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Water low for float trips, camp ready to help community 

Mark Boyd, managing director at N-Sid-Sen, said that Junior High and Senior High Aqua Camps were up, Kids Camp drew new campers, and there were new counselors.

cross at camp

Mark Aquino, a long time counselor, taught a class on photography for senior high campers this summer at N-Sid-Sen.  He captured one of the few smoke-free nights.     Photo courtesy Max Aquino

The float trips for the aqua camps, now on the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River, rather than on the St. Joe River, were different.  Water was low, and slow, so the float took longer to do. 

The experience also gave campers information for discussion about climate change.  Junior high, senior high, family camp and the Plymouth Church UCC camp did the float trips.

Three young people from Europe came through Camp America to join the camp staff.  They were Ewelina Banasiak from Poland, Stephen Fullicks from England and Ezgi Goztas from Turkey. Other summer staff were Chad Caringnan from Montana, Ben Baldwin from Washington and Kendall Parrett of Idaho.

With fires in the region, Mark offered N-Sid-Sen, which is already a Medstar transfer site and medical evacuation site, for people who are evacuated from their homes.

“If the camp is full, we would find ways to share with people evacuated,” he said.  “We began in July and then put final touches on an evacuation plan.

“The closest fire was six miles away at Rose Lake.  Several other small fires on Burma Road, at Mica Bay and near Harrison were put out early,” said Mark.   

2016 nsidsen camps

“On some days, we could not see across Lake Coeur d’Alene because of the smoke,” said Mark who felt good to be able to offer the field for landing helicopters and transferring people to vehicles.

Conference Minister Mike Denton put together a plan that requires camps to help in disasters as places of refuge.

Mark said that he also works with Harrison Ambulance and the East Side Fire District.  N-Sid-Sen will be hosting a dinner for those organizations.

“We need to be in constant contact, because in the fire season folks may need a place to go to, to gather at or just to find respite from the storm.  We are well set up to house, feed and provide some hospitality,” he said.  “We have background for understanding.”

For fire safety, there were no barbecues, nor could vehicles drive on the fields.

Instead of a campfire, one camp had youth cut yellow, red and gold papers.  Others used battery powered candles.

Luke Kreikeimier, a camper several years ago, learned to play guitar at camp and now is an “incredible musician” who plays multiple instruments.

Mark said he has become a quality musician, playing instruments.  He has led music at different summer camps, has a recording studio in Seattle and travels with two bands.

He has compiled recorded music at Pilgrim Firs, N-Sid-Sen and his studio and recorded camp songs on a CD to help raise costs for camperships.  They are being sold at both sites.

“We played it at the camps when campers were arriving.

For information, call 208-689-3489 or visit



Copyright © September/October 2015 - Pacific Northwest UCC Conference News


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