Family Week – Camper Info Letter

Family Week  – Camper Info

Get ready for fun– Lady of the Lake Family Week is just around the corner!  Please Read!

We start on a Sunday with check-in beginning at 3PM.  Please park only in the parking lot after you get things to your cabin. Registration will occur in the large hall called Stillwater. Enter from the parking lot door. Housing will be assigned during check-in. You will be sharing a cabin with at least one other family. If you haven’t been to camp before, we try to house you with a family who has – as well as a family with kids the same ages as your own. Dinner is at 6pm on Sunday with evening activities following.

Please bring healthy snacks to share at camp throughout the week.  You may leave them at the registration table. We will store and serve them throughout the week.  Thanks!

SWIMMING TESTS will be given Sunday afternoon for those kids who want to swim without life jackets in the deep part of the swimming area. You have to show that you can tread water and swim the distance of the dock and back (about 30 feet one way). There’s plenty of swimming area for those not ready for this test. Note: the beach is very rocky; beach shoes to walk and swim are a good idea. We will have a lifeguard on duty during our two-hour afternoon swim time each day. There is no swimming at any other time.

ABOUT CAMP N-SID-SEN We have been renting this camp since 1981 from the Washington-North Idaho Conference of the United Church of Christ. Camp Director Mark Boyd oversees a beautiful site that boasts 284 acres including 4,500 feet of lake frontage. The name N-Sid-Sen means “point of inspiration” in the native language of the Çoeur d’Alene people.

GETTING THERE  Camp N-Sid-Sen is located on the eastern shores of Coeur d’Alene Lake on Highway 97 about 9 miles north of Harrison, Idaho. Plan on a 90-minute drive from Spokane to camp.  From I-90 freeway, take the Wolf Lodge Bay exit (also known as Harrison – Highway 97). Follow Highway 97 south along the lake for nearly twenty miles to milepost 77 (about one mile south of the Carlin Bay Resort).  The entrance of the camp is on the lake side of the road.  Look for the Dance Shoe sign by the driveway. You can’t miss it. (There is a Camp Location link on the website.)

CAMP ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER  Mailing address for the camp is N-Sid-Sen Camp and Conference Center, Route 2, Box 240, Harrison, ID  83833.  The phone number is 208-689-3489.  The camp phone is available for incoming calls if someone needs to get in touch with you.  Throughout the day, the kitchen staff will usually pick up the phone and will take a message.  Note: cell phone reception is iffy; internet access even more iffy, even with the password. 

OUR ELECTRONIC GADGET USAGE POLICY  The idea of camp is to be closer to family and friends, to nature, and to our unplugged creative selves. Usually, we like the airwaves to be free for the sound of acoustic instruments, wind in the trees, grunts of concentration, and laughter. Please restrict your use of cell phones, music/game devices, computers, etc. to your cabin or Stillwater, and do so in a way that is respectful of camp mates. Should you need internet access for emergency purposes, personal or business, N-Sid-Sen has a WIFI connection. Mark, the camp director, is willing to give adults needing wireless connectivity the password access for a onetime donation of $5 that covers access for the week. You will need your own laptop/tablet/phone. Most likely, you will have to use it in Stillwater, so again, please be mindful of others and of your own camp experience and restrict your usage to the minimal amount necessary. NOTE:  The teens tend to use the Copeland Library at Stillwater as their home base for gathering. They like to be able to move the furniture for coziness, so we would appreciate it if you don’t leave your devices in the room.

CAMP FACILITIES Upon your arrival you will be assigned a cabin. Each cabin has bunk beds with mattresses; bring a sleeping bag, a sheet to go over the mattress and a pillow for each person. Some campers bring an extra foam pad. The cabins have space for hanging clothes and electricity for hair dryers. The restroom and shower facilities are in a centrally located building. There are no laundry facilities at camp. Camping is available in open fields. There are no power or water hookups. Please let us know if you plan to camp instead of using a cabin before you come to camp. It is understood that if you choose to camp at any time, that your children camp with you. They cannot be left in your assigned cabin for another family to watch over them.

In addition to the cabins, we use six other buildings for our daily program.

THOSE BRINGING A GRANDCHILD or CHILD’S FRIEND  If you are bringing a grandchild or child’s friend, we have sent you a Guardian Contract/ Medical and Liability Release Form, and a Medical Information Form. You are responsible for working with the camper’s parent/(s) to fill out and return these two forms by August 1st.

LADY OF THE LAKE PROGRAM  Our goal during the week is to create a safe and caring community where families can interact in healthy, positive ways through participation in the arts.

DAILY SCHEDULE  Every camper participates in three workshops a day. These include arts and crafts, movement, and singing. Attendance is required. If a child is not able to attend, then a parent must supervise that child. Two workshops are held before lunch. Following lunch, a time has been set aside to rest or nap, with occasional extra sessions. The third workshop of the day then follows. We will have plenty of time at the end of the day for swimming, etc. A short Family Gathering is held in the morning and the evening. Family Gathering will be the major time for all of our community to interact with one another. Spontaneous gatherings for music jam sessions, impromptu song/dance or other skill sharing may occur!  Allow yourself to jump in with both feet!

The daily schedule changes twice in the week to accommodate special activities. On Wednesday, we plan an all-ages softball game and cookout at the cove. Remember to pack your mitt!  We have a few extra….  On Friday, we shorten the workshops so that we have time in the afternoon to gather our community in a festive parade through the camp from Forrester to the pavilion where all the workshops share what they have learned during the week. It is lots of fun!  Masks, face paint, and costumes are all welcome.  (Weather can be Hot!)  Big smiles and light hearts are the best accessories!

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD.  You won’t starve. N-Sid-Sen provides us with a healthy diet consisting of three meals and a snack each day. Meals are served family style in Forrester Lodge. Each cabin is assigned meals for which to set up tables and chairs. All the food is put out at each table so don’t be late to any meals! Then our entire community cleans up by bussing the dishes, washing tables, and putting up the tables and chairs.

Our menu includes poultry, homemade breads, salads, lots of cheese and dairy dishes and, of course, great desserts. Vegetarian, gluten-free and non-dairy options are available but you must let us know before camp so we can plan enough food. If any member of your family has other special dietary needs that will not be met by the regular camp meals, please bring food that meets that person’s needs. A refrigerator behind Mark’s office is available for us. Label each item clearly to avoid confusion. You are free to bring extra snack foods and beverages, but make sure to keep them in containers and off the ground (in your cabin) since there are roving raccoons. The closest supermarket is in Coeur d’Alene, about a thirty-minute drive from camp. The closest small grocery store is in Harrison – about 15 minutes away.

CAMP LIFE  Our camp community works because all families pitch in and help each other.  Please be willing to lend a hand wherever you can. Help enrich the experience for all of us in the following ways:

HEALTH  At Family Camp, we live closely and together. Do not bring a sick person to camp. If someone in your family becomes sick on the trip, tell us at check-in so that we can set up appropriate precautions as well as emphasize instructing everyone to wash hands, cover coughs, etc. If someone becomes sick unexpectedly during camp, you must tell Russell right away. Germs can spread like wildfire, literally, from all of the physical contact of dancing, games, shared art supplies/instruments, etc.

It is also not unusual for a group of families together for six days and nights to develop and pass on what is often called the “camp crud.” At camp, we do remind everyone to wash their hands before table set-up and eating. Again, with all the dancing and shared activities it is easy to pass those bugs, so please remind your children to wash. We have very accessible washing facilities in the main and registration halls. Hand sanitizer is available as well in the dining hall and before snacks.

BEDTIME  We realize that at home children may have different bedtimes. At camp, bedtimes have been set to meet the general needs of our community. Children 10 to 12 go with the adults and teens to the main hall to dance for an hour. Then these ‘tweens go to their cabins at 9:30PM to leave the adults and teens to dance until 11PM. We have found that the older children have a better opportunity to dance when the younger ones are out of the dance hall. And, adults and teens cherish the late nights when they can dance together.

CHILD SITTING  The success of our evening adult dancing is the direct result of each adult’s participation in our roving child sitting program. An adult from each family unit is assigned one two-hour slot in the week to check on sleeping children. This allows more parents to dance since we only need a few people per slot.

TEENS  Adults and teens participate together in daily workshops and evening dances. We love our teens!!  They are our new community leaders. Younger kids look up to them. Curfew for teens and adults is 12 midnight—parents may want to have a conversation about this. The camp organizers are not the Night Nannies!  Teens are not allowed to consume alcohol at camp. Neither teens nor adults are allowed to use recreational drugs.

SMOKING Camp N-Sid-Sen restricts smoking to 2 locations: the campfire space in the beach near the volleyball court below Forester and the campfire near the swim area. Smoking anywhere else is strictly prohibited. When you are smoking, we request that you be mindful of those around you. We also request that you refrain from smoking at the swim area campfire on the evening of the cookout, since that becomes our dining and family gathering space.


Bedding (sleeping bag/blankets, sheets, pillows)
Foam mattress pad for extra comfort (optional)
Clothing (layers work well – it can get hot dancing, and cold at night, especially with rain)
Life jackets for small kids – camp has lots for older kids and adults
Sun hats
Water shoes
Swim suits and beach towels
Flashlights – paths are dimly lit for better sleeping
Personal effects (lotion, soap, hair dryers, tooth brushes)
Shower towels
Insect repellent – especially wasp-sting treatment; anti-itch is good, too
Water bottles
Booster seat if needed
Books and games for quiet times—there is a small library at camp.
Musical instruments
Any over-the-counter medications that you may use in child proof containers

Pets are not allowed.

In order to preserve the quiet and rustic quality of camp, amplified music is allowed only in appropriate workshops unless earphones are used.

Hopefully, we have covered most of your questions.  If you have any others, give Karen a call at 208-597-6717 or e-mail Karen at

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Karen & Russell for the
Lady of the Lake Family Week Planning Committee