My name is Wes Stumbaugh and I am passionate about shining the light of Jesus to those who do not know Him. I am the local coordinator for Week of Hope Las Vegas and have had the wonderful opportunity to set up these camps here since 2011. I may have been setting up camps for the past two summers, but my time with Group goes back to the summer of 1998.

I was a sophomore in high school when my youth pastor decided to take a small group of guys to a workcamp on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation outside of Havre, Montana. They spent a week out there fixing up homes on the reservation. When they came back from the camp, there was a slide show describing their time. After seeing pictures and hearing stories I was hooked. Throughout the school year I worked hard to raise $400 to attend a workcamp. The next summer, I signed up to go with my youth group to another workcamp on the Yakama Indian Reservation in South Central Washington State. Despite the 100+ degree heat and sleeping on a classroom floor in a school, it was one of the best experiences in my life. I had the opportunity to paint a ladies house, as she was unable to afford paint for her home. It’s amazing how a coat fo paint can transform the look of a house. I know it sounds crazy, but I did pay to go to a camp and work. The rewards outweighed the labor,

I graduated high school in 1999 and went on another workcamp that summer. My youth group went back to the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation and I had the opportunity to build a front porch for a family. They lived in a trailer and they just had a few steps under their front door. We were able to give them a freestanding porch and a safe place to enter and exit their home. Not only was the physical aspect of the camp fun, but there was a lot of spiritual growth too. Each night the campers were encouraged to share God stories (how did you see God today?), sing worship songs, and participate in various skits and variety shows. It was truly a memorable experience and one that I was addicted to.

The summer of 2000 was my first summer working for Group Workcamps. I traveled to Colorado for a few weeks of training and then set out all over the United States to run camps. My title was Materials Manager and I had the responsibility of managing the supplies that were needed to fix up homes each week. There were roughly 400 campers that came to participate each camp week and roughly 70 homes were repaired. These were homes that were occupied by low income, disabled, or elderly people who were unable to do the work themselves. Many of the projects included interior or exterior painting, drywall, roofing, wheelchair ramps, and porches.

This was my summer job from 2000-2004. In 2003, I took the summer off and decided to volunteer for a week at a workcamp in Columbia Falls, Montana. I also participated as a set up director in 2003 and 2005 in West Branch, Michigan and Auburn, New York. I would go to the camp one week ahead of time and deliver materials to each site so that when the campers arrived everything would be ready to go for them. I moved to Las Vegas in December 2005 and was unable to get the free time to support the organization I enjoyed working with.

It wasn’t until 2010, when I received a facebook message, that I was able to get involved again with Group. I was asked to coordinate a Week of Hope summer camp in Las Vegas for the summer of 2011. Last year was a complete success and 2012 is in full swing right now, with 2013 in the works. My hope is that Week of Hope will continue ministering in Las Vegas for many years to come!