Our mission is to be a place where all are welcome in God's love to explore, grow, rest, and play. We serve as a year round summer camp and retreat center, offering a variety of annual programs, as well as hosting rental groups. The core of our mission is focused on our summer camp and youth programming. Faith is the foundation of all that we do, particularly our hospitality. We know that every person who walks through our doors, children and adults alike, will come to us at different stages of life and faith journeys. We seek to welcome all so that through our love and hospitality every person who comes to Pyoca may feel and be transformed by the love of God. In a divided and broken world, this community of faith is empowered by the Holy Spirit to walk with children, youth, and adults as they explore their call, grow in faith, rest in God’s Creation, and play with a purpose. We are a place where children, youth, and adults grow in faith. This growth flourishes by planting seeds of faith in our youngest campers that we nurture as they grow into adolescence and adulthood. Our camp and year-round programs have been developed to grow with our campers and guests as they develop physically, emotionally, and spiritually. At Pyoca, summer camp is more than just a one-time mountaintop experience. We invest in our youth for the long haul, believing that true transformation happens through love and trusting relationships built over time. We are committed to long-term faith development rooted in our historic ties to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Reformed tradition, while remaining open to children, youth, and adults who come from a variety of theological and ecumenical backgrounds. We offer a wide variety of recreational activities meant to challenge youth to step outside of their comfort zones, which is where true transformation happens. Through play we hope to instill faith, empathy, resilience, confidence, and a commitment to community. These are critical values for healthy adulthood and building successful leaders. Our calling is to be a summer camp that equips youth for a life of service to the Church and the world, unified in Christ to live out the great ends of the church.
OUR COMMITMENT TO JUSTICE, EQUITY, DIVERSITY, and INCLUSION:
Our mission statement reflects our commitment to inclusion and welcome for all people. At Pyoca we believe that all people are beloved children of God: created in God’s image, named as good, and welcomed as our neighbor by our Lord Jesus Christ into this community of faith. Our calling as a year-round summer camp and retreat center is to provide the space, culture, and hospitality that welcomes all who seek to explore their call, grow in faith, rest in Creation, and play with a purpose. True welcome and hospitality ensures that all who enter into this sacred space are able to live and thrive here as their most authentic selves. This is great! We say all are welcome, so that means we're automatically welcoming and inclusive, right? Not exactly. We have to actively work to ensure that camp is a space where all feel welcome, and if someone tells us that they do not feel welcome here, it's important for us to pay attention, listen, affirm their experience, and work to address it. Pyoca as an organization still has a great deal of work to do in order to ensure that camp is a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive space for all who seek to explore, grow, rest, and play here. This work is never "done," but is always in progress. Welcome and hospitality is not the end goal, but instead just the start:
- Justice at camp means dismantling barriers that inhibit children, youth, and adults from thriving in our intentional Christian community, as well as working to make camp accessible to all.
- Equity at camp means understanding that what helps one camper or guest thrive may not work for all. It also means making camp economically accessible to campers and guests from all different backgrounds.
- Diversity at camp means celebrating the differences among us and ensuring that all campers and guests know they are loved, accepted, and affirmed for who they are as diverse children of God. It also means we must acknowledge that not everyone comes to camp with the same life experiences or expectations of this space.
- Inclusion at camp means providing more opportunities for people to share their perspective and actively seeking out diverse perspectives. We are called to ask in everything we do, "Does this belief, camp tradition, or activity exclude anyone? Could it potentially alienate or harm another person?"
- Engaging in and educating our staff and board members on ongoing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion issues in the camp/greater world.
- Affirming the rights, dignities, and lives of all who enter this space, including our BIPOC, 2SLGBTQIA+, and disabled campers, staff, and guests.
- Seeking to dismantle systems of oppression and discrimination within our organization.
- Making our programming financially accessible to our community.