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  • Writer's pictureSteve Gracia

Building a New Welcome Center

Dear Friends,

Each year thousands of campers come to retreat at Thousand Pines. Some guests arrive at camp with excitement and joy in the Lord, while others arrive with confusion and heavy hearts. Many arrive not knowing the peace of our Lord and Heavenly Father at all. We cherish each and every camper, and our mission is to help them "see, know, and experience God" in the short time they stay with us. We typically only get to have a few days in the campers' lives. And we want to do everything we can so that their lives will be impacted in that time.

​Our goal is to have the camp experience provide peace, hope, and joy in the Lord. That is why we are so excited to tell you that we see more guests each year than the year before! Over 30,000 campers come to Thousand Pines annually.

​Our newest project, the Welcome Center, is designed to accommodate our ever-growing numbers. We would love to invite you to partner with us on this extraordinary campaign.

A New Welcome Center


We love looking back and seeing the growth that God has provided. Thousand Pines started off as a donation of a ten acres in 1938 (for $10) of the original logging camp and cabins. Through the combined efforts of individuals, churches, and businesses, Thousand Pines has developed into over 250 acres of property and over 550 beds in our facilities. We are so grateful for the time and gifts poured into Thousand Pines over the past 75+ years.

When our parking, roadways, and dining hall were built, the traffic flow made sense. Since then the camp has grown and changed. More cabins, recreational activities, and meeting spaces have been built.

​Now when guests first arrive it is not clear where they should go to check in (despite our abundant signage). The administration office is in the center of our main camp area, leaving guest staying at the Whittier/Cedars area or Ponderosa Valley often confused. Also during inclement weather busses and cars have difficulty making it through our narrow roadway, and the luggage drop-off is far from the cabins. Additionally, our roads and parking are not very handicap accessible; we desperately need improvement with this. Your designated gift will help us restructure camp so we can provide the best experience possible for every guest.

Aside from the practical need of a new camp entrance, we have a vision for the arrival experience of our guests. We want their very first moment, their very first impression as the campers step off the bus, to be in awe of all God’s creation they are surrounded by. We want them to have a sense of God’s presence and an eagerness to be learning and drawing close to Him who created the universe… the almighty who cares about each and every one of us (Job 12:7-10). We want you to be a part of helping campers see, know, and experience God in this way.

The Phases


Phase I

The Welcome Center is a three phase project. The first phase is simply the design, engineering, and permitting process. Thankfully the first phase has been fully funded ($38,000) and is underway. Surveyors have been onsite and design engineers are now working on the plans for the project.

Phase II​

The second phase is the excavation, paving, and the necessary infrastructure (such as electricity, lighting, and retaining walls) for the parking and entrance. Once the first phase is completed and the designs and permitting are finished, we will be able to move on to the next phases.

Phase III

Phase three of this project is the Welcome Center building itself. The check-in office will move from the center of the main camp area to the newly designed entrance of the camp. Its strategic location will provide many benefits. First of all, guest who are disabled will have easier access. Additionally, the location is ideal during inclement weather and for guests who are staying at Ponderosa or Cedars.

​Also, for daily operations, the centralized location will make for an improved and more functional experience for all communications here at the camp. We believe the Welcome Center itself will greatly enhance the experience at Thousand Pines for all our guests.

Be a Part of the Change


We are so grateful for you, as you are able to give monetarily or continue to support this ministry in your prayers. We believe in the community of Christ, knowing that we cannot run camp on our own without you.

We are not an island of believers on this mountain top. We are connected to individuals, schools, and churches everywhere that make up the Body of Christ. When camp is in need, we get to experience this community come together for a common goal. God has watched over us all these years, and with all of our various needs he has provided in incredible ways.

Our theme verse, Jeremiah 17:7-8, is our inspiration. It says: "But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots to the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought, and never fails to bear fruit." We have faith that God will provide, and we invite you to join us in this journey.

​Thank you again for all your many prayers and continued support,

Steve Garcia

Camp Director

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