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.”

Thursday, March 2, 2017

NLOMA Conference Recap

Camp Luther staff Beemer, Woody, Sojo, and Kardia
at the NLOMA Conference
Every February, members of the Camp Luther staff join with ministry professionals representing nearly 30 Christian camps across the country. The organization is called NLOMA (National Lutheran Outdoors Ministry Association). This year, staff members Woody, Beemer, Kardia, and Sojo traveled to the Mount Olivet Conference and Retreat Center in Farmington, Minnesota for the conference. This annual conference features worship time, several amazing speakers, and plenty of time to enjoy fellowship and networking with staff members from other camps.

Pastor Gabe Kasper (Camp Luther Alumn) leading worship

Worship times at this year’s conference were led by pastor and Camp Luther alumn Gabe Kasper (Austin, Texas).

The keynote speaker was Dr. Andy Root. Andy’s discussion focused on place sharing in relationships and letting Jesus find His way into our lives by spending time with one another and sharing in each other’s suffering.

Attendees had time for recreation and sight-seeing throughout the conference, including the Como Zoo, local breweries, and a nearby NLOMA member camp called Camp Omega. One highlight every year is the annual “Pong-a-thon” tournament (ultimate ping pong). 30+ people took part in this year’s competition and the traveling trophy went home to Lutheran Island Camp in Northern Minnesota.

Pong-a-thon tournament
NLOMA Members praying over Summer Staff applications
before Joint Recruitment

Part of what makes NLOMA so special is that summer staff hiring is done as an association rather than by individual camps. This process is called Joint Recruitment and takes place on the final day of the conference. Camp Luther has benefitted from this process greatly over the years because it allows us to recruit staff from all corners of the country; many of which have experience at other camps and can bring new, refreshing ideas to help grow the ministry. Many Camp Luther summer staff members have also gone on to work at other camps as well.

All in all, the NLOMA conference is a very important time of personal and professional growth, networking and fellowship, and renewal for the ministry that happens at camp. 

Camp professionals from across the country. Can you find Camp Luther staff?