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Facebook photos keep people attuned to camp

Photos of N-Sid-Sen and Pilgrim Firs keep campers thinking about camps

N-Sid-Sen Sunset

N-Sid-Sen managing director Mark Boyd uses beauty of winter sunset to remind people on Facebook and N-Sid-Sen offers inspiration in all seasons.                 
Photos courtesy of Mark Boyd

Once he changed from a photo of his wild jump into Lake Coeur d’Alene, N-Sid-Sen managing director Mark Boyd has been using Facebook to keep up year-round visibility of camp and the new camp dog, Sage.

“I’m sharing camp in the different seasons,” he said.  “It’s a testimony to the fact that social networks can work if used correctly.”

Mark has three Facebook sites, a personal one and two for N-Sid-Sen.  One of the camp sites, “N-Sid-Sen, we love it that we do,” is a group with 373 members.  There is also a closed N-Sid-Sen group for the directors.

“Most of the posts are aimed to camps that are coming up,” he said.

Mark is starting to use video.  That was slowed because the signal bounces across the lake on microwave to a cabin and then to the Stillwater Lodge.  Each time it bounces the signal loses half the strength.


N-Sid-Sen's new camp dog is Sage.

Mark is planning to move the receiver closer to Stillwater and hardwire it from there.

“We have to wait until the snow is gone,” he said.

In mid-February the registration for the Midwinter Youth Retreat in March was about the same—with the distraction of snow sports.  He is pleased that half of those coming are returnees and half are new.  He expects that there will be 30, which is more than came in 2013.

Pilgrim Firs counselors and campers will come from the West Side, just as East Side counselors and campers went to Mid-winter retreats at Pilgrim Firs in January.

“We are seeking to do more cross camp events,” he said.

pilgrim firs schedule
n-sid-sen schedule

N-Sid-Sen’s camp dog Sage, a golden lab, is 12 weeks old and loves people, Mark said.  She hears a voice and runs to the person.  She loves being a camp dog.

“When we first came, we were asked if we would have a camp dog,” he said. “We wanted a dog that would be good with children, and love water, so we chose a lab. 

“A dog helps kids who need time adjusting to camp and will play with a dog.  Sage gives the unconditional welcome we all need,” he said.

Even though she is a greeter, she does not go into any buildings, because some people are not comfortable with dogs and some are allergic, he said.

Mark admits he has taken advantage of Sage’s endearing looks with photos posted on Facebook.

He has also taken advantage of some of the many sunsets, Stillwater at night in the snow and the welcome sign.  He is also including inspirational quotes.

“It’s important for people to see that camp is comfortable, warm and inviting in the winter,” he said of a photo of lights along the snowy train to Stillwater Lodge.  “It says we are open all year.  People can some to sled and snow shoe.”

The directors are finalized and the brochure will be out soon.

Deeg Nelson, managing director at Pilgrim Firs, said that Pilgrim Firs also uses Facebook as a communication platform. 

“Kristen Almgren, co-chair of the Outdoor Ministries Team, does an amazing job taking the lead on that,” he said.

Work is underway on making a Peace Garden.  A volunteer leader is now working on a design and some members from University Place will be work on it the first week of March. 

Deeg added a small porch and front yard raised bed in front of the managers residence that he hopes to have up and producing in the next few weeks.

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February March 2014 © Pacific Northwest United Church of Christ Conference News


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