Reshaping the Summer Camp Experience - FAQ


Beginning in 2018, the summer camps offered at N-Sid-Sen and Pilgrim Firs will seek to offer youth (middle school and high school ages) two different summer camp experiences. A more traditional summer camp experience will be hosted at N-Sid-Sen with a continued emphasis on adventure-based activities on the water. Pilgrim Firs will offer congregations mission and service oriented weeks that integrate aspects of traditional camp experiences. 

What are the goals of this shift?

Currently we are competing against ourselves in offering similar youth camp experiences at our two sites with a smaller youth demographic in our churches. At the same time, we are stretched each year to find enough volunteer leaders to fill both staffs. The goals through this shift are to grow the youth camps at N-Sid-Sen and provide new opportunities for youth and churches to participate in service camps at Pilgrim Firs. 

What will be the major differences between the two camps?

N-Sid-Sen will continue to offer youth a traditional summer camp experience that builds on the strengths of our volunteer leaders throughout the conference. Intentional cultural, leadership, and experiential integration from both sites will be built into the camps. 

The week at Pilgrim Firs will be designed as a base camp for local churches to doing volunteer work with area social service agencies, environmental organizations, and other non-profits. Evenings will include debrief time and learning activities, as well as more traditional camp activities such as beach time, talent shows, dances, campfires and the like. 

How was it decided to offer different camps at the two sites?

Several factors precipitated the shift. The primary goal of our two sites is, and has always been, to provide outdoor ministry opportunities for our conference congregations and church members. Differentiating our camp offerings allows us to offer more congregations and individuals an opportunity to participate in some form of outdoor ministry on one or both sites. 

The two sites were looked at for the strengths they offer. N-Sid-Sen (a word that translates as "Point of Inspiration") offers campers a place to be inspired, and reflect on their gifts and how those gifts can contribute to shaping a more loving and just world. Being located on beautiful Lake Couer d'Alene also provides more opportunities for outdoor adventures. Pilgrim Firs on the other hand, has often been described as a space that nurtures and stimulates the creative spirit. As a peaceful oasis amid urban and rural areas with tremendous service needs, it is ideally situated for service/mission camps. 

How will staffing be handled at Pilgrim Firs Mission/Service Camps?

Pilgrim Firs Mission/Service Camps will be directed by Pilgrim Firs staff. The weeks will be designed for churches, both small and large, that want to send their youth and adult leaders on mission and service trips, but who would find it helpful to have details of housing, food, work projects and schedule done for them. 

Will churches be required to send adults with their youth to Pilgrim Firs Service Camps?

Yes and no. Churches that are sending one or two youth are encouraged to send an adult leader to participate and assist in transportation and supervision. Churches with three or more youth are required to send adult leadership in the service week.

Will youth without an adult leader be welcomed at Pilgrim Firs Service Camps?

Yes. There will be opportunities for individual youth to join in service camp experiences as we look for ways to integrate them into various projects with attending church groups.

How will this "Reshaping the Summer Camp Experience" be rolled out in 2017?

2017 will be a transition year as we make this shift. During the high school camp week, youth from Pilgrim Firs will travel by bus to camp N-Sid-Sen to participate in 2 full days of camp with the goal of getting to know more about the site, camp culture, and building connections with the youth attending that camp. Campers will then bus back to Pilgrim Firs for their final few days of camp, which will be extending an extra day to compensate for the transit time two and from camp N-Sid-Sen.

For more information or with questions please contact:

Wade Zick, Managing Director, Camp Pilgrim Firs,, office phone (360) 876-2031

Mark Boyd, Managing Director, Camp N-Sid-Sen,, office phone (208) 689-3489