Lazy Daze at Lazy F
An Older Adult camping experience available for both laity and clergy in the Pacific Northwest Conference is held at Lazy F Camp near Ellensburg, Washington each September. In 2015 it will be September 15-17 with Rosalee Mohney as the Dean.
Who is an Older Adult?
Based on limited experience, we use the age of 55 as the marker. However, some resist ever reaching an age that is referred to as ‘old.’ In many cases, that is quaint but perhaps useful. Seeing a 90 year old woman helping older persons because “Some day I will be old myself” is one of the gifts of living in the 2lst century.
While at Manito it became clear that many retired persons did not like the names we used for groups of retirees. Elderberries at Manito and Silver Sages at Stanwood were not attractive to some individuals. It was their loss and our loss.
Who can attend?
Anyone who wishes to do so. Clergy are welcome. Lay persons are welcome. Leadership passes back and forth between clergy and laity. I have been involved long enough (since 1995) to have taken three turns in that position, along with a host of other individuals. When I was the pastor of local churches, as many as ten (10) persons from my local church would also attend, namely from Manito in Spokane and again from Stanwood.
What do we do?
Activities vary, depending on the leadership. We have consistently had some one as a resource person. Some times a bishop has blessed us with his presence. Other times we have recruited individuals or we have even had persons volunteer. This year we had Jim and Nancy Davis, who selected the theme of “Wells of Faith” for our reflection and discussions. In retirement, they are available for helping local churches in a variety of ways. They are excellent process leaders.
This year we had a hay ride around the camp with the camp director, some hiked to the cross on the ridge above the camp, we shared books and movies that had impacted our lives in the past year, we had a craft activity offered by one of those in attendance and, for the first time ever, we focused on games during the evening. Sadly, I spoiled it for one couple, as my partner and I won every single pinochle game. In the old days, we had games after an evening program, but when 9 p.m. arrived, there was no one interested in games, including me.
One year we even had a field trip to a wind farm beyond Ellensburg. Often individuals have come to the camp to share information about the area.
For me, this has been one of the highlights of this experience. The camp staff produces wonderful menus that are enjoyed by all.
We need help to get attendance even higher. In 2013, we had sixteen registered and this year (2014) we had nearly thirty registered. We are headed in the right direction. Contact Dave Burfeind (Camp Director) or Rosalee Mohney (Dean) if you have questions or want to know how you can be involved in this wonderful camping experience. If you register early, you can even make a claim on what I call the “five star hotel” named Skyline. Ridgeview, where I stayed this year, is also very comfortable. Lazy F (2018) now has a new lodge for meals to accommodate larger groups (gifts are welcome).
With my encouragement, we have been working on re-branding the camp. Given attitudes, it is difficult to work with the prejudices people have about getting older. When I was at Manito UMC in Spokane, some of the saints refused to participate in a creatively named group called “Elderberries”. They were NOT elderly. At Stanwood, I inherited the name “Silver Sages” and again, some would not attend a group with that name.
So in 2018 the name Lazy Daze was removed and we went with Older Adults Retreat and in 2019 I have succeeded in rebranding the retreat as the September Adult Retreat. Who knows what will work, if anything?