I Love Twin Rocks Because…
Twin Rocks Friends Camp is dearly loved. Several friends of the camp were recently asked to describe how Twin Rocks has captured their admiration. Here are their responses, interspersed with photos from 2013’s summer camp season:
I love Twin Rocks Friends Camp because of the countless memories it holds for me. From family camp as a toddler myself, to now family camp with my own toddler, this camp has seen me through all the stages of my life and nurtured my relationship with Christ through them all. I’ve had the unique opportunity to be a camper, to be on staff, and to volunteer, all which have allowed me to see that Christ is truly at the core of this unique place. Oh, and the peanut butter cookies are to die for!
– Stephanie Hilton
“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand,” has been a phrase that has come to mean a lot to me over the past year-and-a-half in college. After working for the summer at Twin Rocks it has become increasingly clear to me that this camp, more than any other place, has given me a solid, rock-like, foundation on which my faith is built, be that from the lessons I learned as a camper, from the humility I learned from the compassionate full-time staff, or from the peace that came from working in a December 2013 Christ-centered environment. I love Twin Rocks because it has fed me when I needed fed, allowed me to rest when I needed to rest, and—most importantly—pushed me to grow when I needed to grow.
– Katie Comfort
I love Twin Rocks Friends Camp because first and foremost I was saved at 4th grade Boys Camp. And although the memories of my childhood camp days are beginning to fade, I am left with thoughts about what it means to be a faithful servant, modeled to me at Twin Rocks by the leaders and staff (Walt King comes to mind). While I didn’t know my Grandpa Delano, I know he helped build the great buildings we still enjoy. Every time I touch one of the old beams in the dining hall, I enjoy a connection I have with no other place on earth. I am looking forward to what God is going to do at and through Twin Rocks Friends Camp in the future. And that’s exciting!
– Duane Delano
I love Twin Rocks because: Creation contains many special places of beauty, spirituality, and wonder where men and women have joined with Christ to nurture sanctuaries of abundant love and devotion. In the sanctuary of Twin Rocks, God offered me the gifts of peace and rest, but above all else he overcame my doubt and fear by healing me of my brokenness and assuring me of his profound love. Nowhere else do I feel the presence of my Savior so immanently. Nowhere else have I seen the heart of Christ more actively or beautifully portrayed than in the blessed sanctuary of Twin Rocks.
— Micah Holmes
I love Twin Rocks because this camp has forever impacted my family – and the lives of countless others. Twin Rocks is about giving experiences and spaces for anyone and everyone to see and know our loving Creator. It’s about opening eyes to see both the beauty in the creation around you at camp, and recognizing the beauty God created in each person. The staff and volunteers who are committed to the mission and vision of the camp lovingly work behind the scenes simply because they believe in the transforming work of Christ.
— Nancy Almquist
I love Twin Rocks because I feel like God’s presence is nearby. Twin Rocks is always fun, with loving and caring staff. It is my home away from home, a place where I have sought and found God many times. I have trust in the camp staff whom God has placed there for His purposes. I pray for these staff and hope others join with me. My family has experienced times of spiritual growth and renewal while at Twin Rocks. I cannot thank those dedicated staff and God’s great plan enough for this camp. God is so good! I encourage all to take time and return to Twin Rocks if you have not been there lately, and seek God where I have found Him.
— David Cadd
I love Twin Rocks because…..
■ On a Sunday night in February you can watch middle school students “rock out” during a lip sync competition while their peers scream in excitement for them at Jr. High Jamboree.
■ Twin Rocks is exceptional at developing Christ-centered leaders through various programs including: The young adult year-round Internship program, Surfside Camp’s student committee, Summer Staff opportunities, the Servant Leadership Program, and the Jr. High Jamboree student planning team.
■ The Twin Rocks staff is gifted at sharing hospitality to all of their guest groups, creating an environment that nourishes a person’s spirit.
■ All summer long, campers are being “poured into” by their cabin counselors, by time with friends (new and old), by experiencing God in creation, and by excellent programs created by many faithful people.
— Rachelle Staley
We love Twin Rocks Friends Camp because it is a home away from home for our entire family. Nadine has been attending since she was a little girl, and we started a tradition of attending Family Camp 24 years ago and we are certain to carry on the tradition for at least another 24 years. Twin Rocks holds a VERY SPECIAL place in our hearts and we look forward to many, many more years attending various camps and conferences.
— Rich & Nadine Miller
Welcome Center Set to Open
Twin Rocks staff members and volunteers are putting the final, finishing touches on the camp’s new Welcome Center. This beautiful building will soon serve as the camp’s front office, assisting campers and greeting new guests. This log structure will also house the camp’s coffee shop, Undertow Espresso & Camp Store, which is moving to the Welcome Center from its previous, cramped location under the Dining Center’s front porch.
Adjacent to the Welcome Center sits a new courtyard complete with several conversation areas and a fire pit. This large patio emulates the style of a similar one at the nearby Shelter gymnasium. Placed randomly within the Welcome Center courtyard are 300 pavers inscribed with a variety of messages from friends of the camp – a result of a successful “Buy A Brick” campaign. Last May, more than 200 people attended a ceremony dedicating this courtyard.
Centennial Campaign on the Horizon
With the completion of the Welcome Center, Twin Rocks will officially complete Phase 1 of the Master Plan it unveiled in 2006. Phase 1 created a camper-friendly “greenway” in the center of the Twin Rocks property. This included removing several roads and an older cabin (Aymara) and replacing them with green grass, a quadplex cabin (Osprey), Welcome Center, patios, fire pits, picnic tables, entry kiosk, and new perimeter roadway. The result is a dramatically-improved appearance to camp, a newfound sense of facility connectedness within the camp property, and a safer environment for campers.
After extensive surveying of camp constituents over the past two years, an outline of Phase 2 has emerged. Specifics will be announced at a celebration tentatively scheduled for May 2014, but in a nutshell, over the next eight-to-ten years Twin Rocks plans to implement a Centennial Campaign in recognition of its upcoming 2018 hundredth anniversary, instituting several facility improvements:
■ Million Dollar Makeover. Most of Twin Rocks’ buildings received substantial upgrades 15-20 years ago and are now showing some signs of wear-and-tear. Therefore, a key component to Master Plan: Phase 2 will be spending more than $1 million to restore these structures, providing new (or renewed) decks, docks, carpets, cabins, roofs, furniture, paint, and other upgrades.
■ Terrific Toys. A number of new recreational elements will soon be implemented to enhance kids’ camp experiences. Upgraded lakefront activities, a zipline over Cammack Field, and beach bicycles are likely components.
■ Revitalized Historic Core of Camp. To meet the needs of Twin Rocks’ current and future campers, several changes are necessary in the historic, central part of camp. A growing problem of overcrowding in the Meetinghouse (main chapel facility initially constructed in 1928), Hadley Hall (dormitory, 1935), and Dining Center (1948) are necessitating some modest-sized additions to all three facilities. Restrooms, a foyer, and 75 seats are slated to be added to the Meetinghouse. Hadley Hall requires some bedroom reconfiguration and expanded restrooms. And – if fundraising allows – the dining room will be enlarged to seat up to 400 campers. As part of this revitalization, graveled areas which currently connect these facilities will be replaced by a courtyard of pavers, and the old “front office” will become a Nature Center.
The exact components to the Centennial Campaign are subject to adjustment, and the total price tag for these upgrades will likely run $2.5-$3 million. And yet, the next 8-10 years leading into and out of the camp’s 2018 centennial will provide an exciting time in the life of Twin Rocks as strong efforts are made to hone in on maintenance upgrades and provide much-anticipated enhancements to the historic core of camp.
Homes for Long-Term Volunteers
Twin Rocks suffers from too few maintenance workers. Oftentimes, preventative maintenance and routine projects go undone due to a lack of mechanics, craftspersons, and handymen. And generous volunteers have been turned away from Twin Rocks due to a lack of accommodations in which to house them.
To remedy this problem, Twin Rocks is in the process of purchasing two new, “Park Model” single-wide modular homes, which will be available exclusively for use by long-term volunteers. Due to some unique circumstances, these 1-bedroom, 500 square foot, fully-outfitted structures can be purchased and completely installed for less than $40,000 ($20,000 apiece), or $40/square foot. By conservative estimates, Twin Rocks should easily recoup the equivalent of this $40,000 through volunteer labor in less than two years.
Here’s how you could help make this Twin Rocks dream a reality:
1. Help Purchase Park Model Homes. Please consider making a year-end contribution to Twin Rocks to help fund the $40,000 purchase/installation cost of the two Park Model homes.
2. Become a Long-Term Volunteer. Twin Rocks is looking for individuals or couples who would be willing to move to Twin Rocks and live in these Park Model homes. In exchange for your volunteering 20-25 hours/person each week in maintenance, laundry, and/ or office duties (depending upon your skills and interests), Twin Rocks would provide you with housing accommodations, utilities, and many meals. Ideally, Twin Rocks will secure volunteers able to commit 1-2 years living and volunteering at the camp, but will entertain the possibility of shorter stays. If you are interested in this possibility (perhaps beginning in March 2014), please email Volunteer Coordinator LeAnn Beebe ([email protected]) to request an application and job description.
Fully Rested, Fully Blessed at Harbor Villa
“The ladies love Harbor Villa!” This enthusiastic response comes from Simona Gherghisan, retreat leader for the women of Gladstone First Baptist Church, who for the past four years have gathered at Harbor Villa Retreat Center for a February weekend retreat. Because of rising costs at their previous venue, in 2009 Simona began looking for a new location for the longstanding women’s retreat. While driving by Harbor Villa during a visit to Rockaway Beach, she decided to investigate retreat possibilities there. “I was able to book the only date available for the coming year! I know it was providential. With much excitement we made preparations for our first retreat at the beach. We had amazing, warm, sunny weather—we wore t-shirts! Everybody raved about the beautiful location and how great a time they had. Some said it was the best retreat they had ever attended.”
The women who come to the retreat are all ages, from junior highers accompanying a grandma, mom or older sister to women over 80 (“our sages,” as Simona calls them). It’s not unusual for three generations of women to attend together. Also, one year the women of Gladstone First Baptist asked women from a sister church in Molalla to join them.
The Gladstone women utilize all of Harbor Villa’s five units, allowing the 40-50 women ample room for meeting, sleeping and dining. The weekend is full of laughter, food, worship, teaching sessions, craft time, workshops, and games. It begins with Friday night ice breakers like a flashlight game called “Shine Your Light!” Each woman gets a chance to hold the flashlight and share something unique about herself. Simona shares that some said they had jumped from airplanes, some said they were on television, some spoke a foreign language and “one of our older sisters said that when she was a newlywed baking cookies for her husband she burned herself….on her tummy. The whole place broke out into a roar; we couldn’t stop laughing for a long time!”
The oceanfront Lighthouse, the largest of the units, is home base for what Simona calls, “our Iron Chef Team.” There a well-choreographed kitchen crew prepares sumptuous meals, including a pajama brunch on Saturday, which might include several delicious dishes like egg scramble and cinnamon rolls. The Team’s meals are shared together in the great room of the Lighthouse while the ladies converse and enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean out the large picture windows. Next door, the Anchorage is set up for the speaking sessions, usually led by a special speaker who is often housed in nearby Captain’s Cabin.
In the past, retreat speakers have led the women in themes like “Knowing the Heart of God” and “Consuming Jesus.” Next year’s retreat will deal with the topic of rejoicing in the midst of suffering. Workshops help to draw the women into the experience of worship like one held on understanding the Psalms in which each participate wrote their own praise psalm. Another workshop dealt with understanding how to pray. Simona reflects, “we realize our brokenness with God, self, others, and the rest of creation. When we do that we level the plain, we become united in our brokenness and know that only Jesus can reconcile us in these areas.”
The retreat also provides time and space for real fellowship to occur, love is shared and community is built. Simona comments that last year’s retreat was particularly meaningful: “One of our dear sisters, because of the love and fellowship she experienced at the retreat, had the courage to share that she was diagnosed with a rare cancer. She was showered with love and prayers and was so blessed to be at the retreat.” This kind of heartfelt connection realizes one of the stated goals for the retreat, “…that we may share our lives and encourage each other.”
Each year when the retreat is over the women immediately look forward to the next one. Simona sums it up: “When we go back home fully rested, fully blessed, and filled with joy and God’s peace we radiate the love of Jesus! We make everyone around us happy—husbands, friends, moms, children, brothers, sisters, the whole church!”
The Gladstone First Baptist Church is one of many churches whose men, women, youth, and families come annually to experience God in the beautiful, oceanfront setting of Harbor Villa Retreat Center. Like GFBC, many of these churches have been coming for many years, finding in Harbor Villa the perfect serene setting for their groups to fellowship and listen to God. If you would like to consider bringing a church group to Harbor Villa, please contact Harbor Villa Coordinator LeAnn Beebe at (503) 355-2284, ext. 102
Making Time for Marriage
With a busy schedule, it can sometimes be difficult to make time for relationships. At Twin Rocks, couples are offered an annual opportunity to get this much-needed getaway and rejuvenation time at Couples Conference – an event recently held October 11-13, 2013. The first evening included coffee and conversation with Michael Buble playing in the background, and lights flickering on small tables prepared for each couple, setting a special tone for the weekend. Led by guest speakers Ben and Denise Staley, Couples Conference offered different sessions that encouraged couples and gave them opportunities to talk with one another and grow spiritually.
Newlywed Chris McMullan highlighted the group sessions as being instrumental toward growth with his wife: “I think the thing that stood out for Jessica and I was the ability to feel like it was a conference that only we were at even though there were a lot of people there. It was nice to really have time to get to know Jessica better and ask questions of each other that may not have come up had those not been raised in the classes.”
The conference also provided couples with opportunities to play together. Says Emily Brown, “Couples Conference was really fun this year. One thing that definitely stands out to me was being able to go skating. That was a really awesome time for Zack and I to just have fun together. It was definitely different from our go-tos for fun. I was able to learn that he is a good skater (of all things), and he learned that I am not! That was a really refreshing activity for us.”
At the end of the weekend, couples shared that their highlights were “roller skating,” “the little touches,” “reflection,” and “time to relax and be pampered.” One couple indicated that they just appreciated “the TIME to be together” and another specified that they “will enjoy coming back next year.”
Interestingly enough, this year’s Couple Conference welcomed a large number of newlyweds. It has been encouraging to see how this retreat draws couples from all over the spectrum, from those married less than one year to those married decades.
Couples Conference stands out as one of Twin Rocks’ most thoughtful, out-of-the-box, and intentional programs. Associate Director Joseph Thouvenel had this to say about the conference: “Couples Conference is a great annual tradition for couples. There is enough consistency from year to year that people know what to expect, but at the same time we add some new program elements each year, too. There just don’t seem to be many opportunities for couples to receive spiritual nourishment. Couples Conference provides this kind of purposeful teaching along with fun activities and a few surprises.”
Couples Conference is just one of several ways Twin Rocks is pursuing God and providing that safe space for people to see Him more clearly in their everyday lives.
—Article written by Tim Engle, Twin Rocks Intern
You Should Know…
■ This January, Twin Rocks is again offering its popular, oceanfront Sabbath by the Sea program at Harbor Villa Retreat Center. These half-week and full-week personal retreats provide an opportunity to begin 2014 well, by seeking God’s leading and restoration. Visit twinrocks.org for details and registration.
■ Twin Rocks recently received a brand new, $30,000 Kubota tractor as a donation from three anonymous friends of the camp. For many years, the camp’s maintenance staff team hadbeen forced to contend with less-than-adequate equipment which regularly broke down, serving as a source of ongoing frustration. This new tractor has been warmly received by staff, and is already enhancing productivity.
■ A “new” Men’s Retreat is in the works for 2014. Instead of occupying its traditional February timeslot, Men’s Retreat is being moved to September 12-14, 2014 to enable a more outdoor-friendly experience. Twin Rocks’ staff is working in conjunction with the “Friends Men” organization of Northwest Yearly Meeting to offer this revitalized program, scheduled to include outdoor barbecues, a relaxed atmosphere, friendly competitions between churches, evening fire circle conversations, times of worship, and meaningful teaching on how to create and enhance space for God and family in the midst of busy lives.
■ Twin Rocks is now recruiting applicants to its two summer leadership programs: Summer Staff (an 11-week program for college-age young adults) and Servant Leadership Program (a 5-week program for 16-18 year olds). Both programs stand at the core of Twin Rocks’ ministry, providing youth and young adults an opportunity to serve campers while going deeper in their own Christian faith. To apply, please visit the “Serving” section of the Twin Rocks website (twinrocks.org).
■ This September, Twin Rocks celebrated its 40th annual Adult Fellowship Camp. It was a joyous, but bittersweet anniversary, as it also marked the final Adult Fellowship Camp weekend. Adult Fellowship Camp began in 1973, but most of 2013’s campers can trace their first Twin Rocks experience to the 1940s or 1950s when they attended conferences as children or youth. Over the past 40 years, Adult Fellowship Camp has provided something of a “Hall of Fame” of Twin Rocks’ constituency, made up of individuals who have contributed countless volunteer hours and dollars to the camp over the decades. In a class led by Dr. Mary-Kate Morse during the 40th anniversary, attendees recounted with one another their many Twin Rocks experiences and wrote prayers of blessing to the Twin Rocks staff.
■ This fall, Kevin Frazier began serving as the camp’s Financial Services Director. Kevin enjoys a long history with Twin Rocks, having attended camps as a child. He met his wife, Lisa, while serving on Summer Staff 15 years ago. A George Fox University graduate, Kevin spent the past several years directing a team of sales and design engineers for a national re-seller of voice, video and data networks in the Pacific Northwest. Kevin and Lisa are the proud parents of two daughters: Malia (5) and Ashlee (3). (Kevin replaces Dave Hampton, who after 5 years at Twin Rocks moved with his wife, Susan, to Newberg, Oregon, to serve as Chief Financial Officer of Friendsview Retirement Community – a “sister” Friends institution to Twin Rocks.)
■ The Prayer Lookout, constructed in 1998 and now 15 years old, continues to be used regularly for prayer retreats. In the past 12 months, more than 100 individuals (or couples) have utilized the Prayer Lookout on more than 250 days. If you would like to spend a day or two praying in a small cabin, please call the camp at 503-355-2284 to make a reservation.
■ Twin Rocks is blessed with a strong contingent of 2013-14 Interns (pictured below, left-to-right: Katey Astleford, Tim Engle, Hannah Cadd, Josh Kneeland, and Lisa Perry). This leadership development program is overseen by Associate Director Joseph Thouvenel and partially underwritten by a grant from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust.
■ Through a partnership with a trusted, independent third party, Twin Rocks offers complimentary, no obligation assistance to families seeking estate planning advice. For details, please contact Kevin Frazier (503-355-2284 / [email protected]).
From the Director’s Desk
I am amazed at the incredible power of camp – how meaningful a place like Twin Rocks can be in the lives of hundreds and even thousands of individuals. I take for granted God’s work in my own life at Twin Rocks – the inspiration I felt opening my Bible and reading Psalm 150 as a 5th grade Boys Camper; the joys of diving into daily devotions as a result of Tween Camp; the connectedness I felt to Christ while walking on the beach and talking to God at Surfside; the sense of purpose I enjoyed helping coordinate Mid-Winter camp sessions while in college.
What surprises me is the many times I hear similar stories from others – how they, too, correlate their own spiritual growth, character development, and overall maturation to events at Twin Rocks Friends Camp. And I’ve found this true for those in their 80s, and those who are 18! The stories in this edition of the Sandpiper are reflective of those held by hundreds of others.
I love to walk through our recently-created Welcome Center courtyard and read the inscriptions on the patio’s pavers. Each of them shares a story of a family blessed by the ministry of Twin Rocks Friends Camp. And from there I can simply look up and see today’s campers playing games in Cammack Field, strolling through camp with their cabin group, or chatting one-on-one with a counselor – and see that a new generation of Twin Rocks campers is in the process of formulating their own future paver inscriptions, their own set of “I love Twin Rocks because…” moments.
As Twin Rocks begins to approach its 2018 Centennial, what a blessing it is to see that its ministry for Jesus Christ carries on, generation after generation.
— Ken Beebe, Executive Director