Regional Summer Camps for Faith Communities
Holden Village uplifts value of relationships
Holden Village on Lake Chelan, which has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic last March with only staff and volunteers on site, will be open with a modified summer session from July 12 to Sept. 4, said Callie Mabry, communications and development lead.
To promote wellness, participants will come Mondays and leave Saturdays, creating weeklong cohorts rather than having people come and go.
COVID protocols will follow state guidelines, which include 50 percent of its lodging and dining capacity.
"I hope after September we can expand our capacity," she said.
Each week, four to five faculty from around the world will lead programs in visual and performing arts, sciences, theology, diversity, inclusion and racial justice.
While Holden's program is geared to adults, there are limited programs for four- to 17-year-olds while adults are in sessions.
Holden Village is on the site of a 1930s mining town with four guest lodges, where miners once stayed. They have dorm rooms for two to four people with shared bathrooms. In 2021, guests will stay in every other room.
Meals will be served from self-service buffet lines with seating indoors at 50 percent capacity and overflow outdoors, Callie said.
Because Holden Village is remote, requiring travel by ferry up Lake Chelan far from medical care, all staff, volunteers and guests are required to be vaccinated before they arrive.
"We want to be thoughtful and intentional on health and wellness," Callie said. "We continue to follow CDC and Washington State guidelines regarding masking, distancing and other safety practices, and adapting as the science and regulations evolve.
Callie began at Holden Village in September 2019.
The village's new executive directors, Mark Bach, Kathie Caemmerer-Bach and Stacy Kitahata began in September 2020, bringing a commitment to nurturing community that engages diversity, interfaith dialogue, spiritual practice, environmental justice and "holy hilarity."
Kathie is the daughter of artist Richard Caemmerer, who painted the Village Center's ceiling mural. She and Mark have master's degrees in education, and have taught and held administrative roles in Taiwan, Japan, India and the Seattle area. He was recently vice-chair of the Grunewald Guild Board in Leavenworth.
Stacy, who has a master of divinity degree, has worked with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in ecumenical and interfaith organizations, in higher education and in organizational change for equity.
The program theme, "The Samaritan Traveler: Encounter–Embrace–Embark," involves wrestling with implications that the Samaritan story has for the need to be in relationship, recognizing that humanity is to be interwoven, interconnected and interdependent as people encounter each other as neighbors and work for change, Callie said.
"Our educational mission is central to our work as a remote wilderness retreat center rooted in faith," she said.
While Holden Village was closed, staff and volunteers did building maintenance, cleaned, painted and renovated staff housing, classrooms and the art studio.
In 2016, remediation of mining contamination was completed with a water treatment plant and covering mine tailings.
Callie grew up in Colorado and graduated in environmental studies in 2014 from Luther College in Iowa. She went for a January term program at Holden, which inspired her to return after working five years with an environmental agency in Chicago.
Growing up in Lutheran and Methodist churches, she appreciates living in community and learning with people of other Christian churches and faiths.
"Because the village operates with short- and long-term volunteers and staff, the community has much turnover, keeping the energy fresh," Callie said. "Holden has volunteer and paid positions for this summer and beyond."
For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit holdenvillage.org.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, June, 2021