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Summer Camps Programs

Camp experiences nurture leadership for parishes


Camp Cross on the West shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene is a place for children, youth and adults to gather in community, be transformed and go on to be leaders in parishes and communities,” said executive director Colin Haffner.

Camp Cross - Waggoner
Bishop Jim Waggoner Jr. breaks bread in lakeside communion.

The camp has 15 summer-long paid staff, and 12 to 15 volunteer leaders, clergy, counselors, kitchen staff and nurses each session—60 for the summer.  Youth camps draw about 65 campers. 

There are five age-based youth sessions, two family camps and five adult sessions—labor of love camp, a young adult camp, an alumni reunion, a women’s retreat and a couple’s retreat.

The young adult session has been expanded from two to four days with the goal of keeping young adults connected with the Episcopal Church, breaking the gap between finishing senior high and returning when they are on staff, Colin said. 

“It keeps young adults engaged with camp and church,” he said.

In 2015, campers will join in morning prayer, daily office and compline prayer after camp fire.

Colin is conflicted about campers turning in cell phones to build community.  He finds it hard to monitor.  Two years ago, a camper turned in a phone, but had two.

“We ask campers voluntarily not to use cell phones.  If we see any during a session, we take them and return them after the session,” he said.  “In this era of proliferation of social media, I wonder if there is a positive way we could use them.  We do not want technology to detract from programs.”

After the week at camp, Colin communicates with the camp community on Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo and Twitter. 

He looks forward to more off-season use of the camp.  Last October, a $6,000 grant made it possible to winterize pipes for the dining room.  After they winterize bathrooms on the boys’ side of the camp, Camp Cross will work towards a March through December season.  Access to the camp is unpredictable in January or February, because the bay may be low or frozen.

Other groups rent Camp Cross in the summer for family reunions, camps and parish retreats.

“Camp is an outreach ministry and place for leadership development and spiritual formation for the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane,” Colin said.

Campers include youth involved in Episcopal life and some who only come to camps.

“We seek to inspire campers and empower them to be involved and be leaders in their communities and parishes,” he said.

At the annual Diocesan Convention, many raised their hands when Colin asked how many had been to camps.

For information, call 208-667-9695 or visit

Copyright © June 2015 - The Fig Tree