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Linda Crowe has designed 16 to 19 N-Sid-Sen annual T-shirts

Of the 19 years of T-shirt and sweatshirt designs for N-Sid-Sen Camp and Conference Center, Linda Crowe, pastor of Veradale UCC, has done all but three.  Before she became a pastor 16 years ago, she was a graphic artist.

Linda Crowe
Linda Crowe points to a favorite one of her designs.

One T-shirt shows a camper diving into the water.  One camper suggested she put deer in the meadow on a T-shirt.  A third is a view Linda sketched of the lake, while sitting on a rock looking south.  Another shows a loon, waterfowl more prevalent before personal watercraft began chasing them.

The year she designed a friendly bear, she came to camp one day and saw a bear.

Other designs came from quotes related to curricula.

In the conference room on the south end of Stillwater Lodge is a quilt incorporating the T-shirt designs.  Diane Roubal of Plymouth Congregational UCC completed it last fall before the National Outdoor Ministry Consult.  For the 75th anniversary, she did a second quilt that hangs in the entry.

T-shirt quilt 1

Diane Roubal took T-shirts home from the 2009 the Plymouth Congregational UCC family camp to make quilts.  Above: Using a thimbleberry leaf theme, she stabilized the T-shirt fabric with iron-on interfacing and appliqued them on the background for a summer theme.  Below: The second one has a blue-and-white winter feel with stars and snow flakes.  Diane, who has attended Plymouth since 1991 and its family camps since 1995, works at a garment company and does quilting as a home business.

T-shirt quilt 2

In the lunch line one day, her son, Keith, learned that Linda wanted to do a quilt with the T-shirts.  He said his mother made quilts, so Linda talked with her and gave her T-shirts.

Linda earned an associate degree from Bellevue Community College before graduating from Burnley School of Commercial Arts in Seattle in 1980.

She worked with ad agencies doing production art in Seattle, where she and Randy lived from their marriage in 1969 until they moved to Spokane in 1985 for Randy’s work with URM, a grocery wholesaler. They attended Kirkland UCC, Randy’s childhood church.  In 1982, they came to a family camp at N-Sid-Sen, and the next year directed the junior high aqua camp, which they continued to do for 14 years.

In Spokane, Linda continued ad agency design.

In 1989, while walking on the beach at Cape Cod during the Outdoor Ministry Consult, Randy and Linda resonated with the program’s theme on the “ministry of hospitality.”  They both decided go into ministry.  Linda began night school at Eastern Washington University to earn a bachelor’s degree required to enter seminary.

Since then they have not lived in the same state, but Linda said they have come to “understand what is important in life.”

Randy’s ministry began when he was chosen to be managing director of N-Sid-Sen.  He uses skills from the grocery industry—budgeting, construction, visioning, people and handyman skills.

Linda earned a bachelor’s degree in 1991 and completed studies at Pacific School of Religion in 1994. 

“God has called us to different kinds of ministry and has blessed us with a good marriage and communication skills,” said Linda, adding that they cherish their time together. 

Randy is moved by the way the spirit at N-Sid-Sen and his ministry of hospitality has impact on people’s lives, particularly youth.  Several have entered professional and other ministries as their lives and faith have been stretched.

The T-shirts and sweatshirts were started as an identity piece and to raise money—about $7,000 a year, Randy said.  First they showed something about the camp, but in recent years, they have conveyed a deliberate social justice message, including quotes by Margaret Mead, Mother Theresa and Gandhi.

Campers tell of seeing a T-shirt, walking up to the person and starting a conversation.

For information, call 208-689-3489.

Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © September-October 2010





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