New Operations Director Brings Talent and Experience

kelly portraitIdyllwild, CA, September 2, 2014 – Idyllwild Pines Camp and Conference Center (IPCC) is thrilled to announce that Kelly Schlenz has decided to join our team as Director of Operations. Kelly graduated from Azusa Pacific University (APU) with a Bachelors Degree in Communications and a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership. Prior to joining our team Kelly spent 8 years as a very successful Resident Director and Program Coordinator at APU. One of his key passions as Program Coordinator was planning and organizing APU’s annual “Walk About” experience, which has developed an industry reputation as one of the most impactful leadership development programs of its’ type in the country. Kelly has always had a connection to IPCC. He is the 3rd generation “Schlenz” to join the IPCC staff. His great grandfather, Earnest Schlenz volunteered as a grounds keeper at the camp. And his grandfather, Walt Schlenz, and father, Paul Schlenz, both held the position of Executive Director for a combined 50 years.  Kelly grew up at Idyllwild Pines and now, he has his very own family living in the same house he grew up in. kellyHe says, “The fact that my kids are playing in the room I played in as a kid, is exciting! I’m definitely very happy to see my kids grow up in the place that has meant so much to my life and to have them experiencing, as I did, all that God is doing at the camp”. Kelly is passionate about the mission and the vision of IPCC. He commented, “working with the staff and so many youth who visit, at a place that has such a significant opportunity to impact lives for Christ, just being part of that; excites me!” As Operations Director Kelly will have the very important role of leading his team to create an experience for our guests that allows them to rest and have fun, worry free, for a few days and connect with all that God has planned for them while they are here. Idyllwild Pines welcomes Kelly, his wife Pamela, sons Brayden and Kyler, and daughter Naiya to our team. We are already thankful for the positive impact their contributions have made and we look forward with great expectation to all that God will do in and through them while Kelly is serving at Idyllwild Pines Camp.

November 2014 | A Note From Kevin

Kevin Relyea 002I am very thankful to report that it has been a great life changing summer in Idyllwild!

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, investment, and support. We know that what ‘Idyllwild Pines’ is called to do, cannot be done without God’s leading, blessing, power, and people.

Many of you have joined with us through prayer and by investing your time and treasure. Due to your involvement, Camp continues to be a place where people get close enough to God’s “invisible attributes”, as revealed in creation, to sense the reality of His presence and hear His voice speaking truth to them in love.IMG_0851

In just 12 weeks, from the end of May to Aug 23, we were blessed to experience 19,745 camper days at Idyllwild Pines. During that time, Jesus was lifted up, and many campers made significant, life changing decisions about their relationship with God.

Camp does not happen unless God connects hearts, like yours, to His mission and moves you to get involved. That is why we thank Him often for you and for our staff and for our Board of Directors. That is why we report to you today that, “God is good.”

Kevin Relyea

Idyllwild Pines’ Executive Director 2014

Verse of the Day

Matthew 28:7

Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.

Verse of the Day

Psalm 14:4

Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil, so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies.



Verse of the Day


Hosea 14:7

People will dwell again in his shade; they will flourish like the grain, they will blossom like the vine.

In Memory of Walter Richard Schlenz


Walt was born on February 22, 1929 in Maywood,California.  He was the third son of Earnest and Anna Schlenz.  Only sister, Esther, followed, then last, but definitely not least, came baby brother John.  Walt loved music, particularly singing.  He had a brief foray into the spotlight when he starred in his eighth-grade musical. In high school he demonstrated an ability to fix most things mechanical and continued with his love of music by participation in El Monte High School’s prestigious accapella choir. At 18 he graduated then married his high school sweetheart,Neva, four months later. 

Walt became a father at 19 and by 24 had three children, Terrill, Connie and Paul.  As a young parent he made a living driving trucks, driving taxi cabs, and working for the phone company.  He worked for the L.A. Times for 6 years but longed to work outdoors.  

When the opportunity came to work at the Idyllwild Pines Camp in Idyllwild,CA he took the leap and moved his family to the mountain community in 1963.  Finally a job he loved and one that utilized his many skills and talents.  Walt served the community as a volunteer fire fighter, EMT, and finally as a fire commissioner. He loved helping others and was a resource person to many of his friends and acquaintances. Also while in Idyllwild he was instrumental in starting the Chapel In The Pines along with his long-time-friend, Rev. Toby Totten. 

When Walt heard about Cottonwood, CA, he and Neva started making plans to retire there.  He managed to convince his brother John to relocate also.  His retirement would not have been complete without his best buddy Andy Elmore, so he sold him on the merits of northern California as well.  In 1993, he made his home in Cottonwood in a unique house built with his own hands. He loved the wide-open spaces and created his own 20 acre “playground.”  He loved to show people his man cave shop which was actually quite cavernous. Other features he loved were his catfish pond, helipad, and the network of roads he graded with his beloved tractor. Being part of the design and construction of the Bowman Church was the highlight of his Cottonwood years.  He made many wonderful friends and loved his church family and neighbors. 

Nothing short of a catastrophic event would have convinced Walt to leave paradise and move back to southern CA.  Unfortunately that came in the form of a diagnosis of terminal cancer in March of this year. His last wish was to see Neva, his partner of 65 years, settled in their new home next to son, Paul.  God in His mercy granted him this time. Walt left his earthly home on July 18th for Heaven knowing that Neva would be looked after and loved by their three children, eight grand children, and 17 great-grand children. 

Walt touched many lives and left a legacy that will continue on. He will be missed.

Video Sermon – “The Perfect Rescue”


Presented by Martha Snyder, Executive Director at Idyllwild Pines Camp on May 22, 2012. The Perfect Rescue is a study of Luke 8:26-39. Jesus demonstrates to His disciples how they need to “get out of the boat”.  While in theory we would all say we are willing to travel closely with Jesus, there are times when our fears can cause us to stay put in our own boats. We vote with our feet!  Do we stay or do we go?


Verse of the Day – Daniel 3:6-18

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18)

These were young men who had been raised Jewish in Israel who had been captured and sent to Babylon by the king some years prior. What bravery, devotion and courage they showed king Nebuchadnezzar as they stood firm in who they were, and in whom they served. Four important things happened in this verse – They told the king their God needed no defense from them. They believed that their God would save them, but they also trusted in God’s sovereignty to do as He saw fit. Whatever His will was they were determined to follow it to the end. And finally, they stood by their beliefs, and they said no we will not worship your gods.

Camp Update from Martha


Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking at the American Camp Association Annual meeting for Southern California and Hawaii. Jaime English and I shared with the group the importance of creating a master plan for camps, and the “how to” process of master plan creation. Jaime, worked with Idyllwild Pines Camp on our master plan which was finalized last October. Not planning at all reminds me of the Cheshire Cat in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (a story by Lewis Carroll), when he said; “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there” – now that’s one smart cat!

Martha Snyder, Executive Director