Pastor Troy Onsager is a native of Western Montana and has been pastor of Escalon Presbyterian Church since August of 2002. He received his Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2000 and studied at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford on a Parish Pulpit Fellowship (PTS). He is presently a PhD Candidate with the University of Aberdeen, Scotland (Ecclesiology). Troy is married to Leslie and they have two young boys.
Iconic: Of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an icon; Widely recognized and well-established; Acknowledged for distinctive excellence.
November 10 – 12, 2017
Check In Time: Friday between 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM
First Meal: Friday Dinner at 7 PM
Final Meal: Sunday Breakfast
Rates and Deadlines
Cedar Lodge: $175
Mountain View Cabin: $125
Westview Cabin: $99
Final Payment Due Date: Friday, November 3 Registration Close Date: Friday, November 3
A $50 non refundable deposit is required at registration and applied toward total tuition due.
Rates are per person and include 2 nights lodging, 5 meals, 4 chapel times and all recreational activities.
Escape Room: Speckerman’s Cabin
Hands-on volunteer work on site
Irish Road Bowling
Our hotel-style Cedar Lodge has 22 rooms with private baths. Depending on layout, rooms house between 3 and 5 people. Queen, double, twin and bunk bed combinations are available. Bed and bath linens are provided.
Mountain View has 12 cabins with 22 carpeted cabin-suites. Each suite has two bunk beds and a private bath. Doors between the suites can be opened to allow 8 people to room together. Our newest cabin is handicapped accessible and has two suites each with 8 beds. Guests provide their own bed and bath linens.
Our Westview housing area is the traditional rustic camp experience. There are 11 cabins, each with 8 bunks and a centrally located bathroom facility. Guests provide their own bed and bath linens.
Cedar Lodge rooms house 2-3 men per room. Mountain View Cabins house 2-4 men per suite. Westview Cabins house 4-8 men per cabin. Please call our office at 559-683-4450 to coordinate large group housing assignments.
Our annual New Year’s Retreat is a time for young adults, 18 – 28 years old to come together to celebrate the year’s end and prepare for the year to come. We have fun in the snow, dance New Year’s Eve night away, and spend time in reflection and fellowship with friends both new and old.
Join an awesome group of Middle Schoolers in 6th grade through 8th for some winter fun at 5,000 feet. We will have time for games, adventures around the mountain, building and strengthening relationships, and taking steps along our journeys of faith.
High School Students in 9th grade through 12th grade are encouraged to join our winter camp for a fulfilling and revitalizing retreat. We will spend time in worship and learning about who we are called to as disciples. We are also excited for friendly competition and exploration of the beautiful space around us.
Women everywhere are welcome to join us as we come together to learn, enjoy community, encourage one another, and celebrate the beauty around us. Women ages 13 and older (must be accompanied by a guardian if under 18 years old) are welcome to attend our annual Women’s Retreat during our lovely spring season.
The area where our classes went to see giant sequoias, The Shadow of the Giants, was an area of very intense fire. It is only open to forestry and firefighting personnel at this time, so we have not yet been out on the trail. It’s possible that some of the mature sequoias survived the blaze, but as we always taught students – sequoias are fire resistant, not fire-proof. We are making plans to adjust our curriculum to go down to the Sherwood Forest area of Calvin Crest, where we have young and mature sequoias as well as logging stumps for students to see and learn about. We will post that curriculum on our website soon.
We lost the replica Miwok Village in the fire. Much of the Miwok trail is in an active burn area and therefore we do not know exactly what it looks like, but we are working on re-structuring the Miwok class in light of these changes. The content of the Miwok class is certainly teachable without the village.
Rock Your World
The mass wasting area was not a part of the burn area, and we anticipate that that portion of the trail is intact. The fire did burn along the trail to Gethsemane Falls, but the waterfall itself is surrounded by green foliage. Once the fire has burned completely out, we believe that we can resume taking students out on this trail for class.
Due to tree mortality associated with bark beetles, we had already lost our orienteering course prior to the fire burning through the area. We hope to re-build an orienteering course elsewhere and resume the class soon.
The “Nitro Crossing” built initiative (the rope swing to the platform) was lost to the fire, but the “Incomplete Bridge” survived. There are no other known impacts to the class at this time.
The burned area includes the trail used for the chaparral habitat, but the rest of the trail is not in the burn area. As many teachers were already not utilizing the chaparral habitat for the sake of time, the impact to this class is minimal.
While we have not been out on the trail, it was not part of the burned area and we do not anticipate any changes, other than a hard look at the way we teach the fire building portion.
Our archery range and rock wall are still standing and usable. The fire did burn through the area with the zipline, but we had already ceased using it due to one of the trees being hit by bark beetles. We will follow existing plans to build a zipline as soon as possible. Our lake is interestingly lower than usual due to firefighting efforts, but, similar to drought years, we can still use the paddle boats. Loggers’ Jamboree is unaffected.
There may be some changes to the trails we take for night hikes, but the content of the program will not change. The amphitheater where we sing outside when it is warm enough is intact.
We are excited to turn this fire into an opportunity to teach students about wildland fires, including prevention, suppression, and fuels management. When the fire cools we will have an excellent case study that includes areas of low-intensity and high-intensity burn. After fire season, we may have the opportunity to record first-hand accounts of this fire in particular. We will post this curriculum to the website soon. (Teachers, if you have ideas for this class, please feel free to get in touch with Christina as it is in-progress!)
Anticipated Impacts: Railroad Fire and Calvin Crest Outdoor School Garrett Marshall
Calvin Crest has been my home for just over four years. I worked here in the summer of 2012 and moved permanently in the summer of 2013. That fall, I started working for our Outdoor School as the Assistant Director, a position I have held since (with the exception of Spring 2016, when I was the Acting Program Director). I have loved working with students, parents, teachers, and administrators from the Central Valley and the surrounding mountain area and am excited to continue those relationships in my new role as Director of the Outdoor School!
For fifteen weeks in the fall, we have anywhere from 50 to 150 students come to explore the outdoors, learn about nature, bond with one another, and grow as individuals. I, along with our new Assistant Director (Zed Fries), and our Program Assistants (Katie Palmer, Evan Doyle, Sam Christie, and Beccy Tanis), will have the opportunity to spend time outdoors with students giving them hands-on instruction. Instead of talking about how to make a fire, the students will make one. They’ll stand in the shadows of the giant sequoias and hear about their incredible seeds and root systems. In the evenings, they’ll enjoy singing together about black oaks and how dirt makes our lunches.
I am so stoked to work with my team (and with the rest of the Calvin Crest staff) to continue to provide an incredible experience for each student that comes to us. We plan to continue to improve our curriculum and think of new ways to engage students with what they are learning. We will walk alongside students who are learning new skills like archery, rock climbing, and how to be away from home for the first time.
This position comes with new challenges and adventures, and I expect to grow both personally and professionally. I am excited to have the opportunity to work more directly with and learn from the educators that come up with students. I can’t wait to work to find creative solutions to problems that we encounter due to weather and other factors that come with working in the great outdoors. This season, I hope to hear the stories of our students, teachers, cabin leaders, and staff and help them to grow and enjoy their time here!
Ways to Support Our Ministry After the Railroad Fire
We have received an overwhelming amount of response to our social media posts over the past two weeks. Our community of alumni, churches, and friends of Calvin Crest, have expressed interest in supporting our ministry during this trying time. Here are three ways how you can help:
The effects of the Railroad Fire will be felt for many years at Calvin Crest. Please pray for the recovery of our grounds, the recovery of people’s hearts, and for faithfulness in the Lord’s plan for the future.
Camp Clean Up
There is much work to be done before we are ready to serve our first guests since the Railroad Fire started. If you would like to volunteer your time and lend a helping hand to readying our facilities, contact Joel Gist, our Director of Operations.
We have set up two different funds to donate to that will provide relief to the toll of the Railroad Fire. Visit our online donation center to support our ministry in this way:
General Disaster Relief Fund
Now that we are able to walk our property, we can list and prioritize the work that needs to be done to get Calvin Crest back up and running. This fund will be put towards those projects and the expenses Calvin Crest has incurred as an organization, which may include debris cleanup, smoke damage, and other expenses related to the fire.
Staff Relief Fund
Nearly all of the Calvin Crest staff lives on-site. During the evacuation, we have been so grateful for the generosity of friends, family, and neighbors who have taken staff into their homes, offered them meals, and provided other living essentials. As the displacement from our jobs and homes continues, our staff will encounter more expenses, including groceries, toiletries, and regular bills. Your contribution to this fund would go towards those staff who are in need of immediate assistance to help get them through this time. If funds remain when the evacuation order is lifted and we are able to return to camp, we will put it towards staff relief at home. Though we do not yet know exactly what needs we will have, we anticipate that staff will have expenses in the housing area, including general debris clean up and smoke damage to the buildings and personal property inside.
This money will be used to offset the cost of tree clearing and removal. How to donate:
1. Write a check. Make checks payable to Calvin Crest Conferences and include “2017 Tree Expenses” on the memo line.
2. Donate online by clicking the button below, and select the “Tree Removal Fund”.
$125 funds the removal of one tree.
$250 funds the removal of two trees.
$375 funds the removal of three trees.
$500 funds the removal of four trees.
We need your help with tree removal!
Calvin Crest is dealing with immense devastation from the drought and the onslaught of the bark beetle. Our ropes course is no longer operational, the trees that provide shade for Cedar Lodge are gone, and the landscape has been forever changed. Hundreds of trees still remain on our grounds and we are looking to remove them and begin planning for the future.
Several years of drought caused trees in our section of the Sierra to become stressed and vulnerable to insect attack. Bark Beetles, which are a naturally occurring pest, had a population explosion and increased infestation resulting in 50% to 100% pine death in some areas. Read more about bark beetles and learn what they are here.
Many of the dead trees on our property were located in the main program area of camp. Over time as the standing trees rot they pose a significant safety risk to guests, and could destroy structures. PG&E removed trees that were near power lines, but Calvin Crest remained responsible for the felling and removal of all the other trees. We contracted out to have the remaining trees taken down, and are in the process of removing trees that are scattered throughout Westview, Eastview, Mountain View, and in the area behind the office where the ropes course once was.
We have spent over $90,000 to clear and remove dead trees, and there is still much work left to be done. We received a grant from the department of agriculture for $17,000, which helped to offset some of the cost. Now we are looking to you to help us in this time of need, as Calvin Crest seeks creative and cost effective solutions for this problem.
Definitely! First of all pray for wisdom, guidance, and provision! We believe that God is not worried about this problem, and though it seems overwhelming to us, it is a small thing for Him to act. If you have skills or equipment, can work safely to help clear out trees, and are willing to volunteer your time, we would not turn you down. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can partner together to meet these challenges and be a witness to the love of Christ at 5000 feet.
We deeply appreciate those who partner with us in doing God’s work at Calvin Crest as volunteers and financial donors. We benefit a great deal from volunteers who come take part in our ministry. Listed below are ways in which you can partner with us.
How To Contribute
Some examples include:
Coming for a week or more to join our maintenance team during the summer.
Gathering a group to come build a sign.
Cutting tunics and hats for Sherwood Forest.
Bringing a youth group or work party for a weekend to tackle painting, trail clearing and fire safety readiness.
Offering legal, marketing, and other professional services.
If you would like to volunteer in this ministry please call our office at (559) 683-4450 or email:email@example.com
Mail In a Check
If you are sending a check, please designate in the memo section which fund you would like your gift to be sent to: general fund, camperships, or a specific need. All donation checks should be mailed to:
Calvin Crest Conferences
45800 Calvin Crest Rd
Oakhurst CA, 93644
If you are donating to Calvin Crest on behalf of a memorial fund, please write in the memo section of the check what memorial fund it is a part of and where you would like the gift to be sent to: general fund, camperships, or a specific need. In addition to designating the check, please call our office at (559) 683-4450 to inform our staff of your plans.
Make a Financial Contribution
We benefit greatly from partners who contribute financially to our ministry. You can support us by donating to our general ministry.