Friday, July 21, 2017

We've Got Mail!

Over 1,600 children and youth will attend Camp Luther this summer. Many of these will be coming for the first time. Over 200 of these first-timers will experience the Christ-centered community, build positive relationships with their counselors and fellow campers, and grow in their faith because of the Every Kid to Camp program. 

Every Kid to Camp allows kids who have never experienced a Camp Luther summer program to come to camp at no expense to their parents. Generous supporters who know that camp changes lives make this possible, and we are so grateful! When you give to the Every Kid to Camp program, you are helping kids have new experiences, learn life skills, get unplugged, make lasting friendships, and most of all learn about Jesus and His incredible love for us. 

We love opening the mail and seeing thank you notes from Every Kids to Camp recipients! Although they are addressed to Camp Luther, they are really thanking everyone who supports Camp and the Every Kid to Camp program. Thank you!!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Golfing FORE Kids!

Heavy rains poured on the day before Camp Luther’s 13th Annual Golf Challenge in Rhinelander, delaying the start time for one hour to allow the Northwoods Golf Course to dry out.  With an extra hour of rest golfers came ready to play on a beautiful 70° sunny day!

With 15 teams competing for multiple awards in the Competitor and Hackers Division it was game on! For the first time in many years the Volm Team edged out the Strasser Team by one stroke in the Competitor Division. Tim Strasser made up for the loss by winning the Longest Putt on #7. MCL Team 3 took the honors in the Hackers Division by four strokes. Meanwhile, members from MCL and BayTek Teams dominated the Hacker Awards with Terry Hansteadt winning the Most Balls in the Water Honor and Todd Louthain and Carl Treankler tying for Most Lost Balls, with Jane Hunter breaking up the monopoly by winning the Least Used Tee Shot. John Zimdars showed everyone how to hole-in-one the Closest Chip Shot, while Nate Reichle brought in the Long Drive in the Fairway and Josh Wergin got the Long Putt on #18.  And who knew what golfing finesse Dave Karolus possessed? Dave was the big winner of the Putting Contest, while Carl Treankler made up for losing the most lost balls by sinking one in for second place. Congratulations to all our winners!

The Volm Team took first place in the Competitor Division!
MCL Team 3 took first place in the Hackers Division!

While everyone enjoyed a great meal, golfers heard from a Camp Luther counselor and camper on how Camp Luther has impacted them both personally and professionally. The event then moved on to the gift basket drawing with nine baskets loaded with items such as a handmade quilt, specialty coffees, a week away for two, and many more enticing items that had been donated by area businesses and staff members. Camp Luther is forever grateful to all those who donated items for the baskets and helped support the golf outing, especially:

Tournament Sponsor: MCL Industries Inc.
Luncheon Sponsor: Bay Tek Games
Silver Sponsors: Michael T & Jane L Hunter Foundation, Lutheran Church Extension Fund, and Volm Companies
Hole-in-One Sponsor: Eagle River Ford, Kyle Plummer owner

Hole-in-One Contest prize: 2017 Ford Truck, sponsored by Eagle River Ford
Bronze Sponsors: Church Mutual Insurance Foundation, Bayland Builders and the Reineke-Accola Families
Hole Sponsors: Parsons of Antigo & Eagle River, Hayes Graphics, Photo Joe, Mike & Karla Arrigoni, Northern Michigan Bank & Trust, and Dave & Marlys Hartman.

Thanks to all our golfers and sponsors for another successful Golf Challenge. Through their support over $14,000 was raised for the Every Kid to Camp Fund! Mark your calendars for the 14th Annual Camp Luther Golf Challenge, June 22, 2018!! We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Meet the 2017 Summer Staff!

This summer, our 45 member Summer Staff joins the legacy of 71 years of Camp Luther summer staffs! These young adults have come to camp to be caring, Christian role models in a number of different capacities. Some are sharing the love of Christ by serving as counselors, others as coordinators for programs such as IMPACT and Junior Counselors. Still others are serving as specialty staff in the maintenance and kitchen departments. Each person, each personality, each skill set has been specifically selected by God himself to be here at Camp Luther this summer, and we couldn’t be more excited!

After two weeks of staff training, we can proudly say that we have one of the best trained groups of young adults to serve families, care for children, keep camp safe and maintained, and make sure everyone is fed! During their time of orientation, our staff grew together in their faith, gained countless practical skills, and bonded to form the strong team that is out across camp right now, serving your camp! Here's a close-up of our staff from the perspective of two of our staff members.

Peaches (First-year counselor)
Why are you here this summer?
I wanted a job that was more in line with my major this summer. Also, a couple of former staff members, Cougar and Ifoo, encouraged me to apply. I’ve also been a counselor at a different camp, so I knew this was something I wanted to do.

What did you expect for this summer? 
I expected to share God’s Word, do a LOT of singing, and I expected to not know right away exactly what I was going to be doing.

Celebrating the end of staff orientation with ice cream!
What is being on staff really like compared to your expectations?
This is SUPER fun! I expected to be really busy, but I’ve discovered that as busy as I am as a counselor, it’s definitely bearable and worth it. The whole staff is really encouraging and supportive – not just of the group as a whole, but of everyone individually. I am encouraged and supported.

What do you enjoy most about being on this staff?
I love teaching the kids, but I especially enjoy growing and being supported myself while I’m on staff… You don’t really get that at other jobs.

What are you looking forward to this summer?
I really want to learn to play guitar. And I’m really excited to spread God’s word to more children.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

10 Signs Summer is Near

Summer is just around the corner, and here are 10 signs to prove it!

1.  The Waterfront is in! 
Thank you to the hard working volunteers who helped! Quik, Java, Skipper, Snack-Shack, Djembe, and Paul braved the cold and rain, and we are so grateful. 

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2.   Summer Staff have arrived! 
Our Program Coordinators move in today and Counselors and Support Staff join us next Tuesday.

Meyer, Surge, and Band-Aid are ready for summer!

The cottages are open!

During winter, some of our cottages are closed to save on energy costs. Workbee volunteers in April and May made sure they are open and ready to be lived in!

4.  The fish are biting.
Our Men’s Fishing and Golf Retreat was last week, and all who attended had a great time.

5. Canteen is full of snacks, ice cream, drinks, and new merchandise!

6.  Baby geese have been spotted having lunch at the picnic shelter.

7.  Construction projects are wrapping up.
Lakeview Cottage has tiled floors and cabinets. 

 The Lower Retreat Center has been drywalled. 

 Cabins at Keweenaw Base Camp are almost ready for guests!

8.  Lick-A-Dee Splitz is open! 
Everyone’s favorite ice cream shop opened earlier this month and Camp Luther's Year-Round Staff were the first customers. 

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  Mirror Lake is filled with the sounds of frogs.

10.   Camps are filling up...
…but there is still room in many of them! Check out the availability chart and sign up today!

We can't wait to see you this summer!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Being a (Camp Luther) Grandparent

Submitted by Jim & Kathy Wiebel

 “Grandchildren are God’s way of compensating us for growing old.” (Mary H. Waldrip)

“Surely, two of the most satisfying experiences in life must be those of being a grandchild or a grandparent.” (Donald A. Norberg)

These quotations certainly summarize well some of our own feelings about the joys of being grandparents. To be blessed, first, with two wonderful sons and their lovely wives, and now to have been gifted by them with six beautiful grandchildren in the past 11 years has made our hearts and our lives full, indeed! Not only that, but to have received a call to serve as one of the pastors at Faith Lutheran Church, Appleton, at precisely the same time as our first grandchild was born (bringing us back to Wisconsin from Florida) has been one of God’s great blessings in our lives. Living only 30 miles from each family (who reside in Green Bay & Oshkosh) has allowed us to share in their lives from infancy on by providing childcare once a week in each of their homes. Seeing life through the eyes of a child and underscoring the presence of Jesus in their lives with one of our favorite sayings, “I love you, but Jesus loves you even more!” always brings a smile to their faces. These years are something we wouldn’t trade for all the warm winters in Florida!

Jim & Kathy Wiebel with their granddaughter at their
first KinderCamp.
Living between our sons and their families, one of our family traditions has been to host a monthly “Family Feast” in order to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays together. We’re also blessed that our sons and their wives have become active members in their home churches where their children have been involved with regular worship and Sunday school activities. When we’ve had our grandchildren with us for “sleepovers,” storybook reading and prayers have become a regular part of the bedtime ritual. Now that they’re growing older, attending school concerts and sporting events have become a big part of our monthly routine. We’ve also made a priority of planning two or three family vacations together each year in order to visit relatives and new places, as well as to strengthen our family bond.

Camp Luther has also been a big part of our family’s spiritual development and faith formation. As soon as each child has been old enough, we’ve accompanied them to GrandKids Camp each summer. In the second year of their eligibility, we’ve been blessed to be able to pay for their parents to take them to KinderCamp, as well. In addition to those experiences, summer and winter Family Camps have endeared our grandchildren to Camp Luther even more! Camp’s staff and counselors have also been such a positive influence on each of us. Last summer, our oldest grandchild invited three of her neighborhood friends (none of whom are active in a church) to attend a Discovery Camp with her, made possible through the Every Kid to Camp campership program. All four are making plans to attend camp together again this summer!

If we can offer any advice to new grandparents or to grandparents who haven’t had the blessing of living as close to their grandchildren as we have, it would be to encourage your own children in their spiritual walk with the Lord and, whenever possible, to reinforce that with calls, cards, FaceTime, etc. with your grandchildren. And when they’re old enough, to invite them to go to GrandKids Camp with you, or help to make it possible for your children and their families to attend events at Camp Luther, or a church camp closer to them. There’s just nothing quite like sharing your love for God and His awesome creation like spending time together at Camp Luther! That’s been our family’s joy for over 40 years…and counting!  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

2017 Theme: ANCHORED

For we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. 
(Hebrews 6:19)

Water is unpredictable. This is a truth you learn very quickly working at camp. I remember taking a group out onto Rangeline Lake for a fun afternoon of canoeing during my first summer as a counselor. And it was fun—until it was time to head back in and I realized that the wind had picked up. It was blowing us away from the safety of the channel where we had launched our canoes and out across the open lake.

I, an experienced college student, struggled to even get my canoe turned around against the force of the wind. I looked behind me to see my campers’ boats scattered across the lake. All I could think was that staff training did not prepare me for this! as I watched the canoes get tossed around by the wind.

In the end, I had to paddle up to each boat individually and help tow them to the nearest shoreline. Once everyone was finally safely on shore, we walked back to main camp leaving a scattered array of empty boats and canoe paddles behind us. It was quite the adventure!

That was a day when we could have used an anchor. An anchor is what secures your boat against the wind and the waves. It’s what keeps your boat safe in the storms. It’s what protects your boat from getting blown off course and lost. It’s what secures your boat from crashing against the rocks.

Our theme this year at Camp Luther is ANCHORED. It’s based on the above verse in Hebrews, which promises us that the hope we have in Jesus Christ is an anchor for our soul, firm and secure. All the things that an anchor is, Jesus Christ is for us.

We have the hope that He is with us no matter what. We have the hope that we can trust Him no matter what we’re facing in life. We have the hope of resurrection, of life after death, because Jesus defeated death, defeated sin, and made a way for us to be with God through His death on the cross. That’s what it means that Jesus is our anchor, and we’re incredibly excited to dive into the theme of ANCHORED this year at Camp Luther.

~Kardia, Director of Programs

Thursday, March 16, 2017

On The Road Again...A Day in the Life of Indigo!

Indigo, Director of Donor Relations
Shelly “Indigo” Karolus is Camp Luther’s Director of Donor Relations, but what does that mean?!

As Director of Donor Relations, part of Indigo’s time is spent connecting people to the many different opportunities of supporting the ministry of Camp Luther. Part of her time is also spent thanking people who give in different ways to advance the mission of Camp. In all she does, she gets to hear about all the different reasons why Camp is such a special place to many.

When connecting people to opportunities to support and thanking them, Indigo uses the phone quite a bit, but also does much of this work on the road, meeting with people face-to-face.

"I have the wonderful opportunity of getting out on the road and driving to visit people who love Camp Luther. Sometimes I'll be on the road for a couple of days or just a day trip. No matter where I go, it is awesome to hear about why people love God and how Camp has helped them grow a closer relationship to Christ."

Indigo spends much of her time on the road, visiting people
who love Camp Luther
In February, Indigo had a week-long road trip, visiting churches, donors, and volunteers in Illinois, Michigan, and many towns in Wisconsin, including Stevens Point and Milwaukee.

At the beginning of March, she was on the road again, this time for a day. She and Woody visited pastors and churches in Greenville, Appleton, and Neenah.

Indigo plays a crucial role in connecting people with the Camp Luther they love and cherish. Her work ensures Camp will be a place that thrives for generations.

“It's a fun job and I'm blessed to be here.”