Lori's Camp Blog
This blog is published monthly by
Camp Manager, Lori Roberts
Pictured: Piper and her mama, Lori
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”
At Pilgrim Cove Camp this summer, June is wedding season; 6 to be exact. Though we do not host weddings in July or August due to having returning camps, June and September (this year we have 4 scheduled in September) fill up with brides and grooms quickly. Since Kari and I came in May of 2016 to my writing this, the camp has hosted 19 summer weddings and 2 shoulder season weddings. I can honestly say NO 2 have been alike.
We have had couples from all over the world. We had one couple that the groom was from Denmark and his bride from Boise. We had a couple that met at the camp when they came as campers with the YMCA when it was having its summer program here. They had said if they were to get married it would be here so they did. We have had the children and grandchildren of former campers celebrate their vows here, too. People come from all walks of life as well. We have had veterans, teachers, nurses, lawyers, first responders, and a variety of other professions. There is something about the camp that draws folks to want to be here for that special, hopefully once in a lifetime, event.
When prospective guests come and we give them the tour of our place, we always get the question of where they can hold the ceremony. Our answer is anywhere on the grounds that fits their needs. Some have had their ceremony on the beach which is beautiful. Some have had their ceremony in the outdoor chapel which is beautiful. Some have had their exchange of vows in the meadow which is beautiful. We even had a fall ceremony in the “glade” where our tent campers often set up. Oh, and it was beautiful, too! (I am sure you have picked up on the common thread there.)
Old Rice has hosted reception meals, first dances, and the cutting of the cake. I think the squirrels of the camp especially like when we host weddings as there always seems to be a tidbit or 2 left behind for them. Though the mischievous critters have figured out how to gnaw their way through most kinds of plastic containers!
Though I am not on the groundwork with the couples as they prepare for their big days, we do share in the anticipation of their events. We want the camp to be clean and welcoming and ready as they begin their next steps together. Besides that, with every wedding we host I am reminded of how a place is being prepared for me as a bridegroom would prepare a place in His Father’s home. THAT fills me with great joy. We can only hope that our wedding couples experience that same type of joy on their momentous day.
June 13, 2019
“Welcome to Pilgrim Cove Camp!” I use these words daily at my job here as camp manager. And I mean them.
For Kari and I, this is not only our job, but our home. We want anyone who comes to the camp to feel like they have found a safe place to land. We believe if we keep the grounds clean and safe, God will take care of making sure each person has the experience that will change, or at least enhance, his/her/their life.
All are welcome here. We have had guests of all religions, ages, shapes, colors, economic levels, genders, orientations, and any other label someone might think to place on someone. For me, each person is a Child of a loving Creator that has come to the Cove for a purpose. So often, it seems, like it is as a blessing to us. Funny how that works.
The camp has been here for 92 years now. Our Old Rice Meeting House is on the historic registry. The timbers were harvested off the site from the Tamarack trees that grow on the property. The building was constructed under the watchful eye of Finnish builder, Gust Gustafson. In fact, as I have read from the camp’s history, he was such a talented axe man he could cut a straight line on a 60’ log without using a line and no chinking was necessary as the walls went up. The only nails that were needed were for the flooring and roof. Every other connection, so to speak, was made using wooden pegs hand whittled by ladies as they were needed. What a heritage we have to protect!
For me, welcoming guests to camp is more than a simple saying. It is carrying on a long held tradition of the camp. Opening arms and hearts so others can experience God’s extravagant welcome. Early camp founder, Mrs. Stanley Curtis, recorded in writing about the camp assembly in 1944 that “In a world gone mad with struggle, Pilgrim Cove stands a guiding light for a new and better tomorrow.” May this always hold true.