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Camps make changes for 2018 season, adding mission camps

PNC’s camp managing directors Mark Boyd at N-Sid-Sen and Wade Zick at Pilgrim Firs, and Conference Minister Mike Denton recently announced changes for the 2018 youth and family camps at the two sites.

Senior high youth at Midwinter at Pilgrim Firs were among the first to hear about changes and shared some of their ideas.

Pilgrim Firs Schedule

In 2018, the youth camps at N-Sid-Sen will continue to be similar to what they are currently, just hopefully larger and better in their programming with young people, said Mark.

The youth camps at Pilgrim Firs will shift to service weeks that use Pilgrim Firs like a base camp where days are spent in the community doing service and mission trip-like experiences with the evening as time for reflection and camp-like programming, said Wade.

The youth camps at N-Sid-Sen will continue to market to individual youth in collaboration with churches and will use volunteers from around the conference for directors and counselors.

The youth service weeks at Pilgrim Firs will focus on inviting congregations, and leadership will come from the participating churches.

This shift begins in 2017 with Senior High camp at Pilgrim Firs beginning at Pilgrim Firs, then taking a road trip to N-Sid-Sen to spend two days enjoying the lake and discovering what Aqua Camp is about. Campers will then head back to Pilgrim Firs to close their week with an extra day added at Pilgrim Firs.

In 2018, both Senior and Junior High camps will be Aqua Camps at N-Sid-Sen, said Mark.  

 “This shift is exciting in its goal to use the different sites for their strengths and to offer the conference churches different opportunities to engage in Outdoor Ministries,” said Mark and Wade.  “We will no longer compete against ourselves by offering similar camp experiences at the two sites.

“The East/West divide that sees one camp or the other camp as ‘theirs’ will also hopefully diminish as this is one more way of saying to each of us in the conference that we have two Outdoor Ministry sites partnering with us in ministry,” they said.

 “We are planning robust roll-out at Annual Meeting in April at Pilgrim Firs,” said Wade. 

 At Midwinter the campers started a go-fund-me page to help Pilgrim Firs late Saturday night. It was a way for the youth to be able to show their concern and deep love for the camp many grew up at. 

Wade and Mark lend their support to this effort of the youth to raise concern and attention to what is happening in the camps and conference.

“Some of the language of the youth over presents a budget crisis, but the sentiment and positive actions from youth are to be applauded. We are working them to update the language,” they said. 

 “Our budgets are in great shape and things at Pilgrim Firs are not immediately dire,” they said. “There is of course truth in the bigger sentiment as there is a huge need for dollars to address deferred maintenance, inadequate staff housing, septic issues and other projects.” 

Mark and Wade seek prayers, support, feedback and questions.

“This season of change in the wider church means we need to continue to ask how we can provide excellent ministry in a changing church and we are hopeful this shift is one answer of how we, as a conference, are working into those new realities,” they said.

A five-year strategic plan for the camps began in 2016 with a Counselors in Training and Leaders in Training week at Pilgrim Firs, with emphasis of the connection of camps to local churches and with introducing the Board to the proposal for shifting the camp focus at Pilgrim Firs.

In 2017, Pilgrim Firs’ 60 years of youth camps will be celebrated at Annual Meeting.  Pilgrim Firs campers will visit N-Sid-Sen and the Leaders in Training (CiT/LiT) training will be at N-Sid-Sen.  A new Outdoor Ministry Committee will begin at Annual Meeting and the Camp Development Campaign begins late in 2017.

In 2018, there will be two service and mission-trip weeks at Pilgrim Firs, and traditional camps will be at N-Sid-Sen.  LiT training will be during Kids/Intermediate camps.  Work will begin on staff housing at Pilgrim Firs.

In 2019, there will be an intergenerational service / mission-trip week at Pilgrim Firs, and ground will be broken for a new program building there and for the underpass under the road at N-Sid-Sen.

In 2020, there will be three service / mission trip weeks and a week of LiT with Kids/Intermediate Camp at Pilgrim Firs. There will be two Family Camps, two Youth Camps and a LIT/Kids/Intermediate Camp at N-Sid-Sen

 For information, call 360-876-2031 or 208-689-3489.



Copyright © February 2017 Pacific Northwest Conference United Church of Christ News


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