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PNC camp sites offer different mixes of staff because of locations

Four of the 2017 N-Sid-Sen staff are international young adults coming through Camp America to be there from June 7 to Aug. 21.

Pilgrim Firs staff include Chris Berry, Mikey Staser, Trevor Knight, Charlotte Whitten,  Marc Ventura and Ryan Lane. 

Buse Dogan and Atacan Guel from Turkey are Muslim.  Olga Dushnovska from Ukraine, who is returning for her second year, is Catholic.  Marat Shadian from Russia has no faith affiliation.

A fifth international staff member scheduled to be on crew was a Saudi Arabian young woman who was studying in Los Angeles.  Her work visa was not renewed, and she was sent back to Saudi Arabia, even though an immigration attorney urged the court to let her stay, said Mark Boyd, managing director at N-Sid-Sen.

N-Sid-Sen staff include Olga Dushnovska, Marat Shadian, Abuse Dogan and Amy Hipol.                   Photo courtesy of Mark Boyd

The international staff, who work in the kitchen and do housekeeping, are college students.  Buse and Apachan are at Ege University, Buse studying tourism and hospitality management, and Apachan studying tour guidance and computers.  Olha is studying hospitality in Kiev, and Marat is studying international service and foreign language at Pyatigorsk State University in Moscow.

“International staff give guests and people who come to camp a change to meet with people from other countries, to meet them as people, rather than as representatives of a country’s politics,” he said.

“We struggle to recruit local staff because we are not near communities,” he said.

Last year, international staff joined in a lesson with junior high girls, said the Lord’s Prayer in their languages at camp fire, and joined in dances.

“They are part of the camp community, intermingling with campers and eating meals with them,” Mark said.

In contrast, Pilgrim Firs does not have international staff, because they are surrounded by communities from which they hire staff.  Their staff do not need to stay overnight, Mark said.

N-Sid-Sen has had a slower start than usual in preparing the camp because of the heavy winter and high waters.  The dam at Post Falls has released water, so the level of the lake has lowered.

Work Camp is focusing more on cleaning up than building projects.  Work campers have to put the docks out, clear trails, clean the beaches of debris and move logs to the campfire areas, to replace logs that floated away.

“Water came up within 20 feet of the Ford cabin and over the berms in the cove,” he said.

While camp directors and counselors prepare for program around the 2017 theme “Branching Out: Connecting through Christ,” Mark looks forward to meeting new campers and welcoming returnees.

Through the year, he anticipates that there will be more churches coming for weekend retreats.  Those committed are Westminster, Colville, Chewelah, Pullman, Richland and Ritzville.  Plymouth in Seattle comes for a week of family camp.

Other N-Sid-Sen staff are Amy Hipol of Elk, a lifeguard and kitchen helper, Nicole Boyd, Mark’s daughter who has been cook for two years, Buzz Hamm, maintenance supervisor.  Others helping this summer are Henry Reinhardt of Veradale, one week, and Chatara Hajja, a long time camper.


Pacific Northwest Conference UCC News © Summer 2017


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