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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 excited and joyful 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 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 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 as a donation of 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.

The traffic flow made sense when our parking, roadways, and dining hall were built. 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 unclear where they should go to check in (despite our abundant signage). The administration office is in the center of our main camp area, leaving guests staying at the Whittier/Cedars area or Ponderosa Valley often confused. Also, during inclement weather, buses and cars have difficulty navigating 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 to provide the best experience possible for every guest.


Aside from the practical need for a new camp entrance, we have a vision for the arrival experience of our guests. We want their very first moment, their 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 learn and draw close to Him who created the universe… the almighty who cares about each 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 (electricity, lighting, and retaining walls) for the parking and entrance. Once the first phase is completed and the designs and permitting are finished, we can move on to the subsequent 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 camp entrance. Its strategic location will provide many benefits. First of all, guests who are disabled will have easier access. Additionally, the location is ideal for guests staying at Ponderosa or Cedars during inclement weather.


​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 will significantly enhance the experience at Thousand Pines for all our guests.


Be a Part of the Change

 

We are so grateful for you, as you can 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 mountaintop. We are connected to individuals, schools, and churches everywhere that make up the Body of Christ. When camp is in need, we experience this community coming together for a common goal. God has watched over us all these years, and he has provided in incredible ways with our various needs.


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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