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Pilgrim Firs

Camp Pilgrim Firs Centerfold

30th Annual International Stone Carving Symposium
at Camp Pilgrim Firs, Port Orchard, WA

Pilgrim Firs FieldThirty years ago a handful of stone sculptors from Washington State and British Columbia gathered for the first NWSSA symposium on a llama ranch in Pateros, WA. They carved, they moved boulders, they (you!) climbed a mountain at midnight for the Harmonic Convergence, and they, you, began a tradition that has enlivened a community that is today thriving. That first gathering was such a good idea, that you kept gathering, and the symposium quickly moved to and became known as Camp Brotherhood, officially as the International Stone Sculptors Symposium. Carvers came, and carvers kept returning year after year to this event and while I wasn’t around then (like many in the current work study generation, I was just starting my first rock collections and messing around in my grandfather’s shop during those early years,) from what I understand it’s because that, when all together, you, we, create a creatively stimulating and high-pitched energy through some awesome synergistic alchemy. Or because rocks are cool, or something like that. 

This July, the symposium moves again to a new site called Pilgrim Firs in Port Orchard which is quite similar to the Oregon location at Suttle Lake. The new venue was scouted by the Board and discussed and voted on at the General Assembly meeting at Camp B. I’ve now visited the site 3 times and each time our party leaves with big grins because we’re all going to have a fantastic time there. Not that we wouldn’t have a great time in an open field, but the scenery and accommodations definitely help.
"Traveler" Joanne Duby

Joining us as a guest artist will be Joanne Duby, sharing hands-on tips and demos for repairs and finishing techniques. We’ll be supplying a wide range of products for her to demo with, which will go into the auction on Thursday evening. Joanne has a long history with the group and is very excited to be spending this week with us! Sculpturally, she’s done just about everything and has an extensive knowledge base to share with us.

"For a Better World Press Play" by James HoranJames Horan, flying over from Ireland, is another guest artist for 2017. This will be his first time with this group and in the Pacific Northwest. (If you google “James Horan Sculpture” you can find his website to check out his work.) James’ work is primarily figurative in marble, and his unique style and sense of humor is immediately recognizable. Go look at his “Behold Man: Apes with Guns” series. He’ll be carving a piece with us during the week and discussing “Direct Carving.”

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2017 Camp Pilgrim Firs Symposium Registration

30th Annual International Stone Carving Symposium
at Camp Pilgrim Firs, Port Orchard, WA 
July 8th-15th 2017

The Symposium PilgrimFirsFeild

We invite you to join us at Camp Pilgrim Firs for up to eight full days of playing with stone, communing with nature, and enjoying the camaraderie of fellow stone enthusiasts. Bring yourself, your creative energy, your humor, tools, and a favorite piece of stone. If you don’t have stone or tools, we have an entire tent set up for beginners with tools and instructors.
The Camp provides cabins and lodges that are connected by walking paths through the forested grounds and three full meals a day, so you’ll have the ultimate freedom to delve into carving and making friends. Evenings are filled with slideshows, informational talks, a hoot of a fundraising auction, a music-filled final night party, campfires and even nighttime swims in the lake.
Stone and tools are available for purchase by our vendors.

The Camp has two lodges with shared common areas and bathrooms with multiple dorm-style rooms that sleep 3-4 people each. There are 11 duplex style cabins, each with private decks. For those who like to commune with nature, limited space is available for tents or campers.

Sculpture Walk on the Meadow Saturday, July 15th
We’ll host an outdoor art gallery that’s a perfect opportunity to show your work in a supportive and appreciative environment. We encourage everyone to bring a finished piece to display and to invite your friends! Bring pedestals if you have them. NWSSA takes a 20% commission.

Register online (below) or mail the attached form with payment to NWSSA, Attn: Cyra Jane, Symposium Director, PO Box 27364 Seattle, WA 98165

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Directions to Camp Pilgrim Firs

3318 SW Lake Flora Rd Port Orchard, WA 98367


Pilgrim Firs is a 120-acres camp & conference center with second-growth firs, pristine Lake Flora, hiking trails, accommodations for up to 145 guests and great food.

From Seattle via I-5 S:

Merge onto WA-16 W via EXIT 132B toward Gig Harbor/Bremerton.
Take the Sedgwick Rd/WA-160 E exit toward Southworth Ferry
Turnleft onto SE Sedgwick Rd
SE Sedgwick Rd becomesGlenwood Rd SW

Staystraight to go onto SW Lake Flora Rd

From Tacoma via I-5 N:

Take the S 38th St W exit, EXIT132, toward WA-16/Gig Harbor/Bremerton.
Keepleft to take the ramp toward WA-16/Gig Harbor/Bremerton.

Keepleft at the fork in the ramp.
Merge onto WA-16 W  via the ramp on the left toward Bremerton
Take the Sedgwick Rd/WA-160 E exit toward Southworth Ferry.
Turnleft onto SE Sedgwick Rd.
SE Sedgwick Rd becomes Glenwood Rd SW

Stay straight to go onto SW Lake Flora Rd

What to Bring to Camp Pilgrim Firs

What To Bring To Camp Pilgrim Firs
  • A canopy for shade or rain.
  • Tools, if you have them.
  • Respirator, goggles, earplugs or ear muffs, safety glasses, sun screen, bug repellent.
  • Ground tarp to protect the grass and ease pick-up of stone chips.
  • Stool, chair, work table.
  • Electrical: Cords, 12-3, 50 ft plus short power cord(s) and 3-way splitter if you have them.
  • Air: 50 ft hose(s) or shorter if you have them, 3/8 inch with 1/4” type nipple,3-way splitter and a water trap if you use an air hammer.
  • Water: If you use water to carve, bring a 50 ft and shorter hose(s) with a Y connector and a shut off.
Note: We cannot accommodate tools from Europe that are not adapted to US current.

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