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!