday morning, Ian Thomas (’08 graduate and newaddition to the LCS Bible faculty) spoke to the seniors from Matthew 5. He talked to them about being salt and light in the world as they prepare to leave LCS and go off to college, the military or into the workforce. After Ian spoke, we headed for an afternoon at a local outlet mall.
On Monday and Tuesday, the seniors worked at the camp. Some students cleared trails for the horseback riders. Others built picnic tables and fences. One group constructed large tents for the summer programs. More students raked and prepared more than 140 RV campsites. A few students helped prepare the arts and crafts programs, while others tested Christmas lights for next year’s “Lights of Christmas” program. A large group of students spread out across the grounds and worked on landscaping, gardening and general beautification of the grounds.
Staff members from WBCC work alongside our students the whole time and do a fantastic job of sharing the mission of the camp and how our work helps them accomplish that mission. One of the main slogans theyuse is “Keeping the Path Clear to the Cross.”
The picnic tables that our students build are where the counselors share Christ with inner city students from the Seattle/Tacoma areas. The RV sites are where families grow closer together and build community with others. More than 60,000 people come through the camp during the ”Lights of Christmas” event and are exposed to the gospel. These are just a few of the examples of how the work our students do benefit the camp and the kingdom of God.
In my opinion, one of the most special moments was when our students had morning devotions with the WBCC staff on Tuesday. Ed McDowell, the camp director, talked about Warm Beach, its mission and the programs they offer. Then he showed the students a video about their “Special Friends” camp, a summer program designed for teens and adults with disabilities. After the video, our students gathered together outside while the WBCC staff formed a circle around them and prayed over the seniors.
Today, we fly home to Florida. The seniors will celebrate baccalaureate on Sunday and commencement on Monday. And their time at Lakeland Christian School will be complete. I hope that they look back on this trip and remember what a great time they had, but also about how they were a small part in keeping the path clear to the cross for people in the opposite corner of the United States.
Mrs. Sandy Johnson is the LCS Communication Specialist and Senior Class Advisor. You can contact her via email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.