Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What Will You Do With Your Summer?

Some will spend the summer making money in their hometown, while others will enroll in unavoidable summer classes. Some might backpack around Europe or binge watch Netflix while lying horizontal on their parents couch. 

Others will choose different. They will choose an adventure of meaningful service and growth. They will choose camp.

Having carved their way deep within nature, camps are a beautiful world of their own. Unknown to some, yet home to many, they thrive in secluded locations throughout the country. It is a place where silly songs are sung, campfires are sat around, wild games are played, and the unheard of is heard of!

But that’s not all.
Camp is a life-changing opportunity that invites you to grow, challenge yourself, love others, and serve the Lord.

Working on a camp summer staff isn’t a simple walk in the woods, yet through its challenges will be one of the most memorable and rewarding summers your life will have. Those who have served at camp in the past highlight the summers they spend working at camp as some of the most life-changing, fulfilling months of their lives. How can they not be? Daily you will have the opportunity to lead campers in activities, adventures, and more importantly, you will share with them the truth of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

But that’s not all. 
The work you do at camp will not only have a lasting impact in your life, but in the lives of campers and the Kingdom of God. Each day you are available to talk with them, teach them, and lead them in activities. You get to show them the beauty of nature and display for them a model as one who follows Jesus.

But that’s not all. 
As you work on staff you will encounter the value of serving. For as much as serving is about those around you, you will not be able to escape camp without being affected by what you do. As you serve you will be pushed spiritually, mentally, and physically, yet in all these areas growth will spring forth. The challenges you face will be held as your greatest reward when the summer comes to an end.

But that’s not all. 
Camp will become home and your co-workers will become family. Laughter and tears will be the backdrop to the memories you will leave camp with. And when it is time to leave it is our hope you will be sent knowing you have purpose and you are deeply loved. 

What will you do with your summer?          
Tanner “Poet” Olson
Program Director

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hope Through Camp


Sometimes in life, things happen that we have no control over. You can't always control what the people you care about in your life do – the things that cause much pain and disappointment. Even though you love them very much and have done everything you thought possible to help them, there is still pain you have no control over. Praise God, praise the Father who we can cling to in those times of pain, disappointment and uncertainty. Knowing that God has a plan for us in life, in spite of all of the wrong choices and bad things that can happen, it brings much comfort to know that He is in control.

I had the opportunity to meet with a person; her name is Carrie. She was a woman that went to Camp Luther as a child. Her grandparents wanted to make sure that she could experience God in this place, with counselors that would encourage her in God’s Word, and know that she was loved in all circumstances. Throughout Carrie’s high school and early adult years, she made choices that landed her in prison. Life in prison has been really bad, and she has tried to end her life a few times. She was in the “slimy pit” with no hope of getting out. Through certain circumstances, Carrie was able to talk with me for about an hour, and I asked her what she remembered about camp. Her face lit up immediately as she said with a glowing smile, “I remember everything about Camp Luther!” She said that her favorite village was Noah’s Ark. We sang her favorite song, “LIONS” and others she remembered.

The memories of Camp Luther, the love that Carrie felt from her counselors, being in God’s Word, and the camp songs, brings her hope in prison. I was able to remind Carrie that the Lord loves her very much! That she is a forgiven and baptized child of God! She can cling to those promises and think of her time at camp when she starts to feel that hopelessness.


“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2

As parents and adults, it is so important that we give our children every opportunity to know and experience God. Through a place like Camp Luther, children and others see God in His creation and learn about Him. They can worship God with other children and hear about God's grace and mercy. As parents, grandparents, and people of God, we should provide every opportunity to expose children to the positive things in life: service to God, strong caring relationships, servant leadership,  and Christian community.  Camp Luther offers one of the most important things anyone can give a child, family member, teenager, or grandparents; the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ!   Just like Carrie is reminded of her hope in the Lord by remembering her time at Camp Luther as a child, I pray that no one misses the opportunity we have in blessing them with the knowledge of His grace and mercy through the ministries of Camp Luther.

Thank you so much for being a part of sharing the Gospel to others! We depend on the grace of God and friends like you to continue the mission of sharing Christ with others! Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support!

Shelly “Indigo” Karolus
Director of Donor Relations

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Here We Grew!


A summer may end, but the memories and blessings are ours forever.  Thank you 2014 Summer Staff for touching and shaping lives of campers, adults, families and your fellow staff members with the love of Jesus.   You have endured sunburn, sleepless nights, homesick campers, messy roommates, mental and physical exhaustion, 10 thousand questions, 10 million mosquito bites, and a schedule that only a college student could handle, all for the sake of the Gospel.  Thank you for giving yourself to the Lord's work and sharing your lives with us.  All summer you have shared our theme "Here We Grow".  As our summer comes to a close, you may now realize that it is you in fact that has grown the most.  Thank you for serving Jesus at Camp Luther and KBC.  You are forever family.  - The Year-round Staff

"For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers." - Eph 1:15-16

Name
Hometown
Position
School
Arrow
Oconomowoc, WI
Counselor
Concordia Wisconsin
Blitz
Wausau, WI
Counselor
UW - La Crosse
Bunch
Oshkosh, WI
Program Coordinator
Concordia Wisconsin
Chuckles
St. Paul, MN
Program Coordinator
Grinnell College (grad)
Coast
Chuluota, FL
Counselor
Concordia Wisconsin
Cocoa
Wausau, WI
Counselor
UW Marathon County
Corporal
Greenville, WI
Program Coordinator
Milwaukee Area Tech.
Cougar
Wausau, WI
Counselor
Concordia Wisconsin
Djembe
Antigo, WI
Counselor
Concordia Wisconsin
Dove
Fall Creek, WI
Counselor
UW Eau Claire
Eor
Eau Claire, WI
Counselor
Concordia Wisconsin
Fifa
Athens, WI
Counselor
UW - La Crosse
Fizzle
Greenville, WI
Counselor
UW Eau Claire
Flash
Courtland, MN
Counselor
Concordia Wisconsin
Gilligan
Iowa City, IA
Counselor
U of Iowa
Gleek
Greenville, WI
Counselor
College of Charleston
Greek
Whitefish Bay, WI
Counselor
Marquette
Hue
Kansas City, KS
Program Coordinator
Concordia Nebraska (grad)
Ivy
Sayner, WI
Program Coordinator
Concordia Nebraska (grad)
Kansas
Linn, KS
Program Coordinator
Concordia Nebraska (grad)
Kinch
Green Bay, WI
Program Coordinator
Michigan Tech
Monet
Eagle River, WI
Program Coordinator
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
Moo
Milwaukee, WI
Program Coordinator
Trinity Christian College
Mudslide
Appleton, WI
Counselor
UW Madison
Obi
Columbus, IN
Program Coordinator
Ivy Tech (grad)
Ohai
Camden, NY
Counselor
Concordia Nebraska
Olive
DePere, WI
Counselor
Concordia Nebraska
Rico
St. Louis, MO
Program Coordinator
Concordia Nebraska (grad)
Rilla
Rhinelander, WI
Counselor
UW Eau Claire
Seek
Kearney, NE
Program Coordinator
Concordia Nebraska (grad)
Shade
Green Bay, WI
Counselor
UW Eau Claire
Shred
Nekoosa, WI
Counselor
Concordia Wisconsin
SnackShack
Three Lakes, WI
Counselor
Concordia Nebraska
Sole
Rice Lake, WI
Counselor
UW Madison
Squints
Wichita, KS
Counselor
Concordia Nebraska
Storm
Prior Lake, MN
Counselor
Concordia St. Paul
Stretch
Utica, MI
Counselor
Saginaw Valley St. U
Tex
Flower Mound, TX
Program Coordinator
Concordia Wisconsin
Waffles
Adell, WI
Program Coordinator
Concordia Wisconsin (grad)
Willow
Antigo, WI
Program Coordinator
Concordia Wisconsin (grad)
Wilson
Corcoran, MN
Program Coordinator
UW La Crosse
Wow
Goletta, CA
Counselor
Concordia Nebraska

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What is the Outdoor Ministry Fund?

Camp Luther's Outdoor Ministry Fund provides critical support for summer camps, retreats, and family programs offered throughout the year. It is essential funding that enables Camp Luther to offer high quality programs, counselors and ministry staff, program supplies, and repairs or replacement of equipment. The chart on the right shows how your support impacts the average summer camper experience.
Unrestricted gifts to Camp Luther help our ministry meet its annual operating goals. Income generated through camper registrations and cottage rentals alone do not meet annual ministry expenses.

Consider supporting the Outdoor Ministry Fund through your annual or monthly gifts to camp. Visit campluther.com/donate today.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Help us Build a New Accessible Path to the Outdoor Chapel

It is a very special place at Camp Luther. This unique hollow in the Camp Luther forest was set aside decades ago as a dedicated place of outdoor worship and praise. The Outdoor Chapel or “ODC” holds cherished memories for thousands of children and families who have attended Sunday morning worship, campfire devotions, or Thursday Night Variety Shows. Under the tall pines, we have shared songs of praise, joy, laughter, tears, scripture and words of prayer.  What's your favorite memory at the Outdoor Chapel?

We have the opportunity this spring to make the Outdoor Chapel accessible to all.  Current access is limited to a long, uneven staircase of deteriorating railroad ties. Campers and guests with disabilities and limited mobility simply aren't able to participate or have to endure the inconvenience  of being carried by others.

The diagram below details the improvements:
  1. A new ADA accessible 6' wide paved path will be constructed to the northeast or left of the existing steps/main entrance.
  2. The path will provide access to the back center of the bleacher seating.
  3. The path will continue around both sides of the bleachers and provide access to the stage on the northeast or right side (facing).
  4. A large platform will provide an area for seating with individuals with disabilities.   Space is also available for movable benches for family and friends.  
  5. The original railroad tie steps at the main entrance to the Outdoor Chapel will be removed and replaced.
  6. Lighting will be added along the new path and staircase.


We are delighted to be able to improve Camp Luther in this way for the benefit of our campers of all ages but we need your help.  Please consider a donation to Camp Luther at this time to support this project.  Many individuals are going to be blessed immediately through the completion of this project. We hope to have it completed by June 7, the start of our summer camps.  Please visit www.campluther.com/donate to help.  Gifts in any amount are appreciated.  

If you have any questions please drop me a note at woody@campluther.com or 715-546-3647 Ext. 223.  Special thanks to Laura "Snicker" Langhoff for the watercolor images above!
Gary "Woody" Vought
Former Junior Counselor

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bless Your Family With a Workbee Weekend

Each spring families discover the joy and blessings of Workbee.  Camp Luther volunteer weekends provide a perfect opportunity to help your family discover the joy of serving the Lord.   Here's how your family can be blessed through serving at Camp Luther:

Your children or grandchildren will discover the satisfaction of hard work.
We live in an age when physical labor is less and less common.  As a result, our children often haven't experienced the satisfaction of that kind of accomplishment.  Not only does completing your work at Workbee provide a great feeling of accomplishment, when shared with others it makes an indelible impression.  How often at camp do we hear the pride in someone's voice when they return to camp and say "We did that!"      

You will show your thankfulness to God.
Jesus is our ultimate model of true servanthood.  Through His life on this earth he showed his compassion for those in need around him.  Through his death and resurrection, he showed his amazing love for all people.  Serving others in our lives is one way that we can show our thankfulness to the Lord for all that he has done for us.  "This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God." - 2 Corinthians 9:12

You will model the servanthood to each other.
The Bible says "train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it."  Educators know the value of experiential learning.  There is no more effective training than doing.  Serving at Camp Luther with your children or grandchildren allows them to see you living out your faith.  This can create a life-long pattern of service to the Lord.  And you may be surprised......Your children's service may make an impact on you!

Your family will grow closer.
Shared experiences always bring families closer.  Unlike a dinner out or a vacation, serving the Lord at Camp Luther provides a meaningful purpose to your experience.  Morning and evening devotions, worship, and fellowship with other Christians provide opportunities to grow together in Christ.  A tradition of Workbee for your family allows your family to focus on serving the Lord together and provides an experience that will always connect you. 

Your family will have fun!
You'll be surprised how much fun it is to work with our staff and other volunteers.  For a weekend, you can set aside your problems and your agenda, and focus on simply serving Jesus.  You'll be encouraged by the laughter, smiles, and encouragement of others.  Workbee is fun!

You will make new friends.
There are many reasons people visit Camp Luther, but we know that one big reason is the relationships that have grown in this special place.  These relationships bring people back to Camp Luther year after year.  You too will be bless by the people you meet and serve with at camp.  

You will further the ministry of Camp Luther.
Workbee Weekends are vital to this ministry.  Workbee volunteers are important members of our team.  While cutting wood, cleaning, raking may not seem as important as a summer counselor, in reality Camp Luther works when everyone does what they can to help.  Through volunteering you are helping Camp Luther to touch more and more lives with the message of the Gospel.

Won't you join us for Workbee this spring?  We welcome single-parent families, blended families, grandparents raising grandchildren, retired couples, single adults, college students, traditional families, and anyone who wants to serve at camp.  And its FREE!

Our Workbee Weekends are held each spring on the last weekend of April (April 25-27, 2014) and the third weekend of May (May 16-18, 2014).  They begin Friday evening and conclude with lunch on Sunday.  Visit out website for more information and to register.  We also have Volunteer Days planned at Keweenaw Base Camp May 9-10!

Thank you for serving the Lord wherever you are!

Gary "Woody" Vought
64 Workbees

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Four Ways Your Child Will Grow at Camp

As parents, it's exciting to see our children grow. You may have marks on a wall in your home marking their growth over the years. While physical growth is fun to track, it is even more rewarding to see our children grow in other, more important ways. For many, Camp Luther has been a part of that growth. Here's what I have seen:

1.  Campers grow in Self-Esteem
Camp provides an opportunity for kids to grow in self-worth. By trying new things, making new friends, and accomplishing challenges, kids gain confidence. When this happens in the midst of a caring, Christian community, it has an even greater impact. Young people who share their camp experiences with us nearly always speak of the love and acceptance they feel in the Camp Luther community; something that may be missing in other areas of their lives. At camp we seek to love and accept every person as a unique, special child of God. Most importantly, we want every camper to know how much Jesus loves them. That's where real self-worth comes from.

2.  Campers grow through Relationships
Whether we admit or not, we all seek to be in relationships with others. Imagine how your child will grow through interaction within a camper group: cooperating together, eating together, sharing new experiences, having fun, facing challenges, working through differences, and studying God's Word. This type of social interaction is vital in our world today where we often don't know our neighbors, where we separate into different rooms each evening, and rely on texting, Facebook, and Snapchat for communication. God meant for us to be in community with others. In the community of summer camp, children develop relationship skills as they have face-to-face interaction with fellow campers and their counselors. It's in these relationships where friendships blossom, hearts are opened, encouragement is shared, and Christian love is melded. And it's these relationships that will continue to be blessings long after camp is over. 

3.  Campers grown in Maturity
All children grow differently. Maturity may be one of those areas that lags behind as we watch our children grow physically. Camp helps children grow in maturity as they find themselves in real situations. Instead of relying on mom or dad, they begin to develop their own independence. Simple decisions like picking a canoeing partner or managing their canteen money for the week help children mature. Making the right decisions at camp with counselors as role-models can lead to kids making the right decisions at home, school, or the mall. After camp, many parents begin to see their children living out their faith and making the right decisions based upon their own belief systems, not just to please their parents. That is when parents begin to see real maturity.

4.  Campers Grow in the Faith and Knowledge of Jesus (2 Peter 3:18)
We hope your child grows in many ways through their experience at Camp Luther, but
nothing is more important to us than your child growing in their relationships with Jesus. Daily Christian growth hour and devotions are just part of it. It's our goal to help children see how God is involved in all aspects of their lives. So we bring Jesus to the archery range, along on the hike for ice cream, and to the overnight camp-out. Counselors help children see Christ working in every area of our lives.  

Parents often tell me they see real changes in their children after camp. The Bible promises the "fruits of the spirit" through our faith in Jesus Christ. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23) 

As the Spirit works in our lives, those fruits become evident to those around us. As your child is immersed in God's Word and surrounded by Jesus' love at camp, they will be changed. They will grow!


Gary "Woody" Vought
Camper Parent, Former Camper


Monday, February 3, 2014

Our 2014 Theme

But grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.   
2 Peter 3:18


Our 2014 theme is Here We Grow!  Summer campers, family cottagers, and retreat participants throughout the year will focus on how we grow in Christ.  As the branch grows from the Vine, we grow as God provides the nourishment of His Word, forgiveness in the water of our baptism, and strength through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Just as the farmer expects to yield fruit from his crop, the Lord asks us to “bear much fruit” as his disciples in our congregations, communities and the world.  

We pray that all who visit Camp Luther and Keweenaw Base Camp in 2014 are built up and encouraged in their faith through this theme.    

Send your kids to Camp and watch them grow!
Gary "Woody" Vought  

Campers and Counselors Open Up About Camp

We received the following comments from some who participated in our recent Instagram contest.  Faith, relationships, and love are common themes.  Camp has had an incredible impact in their lives and their faith.  What was true for so many of us growing up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s is still true today.  Praise the Lord!

"There's a special feeling you have at camp.  A feeling you can't recreate back home.  A feeling that everyone surrounding you cares about you."

"I really learned more about God.  I grew and will continue grow in my faith. "

"Some of my best and favorite memories are from my times at camp.  Without Camp Luther I don't know where I would be today.
"Camp.....the place where you make lifelong friends and grow stronger in your faith all while making amazing memories."

"Never has a place made me feel so welcomed, loved, changed, worthwhile or beautiful."

"I was shown over and over again that I am loved."

"Never have I learned so much or grown so quickly.  This place changed my life while Christ changed my heart and taught me to serve."

"You don't have to worry about anything.  Everyone loves you for who you are."

"Everyone grows at their own pace, in their own way, but everyone should experience Camp Luther."

Thank you to everyone who responded.  Send your kids to camp and watch them grow!

Gary "Woody" Vought
Former Junior Counselor

Not Ready for Camp? Four Ways to Encourage Your Child

Let's face it, being a parent isn't easy these days. When your child is resistant to your plans for summer camp, you may find yourself in a difficult and delicate situation. While you may be excited for them to make new friends, have fun, and grow in their faith, they may be dealing with their own fears, nervousness, and peer pressures. No parent wants to force their child to go. If your child isn't ready for camp, here are some suggestions to help them warm up to the idea:
  1. Plan to go with a friend. Planning for camp with a friend or cousin can ease nervousness and provide that connection to home that your child needs. Discuss camp with the parents of your child's best friends.  Arrange a time to present the idea with all parents and children together. Going with a friend who has already been to camp could be a bonus!
  2. View camp photos and videos. Watch the Camp Luther summer camp video together and look at photos of activities, villages, retreat center, counselors, and campers. Point out the smiles, the fun, and the caring counselors. Help your child imagine themselves at camp.
  3. Involve your child the decision making. Involving your child in selecting the date, housing, travel plans, and filling out forms can give him or her a sense of ownership. Their participation in the decision making may allow your child a chance to prepare emotionally and psychologically for camp.  Making decisions about camp with your child rather than for your child may be the best 
  4. Pray. You may have many reasons for sending your child to Camp Luther. Hopefully one of those is spiritual growth. Get things off on the right track by praying for your child and their upcoming experience at camp. Ask the Lord for the right words and to open your child's heart as you talk about Camp Luther together.
Getting your child to camp is worth all your efforts. May God bless you as your encourage your child and prepare him or her for camp this summer.  

Send Your Kids to Camp and Watch Them Grow!
Gary "Woody" Vought