Parent & Camper Guide – 2024


We are excited you or someone(s) in your family will be joining us for camp this summer. Our goal is to provide an experience that is enjoyable, meaningful and fun.

We hope this Parent & Camper Guide will help to familiarize families with our procedures. Especially for younger or newer campers, this can help to minimize “first-day nervousness.” If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Our leaders strive to help our campers feel comfortable and welcome. To do the best job possible, your assistance is needed. Respect & Cooperation are top priorities at N-Sid-Sen, and there are expectations for the behavior of each camper and leader. Read more about this under the “Respect & Cooperation” tab.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Rev Pam Peterson, Managing Director at N-Sid-Sen
and the Outdoor Ministries Team

N-Sid-Sen Office

We check voice mail in the office on a regular basis, so if we are out, please leave a message.

Please do not ask your child to call home. Such calls often promote homesickness. In the case of an emergency or significant issue, we will contact you. If you have concerns, please contact us.

N-Sid-Sen Office 208-689-3489
Emergency Text 406-426-8715

In case of a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1

N-Sid-Sen Camp & Retreat Center
36395 S Hwy 97
Harrison, ID 83833

Three Weeks Prior to Camp:
Info about dietary and other special needs is due – at the very latest. The earlier the notification, the better able we are to effectively assist with special needs. For significant issues, in addition to completing the online forms, please contact the Managing Director at

Two Weeks Prior to Camp:
The Family Share of the camp fee is due a minimum of 14 days prior to the start of the camp session. Early payments are welcome.

NOTE: Some churches and organizations pay a portion of the camp fee. If this is the case, we will bill them for the Church/Organization Share.

One Week Prior to Camp:
You should have already completed the Health Form, which is a part of the online registration packet. We highly recommend reviewing the form 7-14 days prior to the start of a camper’s session and double-checking and updating the medication and health concern sections.

A week or two prior to the camper’s time at camp, the primary adult on your registration account will receive a letter from the co-director(s) of your session with special details. Watch for this!

Campers participate in faith-based programming each day. The morning exploration and evening vesper or campfire times are centered around the summer theme. The focus for each day is a specific Bible passage or story. We explore how each lesson relates to and impacts our lives today. The curriculum provides an ecumenical approach.

We serve campers from a variety of denominations and backgrounds and many who do not have a church home. We strive to be a welcoming place of faith without imposing a specific set of beliefs.

Deposits are non-refundable.

The initial per person deposit is $100 for full-week camps and $50 for part-week camps.

If a registration is cancelled in writing at least 30 days in advance of the start of the camp session, the full camp fee (minus the deposit) will be refunded.

When written notification is received between 14 and 29 days, up to 75% of the total camp fee will be refunded. When less than 14 days of notice is received, no refund is given.

If case of sudden illness, accident, or emergency, families may opt to hold over the amount paid to next summer or receive a full refund.

Request refunds in writing. Send details to the Managing Director. or by mail to N-Sid-Sen, 36395 S Hwy 97, Harrison ID 83833

If a session has 10 or fewer registrations, We reserve the right to cancel the session 10 days prior to the start date. If this happens, families may opt to hold over the amount paid to next summer or receive a full refund.

You & Me Camp: Check in from 4-5pm on Sunday. Depart on Wednesday at 10am.

Kids Camp: Check in from 4-4:30pm on Wednesday. Pick up at 11am on Saturday.

Intermediate, Jr High and Sr High Camps: Check in from 4-5pm on Sunday. Pick up at 11am on Saturday.

Family Camp & Camp Together: Check in from 4-5pm on Sunday. Depart on Sunday at 11am.

Please do not arrive earlyOur staff will be busy with last minute preparations for your arrival.

The health and safety of campers and leaders is our #1 priority, and the check-in process is a key piece of our wellness and safety plan. Please allow 30-45 minutes to escort camper(s) through the stations. Families stay together throughout check-in.

During this process, you will:

  • Meet the Co-Director(s) of your camp(s).
  • Check in with the Registrar and double-check registration forms and fees.
  • Meet the Health Care Provider and discuss recent updates to Health Forms and the current health of the camper(s). For youth camps, all medication will be turned in at this time.
  • Visit the camp store.
  • Meet cabin leaders (youth camps) and help your camper get settled.

Please arrive at the designated time (see Start & End Times) so your camper(s) can enjoy the closing rituals and end-of-session good-byes. This is a meaningful time for many campers, so we try to keep interruptions to a minimum.

When you arrive, a greeter will provide further instructions.

The online Pick-Up Authorization Form is required for all youth campers, even those being picked up by a parent or driving themselves. List ALL individuals who might pick up your camper. Include yourself and your camper – if applicable. Campers will only be released to a person who is authorized on the form.

The pick-up person will need to present Photo ID, such as a driver’s license, to the camper’s cabin leader.

If plans change, and someone not listed on this form must pick up the camper:

  • Update the online Pick-Up Authorization in your online registration account, AND
  • Call the N-Sid-Sen office at 208.689.3489.

If you do not have access to a computer to complete the Health Form or Pick-Up Authorization online, contact the office for assistance.

Families are responsible for arranging transportation to and from camp for their camper(s).

We recognize that N-Sid-Sen is a 5-6 hour drive from the Greater Seattle-Tacoma area, but it’s worth it! And there are some intriguing options.

  • Carpool with friends and family.
  • Encourage your congregation to organize carpools.
  • Plan a getaway to Coeur d’Alene, Spokane or any of the many inviting towns and nearby recreational areas before, during or after your camper’s session.

You can enter 36395 S Hwy 97, Harrison, ID 83833 in your navigation program if you use one.

N-Sid-Sen is located south of Coeur d’Alene on the eastern shore of the lake . Once on I-90, depending on your starting point, head east or west to Exit 22 for State Highway 97 (SH 97) toward Harrison. Follow Hwy 97 around the tip of the lake. In approximately five miles, there is a shortcut over the foothills. You may either turn left onto Burma Road or follow the shoreline route. If you take Burma Road, once you reach the stop sign at the base of the hill, turn left back onto Hwy 97. N-Sid-Sen is on the lake side of the road, approximately five miles from this second Burma Road/Hwy 97 intersection. Watch for signs. If you reach mile marker 79 or the town of Harrison, you have gone too far.

Families are welcome and encouraged to schedule a visit prior to the camper’s session. We hope you will chat with staff on the first day of camp when accompanying your child through the check-in process. We have an open-door policy for parents; however, visits during the camper’s session are highly discouraged.

Such visits may actually promote homesickness in your child and other campers. If you have concerns about separation, please contact N-Sid-Sen at 208.689.3489 or the co-directors of your camper’s session.

ANNUAL Health Forms are required for ALL campers – including adults. This includes a review of current and past conditions and illnesses, an immunization record, and permission to treat.

Help us provide a safe and healthy environment for your camper by completing the Health Forms in advance, and then reviewing them 7-14 days prior to the start of the camper’s session. Our health care providers need time to review the forms, so they can be prepared. Updating health forms in advance also helps speed up the check-in process on the first day of camp.

A physical exam is not required. However, a parent/guardian signature and insurance details are mandatory parts of the Health Form.

Most Health Forms are to be completed online. Find them in your N-Sid-Sen registration account.

In addition, please download this NEW Supplemental Health & Permission Form, complete it and bring it with you to camp. If you are unable to download the form, copies will be available at camp. HOWEVER, if a non-custodial adult is delivering an under 18-year-old minor to camp, the form must be completed and signed in advance.

Campers cannot be admitted to camp without
completed Health Forms including a signed permission to treat.

Be sure to fully complete the medication section of the Health Form. ALL medications brought to camp must be in ORIGINAL PACKAGING or PRESCRIPTION CONTAINER. Prescription containers must include the camper’s name, dosage, frequency, and times of administration.

For Youth Camps, ALL MEDICATIONS, including ibuprofen, vitamins, etc., must be turned in to the Health Care Staff when checking in on the first day of camp. Do not pre-pull medication or pack it in the camper’s luggage. Put all medications in a sturdy zip-lock bag labeled with the camper’s name.

It is our policy that INHALERS be kept in the Health Center. However, if a parent requests in writing that the inhaler be kept with the camper, we will honor that request, provided the camper demonstrates responsibility for the use and possession of the inhaler. Any misuse or misplacement of the inhaler during the camp session will be cause for it to be kept by a leader or in the Health Center.

All unused medications will be returned at the end of the camp session. Be sure to retrieve medication from the Health Care Provider when picking up your camper.

We strive to provide a healthy environment and prevent the spread of contagious diseases. If, within the 24 hours prior to camp, the camper has an un-diagnosed rash or open sores, a temperature at or above 101°, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a persistent cough or cold, they must remain at home until healthy. An elevated temperature must be back to normal for 24 hours before a camper comes or returns to camp.

See the current Infectious Disease policy below.

A trained health care provider is in residence at camp and arrangements for emergency care have been made with local facilities and transportation units. The camper’s personal insurance provides primary coverage. The medical payment insurance provided by camp is an Excess (or secondary) Plan, which means any claims must first be filed through the camper’s primary insurance.

The top priority for PNCUCC Camps is the health and safety of our campers, guests, volunteers and staff, as well as the wider community. We will continue to monitor and follow federal, state, and local guidelines and recommendations regarding Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. Because recommendations and policies may change, please check back often for updates. 

In recent years, most have come to recognize how infections spread, and how we can prevent the spread of infectious disease through actions such as vaccination, staying home when ill, effective handwashing, cleaning and sanitation, respiratory etiquette, and maximizing outdoor programming to reduce the risks of spreading germs.

With these standards of behaviors in mind, the PNCUCC camp leadership team has made the policy decisions listed below.

Together, we adhere to the following policies out of a sense of care, respect, and compassion for each other: 

If you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or other respiratory or flu-like illnesses, please stay home and follow CDC guidelines for testing and isolation. In the event a camper, guest, volunteer or staff member becomes ill or shows symptoms of Covid-19, we will administer a rapid test on-site and follow health guidelines for isolation and further testing. 

Mask-Friendly Environment 
A mask-friendly environment means that masks may be worn by anyone at any time at any of our sites. We support those individual decisions. 

Cancellation due to Covid-19 or another Significant Infectious Disease
If a significant illness causes an individual or family to cancel their registration, please contact the managing director of the site hosting your event. 

Gather as a Community 
Gathering outdoors is central to the camp experience. We will be outside often for programming and activities. When gathering as a community–outdoors and indoors–we respect that individuals have varying comfort levels and preferences for closeness and physical contact.  

REV 07.24

Attending camp can be exciting and, sometimes, a bit challenging for campers and for parents. It is natural for a child to be a bit anxious about leaving the comforts of home, adapting to new daily routines, and meeting new people. This can be especially true for first-time campers and those with little experience being away from home overnight. Our leaders are trained to address these types of situations in loving and constructive ways.

Active days, restful nights, healthy meals and lots of water are a good start. Staying busy and engaged are two more key strategies. We also work to build a supportive community where it’s okay to acknowledge our feelings. We strive to prevent homesickness in the first place, and then address it with love and care, if it does arise.

You can help before your camper’s session even begins. Please DO NOT SUGGEST to your camper that they may call home or return home early if homesick. Children hold on to such ideas which often lead them to becoming more homesick, rather than less. Being preoccupied with calling home prevents children from fully engaging with the camp community and fully participating in activities – both of which are key to a successful camp experience. For similar reasons, we disallow cell phones at camp.

It can be helpful to have a pre-camp conversation about homesickness, but it is important not to dwell on the subject. Encourage and support your child; let them know that you are CONFIDENT that they will do fine. Send encouraging letters; ask about the activities and your camper’s new friends, without dwelling on how much you miss them. For example, avoid comments such as, “We are SO SAD here without you.” or “Your cat misses you so much, she isn’t eating and just wanders the hallway all night.” Campers who are able to work through a case of homesickness often develop a new sense of independence and self-confidence.

We have received many calls and notes from parents thanking us for the patient nurturing care that helped their child overcome this hurdle.

Please know that in the case of an emergency or even significant homesickness, you will be contacted. If you have questions or concerns, please call the N-Sid-Sen Managing Director at 208.689.3489.

For TWO children to be considered for lodging in the same cabin during Youth Camps, they must

  1. be registered for the same session,
  2. be within one year of age, and
  3. both indicate each other on their online CAMP REGISTRATION FORMS.

All written requests are considered, but are not guaranteed. It’s great to share a week at camp with friends, and it may be easier for first-time campers to come with a buddy. However, remember that camp provides a unique opportunity to make new friends and build new relationships.

NOTE: We try to avoid putting more than two friends together because it can be overwhelming for the rest of the cabin – especially for those who come without a buddy. It is our responsibility to assign campers in the way we feel is in the best interest of the total camp community.

Campers are encouraged to recruit their friends. However, if a camper recruits several friends, they will likely not all be in the same cabin. There will be numerous opportunities for friends in different cabins to spend time together.

We make every effort to serve campers with special needs that are within the scope of our training and staffing capabilities. Because we are a “general” camp, as opposed to a “special needs” camp, we do not have the benefit of extra staff to serve as inclusion specialists.

If your camper requires special accommodations for a successful camp experience, please contact the Managing Director at N-Sid-Sen a MINIMUM of three weeks in advance of the first day of your camper’s session. This allows time for us to strategize together.

We maintain low leader to camper ratios within our activity and cabin groups. Our minimum direct supervision ratios are listed below.

Kids Camp = 1:6
Intermediate Camp = 1:7
Jr High Camp = 1:8
Sr High Camp = 1:9

All lodging groups will have two leaders and will meet or exceed the ratios listed above.

To have a successful summer camp experience at N-Sid-Sen, campers must be able to function within this type of staffing structure.

The more information we have about the camper and their needs, the better able we are to provide appropriate support. Again, please contact us in advance!

Our meals are camper-friendly with lots of fruits and vegetables. We serve three nutritious meals and two snacks daily. In addition to our regular meal offerings, a breakfast bar is available in the morning, and a salad bar at lunch and dinner.

Partnering with parents, and with advance notice, we strive to accommodate special dietary needs whenever possible. We provide gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan and any combination of these options. We can also provide options for serious allergies such as those to nuts, shellfish, etc. However, we are unable to offer specific options related to other dietary choices.

Please complete the dietary section of the online Health Form in detail. If additional assistance is needed, contact our office at 208.689.3489 or at least two weeks in advance to the camper’s arrival.

N-Sid-Sen has three distinct styles of lodging. Our youth camps generally stay in our traditional cabins. Our family camps stay in all three styles:

CABINS: Twelve cabins with a centrally located shower house. Each has bunkbeds for 8-12, windows and heat.

  • The shower house used by those in the cabins has private toilet and shower stalls. A single-use restroom with toilet and shower is located in the Welcome Center/Stillwater Lodge.

FORD CABIN: Built in 1926, this building has beds for 4-5 (one twin, one double, one bunkbed), a great room, small kitchen and restroom.

SPIRIT LODGE: With 12 sleeping rooms, this lodge accommodates up to 32 in single and double beds. Single-use restrooms are located in the hallways. The first floor of Spirit Lodge is wheelchair accessible.

We recommend packing older, less expensive clothing & gear – items that are easily recognizable, as opposed to new items campers won’t remember are theirs. It is best to LABEL EVERYTHING. This makes it much easier to identify and return found items.

We want everyone to be able to run, jump, swim, play and generally just fully engage in our active camp program without anything falling down, riding up, or coming off in the process. Think comfort and safety, safety related to sunburns, bug bites, etc.

Clothing should be appropriate for a church camp – without words or graphics that could be interpreted as hurtful or disrespectful by individuals from a wide variety of ages and backgrounds.

To avoid cuts and other injuries to feet and ankles, YOUTH campers and leaders always wear sturdy shoes with closed toes, except at the beach or in the cabin and shower areas. Sturdy shoes also make walking and hiking safer and more enjoyable. See the appropriate packing list for details.

Campers will carry, care for and be responsible for their own gear.

N-Sid-Sen & the Pacific Northwest Conference are not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.

Clothing & Equipment List – Family Full Week
Clothing & Equipment List – Half Week Camps
Clothing & Equipment List – Youth Full Week

The items listed here detract from the camp experience and the sense of community we work to build. Prohibited items, which are brought to camp, will be collected and returned at the end of the camper’s stay.

Valuable, breakable or dangerous items: This includes guns, knives, weapons of any kind, matches, lighters, fireworks, illegal substances, smoking and vaping products, or any items containing alcohol, cannabis or tobacco.

Candy, soda, gum or food: The bugs love it all. Snacks are provided each afternoon and evening, so there is no need to send additional food. The exception to this is in the case of medical and dietary issues. Supplies you send for these situations will be kept by the Health Care Staff to ensure timely distribution.

Aerosols are not allowed at camp. Insect repellent, sunscreen and deodorant must be in the form of lotion, wipes or pump spray. Aerosols are safety hazards in faces and eyes, and around campfires and candles.

ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES should be left at home. This includes (but is not limited to) electronic games, cell phones, iPods, tablets, e-readers and cameras. Camp at N-Sid-Sen is joyful, LOW-TECH fun. This is the perfect time and place to unplug from electronic technology and connect face to face with people.

This includes CELL PHONES. The safety of your child(ren) is our priority. This is one reason campers are not allowed to have or use cell phones while at camp. While this might sound counter intuitive, our insurance company recommends such a policy. Cell phones can be used as a safety tool, but they can also be used to contact negative influences outside of camp. Phones can be used to take inappropriate pictures and post them on platforms such as Snapchat, which leaves little trace, but can cause significant harm.

We understand concerns about cell phone use for emergencies; however, when weighing all the safety factors – we have decided against allowing campers to have them at camp. If you have questions about this policy, please contact our managing director at 208.689.3489 or

Cameras: Again, safety is our priority. Sometimes young people make decisions without considering the consequences. In addition, cameras can get lost or broken.

Spending Money: There are no additional fees for activities or snacks, so spending money is not needed. The Camp Store is only open on the FIRST & LAST days of each camp session during check-in and pick-up times while parents are present. The Camp Store carries a variety of items, water bottles and other logo items.

Please LABEL EVERYTHING and help us defeat the “Lost & Found Monster.” Items found after campers depart will be held until September 15 and will then be donated to a charitable organization. If you are missing an item, check with N-Sid-Sen by calling 208.689.3489 or by email at

Optional mid-week float trips are a popular part of the program for our Jr High and Sr High Camps. This year we will be floating on the Spokane River under the leadership of FLOW Adventures, a local guide service. Weather permitting, we’ll load up and head out to enjoy a slow, lazy float.

Safety is our first priority. Campers receive instruction in basic river safety and float trips are cancelled whenever there are heavy rains, storms or thunder and lightning.

What if a camper does not want to float? We believe in “challenge by choice” – the camper’s choice. While no one is forced to participate in any activity, they are encouraged, but the choice is theirs. Fun alternative activities are provided for those choosing not to float.

Campers LOVE to receive mail and it is important for them to receive letters from home. Please send cheerful, upbeat notes. Avoid mentioning how much you miss your child. Statements like this can encourage homesickness.

Avoid writing about all the fun you might be having on vacation or at home while your child is at camp, and don’t dwell on negative happenings either. You can discuss real problems in person with your camper when they return home.

It is tempting to send lots and lots of notes. This can be tough on campers who receive little or no mail. A letter per day is a great compromise.

Letters may be left at the “Mail Station” while checking in on the first day of camp. This method works well and is preferred by many parents. Letters are distributed throughout the week. You can even write the day of distribution on the envelope, for example – “Monday.”

If you plan to mail your letters via the USPS, send your first letter a day or two before your camper’s session begins to ensure delivery, and your last letter no later than Tuesday for full week sessions. Mail can sometimes take 3 to 4 days to be delivered. If mail is received after the camper leaves, it will be forwarded when possible.

Address Mail To:
Camper’s First & Last Names
Session Name
36395 S Hwy 97
Harrison, ID 83833

NOTE: The postal service charges extra postage for letters that are not flat – even if they are the proper weight for the amount of postage. Please do not send treats such as candy or gum in your letters. They are not allowed and slow down the delivery process.

NO FOOD PACKAGES? Food packages from home are intended to be symbols of love. For N-Sid-Sen, however, they create problems. Eating and storing food in the cabins attracts insects and critters. In addition, campers not receiving such treats can feel left out.

LETTERS HOME: Campers stay busy at N-Sid-Sen. Don’t be alarmed if any letters you receive from camp are brief and sporadic at best. Be aware that a letter you receive early in the week could sound somewhat negative, but usually by the time you receive it, the camper has adjusted and has often even forgotten what they wrote. If you are concerned, please call our office at 208.689.3489.

Hint: You are more likely to receive mail
from your camper if you pack pre-addressed,
stamped postcards or envelopes.

Each week of the summer, a primary focus for camp leaders is creating an environment in which everyone feels safe and secure – campers and leaders alike.

To establish a safe camp for everyone, we ask each camper to:

  • be respectful of and cooperate with the camp leaders at all times,
  • follow camp guidelines and rules,
  • remain in supervised, designated areas,
  • refrain from harmful or hurtful behavior, such as name calling, bullying, verbal or physical aggression toward self or others, use of inappropriate language, sexual harassment or sexual behavior, and
  • refrain from the use of alcohol, tobacco products, cannabis or any other illegal substances or items, and report the use or possession by others.

Parents, guardians, youth and family campers – please pay special attention to the camp covenant that is signed as part of the registration process. Campers and families will be accountable for the agreements made in that document.

Please understand that if a camper is unable to live within our guidelines and a positive resolution cannot be reached, the camper will be asked to leave.

Our leaders work hard to create a special place that is “removed” from many of the stressors and distractions of everyday life. Many of the items campers are asked not to bring are items that can detract from the achievement of our goals and the Christian community we work to build.

Your support and assistance are needed. In addition to talking to your family about Respect and Cooperation, please ensure that all items on the DO NOT BRING list are left at home. Thank you for helping to make N-Sid-Sen a safe and special places for all our campers – sacred spaces to unplug, slow down, laugh and enjoy being a kid or being child-like.

Campers will likely be tired after their adventures at camp and may need additional rest after their stay. Try to ensure a lighter schedule for the next day or two after they return home.