Work Campers Travel to Washington

Yakama Christian Mission

The Winthrop Work Campers were commissioned and blessed at the 10 worship service on June 16 and left immediately after the service to head toward their destination in Washington.

This year's work camp takes place at the Yakama Christian Mission (YCM) in White Swan, Washington, from June 16-23, 2013. The group of senior high school youth and several adult leaders will spend time at YCM, which serves the Yakama Indian Reservation.

While there, the group will help at the Mission, doing earth care and maintenance, serving meals in the community food kitchen and playing with the kids during their after-school programs.

Each afternoon the group will spend time with the Mission clergy and staff who will lead workshops exploring topics such as human justice, race, culture, ethnicity, dominant culture, privilege, economics, sustainable agriculture, and ecological responsibility.

In the tradition of past work camps the group will also relax with each other, play games, cook meals, engage in personal reflection and build community together.

The Work Campers and their leaders will be commissioned in the First Church worship service at 10 am on Sunday, June 16 and will leave immediately after. They will drive to Ashland, OR and spend the night at Ashland First Congregational Church (UCC) and then continue on to White Swan the next day. On the way back, they will stop for a special recreational treat (a surprise!)Leaders for the trip are Rachel Bauman, Meredith Jackson and Alex Bonte.

Photos from Work Camp

This slideshow will be updated as new photos are received. Click on the "i" in the middle of the image to see captions for the photos.

Sunday, June 16, 8:00 pm

Work Campers eat together there first evening on the road.Rachel reports that they made it safely to Ashland, OR, where they will be spending their first night before traveling on to the Mission. Seth found a bird's nest at one of the rest stops.

After doing a little grocery shopping, they had a great meal together.

Monday, June 17, 10:30 am

"After a good night's sleep, we are alive, awake, alert & enthusiastic! (And back on the road.)"

Monday, June 17, 6 pm

The group takes off for their second day of travel, have a grilled cheese adventure, get their first glimpse of the Yakama Nation and get an orientation by Pastor Dave after arriving at their destination.

Tuesday, June 18, 1 pm

The group helped clean up at Noah's Ark Homeless Shelter which is in partnership with the Yakama Christian Mission. Both organizations are non-profits which serve the population in the Yakama Nation. The campers were in Wapato (which means "big potato"). Rachel reports that they also had a good but challenging conversation on racism.

Tuesday, June 18, 5 pm

The group visited the Just Living Farm, which is part of the Yakama Christian Mission, and visited with Pastor Dave and his wife Belinda. Dave is a DOC clergy person who graduated from PSR. They both came to YCM after he graduated. Belinda also works at YCM and teaches Sociology at Eastern Washington University. The Just Living Farm is an organic and sustainable farm that supports the Mission financially. They grow hay and alfalfa, raise goats and grass-fed beef (which they sell for meat.) They also tithe a portion of the crops and livestock to give away to the community.

While at the farm, the group made pinch pots from clay.

Wednesday, June 19

The group cleaned and did chores at the Methodist church in White Swan. The YCM will do a summer children's program there next week. They got to see panoramic views on a tour of the reservation and hear more from Dave.

During that drive they also visited the home of a woman named Joan, a member of the Nation and minister of the Indian Shaker church. She is one of only very few women pastors. Rachel described her as being "amazing."

Then grocery shopping, laundry, dinner at a pizza place, time for journaling and reflection and their evening circle for checking in.

Seth says, "Work camp is great. Just like Winthrop only longer." And Nik described the experience in one word: "conversation." The youth and adults have had several opportunities to talk about what they are experiencing with each other.

Thursday, June 20

After a semi-successful pancake breakfast, the group went back to the farm, where they divided into three groups: working with goats, doing some pruning along a fence line and driving the tractor. Many goat encounters ensued!

Friday, June 21

The crew was up at 5 am for a solstice celebration! Later in the day, the carried out the Annual Challenge. This year, the task was to eat a slice of watermelon without using one's hands. The loser would have to do a solo skit in the talent/no talent show. And that loser was........Meredith! She went first in the show with great energy and style.

The group also had a chance to play in the state park called Fort Simcoe near the Yakama Nation. They also had a barbeque there.

Saturday, June 22

Everyone arrived safely back in Ashland where they will spend the night again. Plans are to explore Ashland or play at Lithia Park and then meet for a nice dinner out and ice cream. There was a free outside dance performance in the park.

Sunday, June 23

Everyone returned to the Bay Area safely! Welcome back work-campers!

2551 Signal Peak Road, White Swan, WA 98952

Rachel Bauman