It’s not just a new sign, although the graphic is strong and provides a new look for the venerable institution. The 88-year-old Idyllwild Pines nondenominational Camp and Conference Center has a new management team and a newly refined message and mission. Headed by a trio of experienced and engaging professionals, Idyllwild Pines is planning to expand outreach to the wider Idyllwild community in an effort to attract more community participation.
“We want more people to know we’re here,” said Executive Director and Alabama native Martha Snyder, who comes from a major corporate marketing and fundraising background, having worked with Fortune 100 companies in New York City. Snyder has previously served as vice president of marketing at Citibank Bankcards in Maryland and in New York. Snyder left corporate America in 2003 to began working with Outback America, a parent-teen ministry. Snyder took up her position at Idyllwild Pines in April of this year.
“We’re opposed to the idea of church or religiously-affiliated organizations building moats around their organizations,” said Snyder. “We’re collaborative. We want to rebuild bridges with the community in which we reside.” As part of that mission of attracting more Idyllwild participation, Snyder and staff are in the process of making the 55-acre campus more attractive.
Dr. Ted Ewing, director of programs and curriculum plans, as part of redefining the Idyllwild Pines mission, wants to move the camp from being a 100-percent rental facility to a facility that develops programs and curricula with an emphasis on integrated experiential education. Ewing, with a background as university professor and senior and youth pastor, will be working to develop Idyllwild Pines’ programs, open to the public, that stress building and rebuilding relationships — parents with their children, individuals with themselves — programs such as the upcoming College and Young Adult Leadership Retreat at the over-the-winter break and New Year’s weekend.
Idyllwild Pines will be adding significant new adventure elements to its offerings, including high and low ropes challenge courses, archery, horseback riding and local mountain hikes.
Guest Services Director Sherry King, also from Alabama, rounds out the new team. Since her arrival in June, she has been overseeing a beautification project, working with local tree service professionals to abate and clear the campus and install improved guest parking, driveways and trails. “We want to preserve the natural beauty of the mountain,” said King.
Idyllwild Pines has a new master plan, which it hopes to implement fully by the institution’s 100th birthday in 2023. Idyllwild Pines will be selling a number of old buildings, to be moved or for scrap, in October as part of updating the campus.
See www.idyllwildpines.org for more information.