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Camp experiences extend beyond summer camps
and retreats through Facebook connections.

Mark Boyd and Wade Zick are managing directors at N-Sid-Sen and Pilgrim Firs, respectively.

For the 2016 season, N-Sid-Sen and Pilgrim Firs are using “Fearless Faith: Courage in Community,” a curriculum to help campers draw courage from biblical characters, their friends, families and communities of faith to help them stand up to mistrust, injustice and fear in society.  The program invites campers to reflect on life, forgive others, change attitudes and welcome people, said Mark Boyd, managing director of N-Sid-Sen.

Throughout the year, N-Sid-Sen connects with campers and members of the region’s United Church of Christ churches through Facebook.

Almost every day, Mark posts a reflective entry, connecting a photo of a sunset, water, meadow, flowers, woods or other camp scenes with a faith insight.

Many people comment—not on Facebook but in person—about how they appreciate the postings.

“It’s a way to remind folks who do not live in places like this how they need to slow down, look around and see what’s important,” Mark said. “We are hit with so much misinformation as mass media try to keep us distracted. “

I say look around, look at our lives, our moments and our times,” he said.

Through Facebook, he primarily reaches parents, who are the ones to decide about their children going to camp.

Some recent reflections are:

The setting sun appears to have leaked under the hillside reminding us that our review of yesterday is reflected back to us in many ways.

One of the recent sunset photos Mark Boyd posted with reflective comments.                         
Photo courtesy of Mark Boyd

Sometimes all we need to do is stop and say awe.

Say awe to the day we just had, even if we really mean awe.

Say awe to the people who surround us, when we mean ahh.

Say awe to the day ahead, when we want to say ohh.

Sometimes we just need to stop and let life hold us in awe.

A solitary tree stands tall in the meadow. Reaching for the sky, extending it’s branches toward spring and new growth.

The solitary tree stands on its roots tapping deep down into the earth. Down it grows towards abundant fresh water.

The solitary tree is not alone. True, there is no other tree just like it. True, it stands tall and by itself . Yet just like us there are so many unseen and unrecognized ways the tree is supported and cared for. One might even say loved.

What (or who) is holding you up?

What (or who) is giving you sustenance?

We get to decide which view we will choose to become our reality. It is only in recognizing that it is simply our choice of how we choose to preserve those memories, that makes those special to us. It is harder to hold close that others will see yesterday differently and ours is not the only way to hold memories.

For information, call 208-689-3489 or visit

At Pilgrim Firs, Wade Zick is hosting a meal after the PRIDE Parade.

Because the camp depends on volunteer leaders and counselors, Mark and Wade Zick, managing director of Pilgrim Firs, are developing a program to train counselors and leaders aged 15 and older to increase the pool of volunteers to help run camps. Pilgrim Firs will host the Counselor in Training program July 10 to 16.

For information, call 360-876-2031 or email


Copyright © June 2016 Pacific NW UCC News


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