Twin Rocks Welcomes New Staff
Micah and Angelyn Holmes, former Twin Rocks interns, joined the Twin Rocks staff last spring as the new Program Directors. The Holmeses most recently ministered at Countryside Community Church in Sherwood where Micah was Middle School Director and for a time also coordinated the high school ministry. Angelyn also served in leadership at Countryside as a youth leader and intern. During this time Micah brought middle schoolers to volunteer at Twin Rocks over spring break.
Micah recalls always being impressed with the way Twin Rocks developed its counseling and service volunteers. “That investment really spoke to me. There was always a place for people (at camp) that was really valued.” Micah appreciates the unique opportunity camp ministry has to present the gospel and make space for people to meet and commune with God. “(At Twin Rocks) these things were done so well in a parachurch context, which was such an asset to the local church. That was a big draw for me.”
Angelyn says that while ministering at Countryside, she and Micah learned they worked well as a team and had a desire to continue that ministry teamwork in the future. Reflecting on their first summer, she remembers thinking, “I’m so glad we are here; I can see the Holy Spirit moving. I felt really at peace and affirmed that this is the place God wants us.”
Timber Mabes joined the Twin Rocks team as Guest Services Director last May. Timber grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and met the Lord at Falls Creek Camp after being invited there by her best friend. During her college years, Timber served at Glorietta Adventure Camp in New Mexico. There she felt God nudging her towards camping ministry.
After being displaced due to COVID, Timber left Glorietta to work in residential care with youth in Illinois. She says of that time, “I loved working with youth, but I knew my calling was in camp ministry. Camp matters so much to me because I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in unless someone had invited me to camp. My best friend brought me back every single year. People don’t realize the impact they have.”
Timber admits her first summer was exhausting, especially since she was also finishing a Master’s Degree through Campbellsville University in Kentucky. But, she’s says, “I love being able to hear singing coming through the windows in my office, and conversing with guest groups at mealtimes. It’s been really fun to hear different groups worship and receive feedback from them that the little things like tech help and meals make all the difference.” Timber and her dog, “Pig,” live on camp.
Karl & Liz Seume moved this summer from Anacortes, Washington where they managed Quaker Cove Retreat. Karl has become Twin Rocks’ new Assistant Food Service Director working alongside Director Mike Purcell. Karl and Liz met at a Quaker conference in Moscow, Russia, married, and lived in Karl’s home country of Germany before moving to Quaker Cove to serve as its directors. Karl gained his culinary training while in Germany, and is enjoying being able to focus on just one department after having had all the responsibility that comes with managing an entire camp.
The Seumes live in nearby Bay City with their five children, Amelie (9), James (8), Ben (6), Gabriel (5), Matthew (4), and new kittens Dandelion and Ivy.
Twin Rocks Bids Farewell to Bruce Becker
Twin Rocks bid farewell in September to long-time Assistant Food Service Director, Bruce Becker. Over the 12 years Bruce served in that role, he endeared himself to both guests and staff with his dedication, heart for the Lord, and fun-loving ways.
Bruce managed the kitchen diligently while also maintaining an atmosphere of camaraderie and fun. Two months into Bruce’s work at Twin Rocks, Food Service Director Mike Purcell remembers pranking Bruce by telling the rest of the kitchen staff not to talk to him for an hour when he came in that day. “It only lasted 20 minutes because the staff couldn’t take it anymore—we all busted up laughing,” says Mike.
Over the years, Bruce was an informal mentor to many youth and young adults, modeling the servant leadership of Christ. “I had a special place in my heart for the high school and college-aged summer staff and interns. It was fun getting to train them and watch them grow.”
Bruce reflects, “Above all, I was grateful to be a small part of a ministry sharing Jesus with others.” A lasting legacy of Bruce’s is a Prayer Requests board he placed in the kitchen where staff can share burdens and joys. Mike speaks for all the staff when he says, “We loved working with Bruce, and we love him. We are sad to see him go.”
Bruce and his wife Christina (Twin Rocks Guest Services Director, 2011-18) now live in Newberg, Oregon.
You Should Know…
■ Retiring from the Twin Rocks Friends Camp Board of Directors after many years of faithful service are: Rob King (15 years), Brian Morse (23 years), David Schlarbaum (32 years), and Russ Pickett (37 years). New to the board in 2020 and 2021 are: Matt Lacy, Jessica Ragsdale, Joseph Thouvenel, and Keith Reeser.
■ Staff Transitions: Mark and Lauralea Franklin (Program Directors 2019-2020) are now living in Battle Ground, Washington where Mark is Associate Pastor at Cherry Grove Friends Church. Lauralea is an Administrative Assistant to the director of Western Seminary’s A New Day Counseling Center. Tiffany Van Dame (Guest Services Director 2018-2020) is now the Director of Campus Life at Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Central Ohio.
■ Liana Peters began as Executive Assistant to Director Ken Beebe in January, 2020. Liana grew up at camp when her father, Terry Baron, was Facilities Director.
■ Assistant Facilities Director, Chris Reid, married Ashley Weinacht on September 4th in Greenleaf, Idaho. Chris and Ashley live in Bay City, a 9 mile commute to camp for Chris and close to Ashley’s job at Five Rivers Coffee Roasters in Tillamook.
■ 2020/2021 Staff Milestones: Celebrating 5 years of Twin Rocks’ employment are: Christie Hill (Food Services), Nate Casteel (Maintenance), Cameron Frisby (Recreation) and Kendy Frisby (Housekeeping/Undertow), TJ Stevens (Food Services), and Sean Geurin (Housekeeping). Completing 15 years of service are Richard Chesebro (Grounds) and Catherine Chesebro (Dishroom/Undertow). Suze Donaldson (Housekeeping) reaches 20 years and Housekeeping Coordinator, Mary Kyle, has ministered at the camp for 25 years.
■ Family Holiday Weekend returns this December 10-12, 2021, an opportunity for families to come celebrate Christ’s birth through worship, carol singing, and Christmas fun like creating gingerbread houses and making ornaments.
■ Aiden Boehm, Jacob Cook, Katelyn Smith, Sam Smith, Ariel Coleman, and Angela Donathan served on this year’s Summer Staff.
■ High School Student Leadership Program participants for 2021 were: Novalee Myers, Gracie Zondervan, Susy Anderson, Bergen Milliren, and Nate Nauman.
■ Twin Rocks Interns serving for the 2021-2022 year are Josiah Muhr, Sam Smith, Cedric Hays, and Will Brumbelow.
■ Prayer partners: A few faithful friends of Twin Rocks came to Twin Rocks this summer for the express purpose of praying for the kids and youth in camp. They observed camp in action from a distance, and covered campers, counselors, and the property in their prayers. If you are interested in serving as one of next summer’s prayer partners, please email Liana Peters – [email protected]
Reflections from the Director
God is good. Despite 21 months of worldwide pandemic, the ministry of Twin Rocks Friends Camp has survived – and thrived.
At times, it has been rough. Twin Rocks closed entirely for ten of the first 13 months of COVID-19, and saw less than 30% of its typical revenue when open during summer 2020. While 2021 has fared far better than 2020, ongoing COVID-related restrictions continue to impact attendance.
Thankfully, in the midst of this we find ourselves in a season of great joy:
■ Youth delighted in the 2021 return of overnight camps (not allowed in 2020), enabling summer sessions like Tween Camp, Kids Camp, and Surfside Camp to feel remarkably normal. Campers remained predominantly mask-free, thanks to great weather and a large circus-style worship tent that kept camp outdoors. Parents shared much praise, including these three sentiments that especially touched my heart:
• She came from camp with more confidence as a daughter of God in what had been such a challenging year for tweens. It was a struggle to get her to leave her room in the spring, but having camp to look forward to, and then attend, propelled her socially again. Bless you!
• Surfside Camp’s impact on our son was overwhelmingly positive. He was literally glowing when we picked him up from camp, bursting with stories and [he] clearly bonded with several new friends who all had experienced God in a unique way together.
• With all of the craziness of the world, our faith conversations sometimes do not get the attention they deserve. The camp was a good (and welcome) prompt for our family.
■ Family Vacation Adventures, a program invented by necessity in 2020 amidst tight COVID restrictions, returned in summer 2021 and again blessed families with unique opportunities to create family memories.
■ To our knowledge, Twin Rocks has not contributed to COVID19’s spread. We feel most fortunate, knowing that each COVID-free day is a gift from the Lord.
■ A year ago, we predicted that Twin Rocks would likely lose $1.3 million due to COVID19 during the combined 2020 and 2021 years. Despite the fact that COVID has lingered far beyond expectations, we now believe our COVID losses will total about 500,000. Such a deficit is far from good news, but the camp is weathering this crisis thanks to generous donors, several state and federal grants, and better-than-anticipated summertime attendance (nearly 80 percent of normal in 2021).
■ Nearly all Twin Rocks’ staff members forced into layoff a year ago graciously returned to work in the spring, and the camp currently has 18 staff who have been at the camp for five years or more. Similarly, dozens of volunteers returned to provide guidance to 2021’s summer camps, anchoring our programs in excellence.
■ In a year where COVID-related issues have tested interpersonal relationships, the camp’s staff has remained remarkably free from conflict. Disagreements at times exist, but kindness and civility have triumphed. What a blessing.
■ A generous planning grant from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust is enabling Twin Rocks to look optimistically toward the future with hope and anticipation. Several intriguing elements are emerging from this unique opportunity to pause, reflect, pray, and consider how the Lord might lead our camp into a post-COVID future.
As we inch ever so slowly toward an end to COVID’s dominance, I find myself reflecting back to COVID’s stark beginnings, and the incredible uncertainties that surrounded us in early 2020. We frequently found the words of Joshua 1:9 on our lips: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Twenty-one months later, evidence of God’s miraculous presence is readily apparent. He has most certainly been with us, guiding, protecting, and blessing us each step along the way.
Thank you, thank you, Lord.
—Ken Beebe, Executive Director