360.733.6840 info@thefirs.org
A Community Asset

A Community Asset

Dear Firs Family and Friends,

I think it is fair to say that historically camp has been a geographical destination. You leave home, you travel to camp, you come back after a week and then, maybe, next year you do it over again. To a large degree, that is still true for Firwood, the Chalet and times where The Firs is a retreat or conference option for groups or individuals. But, with the increase in our children’s ministries over the years, that has changed to a degree. Campers at Fircreek travel down the road or across town to attend something that they leave at the end of the day and come back to the next. Then, for many, they do it all over again for another week in the summer and for some over multiple weeks. That changes the nature of who we are to both campers and their parents. Then when you look at After School Adventure you realize it is really not an event at a geographical location – it is a routine that happens every day school is in session. It is a service that we provide for parents. It is a relationship building opportunity that can never be achieved in a one week event. But, in all of the differences in the programs here at The Firs, there is one thing that remains the same. We have the same mission, the same primary objective for all. We want them to encounter Jesus and to experience (first hand) the love of God.

Here is where this gets pretty cool. By having the children’s programs that we do – we meet a specific need not just of kids and parents, but of a community. In that respect, we become valuable to Bellingham and to Whatcom County. Parents tell parents about Fircreek and ASA and our good reputation grows. And, when that reputation includes the reality that our programs are interested in all kids – even those who don’t make it in other programs (even get kicked out of other programs) then our value increases.

This combination of destination camp programs and in-community service speaks not only to the diversity of ministries that we offer but to our overall commitment to reaching out to youth with the message of Jesus. This is the core of what we do and we seek to do it without limitations. Our hope is to be even better at it in the weeks and months to come.

Thanks so much for your part in allowing this to happen.

Serving Him together,

Tom

No One Left Out

No One Left Out

During the summer of 2017,  2,071 campers attended Firwood and we had 1,575 registrations at Fircreek.  An additional 308 participated in our Awesome Summer Adventure which integrated into our Fircreek program.  Each of these kids were supported largely by DSHS and represented a sector of at-risk kids that we care for year round. Totaling them all up we had just shy of 4,000 kids in our summer programs at the Firs.

It cost up to $479 a week to attend camp at Firwood. It costs $182 a week to attend Fircreek and 60% of our kids there come for more than one week. Think about those parents who have more than one child they are sending and the cost rockets up. It’s an expensive proposition for many families.

For many years now we have operated under the NOLO challenge as a staff and organization to the best of our ability. That means we are determined to have no one left out. If a child wants to come to camp but can’t because of financial reasons we don’t turn them down.  Our Campership Fund allows us to pay for part or in some cases all of their registration costs. This past summer 105 Firwood campers and 151 Fircreek campers were awarded camperships (about 6%). A total of a little more than $56,000 was disbursed.

Coming off the summer our campership fund is deplete – even more than depleted.  And, like every year, we are dependent upon folks like you to bring it back up to where it needs to be in order to keep up. It’s one of the most important things that any camp will tell you that they do and we are no exception. So please give prayerful consideration as to how you might help make a difference in the lives of children and youth for eternity and click on the link below. Under “What would you like to support?” use the drop down menu to find “Campership Fund.” Thanks so much!

Tom Beaumont, Executive Director

Getting Kids to Camp

The Firs Noel – December 2nd!

Begin the Christmas Season on Saturday, December 2nd with a wonderful holiday meal, decadent dessert, good company, and festive entertainment! Back by popular demand, Justyn Rees and Russ Rosen will once again bring their down-to-earth, fresh and entertaining approach to gospel stories through Music and humor. To register, call or email kim@thefirs.org.

 

Extravaganza 2017

Extravaganza 2017

The Firs Annual Extravaganza was held on October 21st this year with a room full of enthusiastic givers who donated over $35,000 that evening to support the kids of The Firs. $12,000 of this total was raised to go directly to our Campership Fund which enables us to give scholarships to kids who couldn’t otherwise afford to attend our programs. We’re so encouraged by the generosity of the people God has surrounded us with.

 

Scrap-Booking With Friends

Scrap-Booking With Friends

The first two weekends of October were filled with life-giving moments between friends at The Firs scrap-booking retreat held at the Chalet. 85 ladies were served coming from everywhere in-between Canada and Olympia. They experienced all the elements including snow, rain and sunny days and had an exchange teacher with them who had her first experience seeing snow among these incredible women. 10 new people were added to the group and they raised over $300 for Firs Camperships by selling homemade greeting cards and espresso drinks throughout the weekends. It was truly a great time among friends and many were recharged and refreshed by the experience. We’re so honored to host such a fun-filled, refreshing time for these ladies year after year.

 

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