Friday, December 16, 2016

Winter Memories at Camp Luther

Before joining the staff team at Camp Luther, I didn’t have much experience with camp in the winter, but the one time I did will forever remain a favorite memory. 

It was my senior year of high school. Our small youth group loaded up my Aunt’s SUV (she was also our youth leader) to start on the four-hour drive to Camp Luther for the Sub Zero Youth Retreat. A few of us had been to camp in the summer, and for everyone else this was their first Camp Luther experience ever! Along with trying to get some homework done, our ride was filled with lots of laughs and licorice. We arrived, got settled in, and sang some favorite camp songs during devotions, before plunging into our first winter activity: night tubing! 

Enjoying camp's tubing runs at night

Saturday morning, we broke into small groups for Bible study and talked about who God is to us and who the Bible says he is. Later that morning everyone hit the ice for some broomball! It was Team Colby Cheese versus Team Cottage Cheese. Being new to the game of broomball, some of our group focused on staying upright as we slid our boots across the ice rink, while everyone else focused on scoring goals. I don’t remember which cheese won, but it was a blast regardless of the score! 

Snow shoeing through the forest

After some ping pong and lunch, our small group strapped on snowshoes and headed out on a grand adventure! We left trails on the frozen lake (and some may have participated in a snowball fight…) before trekking into the woods. Lots of hot chocolate was in order during free time before more winter fun continued with a large group game of snow angleball. 

Getting creative with keeping my feet dry

When we headed inside after a day of winter adventure, I realized my boots were not all that water-proof, and water had seeped all the way through them! I attempted to dry them out using the hand driers in the bathroom, but to no avail. I was determined not to miss another round of night tubing, however, so I wrapped my feet in plastic bags and back into the boots I went! (Clearly, I was an ingenious high schooler.)

When my friends and I get together, we still laugh at all the fun memories from this weekend in the Northwoods. 



Bring your youth group to Camp Luther this January to have a blast, build your faith, and make memories of your own! Our Big Chill, Deep Freeze, and Sub Zero Youth Retreats are community building, action-packed, and an awesome reminder for your students (and you!) of who you are in Jesus Christ. 

Each retreat weekend will include the same incredible activities, but is tailored for your group’s age. More information and registration forms are available online!

Big Chill (Middle School Youth)                                          January 13-15 

Deep Freeze (Middle and High School Youth)                   January 20-22 

Sub Zero (High School Youth)                                            January 27-28

Thursday, December 8, 2016

New Programs in Summer 2017!

We’re excited to be offering FOUR new programs at Camp Luther this summer!

Sailing Camp
This is a 5-night program for 6th-8th graders that teaches you how to sail over the course of the week. Under the instruction of an adult with extensive sailing experience, you’ll learn how to ride the wind and waves! Sailing Camp is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” camp, which means you’ll still be able to participate in many of your favorite youth camp activities (swimming, angleball, all-camp games, devotions, etc.), but each day you’ll also spend several hours practicing your sailing skills and having a blast on the water. Campers in this program should be comfortable in the water. 

This is a 5-night program for 7th-9th graders focused on adventure! Quest campers will participate in off-site adventure trips during the day, such as mountain biking, river canoeing, and high ropes challenges. Quest groups will return to Camp Luther in the evening to spend time relaxing and hanging out as a community. Campers may still participate in some traditional camp activities, but will spend most of their time embracing new experiences. Attendance is capped at 10 campers per session to create a close-knit community of adventurous Jesus followers!

Ignite at Keweenaw Base Camp
This is a 5-night program for 9th-12th graders that focuses on intentional, mission-oriented service in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Upper Michigan. If you want to serve the local community, get your hands dirty, and be challenged with what it means to love like Jesus, this is the program for you!

Venture at Keweenaw Base Camp
This is a 5-night program for 10th-12th graders that is recommended for those who have previously participated in The Edge or similar KBC program. Venture builds on The Edge with an overnight adventure trip and new challenge experiences, all with the same close-knit community feel and incredible staff who are ready to embrace the adventure alongside you. Get ready for more adventure, more challenge, more faith building, and more unforgettable memories!

We’ve also made some big changes to one of our already popular programs, IMPACT! 
In 2017, IMPACT will still be the outstanding 8-day program it has been in the past, but we are excited to be able to offer it every week of the summer! Campers will continue to develop their leadership, journey on an overnight adventure trip, and serve the community around them. Attendance is capped at 10 campers per session to create an even more close-knit group of lasting friends. 


With so many options, how do you keep them all straight and know which camp is the right fit for you? 

Looking for service? 
Ignite is totally focused on service and outreach, and IMPACT also has a strong service component!

Looking for adventure? 
Quest is adventure- focused, and based at Camp Luther. The Edge and Venture are full of adventure, and based out of the KBC. IMPACT has an overnight off-site adventure trip!

Looking for leadership development? 
IMPACT is focused on intentional leadership development for high school students!

For dates, pricing, and to register for any of Camp Luther’s summer programs, visit Registration opens December 15!

Friday, December 2, 2016

2016 Volunteers of the Year

Clay & Louise Reisler, Camp Luther's Volunteers of the Year
Congratulations to Clay and Louise Reisler, Camp Luther’s 2016 Volunteers of the Year!  “Gator” and “Weezy” met at Camp Luther in 1992 while serving on the Camp Luther Summer Staff.   That commitment to serving, which flows from their faith in Jesus Christ, has continued to be a part of their purpose and vision as a family.  

Last fall Clay and Louise agreed to serve as the chairs of the 70th Anniversary Alumni Staff Reunion. Their leadership was instrumental in the success of that event.  Consistent meetings and coordination took place with an alumni staff as part of a planning committee from areas all over the county. In previous years, the Reislers have organized Thrivent Service Teams to assist with maintenance projects, and were regular volunteers at our annual 5k trail run.  Louise has served on strategic planning committees in the past, and Clay is a member of the Camp Luther Advisory Council.

Clay and Louise’s commitment to serving extends beyond Camp Luther.  The Reislers are very active in their congregation, St. Paul Lutheran in Bonduel, and NEW Lutheran High School in Green Bay. Clay and Louise have two sons, Brock and Bennett, who are also active at camp, with Bennett serving as a Junior Counselor this past summer.

Thank you Gator and Weezy for serving this ministry!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Apply for Summer Staff 2017!

A summer spent working at camp immerses you in a community where you get to explore together what it means to love Jesus and love like Jesus. It’s kingdom ministry that’s intense, and deep, and life changing. Camp Luther is just one of 24 NLOMA (National Lutheran Outdoors Ministry Association) camps that are located around the country.

For more information, or to learn how to apply, visit To request an application, visit

Those chosen to serve can expect to grow professionally and spiritually. Many life-long friendships were born during summers at Camp Luther. This is the hardest job you'll ever love. Here is what past staff members say about their summer(s) at Camp Luther:

"Working at Camp taught me how to be a leader. It's more than just teaching kids how to play Gaga Ball, or making sure no one gets lost (though these are important). I've learned that to lead others, you have to lead yourself. Being in that mentor/role model position gave me a great opportunity to practice and build these skills. As life goes on, I find myself using these skills more and more, and it's cool to look back and see how God has been at work in this aspect of my life!" -Rocket

"I learned how to love, and what it means to be loved by God and others. My heart is changed because of vulnerability, honesty, and the wonder of His love that is apparent in the smiling, shining eyes of children when they hear His gospel of peace." - Suds

"Being a counselor helped me to understand what it means to rely on God’s strength over your own. My own faith grew seeing how God is working in the lives of campers. The bonds you build on staff
taught me the definition of 'Brothers and Sisters in Christ.’" - Intro

"Camp Luther broke me out of my comfort zone and opened the world to me in a light I've never seen before. The way God works through the kids, the staff, and me has left me with an everlasting joyful servant attitude." - Psych

"Being on summer staff at Camp Luther is impactful. It is impactful for the individual on staff, but more importantly, it is impactful for all of the campers that you will interact with. The job truly makes a difference in kids earthly and eternal lives." - JMAC

"Building relationships centered around Christ's love with campers and fellow staff members reminded me of what really matters.  It was so moving to put aside my stresses of daily life and refocus my priorities." - Soy

"God put me out of my comfort zone, and I grew in ways unimaginable." - Radar

"Being a part of the Camp Luther staff is like nothing else; you build lifelong relationships with other Christian individuals committed to growing the faith of those around them, as well as growing their own.  I never could have imagined the love, support, and joy that has been shown to me by the staff, and the rewards of the opportunity to serve campers in a variety of ways." - Tron

"My confidence grew leaps and bounds while at camp. My confidence to lead a group, to relate to others, and most significantly: confidence to trust in God" - Kinch

"Being a camp counselor really showed me how to be a servant to others, both the campers and the other staff members.  This servant attitude is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life."   - Smiles

"I applied to camp as someone who had never been to summer camp before and it was the best decision of my life.  I learned to be confident as a leader and learned new ways to show Jesus's love to those around me.  I came to camp as a stranger and left at the end of the summer with a family. Apply to work at camp; I personally guarantee it is a decision you will never regret."
- Chip

What are you waiting for!? Apply today!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Welcome, Kristina!

My family (husband Aaron, seven year old daughter Samantha and our chocolate lab Caddie) moved here a year ago from Eau Claire.  We love living in the Northwoods; enjoying the outdoors and being close to family. I worked the last 8 years in government administration; working on projects, budgets and HR. I am excited to be a part of the Camp Luther team as the Business and Finance Manager!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Thank you, Mary Ann!

If you’ve called Camp Luther or walked into the Welcome Center within the last 13 years, you’ve likely talked to her. Most people call her MaryAnn, but her camp name, Welcome, is very fitting as she greets everyone with a smile and answers their questions so they feel at home. She is Camp Luther’s Administrative Assistant, and is an integral part to things running smoothly. She completes countless tasks, from working extensively with camper registrations, to answering and directing incoming phone calls, to making sure the office supplies stay stocked. This November, she’ll have her last day in the office – and in the Northwoods – as she and her husband move to Florida!

We asked Welcome for her most memorable moment behind the desk at Camp Luther, and she was quick to laugh and retell a story involving winter and a slippery parking lot…

Woody and I were at the front desk one winter, and looked out the window to see Pierre, the Facility Maintenance Manager at the time, driving down the hill into the parking lot. Pierre always talked about how “the kids” (anyone younger than 30) drove too fast, and they needed to slow down in the parking lot. As Woody and I stood at the front desk, we noted that it looked like Pierre was the one driving a little fast this time. When he tried to brake, the truck slipped on the ice and BAM! He hit my car, which was parked in the middle lane of the parking lot. Glass and car parts went everywhere! Woody calmly said “I’ll call the insurance company” and walked away, while I waited for Pierre to come in and explain what had happened.

We’ll miss you greatly, MaryAnn, and pray for God’s Blessings on your next adventure!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Welcome, Sojo!

Hello! My name is Sojo, and I’m thrilled to join the Camp Luther full-time staff as Program and Communications Manager! I call the very small town of Clear Lake, Wisconsin my hometown, but am enjoying settling into my new home in the Northwoods.

When someone asks me how I’ve come to work at Camp or how long I’ve been working here, I have to laugh a little. My journey here is full of twists and turns, and different positions, but I can see God working in all of it. As I grew up, Camp Luther had a clear impact on my social and spiritual life as I participated in youth camps, IMPACT, and youth retreats. Some of my biggest “aha” faith moments happened during Camp Luther programming.

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication in May 2014. During the summer of 2015 I served as Camp Luther’s Congregational Day Camp Coordinator. That fall I continued at camp, but in the position of Program Assistant. In April 2016, I came back over the little bridge, this time as Interim Program Director and worked with our summer special programs. This fall I was more than delighted to come back once more in my current position.

One of the great things about my job is that I not only get to work hands on with programming and guests of camp, but I also have the privilege of sharing the Camp Luther Story with everyone!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Every Kid to Camp Celebrates 10 Years!

It began with a vision that every child in the North Wisconsin District should have the opportunity to go to camp.  District and camp leaders knew from decades of summer camp ministry that the Camp Luther experience has a significant impact in the faith development of children fortunate enough to attend. A vision began to take shape. What if, through the assistance of others who believe in the mission of Camp Luther, we could provide the opportunity for hundreds of children to attend each summer at no cost to their family? Now 10 years later, through your support and prayers, more than 2000 children have come to Camp Luther through Every Kid to Camp!

The vision of Every Kid to Camp has grown as congregations and individuals have used the ministry to reach out to those in their communities who don’t know Christ. Each year 300 children come to Camp Luther for the very first time at no cost to their family. We are careful not to refer to Every Kid to Camp as ‘free.” It’s a gift of camp made possible through the generous support of those who love children and value the mission of Camp Luther. 

We invite you to support this important ministry through your prayers and gifts. Your support will help to send a child to camp and the impact of that experience can change their life!  Visit to give to Every Kid to Camp. Or contact Shelly “Indigo” Karolus, Director of Donor Relations for information about the “Lee Belmas Honorary Every Kid to Camp Endowment Fund.” Lee was instrumental in the development of the Every Kid to Camp program and remains a champion of this ministry to children and their families.

Do you know a child who hasn't been to camp yet? You can help send that child to camp this summer. Simply email with child and parent’s names and contact information and we will send them an Every Kid to Camp certificate. Let’s send 300 kids to camp this summer for the very first time!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Steinkes Awarded Volunteers of the Year!

Congratulations Dr. Rick and Ruth Steinke of Green Bay, WI, the 2015 Camp Luther Volunteers of the Year!

Rick and Ruth’s passion for the mission and ministry of Camp Luther has been evident in their decades of service to camp and the North Wisconsin District. 

Rick and Ruth (Winter) both attended Camp Luther briefly as children. Their interest grew as they served on the Camp Luther summer staff in 1964-1966; Rick as the summer Camp Director.  They passed on their passion for camp to their children Robin and Renae who both served as Junior Counselors and summer counselors in the 1990s; Robin also later on the Camp Luther year-round staff.

In the early 1990s, Rick was elected to the North Wisconsin District Board of Finance.  He served continually on district boards through 2011, always with a special passion caring for the district’s camp.

In 1999-2001, Rick and Ruth served as chairs of the Entrusted with Treasure campaign which raised approximately $2 million for the Camp Luther Retreat Center.  In addition, they served as planned giving counselors in the North Wisconsin District. Through their service, they have helped many families leave a gift to Camp Luther and many other ministries in their estate planning.

In 2011, Rick accepted the role of chair of the new Camp Luther Board of Directors, formed as Camp Luther transitioned to a Subsidiary Ministry of the North Wisconsin District.  Rick was instrumental in the assembly of the new board and working through the details of the governance arrangement with the district.

Thank you, Rick and Ruth, for displaying true servant leadership in serving the ministry of Camp Luther. You are true champions of the Camp Luther mission! May the Lord continue to bless you in the many ways you serve your congregation, community, and the church.

Welcome Janette "Swoops" Marien

A little over a year ago, my family took a leap of faith that brought us to Eagle River as my husband became the Assistant Principal at the High School, and is now the Middle School Principal. God wrapped his arms around us and showed us how this is where we belong. I have been married since 1997 to the most wonderful man, Dan; and we have three wonderful boys, Harmon who has a passion for Bass Fishing and Hockey, Gaige who is full of adventure and loves hockey and baseball, and Danny Jr who brings excitement to every day.

Some days it seems like a dream, but then I know it is all part of God's plan to be able to live on a lake, close to the hockey rink and be surrounded by so many people who really enjoy life and treat others with so much love. I played basketball through college, love to fish, hike, play in the lakes and spend time with family. My passion for veterans, seniors and youth has brought me many opportunities and my love for the outdoors, nature, and helping others makes me feel blessed that I have become a part of the Camp Luther and Keweenaw Base Camp family. 

Keweenaw Base Camp
Community Outreach Coordinator
Janette “Swoops” Marien

Phone:  715-891-4064

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Gift

Welcome Kardia!

Hello everyone, my name is Kardia!  I’m a native Wisconsinite who grew up in a family that loved me and loved Jesus and showed me what it looks like to follow Him. Regarding my choice of careers, my mom always tells me that she’s happy I’ve found people to go on adventures with—it means she doesn’t have to!

I got my foot into the camp world in 2009, when I spent my summer working as a counselor at a camp up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin that may sound a little bit was called Camp Luther. That experience involved pouring myself into the lives of kids of all ages and wondering (often) just what I had gotten myself into.

The year following my first summer at camp, I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a degree in Secondary Education, but I found myself increasingly drawn to the world of outdoor ministry. After spending a second summer working as a counselor at Camp Luther, I plunged full-time into the world of camp and have never looked back.

The past couple of years I have been working at a camp called HoneyRock, leading a summer adventure leadership program for high school and college students, while earning my master's degree in Christian Formation and Ministry through Wheaton College. I graduated this past May, and I'm incredibly excited to be back here at Camp Luther, where I started this journey so many years ago.
What gets me excited about camp ministry are the glimpses it offers of life in the kingdom; of what it means to grasp “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Camp has been utterly formational in my understanding of so much of what it means to follow Jesus; of what identity and community and grace look like in the light of the love of Jesus Christ.

The heart of why I do what I do starts from the belief that God speaks to us in our brokenness. He calls to us with words that say: You are mine. I have not forgotten. You are not forsaken. And you are so, so loved.  For me, ministry is trying to be that voice to others.

"Start a Fire" - Our 2016 Theme

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” - Luke 24:32

As Jesus opened up the scriptures to the two travelers on the road to Emmaus, a fire began to burn within their hearts. Scripture tells that God’s Word is “living and active.” It starts a fire in our hearts because it is where we encounter Christ and are reminded of the love that he has shown us through his life, death, and resurrection. 

It is our prayer, that the fire that was lit on the day of our baptism may be rekindled in the hearts of all who visit Camp Luther. May it burn so bright that others may see Christ in us!

Camp Luther Celebrates 70 Years!

It was an investment driven by a vision to provide a place of ministry for children and families where they could be built up and encouraged in their faith. Who could have imagined the dividends that have been received thousands of times over?

The Camp Luther property was purchased in 1946 for $22,000.  At a time when gas was just $.21 a gallon and a new home would set you back $5150, this was a lot of money! Despite the costs, the leaders of the district and those serving on the Young People’s Board would not be detoured from their vision. They were determined to provide a place of ministry where children and families would be built up in the faith through Christian educational experiences, relationships between campers and counselors, and the fellowship of other believers all in the midst of God’s beautiful creation.

The vision began to become reality when on May 6, 1946, the North Wisconsin District LCMS approved the purchase of land near Three Lakes, WI for a camp ministry. They a found 91 acre parcel on the shores of Rangeline Lake. After an inspection of the property, which included a lodge and a few cottages, boats, and furnishings, they agreed to the purchase. The first two weeks of summer camp were held that very summer!

Through God’s grace, Camp Luther touches the lives of thousands of children, adults, and families each year with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We give thanks for those who invested their time, energy, and resources to help make Camp Luther a reality. May the Lord continue to bless this Christ-centered ministry for generations to come!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Send Us Photos for our 2017 Calendar Contest!

Submit your photos for our 2017 calendar. Help us share the beauty, the fun, the peacefulness, the spiritual growth, and the people of Camp Luther and Keweenaw Base Camp. So grab your camera, head to camp and start shooting!

We have changed our calendar timeline so all those who submitted photos for our 2016 calendar will be considered for our 2017 Calendar.  But we still need more photos submitted, especially winter photos.  Our 2017 Calendar will be available for sale in our canteen this summer.

Here are the details:
  • Submit your photo by May 1, 2016 via email to; or place on a CD  or DVD and mail to Camp Luther along with your name, address, and phone number.  
  • Close-up photos of individuals must include signed permission to use their image in the publication of this calendar.
  • Maximum of five photos per submission, please.
  • Photographer agrees to allow Camp Luther to use photos in our calendar and other potential promotional publications.
  • Photos must be digital images and must be at least 1130X1508 pixels.
  • Include the name and address of the photographer. 
  • Camp Luther reserves the right to change rules/requirements or cancel the contest for any reason.
The calendar will be available late 2015. Those with selected photos will receive a free calendar. Have fun taking photos at Camp Luther!!