Search PNC News for stories of people and churches in our UCC Conference:

N-Sid-Sen will follow protocols for precaution

After scrutiny, prayer and research by camp and conference leadership, N-Sid-Sen Camp and Retreat Center will be offering a different version of camp for 2021.

Mark Boyd read poetry he has written to accompany photos for a Spokane Public Radio program.      Photo courtesy of Mark Boyd

Mark Boyd, managing director, said he has been reviewing what other camps across the country have done and are doing that has worked, “we believe we have a set of protocols that will provide the best safety for both campers and staff.”

The camp is following Center for Disease Control, American Camp Association, State of Washington, State of Idaho and Panhandle Health guidelines to operate with precautions that allow it to safely welcome guests.

Mark listed requirements:

• Before coming to camp, anyone who can receive a vaccine must. Others must be tested and have a negative test one to three days before arriving.  Campers are to restrict activities and contact with anyone outside their family group after the negative test and before camp.

• Campers are to self-monitor activities 14 days before camp; do daily temperature checks, self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms, not travel outside the country and have no contact anyone with COVID-19.

• Traveling to N-Sid-Sen, campers are to make only stops necessary for fuel and bio breaks, masking and physical distancing.

• Campers will be emailed a COVID-19 health check list and will be assigned a personal check-in time.

• They are to provide contact information—phone and email—for contact tracing.

• Campers’ temperatures will be checked on arriving while they are in their cars.  They will drive as close as possible to their lodging.

Camps will be different.  They will be shorter—only four nights from Thursday afternoon to Monday morning.

There will be opportunities to greet people from a distance and share in big games and activities.

There will be daily temperature checks at breakfast.

Outdoor dining will be the norm for meals. Campers will arrive at pre-set times for a safe flow.  Camp staff will set and wipe tables.  No guests will be allowed in the kitchen.

Padded furniture and cushions are removed. There will be metal folding chairs.

Some buildings and spaces are closed: Syringa Lodge and shop, the library, storeroom, nurse’s cabin, craft room and fireside room in Forrester, any cabin or lodge other than their own.

Groups will be assigned a bathroom and shower. Cabins will be exclusively for a family group. Each lodge room will be assigned a bathroom.

N-Sid-Sen expects to have a maximum of 40 at one time.

“We encourage creative use of outdoor spaces for large worship, circles, big games with social distance and masking,” Mark said. “We have more than enough space for groups to be able to enjoy all that N-Sid-Sen has to offer.”

Canoes may be reserved ahead, along with a life vest and set of paddles.  Sailboats, paddleboards and noodles will not be available. Basketballs, volleyballs, and ping pong paddles and balls need to be reserved ahead of time.

Social distancing must be adhered to at the swim beach and the dock is marked at six-foot increments.  It will not be possible to wipe ladders, docks, diving boards and ropes, so hand sanitizer should be used before going to the beach and on leaving it. N-Sid-Sen will have sanitizer and hand wash stations. 

Camp fires and singing are to be socially distanced.

N-Sid-Sen staff will clean all surfaces in Forrester dining hall every two to four hours from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Private bathrooms will not be cleaned by staff while campers are there, but will be deep cleaned before and after every group.  Upstairs restrooms in Forrester are for guest and staff use. Downstairs ones are closed.

Staff will haul garbage from outside Spirit Lodge, Ford Cabin, the Bathhouse and Stillwater.  Campers are to empty garbage and recyclables into these.

Quilts and blankets will only be available as rentals along with regular bedding. Sheets, pillow and case, a bath towel set quilt or blanket are rented for $15 per guest.

Because more staff is needed for frequent deep cleaning and because of increasing food costs, the cost will not be much less than a traditional week.

If someone becomes ill, they are to contact the event leader and quarantine themselves.  If there is no improvement in four to six hours, Mark will seek medical care outside N-Sid-Sen.

Each UCC sponsored event will have a nurse on site.

If someone has been within six feet for 15 minutes with someone with COVID-19, they will be tracked by the health department for 10 days.

Opportunities Thursday through Monday include:

• Families at Camp rentals for a single family residing together to rent a lodge or cabin for their private use. Campers are responsible for their own meals. These camps began in March and are offered through June 7.

• Family Escapes at N-Sid-Sen are like Families at Camp but include meals.

• Program UCC Family Camps with worship, games, discussion and service opportunities are three weekends July 15-19, 22-26 or 29 to Aug. 2.

• Senior High Camp Aug. 5 to 9 is a smaller, social distanced program that includes activities as above.

• Junior High Camp Aug 12 to 16 is also a smaller social distanced program with activities.

• Class of 2020 Camp Aug 5 to 9 for those who graduated from high school in 2020 and were not able to attend camp will include worship, games, discussion, and service opportunities.

There will be no Kid’s Camp or Intermediate Camp this year.

Registration is open.

For information, call 208-689-3489 or visit



Pacific NW Conference United Church of Christ News © April-May 2021


Share this article on your favorite social media Bookmark and Share