From Pilgrim Firs Managing Director Wade Zick and N-Sid-Sen Managing Director Mark Boyd

Greetings and Blessings!

We, Mark Boyd & Wade Zick, are writing to let you know about some of the shifting that is planned for 2018 that impacts the youth camps at both N-Sid-Sen and Pilgrim Firs. Conference Minister Mike Denton, the Board of Directors for the Pacific Northwest Conference, United Church of Christ, the Outdoor Ministry Task Force and your two Managing Directors all want this information to be available to you.

The big picture is that in 2018 the youth camps at N-Sid-Sen will continue to be similar to what they are currently - just hopefully larger and even better in their programming with young people. 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. The youth camps at N-Sid-Sen will continue to market to individual youth in collaboration with churches utilizing volunteers from around the conference. The youth service weeks at Pilgrim Firs will focus on congregations and leadership will come from the churches that are participating.

This shift begins in 2017 with Sr High camp at Pilgrim Firs beginning at Pilgrim Firs, then taking a road trip to N-Sid-Sen to spend a couple of days enjoying the lake and discovering what Aqua Camp is all about, then heading back to Pilgrim Firs to close out their week with an extra day added at Pilgrim Firs. In 2018 both Sr and Jr High camps will be joining Camps at N-Sid-Sen for the full week.  

This shift is very exciting in its goal of utilizing the different sites for their strengths and offering the conference churches very different opportunities to engage in Outdoor Ministries and no longer competing against ourselves by offering very similar camp experiences at the two sites. The eastern Washington/western Washington 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.

We are planning a robust roll-out at Annual Meeting in April at Pilgrim Firs as well providing space for conversation at local churches. If you are interested in hosting or being a part of these conversions please let us know.

Currently schedule are two Q&A sessions: Saturday March 25th, 1:00-3:00pm at Kirkland United Church of Christ, and Sunday April 9th, 1:00-3:00pm, First Congregational Church of Bellingham. We hope you can join us and members of the Outdoor Ministry Task Force to discuss any questions you have about these changes. 

Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated along with your 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 very hopeful this shift is one answer of how we, as a conference, are working into those new realities.

Blessings and peace,

Mark Boyd & Wade Zick