Twin Rocks Celebrates 100 years!

“A wonderful centennial celebration!” enthused Deanne Comfort, one of 850 people who helped Twin Rocks Friends Camp celebrate its 100th birthday last July 21st. Since 1918, surrounded by the enduring beauty of the Rockaway coast with its iconic Twin Rocks, the camp has been a place of respite and renewal, drawing people to Jesus.

“I am glad that I have been blessed enough to be one of thousands who have been impacted by this camp for Jesus. My parents started attending when I was born in 1987 and I have loved it ever since. This camp is one of the most special places for me in the world,” commented Jordan Grimms, echoing the voice of thousands who have grown up with the camp and count it a place of impact in their lives. He is one of many past summer staff who were honored at the celebration with a booth highlighting years of ministry. Sprinkled across the greenway at camp were other tents that featured Twin Rocks’ ministries, including its summer camps and some longstanding guest groups: Northwest Band Camp, Friends by the Sea Rug Hooking Camp, Northwest Camp Christian Camp for the Deaf, and Joni and Friends Family Retreats.

From grandparents to babies, Twin Rocks has always been a place for families. The celebration encouraged family fun beginning with the opportunity to arrive at camp on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad train from Garibaldi. Once at camp, children enjoyed inflatable play structures, and families had fun together creating a camp craft—woodburnt images of the Twin Rocks branded on wood sliced from camp timber. The sounds of music, including a brass ensemble and a choir from Friendsview Retirement Community, along with the smell of kettle corn and cotton candy, created a festive and family-friendly atmosphere.

Former Guest Services Director, Bev Chapman, travelled from Idaho to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the celebration, “What an amazing day celebrating 100 years of ministry at Twin Rocks Friends Camp. My heart is full with so many hugs from long-time friends, former summer staff and year-round staff. The food was incredible (thanks to Mike Purcell and crew), the atmosphere was fun from the music to the displays, bounce house, rock climbing wall, and photo museum.”

The museum Bev enjoyed was the result of hours of careful planning and execution by curators Dave and Susan Hampton. The Hamptons transformed the Shelter gymnasium into the museum, which featured 250 pictures and allowed guests to wind around the space decade by decade, perhaps finding themselves or relatives captured by the photos, enjoying camp life. Long-time friend of the camp, Vaughan Palmore, summed it up– “What a heritage. I especially enjoyed the photo exhibit. It was a privilege for me to attend.”

After an all-guest drone photograph taken at the Welcome Center patio (see it at!), the celebration was capped with a gathering under the “Big Top Tent” set up in Cammack Field. Guests enjoyed Twin Rocks’ signature chocolate chip cookies and Tillamook ice cream while seated around gaily-decorated tables, some featuring miniature kites made by Oregon Kitemakers (a longtime Twin Rocks guest group).

Testimonials to the camp’s spiritual impact were given by Alice Maurer and Darin Sturdevant, who together told of the camp’s influence upon the life of Peggy Sturdevant, Darin’s mother. Peggy first chose to follow Jesus while at Twin Rocks as a Girls Camper, having been invited to camp by Alice. Later Peggy served many years as a Girls Camp counselor. Skip and Barbara Centioli shared how the camp restored their marriage after they attended a Twin Rocks conference in the 1970s. These and other stories of God’s faithfulness (many highlighted in the video presentation, An Abundant Century) collectively spoke of Twin Rocks’ lasting legacy. As Skip reflected on the celebration he said, “(Christ) was honored throughout the day as the history and people spoke of the impact on how Twin Rocks responded to His leading, and the leadership He has provided the camp.”

Over the years, Twin Rocks has been a place that encourages relationship, drawing people to Christ and to each other. Many can relate to Joel Whitehead, a local Rockaway boy who grew up with the camp and now serves as director at Ghormley Meadow Camp in Naches, Washington, “There are just a few places that words don’t quite do justice to explain how much they mean. Twin Rocks Friends Camp is one of those places. When one place can account for meeting my spouse there, inspiring my career calling, multiple life mentors, and numerous life-long friendships, you just call that place HOME.”

As Twin Rocks moves into its second century, it will continue to be home to many, a place that draws those looking for space to rejuvenate, to worship, and to seek guidance and solace. As former long-time employee Terry Baron simply stated in the video presentation, “(Twin Rocks) is all about Jesus.”

Million Dollar Makeover Nears Completion

Twin Rocks Friends Camp is rapidly wrapping up the final components of its four-year, Million Dollar Makeover, having spent 2018 enhancing accessibility for mobility-impaired campers. A new and improved Central Restroom now stands alongside the Shelter Recreation Center and is complete with 10 private restrooms, six fully ADA-compliant. A November demolition of the old (1975) restroom building makes way for a large bonfire pit, a central gathering space for campers.

A courtyard of pavers has replaced gravel in the historic center of camp (between theDining Center, Meetinghouse, and Hadley Hall) eliminating dust, making wheelchair use more viable, and dramatically enhancing the look and feel of this core area of camp. In addition, a wheelchair-friendly restroom now accompanies Macy Chapel, and an accessible, dual zip line is set for installation in early 2019.

These improvements serve as additions to earlier Million Dollar Makeover improvements (2014-2017) that ensure excellent camp facilities and amenities for future generations of campers. The camp contains nearly 200 new mattresses, a new dock at Spring Lake, new decks, new roofs, new paint, cabin remodels, and other restorations. Needs for ongoing repairs will invariably persist, but Twin Rocks enters its second century in remarkably strong shape.

Centennial History Books

In honor of the camp’s first 100 years of ministry, Twin Rocks recently released a Centennial History Book, titled An Abundant Century of Camp Ministry. This 180-page hardcover book contains more than 300 photographs that colorfully and collectively chronicle Twin Rocks’ ten decades.

The camp would love to make a copy of this book available to you. To obtain your copy, please use the enclosed envelope and choose one of the following options:

1. COMPLIMENTARY COPY. Make a pledge to Twin Rocks’ New Century Capital Campaign of at least $10 per month over four years (a total pledge of $480 or more). In thanks, Twin Rocks will send you a complimentary hardcover copy of the Centennial History Book.
2. PURCHASE. You may purchase copies of the book for $25.
3. OTHER. If neither of the above options proves workable for you, Twin Rocks would love to provide you a copy without charge or obligation.

The book is perfect for your coffee table, or as a Christmas gift for friends and family. The camp is deeply indebted to David & Susan Hampton, who displayed the bulk of these photos in a 250-photo museum exhibit at the camp’s Centennial celebration on July 21, 2018. Similarly, the book’s attractive design results from the graphic arts expertise of Michael Comfort of Allegra Newberg.

Engaging a New Century

Twin Rocks Friends Camp & Conference Center constantly strives to enhance and improve its ministry, working diligently to deliver programs and facilities that successfully meet the needs of current and future campers. A century after the camp’s founding, its commitment to providing campers with life-transforming adventures lives on. As such, Twin Rocks is set to embark upon two momentous next steps:


Twin Rocks possesses a unique and rare opportunity. For its first 100 years, the entirety of the camp’s main grounds lay east of Highway 101, with the Pacific Ocean scarcely visible and the beach accessible only by venturing across the highway. While this arrangement has proven enormously successful, acquiring affordable beachfront property has always been a dream.

Now in 2018, four vacant lots directly across Highway 101 from the camp’s entrance have become available for purchase, and at a price well below market value. The camp envisions placing an adult and family retreat center on this property, enabling Twin Rocks to enhance and expand its ministry to couples, families, and young adults. This oceanfront facility would largely mimic the style and use of the camp’s wonderfully successful Pacific Woods Lodge.

The lots total 228 lineal feet of ocean frontage and comprise 1.07 acres. The property’s owners recently offered to take a charitable contribution by selling the lots to the camp for a total of $770,000 – less than 2/3 of their independently appraised $1.23 million market value.

It is unclear when Twin Rocks will find funding to engage in the construction phase of the proposed adult and family-style retreat center. The retreat center could emerge soon, but it may take decades. Despite this uncertainty, the Twin Rocks Board of Directors believes that given this rare and affordable chance to acquire oceanfront property adjacent to the camp, its procurement seems prudent – an important gift to pass forward to future generations of campers.

Twin Rocks holds a rich history of thoughtful land acquisition. As the camp celebrates its Centennial, it is notable to reflect back: At its 50th anniversary in 1968, Twin Rocks did not own Charlotte’s Mountain; at the 65th, it had no lakefront property; and at the camp’s 75th anniversary in 1993, Twin Rocks was still without the property on which Pacific Woods Lodge sits today. As such, in another 100 years, it is hoped that Twin Rocks’ leaders of that day can reminisce upon decades of successful oceanfront ministry.


Overcrowding in Twin Rocks’ dining spaces wreaks havoc on several of the camp’s core values: community building among friends and family, opportunities for serenity and thoughtful contemplation, and meaningful mentoring conversations. They all fall prey to the bustle often at play in the Twin Rocks Dining Center.

Twin Rocks enjoys a terrific dining facility, a building originally constructed in 1948 and impressively refurbished in 1996. However, thanks to the camp’s ongoing growth, the dining room’s 300-seat capacity regularly proves insufficient. A planned 2,500 square foot southerly addition will provide 100 additional seats, raising overall capacity to 400 and de-stressing the camper dining experience.

Similarly, the camp’s staff dining area requires enlarging and reconfiguring. It serves as an intergenerational gathering space for employees and volunteers, a perfect place for leadership development, discipleship, prayer, and mutual encouragement. Unfortunately, it currently suffers mightily from its small size and proximity to a loud, rumbling dish machine.

The Dining Center’s expansion will also enable a more camper-friendly south-side entrance, providing a small foyer and proper sense of welcome for campers arriving from Pacific Woods Lodge and the Cabins of the Trees.

Twin Rocks is seeking $1.5 million over a four-year timeframe to enable these two key camp upgrades, and the first $325,000 has already been secured. An envelope enclosed in this Sandpiper provides an opportunity to make a gift or pledge. Thank you for your care for Twin Rocks and its campers.

Twin Rocks Welcomes New Staff

Paul Lewis:

This past summer, Paul Lewis left his engineering position at Intel to join the Twin Rocks staff as Operations Director. He oversees the Guest Services and Food Service Departments as well as manages the camp’s finances.

Paul has a long history with Twin Rocks beginning with years of Family Camp and Surfside Camp attendance as well as counseling for both Boys Camp and Surfside. Paul has already proven to be an invaluable member of the staff as he’s dived into learning his role, getting to know staff, asking good questions, and offering insight into processes and systems. Paul first met his wife, Wendee (Selby), at Surfside and they have been married for 14 years.

Wendee is an English teacher with the online Baker Web Academy and serves as its north coast advisor and tutor. The Lewises have two daughters, Dahlia, a 6th grader at Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School and Mahala, in fourth grade at Garibaldi Grade School. Dahlia enjoys participating in the Lego Robotics program at her school. Mahala, with her winning smile and personality, has already been dubbed “Sparkles” by her principal.

The Lewis family lives off-camp in Rockaway Beach and has quickly become an integral part of camp life. Paul enthuses, “I love working at a place with a mission so in line with my values.”

Tiffany Van Dame:

Tiffany Van Dame had extensive history with Twin Rocks before beginning her new duties as Guest Services Director this past May. Originally from northeast Ohio, Tiffany spent the last seven years at Barclay College, the last two as Vice President for Student Services.

Tiffany first came to Twin Rocks as a summer staffer in 2007 and returned for two more summers in 2008 and 2009. During the 2009-10 year she served as a Twin Rocks intern, leading the Student Leadership Program that summer. With all this helpful Twin Rocks’ history, Tiffany’s been able to build on her knowledge of Twin Rocks’ processes and facilities in learning her new Guest Services role.

Guest groups are already blessed by Tiffany’s approachable and capable manner. A recent guest commented, “Tiffany was incredible; always smiling and so helpful.” In answer to the guest comment question “Did we do anything to enhance your stay” another guest responded, “Tiffany!”

Working and reconnecting with staff has been especially enjoyable for Tiffany as she enters back into Twin Rocks life. She says, “I am very excited to be back at Twin Rocks as the Guest Services Director. I have a deep love for this ministry and I would not be the person I am today without my experiences on Summer Staff or as an intern. It truly is a blessing to be able to serve the groups and work with staff here at Twin Rocks.”

Praying for Summer Camps

Matt Dayton, Program Director

Summer 2018 is officially in the books and it has been fun looking back on another amazing summer of camp at Twin Rocks. This was my fourth summer in the role of Program Director and I continue to be thankful to work with an amazing team of gifted camp directors in planning and implementing our summer camps.

Personally, this was a very full and fulfilling summer. Highlights for me include:

■ A returning Surfside camper, who recently rededicated his life to Christ, feeling led to stand up and share his testimony during one of the evening services. His story encouraged many of his peers to commit to making their devotional life more of a priority when they left camp.
■ A fun and successful Tween Camp Auction that raised $1,140.75 for Compassion International.
■ More than 20 Boys and Girls campers deciding to follow Jesus for the first time while at camp!
■ Countless volunteers who felt God’s calling to serve and said, “Yes!”

A Call to Prayer. This summer, I was more aware than ever before of my need to rely on Jesus in every moment of my day. Throughout the summer, I was reminded of the importance of praying for our campers and staff, and these last few months I have brainstormed ways to help others become more aware and involved with the prayer needs of Twin Rocks’ programs.

Right now there are a few ways I would invite you to get involved in praying for the camp:
1. Pray for the hiring of Summer Staff 2019 and for each of our camp committees as they begin planning next year’s camps.
2. Starting in 2019 we are reserving the Prayer Lookout during our summer camps specifically for people to come and pray. This on-site prayer ministry might be perfect for you if you have wanted to be involved with our programs, but have not felt led to serve as a counselor or teacher. If this interests you, or you would like to know more information, please contact me.
3. If you are interested in regular updates on specific Twin Rocks prayer needs throughout the year, please email me to be added to our prayer group.

— Matt Dayton ([email protected])

Summer Staff Opportunities:

Young adults and high schoolers—you can be a part of the Twin Rocks staff next summer! Consider a life changing summer by participating in the college-aged Summer Staff or high school Student Leadership Program (SLP). Besides counseling youth you will have the chance to work behind the scenes as part of the kitchen, housekeeping, and grounds crews, as well as growing your faith in community with others. Information and applications for both Summer Staff and SLP are available under the “Serving” tab at The deadline for Summer Staff applications is February 28, 2019 and the deadline for SLP applications is April 1, 2018.

You Should Know…

■ Twin Rocks recently received a $1.6 million gift from the estate of Lois Friend for use as a camp scholarship endowment. This most generous contribution represents the largest donation ever received by the camp. Its invested earnings will help Twin Rocks envision and enable new outreach camp programs that serve to disciple disadvantaged camper groups and also help to keep camp affordable for all.

■ Nine staff reached milestones at a celebration for 20 staff who have worked at Twin Rocks for at least five years. Newly at the five year mark are Dave Meireis (Facilities), Emily Sargent (Outdoor Education Coordinator), Jenny Wagar (Housekeeping/Kitchen), Cody Brown (Housekeeping/Kitchen),and Matt and Megan Dayton (Program Directors). Reaching 15 years is Craig DuBois, Twin Rocks’ capable and efficient tech support, and Susan Hiebert, who has the monumental task of scheduling Twin Rocks operations personnel. Celebrating 20 years of service is hardworking and reliable Jules Wolk, Lead Cook.

■ Sabbath by the Sea personal prayer retreats are available in January 2019. Participants choose half-week or full-week stays in a unique program that provides rest, renewal, and in depth conversation with God. For details and to register, visit and click on the Adult & Family Conferences tab.

■ Last February, Kevin Frazier returned to the private sector after serving Twin Rocks with great distinction for more than four years as its Finance Director. Kevin and his family now live in Ridgefield, Washington.

■ Twin Rocks welcomed three new interns for 2018-19: Paige Patterson, Sam Swan, and Mary Jo Waterbury. Interns serve from mid-September through the next Labor Day in the areas of camp programming and operations.

■ Several new board members, each with extensive Twin Rocks connections, joined the Twin Rocks Board of Directors this year: Mark Steele, Sheri Posey, Dave Hampton, Mark Zoller, and Kayla Mitchell. Longtime board member Ken Comfort assumed the role of Board Chair in January. A total of 21 individuals currently sit on the Twin Rocks Board.

■ Justice Lane Dayton was born October 5th to Twin Rocks’ staffers Matt & Megan Dayton. Justice joins big sister Charlotte, age 2.

■ This summer, Twin Rocks once again passed the American Camping Association’s rigorous accreditation process. ACA accreditation recognizes that Twin Rocks meets standards related to program quality and the health and safety of campers and staff, and Twin Rocks has maintained this accreditation since 2000.

Twin Rocks keeps an ongoing Wish List. Can you help us with any of these? Current needs: 3-speed carpet fan, card tables, commercial grade gas-fueled deep fryer, 8 qt crockpots, 2 heavy duty park style charcoal grills, or 16-20 ft. flatbed trailer for hauling.

Summer Youth Camp Dates for 2019:

• Day Camp, July 29 – August 2, 2019 (1st-5th grades)
• Boys Camp, July 1-5, 2019 (4th-6th grades)
• Girls Camp, July 6-10, 2019 (4th-6th grades)
• Tween Camp, July 15-20, 2019 (7th-9th grades)
• Surfside, August 4-10, 2019 (high school)

From the Director’s Desk

The Prominence of Prayer From its inception, prayer has played a crucial role in the life of Twin Rocks Friends Camp.

Throughout this Centennial season, I have enjoyed reflecting upon the constancy of prayer in all eras and areas of this camp’s history. Examples abound. Here are a few:

■ More than 100 years ago, “The Lord spoke to [Chester Hadley] about a summer conference on the Pacific Coast in Oregon…where young and old could enjoy a Christian vacation together; and together, study God’s Word…. That night, he dedicated himself to the great work which he saw ahead.”

■ In Charlotte Macy’s 1977 obituary, the camp’s first Executive Director was described as “a person of prayer.”

■ In the mid-1970s, after multiple failed attempts, John Meeker and Herb Sargent turned to the Lord for guidance as to where to drill in search of well water. They felt led by God to pursue an unlikely spot and succeeded in locating a gusher, a water source that continues to this day to supply a camp now serving four times as many campers.

■ Roger Minthorne, one of the camp’s most prominent donors and board members, has frequently mentioned that he and his wife, Mildred, pray for Twin Rocks every day.

■ Retired missionary Doris Morris served on a summer prayer team in the early 2000s that prayed each week for campers by name. Exceeding expectations, Doris prayed year-round for this ever-expanding list of kids, long after they had returned home from camp.

■ Flummoxed, short of funds and fearing over-commitment, the camp’s board of directors met in 2003 to attentively seek God’s will, asking the Lord whether to proceed with plans to construct a pedestrian overpass across Highway 101. After diligent prayer, they unanimously ascertained a leading to continue, and within a matter of months the “bridge to the beach” was in place, with all funds secured.

■ Current staff member Bruce Becker keeps a “Twin Rocks Prayer List” near his work station in the camp’s kitchen (or where he exercises at home), consistently keeping matters of camp before the Lord in intercession.

■ The Twin Rocks staff meets most mornings for Bible reading and prayer for campers and co-workers.

Recently, Twin Rocks Program Director Matt Dayton met with me to propose a renewed commitment by the camp to prayer, a call upon friends of Twin Rocks to place campers and camp needs fully in God’s hands. Matt holds a strong desire for Twin Rocks to be a ministry led by God, not a self-sustaining organization devoid of God’s direction and lordship.

As such, Matt is designing some creative mechanisms for promoting prayer, proposing ideas in this edition of the Sandpiper that facilitate prayer from those who care greatly about this specific ministry. Perhaps you will feel led to get involved, keeping prayer prominent. Please read Matt’s article and consider joining us in this new (and old) endeavor.

With Appreciation,

— Ken Beebe, Executive Director