360.733.6840 info@thefirs.org

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

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