Lighthouse Project


The Lighthouse Project Creating Child Honoring Communities

Home      Contact Us       FAQ’s      Positive Campaign Initiative      Scholarships      Stories      Vision/Goals      Gallery


Bike Ride For Ryan Hall – Tessa Putz

On Saturday May 24th over one hundred people braved the unseasonably thirty degree weather to arrive at the Brownie parking lot, astride bikes. Their goal: to increase the mileage for the Move a Million Miles for Ryan Hall Campaign. Despite the uncomfortable weather, over 1,700 miles were achieved by the hardy participants who were greeted with a free tee shirt at the end. Also that morning the Mayor was present, suited up in his biking apparel, as well as city council members, for the ribbon cutting of the newly dedicated City of Big Bear Lake bicycle routes for the riders to experience. The diversity of the attendants was welcomed, with families of young to old and professional racers from Bear Valley Bikes. All pink-cheeked and bundled tightly, some went on the guided ride out to Eagle point through Fox Farm and Moonridge. And there were those who rode the path of Ryan’s first long distance run around the lake, all sixteen miles where Ryan discovered his passion of running.

A Lesson in Friendship – Tiana Hahn

Never having understood the true meaning of friendship, I lived my life knowing that adults were my mentors, teachers, and leaders. I thought that until I became an adult, that was all they were ever going to be. However, it wasn't until recently that I considered adults as "friends". Sure, since I was about twelve I liked adults and I was sure they liked me, but I never actually put them into the category of a person whom I have a personal connection with; not just a business-like one. Of course, I soon realized that many adults in my life considered me to be a friend, although I never realized that their friendship was being offered to me. "Oh, they're my teacher. She's my director. He's my coach. They have to treat me like that." I think it is hard for youth in general to understand the true meaning of friendship, that it goes deeper than the girl who sits next to you in Math or the boy who lives next door. The literal definition of friendship is the "quality or condition of being friends; Friendliness or good will." Yet, that barely scratches the surface. A friend is someone who will always be there for you. A friend is someone who gives you advice, yet sticks through your decisions. A friend always forgives, and is someone you can always trust. A friend is someone who will listen and tell you that it's ok. Through Lighthouse, I came to discover this meaning of friendship. The meeting room full of adults that I had sat with once a month suddenly became a room of people whom I could be comfortable around; a room of friends. The Lighthouse Project wants to create a Child Honoring Community and by knowing that I have friends, who just happen to be adults, I felt and feel to this day, completely honored by my community in which I am a proud member. The Lighthouse has a very large goal, but the way members can achieve it is extremely simple. All we have to do is to change they way we think and act, and we can change the world. The lighthouse project truely brought me a new sense of self being and I hope that I can reflect that and bring my new insight to my peers and community.

Musings on Community – Beth Gardner

In my research on community and culture, I came across an exercise in a book which prompted me to visualize what I would consider to be a healthy community. What follows is what I recorded in response to this prompt, without a lot of contemplation or editing. I think it stands as a pretty good vision, and would love to know what you think, too. A Healthy Community The physical, natural environment is clean and green. All citizens are good stewards, practicing thoughtful use of resources, responsible disposal of waste. And, above and beyond this, community members seek ways in which to nurture and carefully enhance the natural setting of our community, and all the creatures that live within it. Children are held in highest regard and priority with consistent respect and non-judgement. All children are watched over by all. All members share the belief that each of us must help each child of the community develop a sense of safety and self worth. Community leaders eschew political agendas and "Old Boy Networks" in favor of open, interactive and progressive leadership. The essential elements for our healthy community are: water, fuel, schools, parks, cultural resources, respect, integrity, risk taking, leadership and vision. To build a spirit of community, members need a sense of shared purpose and agreement on core values. To build and sustain community, we are compelled to share stories, traditions, and rituals. We must agree on and be willing to put effort forth toward a shared vision for the future. We must create tangible ways to contribute and participate to the realization of the vision, acknowledge participation, evaluate progress, learn from our actions and their outcomes, and be passionately persistent.

Respect & Responsibility – Kim Lebens

I want to thank Beth Gardner and the Project Lighthouse for their courage in aiming community efforts towards our youth. I am “shining my light” at home, and community, whenever possible. Our children are also very interested in the program. I personally believe involving children with fun, and yes sometimes physical, activities can stimulate more solutions. The reason this small town has promiscuity and drug issues is not a mystery, nor a surprise. This is one of the reasons most small towns in America have this very same issue - lack of age-appropriate activities to be involved in, especially those that involve helping others. Young adult males are especially susceptible, such as in the Lundin incident. Have seen examples of these 'packs' (young men) in industrial European cities where this class is undervalued and perform inappropriate and often illegal acts because they are expected to. Instead, why don't we expect and believe in our youth to participate in their 'salvation' to rescue themselves, and their peers? Giving them the support they need to take ownership instills pride, responsibility and determination that is contagious. On the other hand, reckless promiscuity and illicit drug use that promises an escape, or rather an often dangerous and irreversible consequence, is infectious. That's my viewpoint and possibly many others – some may have already spoken up, others may be in denial. I refuse to believe that we can send these young people into Wars, yet feel no responsibility for their life otherwise. Strong, curious, optimistic and intelligent – what can we do with these traits and this foundation of potential? I don’t believe in coddling and giving them special privileges, but respect and age-appropriate responsibility will insure expectations that are more realistic. Responsibility and respect are traits that are taught, and modeled, not ordered on demand. With regards and respect, Kimi Lebens

Picking Up Trash – Tim Wood

In the early days of the Lighthouse Project, Tim Wood shared a story that inspired a number of meeting attendees. He described how seeing trash strewn about in our community bothered him. Yet, his “ego” prevented him from picking it up. He didn’t want to be perceived as a “bum” rummaging for cans, and he worried about what others might think if they saw him picking up trash. Then, Tim had the sinking realization that this very line of thinking meant that he had no choice but to pick up the trash. He could not let his ego get in the way of doing what he knew was right. Once he made that decision, it seemed that he saw trash everywhere! He was picking up trash in epidemic proportion! And the fact is….he still is. Once he made the commitment to himself, he found that he can no longer, in good conscience, walk or drive by trash without picking it up.

But this little story about personal transformation through trash doesn’t end there. Once Tim told this story at a meeting, everyone there realized that they, too, needed to get their egos in check and take the initiative to pick up trash! The impact of the story was immeasurable. How much more trash is being cleaned up by those who’ve heard the story? Yet, this is still not the deepest meaning or most important outcome of the story.

While this is, indeed a true story, the “trash” serves also as a metaphor for anything we wish to change, in our lives or community. It is time for us to set aside our ego, apathy, lethargy or whatever holds us back from presenting our best selves to the world each day, and proactively participating in making our community the best place in the world to raise children. Whether through picking up trash, solving a long-standing dispute with a neighbor, thanking your child’s teacher, or volunteering to visit senior citizens, each and every one of us has something to contribute to the betterment of our community.

Tim’s story defines the ultimate intent of The Lighthouse Project. For each of us, as individuals, to be the change we wish to see in our world, our community and ourselves, and to work cooperatively in the best interest of all of our children, laying the foundation for a brighter future.

I Didn’t Quite Get It – Karen Bergmann

Karen Bergmann, an extraordinary volunteer in our community, gives tremendous time and energy to Big Bear’s Community Arts Theater Society (CATS). Karen came to a Lighthouse Project meeting to learn what it was “all about”. She knew she was in alignment with many of the philosophies of the project, as part of her passion for CATS comes from the benefits it bestows upon children of the community. She listened intently to the presentation which called for each of us to “be the change we wish to see in the community”, but wasn’t quite sure what to “do” with the information. She knew she felt pretty good when she left the meeting, but felt the call to action was a bit vague. She felt that she liked it, but didn’t quite “get it”.

The next day, Karen went to her volunteer “work” with the set builders and painters of the theater group. Karen is always a positive and hardworking person who promotes harmony among teams, but on this day she felt herself even more empowered and energized about her work. She found herself noticing the good work people were doing, and feeling more compelled to give her co-workers compliments. In turn, she noticed that they picked up on her positive attitude and were reacting with similar behavior to hers! She realized in that moment that she was experiencing just the kind of attitude shift that IS the Lighthouse Project. She “turned up the wattage” on her already bright light, and saw first hand the effect it had on herself and those around her.

This story tells us that even those individuals who are already serving as Lighthouses in our community on behalf of children can be renewed, invigorated and inspired by the philosophy, vision and promise of The Lighthouse Project.

CLICK HERE to Submit Your Story




Community Gardens

Common Ground

Odyssey Of
The Mind

Big Bear
Elite Cheer

Be The Change You Wish To See



Hope Academy

Enrichment Group