39570 Glen Road Yucaipa, California 92399
Phone: 909-797-1821 Fax: 909-797-2691 info@pilgrimpinescamp.org

March 28, 2012



Dear Friends of Pilgrim Pines,

We are writing to share with you an update about our SCNC UCC summer camps at Pilgrim Pines for 2012. First, we are grateful and excited to share that Jeanne Halverson will be our Summer Camp Director this year. Jeanne has served in this position in the past, and has also been a volunteer counselor at Pilgrim Pines summer camp in recent years. She has a great love and enthusiasm for our camping ministry, significant experience with the structure of our summer camps, and we are grateful for her willingness to help us in this year of transition!

And, we want to share with you that after a time of study and discernment from both groups, the SCNC UCC Board of Directors has voted to engage the non-profit camp management company UCCR (United Camps, Conferences, and Retreats) to manage Pilgrim Pines Camp and UCCR has offered to enter into contract with us. UCCR will be responsible for the maintenance, food services, and year-round booking of the camp, while our Conference will now be responsible for all program leadership at our UCC camps and retreats. This transition is likely to take place on May 1. We are so very grateful to all of our current Pilgrim Pines staff, including our Executive Director June Boutwell, and we encourage you to share your prayers and gratitude as well with them, as some of them now move to the next calling in their lives.

As we have previously shared, this transition means significant changes for our summer camp, the largest being that all of the counselors, group directors, and program leaders at summer camp will need to be volunteers this year. We are so grateful to all those who have already submitted your volunteer applications, but we need many more people to come for one or more weeks in order for camp to happen this year. Please pray, dream, invite, apply - we know there are many of you who will find great joy in working with children, youth, or adult campers with special needs. Applications are available at: http://www.pilgrimpinescamp.org/Volunteers.html.
And, we need campers! Be sure to share the summer camp application with your congregation, friends, and others: http://www.pilgrimpinescamp.org/summer-camp.html

A week spent on the mountain this summer, as either a camper or a volunteer staff member, will be a transformational, exciting, fun, busy, joyful time. Our lives are so full, and it's difficult to get away. But sometimes, when we press pause for a moment and make the time, we are given surprising rewards that last long after the last campfire ends.

Join us on the mountain this summer, in the holy hope-filled beauty of Pilgrim Pines!
With gratitude, hope, and peace,

your Outdoor Ministry Team:

Jeanne Halverson, Colleen Keehan, Paul Lance, Steven Mabry, Petra Malleis-Sternberg, Alison Morales, Dave Palmer, Audrey Turner, Neal Washburn, Whitney Washburn, Keith Clark


February 10, 2012




Pilgrim Pines Summer Camp 2012: Updates and a BIG Invitation!


            Many of you have noticed that our summer camp mailings are late this year, and have wondered what is going on. We are writing to update you, to share the facts and put the rumors to bed. We are hoping you will be reminded of the power and possibility of summer camp, be invited to participate, and be assured that your efforts will make a BIG difference as we preserve our summer camp program, our sacred space and move forward in ministry together.


First up: the facts. Pilgrim Pines is not being sold and we are having summer camp in 2012 but many changes are afoot. The Pilgrim Pines and Southern California Nevada Conference UCC Board of Directors have asked United Camps, Conferences, & Retreats (UCCR) to complete a feasibility study for managing Pilgrim Pines. As a non-profit camping cooperative, UCCR specializes in the stewardship of properties and the support of programs of many different religious groups and non-profits. Find them on the web at www.uccr.org. With a favorable study report by UCCR (looks good so far), UCCR would manage the daily operations--not programs--of Pilgrim Pines.


Next: Be reminded. Pilgrim Pines plays a significant role in the life and faith of our UCC Conference and many others as well. We serve youth and children from UCC churches, and from many other families who choose Pilgrim Pines for summer campers, including those from foster homes. We also offer programs that welcome children and adults with special needs. Our unique approach to camp invites all ages and abilities into community together, encourages their faith, and provides life-time memories of acceptance. It’s an inclusive, transforming ministry that deserves our resources and efforts and to that end, our Conference Board has created an Outdoor Ministry Team to program and staff our camp. In one of the most far-reaching changes in this process, summer camp at Pilgrim Pines will now be led mostly by volunteers, not by paid, summer staff.   The expectations, screening, training, and high standards will remain the same, as they always have, for both our paid and volunteer staff. So, “who will staff these camps,” you ask?  Read on...


Finally: Be invited. Volunteer led camps create ministry opportunities for loads of people, sweetly saying, “We need you.” Are you a parent who wonders what it’s really like at camp after hearing stories from your child? We need you. Are you a church member or pastor who ‘used to’ love camp but haven’t been in years? We need you. Are you a former Pilgrim Pines summer staff member but can’t give up five weeks to go to work at camp? How about giving one week to voluntarily make the lives of campers better? Do you have great memories of Pilgrim Pines as a camper? Is this your year to pay back? We can help. Maybe you grew up in another region and staffed, led, or attended other camps? We need you. This model of camping ministry depends on volunteer directors, game leaders, counselors, musicians, craft people, and nurses. Believe this, your life will be blessed when you give it away to Pilgrim Pines Summer Camps. We’ll connect you, train you, resource you, and appreciate you! What do you need to do? Show up!

            Now, take a look at the proposed schedule for camp. Look at your own calendar to see how you fit. Pray about it. It’s your camp. Is it your time?


With Hope and Blessings!


            The Outdoor Ministry Team of the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ, Alison Morales, Audrey Turner, June Boutwell, Whitney Washburn, Dave Palmer, Neal Washburn, Petra Malleis-Sternberg, Colleen Keehan, Steve Mabry, and Paul Lance



Pilgrim Pines Summer Camp 2012


Mini, Junior, Jr. High, Sr. High                                          Pinester

Week 1: July 8th - 14th (C.I.T. WEEK)                               Week 1: July 8th - 13th (PEPPERMINT RIDGE)


Week 2: July 15th - 21st                                                       Week 2: July 15th - 20th


Week 3: July 22nd - 28th (CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS)     Week 3: July 22nd - 27th (PINE CONE WEEK)


Week 4: July 29th- Aug 4th (CYMC WEEK)                        Week 4: July 29st - Aug 3rd (SEEDLINGS WEEK)


Pilgrim Pines Summer Camp Positions which may need to be filled include:

Interested persons could apply to volunteer for one or more weeks for any of these positions.


Mini Camp Director: Program leader for campers entering 1st-3rd grades.


Junior Camp Director: Program leader for campers entering 4th-6th grades.


Junior High Camp Director: Program leader for campers entering 7th-8th grades.


Senior High Camp Director: Program leader for campers entering 9th-12th grades and 2012 graduates.


Pinester Camp Director: Program leader for adults with special needs and disabilities.


Seedling Camp Director: Program leader for children ages 10-14 with special needs and disabilities.


Pine Cone Camp Director: Program leader for youth ages 15-21 with special needs and disabilities.



Note: all program directors will have recommended resources from our ecumenical outdoor ministries curriculum, and the four weeks’ directors will work together with the Outdoor Ministries Team to plan the program which will be used each week of camp.


Cabin Counselors: Can request to work with any of the age or ability groups at camp, and will share leadership of a cabin with another counselor.


Music/Campfire Director: Will lead music at Vespers, Morning Fiesta, special activities, and Campfire circles, ability to build a campfire and play a guitar is preferred.


Pastor at Camp: Will support the program of each of the age and ability groups, lead Morning Fiesta, help with Vespers planning and leadership, and provide pastoral care and support.


Naturalist/Outdoor Activities Director: Will lead outdoor activities for each of the age and ability groups, including hikes, nature activities, and field games, and partner with certified leaders for archery and the high/low ropes courses.


Aquatics Director: Will supervise and lifeguard all swimming activities, must be certified in Red Cross Lifeguarding, First Aid and CPR.


Craft Director: Will plan and supervise the Craft Lodge projects and activities.


Health Center Director: Will oversee and organize medical care in the Health Center and assist the Camp Nurse with distributions of medication.


Counselor-In-Training: These positions are open to volunteers ages 16-17 who have completed our weeklong CIT program or who have previous counseling experience.



Training, background check, and references will be required for all volunteers. For application and further information, please go to http://www.pilgrimpinescamp.org/summer-camp.html


And then, invite someone else who might also have gifts to share to check out this opportunity for a week on the beautiful mountain this summer at Pilgrim Pines!






Connections from Felix

Dear Friends, 


Update on Pilgrim Pines


As communicated by the Pilgrim Pines Board of Directors, your conference leadership wishes to continue to update you on the situation at Pilgrim Pines.  First and foremost, regardless of what the future holds for Pilgrim Pines, we will continue offering camp opportunities to our children and youth! In other words, spring and summer camps will be scheduled as usual.  We also want to let you know that the Conference Board of Directors and the Pilgrim Pines Board of Directors are currently working on a plan that will keep Pilgrim Pines operating as part of the ministry of this Conference. 

The plan includes a feasibility study with United Camps, Conferences and Retreats (UCCR) to assess the most effective management plan for the operations of Pilgrim Pines.  (Please, feel free to visit their website at www.uccr.org for details about this non-profit organization which runs many camps, including the UCC and DOC camps in Northern California). 

At first glance, this is what will happen if the feasibility study results in a positive outcome: First, UCCR would be contracted to manage the operations of the camp. Our UCC Conference activities will have scheduling preference. This means that our camps and retreats would continue as scheduled. In addition, UCC churches and SCNC UCC Conference-sponsored groups would receive a discount on regular fees. Regular fees will still need to be determined.  Our Conference will also receive an additional rebate for every Conference-sponsored group that utilizes the camp facilities.   These rebate funds will be utilized to further the Outdoor Ministries of our Conference.  Additionally, UCCR believes they will be able to generate net income.  Any net income generated would be used to improve the facilities or complete deferred maintenance.

There are a couple of challenges with this plan that we are currently addressing.  First, UCCR does not provide programming, only logistic and operational support.  To address this, we are in the process of creating a new Outdoor Ministries Team. The primary responsibility of this group will be the recruitment of volunteers and development of camp programs such as Summer Camp, Confirmation Camp, Clergy Retreats, Men's and Women's Retreats, and Family Camp.  This team will plan and administer all of our Conference's Outdoor Ministry, and will be led by conference staff and volunteers.  We will need to dramatically increase the number of volunteers, especially for our summer camp, and this team will work to continue our mission and outreach to include youth from foster homes and adults with developmental disabilities in our summer camps.

Our leadership is also forming a new Pilgrim Pines Facilities Team. This group will be responsible for the oversight of the facilities in cooperation with UCCR. The Pilgrim Pines Board is currently considering transforming itself into these two teams, and will be welcoming additional volunteers to serve as team members.

Second, this approach does not solve Pilgrim Pines' current financial situation. To address this challenge, the Pilgrim Pines Board has decided to sell some property assets (Palomar Cedars, the rustic camping property in the Southern Association, along with the Director's house and "Pink" house, the two staff houses located outside of the main Pilgrim Pines camp property). None of these changes and decisions have been made lightly, and we acknowledge the grief and loss some of our church members are feeling, especially in the sale of Palomar Cedars. The funds derived from the sale of these three properties will be used to pay off the current debt (not including the Cornerstone mortgage), and fund the currently depleted "Restricted Funds" accounts and the "Campership" Scholarship Funds. It is worth mentioning here that the campership and program funds will be managed by the Conference and not UCCR in the future, and will be segregated from operating funds.   Additionally, the Conference will seek grant opportunities to assist in providing Outdoor Ministries for our Conference and for our outreach ministries to campers from foster homes, and campers with developmental disabilities.

Once the feasibility study is completed, if UCCR determines we are a good fit, UCCR will begin running operations at Pilgrim Pines.  At that time the Rev. June Boutwell will cease her role as Executive Director of the camp. We are grateful to June for the incredible job she has done at Pilgrim Pines! This decision is solely based on a new operational model and it is not a reflection of June's dedication and efficiency while at Pilgrim Pines.  Without the leadership that June has provided in these past three years, we would not be in a position to retain ownership of the camp.  I would like to encourage each one of you to thank June for her work, as she has given her all to the ministry of Pilgrim Pines.  We look forward to seeing where God will call her next. 

Finally, we project these changes to take place no later than May 2012. The Conference and Pilgrim Pines leadership are in agreement that this is a "win-win" situation for all. I would also like to encourage each one of you to thank the Pilgrim Pines Board of Directors, who have worked so diligently in addressing these enormous challenges!

As you consider your end-of-year giving, please consider a gift to support the ongoing ministry of Pilgrim Pines.   Your gift will support the Outdoor Ministry programs of our Conference, offering transformational spiritual experiences at retreats and summer camp to youth and children from our conference churches.  And, with your support, we will also be able to continue the significant outreach ministries of our summer camp program which includes many campers who live in foster homes, group homes, and adults and youth with developmental disabilities.  One of the most powerful aspects of our summer camp ministry is the way in which people from a multitude of different backgrounds, age, and ability groups come together to create a beloved community at camp.  We look forward to sharing much more with you early in the new year about the ways in which donations and volunteers from our conference churches will be able to help us continue all of the most important missions of the sacred ministry that happens at Pilgrim Pines.  From the holy mountain sanctuary of Pilgrim Pines to each church sanctuary in our conference, we are connected in hope this Advent, as we await once more the birth of love in Christ Jesus, who calls us all into shared ministry.  Thank you for your generous giving.



You can mail your gift to:


Pilgrim Pines Camp
39570 Glen Road

Yucaipa, CA 92399


And you may designate your gift towards:


Camperships (support summer campers with financial need)
Program Support (fund UCC programs listed above)
General Operations (provide ongoing maintenance/supplies)
Debt Reduction (fund to pay down the mortgage principal)



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