During this unique and powerful week, young people will have the opportunity to explore imagination, kinship, and grief within the context of a climate-changed world. Climate Justice Camp begins with honesty about the hard realities the climate crisis is presenting for the human species, and offers a grounded hope that is deeper than wishful thinking. Campers will learn about climate science as it relates to Maine’s ecosystems and watersheds. Campers will also explore, honor, and learn from the lake and forest where Pilgrim Lodge is located, while being invited to hold an imaginative posture — expanding their vision from what is, to what if. Finally, young people will have opportunities to build deep, supportive, peer relationships as we explore together who we might choose to be in these times and work to build communities that protect both people and planet.
In addition, campers will enjoy all that camp has to offer, such as swimming, boating, singing, crafting, playing games, enjoying cookouts, savoring ice cream, spending time with old and new friends, and so much more!
While Pilgrim Lodge is a United Church of Christ camp with deep roots and sacred symbolism from the Christian tradition woven throughout its identity, Climate Justice Camp has been created for young people of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds to engage in meaningful conversations that respect the spiritual and religious paths of all campers. Pilgrim Lodge has counselors and staff representing a variety of faith traditions, including atheist and agnostic. Each of these pathways are honored and celebrated. Our Sacred Gathering times carve out space to be still, to engage one another’s stories, to sing, and to enjoy the beauty of nature and community.
Questions? Contact Program Director, Nicole Diroff, at email@example.com.
Rev. Nicole Diroff is ordained in the United Church of Christ and serves as Program Director at The BTS Center, where she coordinates the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the Center’s programmatic offerings. She holds expertise in facilitation, data management, and strategic planning. Nicole is a certified Maine Master Naturalist, serves as Chair of the Spiritual Formation Committee at Williston-Immanuel United Church and Co-Chair of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Committee for the Scarborough Public School District. She lives with her family in Scarborough, Maine.
Prior to her work with The BTS Center, Nicole served as the Associate Director at Interfaith Philadelphia, where she coordinated the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia and directed the creation and expansion of the organization’s many Dare to Understand initiatives.
Nicole is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and Ohio Wesleyan University. When she’s not leading programs or facilitating meetings, she can be found exploring tide pools with her son, hiking with her dogs, or reading a memoir at a local coffee shop.
Pilgrim Lodge, owned and operated by the Maine Conference of the United Church of Christ, is a seasonal retreat center and summer camp located on Lake Cobbosseecontee in West Gardiner, Maine. Campers come to Pilgrim Lodge for one-week sessions in the summer, each session geared toward a particular age group. Pilgrim Lodge offers fun and meaningful programming in addition to all the familiar camp activities such as arts and crafts, swimming, boating, nature education, music, and games. The Pilgrim Lodge experience is rich and rewarding for campers, volunteers, and staff. All people who strive for a just world are welcome at Pilgrim Lodge and integral to our mission, regardless of faith journey, age, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, skin color, ability, sexual orientation, income, citizenship status, or any other similar labels. We live our faith through serving children, groups, and families of all backgrounds with the same loving grace that has been so freely given to us.
With roots dating back to 1814, The BTS Center is a private foundation in Portland, Maine, building on the legacy of the former Bangor Theological Seminary. Today The BTS Center seeks to catalyze spiritual imagination, with enduring wisdom, for transformative faith leadership by offering theologically grounded programs of continuing education and spiritual / vocational formation, including workshops and retreats, learning cohorts, courses, public conversations, and projects of applied research, all focused around cultivating and nurturing spiritual leadership for a climate-changed world.