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Muslim woman tells senior high campers of her life

All PNC campers were at camps at N-Sid-Sen for this summer

Moina Shaiq, a Muslim woman from Fremont, Calif., included the PNC senior high camp at N-Sid-Sen in her summer tour to share her “Meet a Muslim” presentation in her mission of building bridges of love, respect, understanding and acceptance.

Senior High Camp chaplain Kelsey Peterson, left, moderates as Moina Shaiq, right, tells youth about her experiences as a Muslim woman.  

Photo courtesy of Tony Kliment

Mark Boyd, managing director of N-Sid-Sen, helped Alice Ling, pastor of the Wallace UCC set up places for her to speak in North Idaho.

“It was powerful for her to meet with the youth, and she stayed for three days, joining in different camp activities,” he said.

Moina has traveled around the United States since 9-11.  Before then, she did not wear a hijab, but has done that since then so she can be a Muslim presence dispelling fear. 

After the 2015 shooting in San Bernadino killed 14 and injured 22 at a social services center, Moina offered to speak about what it’s like to be a Muslim in the U.S.

“She’s not a theologian and only answers theological questions from her perspective.  She mostly tells her story as a wife and mother of two daughters,” Mark said.

She stayed at N-Sid-Sen while she visited and spoke at other places in North Idaho, finding it a safe, welcoming place.

For this summer’s PNC camping program, Mark reported that there were 60 at Senior High Camp, 46 at Junior High camp, 25 at Intermediate Camp and 24 at Kids Camp.

Based on those numbers, to facilitate best use of the camp space, next summer the Intermediate and Junior High Camps will be the same week, and the Senior High and Kids Camps will share space, using N-Sid-Sen for two weeks rather than three weeks.  That will open a week for one of the big groups that rents N-Sid-Sen.

Sunset musicians accompany singing.
Photos courtesy of N-Sid-Sen

Mark had expected that the number of campers might be lower with more coming from Western Washington and needing transportation.

Previously 25 percent of those attending N-Sid-Sen camps were from Western Washington.  This year, 55 percent were.

“Merging traditions of the senior high camps from N-Sid-Sen and Pilgrim Firs went well, with inclusion of the N-Sid-Sen float trip and the Pilgrim Firs game night,” Mark said. 

At the end of the week, he felt it was one camp, not Pilgrim Firs and N-Sid-Sen campers.

Camp directors also came from the East and West sides of the Conference.

Culinary group formed at N-Sid-Sen this summer.

Tony Kliment of Seattle and Kristen Almgren of Fauntleroy UCC in Seattle co-directed Senior High Camp.

Leah Atkinson Bilinski of Fauntleroy UCC directed Junior High Camp.

Stephen Hadden of Tolt UCC in Carnation and Julie Boyd of N-Sid-Sen directed Intermediate Camp, sharing the space with Kids Camp, directed by Trudy Lambert of Westminster Congregational UCC in Spokane and Gale Peterson of Kirkland UCC.

“Kids Camp 2018 was a success with 24 enthusiastic and energetic campers, plus an outstanding volunteer staff,” reported co-directors Trudy Lambert of Westminster, Spokane, and Gale Peterson of Kirkland  “Many campers were experiencing camp and being away from home for the first time.

Leaders ranged from adults with years of experience to college age young adults with an extensive background in working with young children. 

Ameria Goad tries on an N-Sid-Sen T-shirt and hat.

“They were all committed to creating a safe, caring and fun experience for our young campers.  Whether it was in a large group setting, small groups, learning activities, crafts, nature activities, swim times, campfires or cabin time, our campers and staff created a unique community where, as the song says, ‘the love and care never ends’.”

Family Camp #1, directed by Ryan Lambert of Kirkland and Amy Johnson of Federal Way, was in its 47th year and Family Camp #2, directed by Janet Malley and Andrew Conley-Holcom of Admiral Congregational UCC in Seattle in its 25th year. 

Mark said that most family campers at N-Sid-Sen have come from Western Washington and about 10 percent were from Eastern Washington.  In addition, Plymouth UCC in Seattle comes for a week and fills N-Sid-Sen.

“Our mission is to provide space for groups seeking sacred space to gather.  Lady of the Lake dance and music camps are reserved for two weeks.  In addition, Sufis, two Montessori schools and the Oneness Project, plus weddings and two family reunions, keep the camp busy,” said Mark.

He also announced that the cook for the last four years, his daughter Nicole Boyd, will leave the end of May, so N-Sid-Sen is seeking to hire a new cook.  Nicole plans to go with her brother Jason to hike the Camino de Santiago and spend time in St. Lucia in the Caribbean to plan next steps.

Proposed N-Sid-Sen building projects include a duplex to house kitchen and other staff. Mark plans to drill a new well, because silt in the water is hard on the plumbing.

Mark is on the national Outdoor Ministry Board and participates in The Focus Event, an Ecumicial Outdoor Ministry group.

For information, call 208-689-3489, email or visit


Copyright © September 2018


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