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ATABLEINTHEWILDERNESS:

HISTORY,THEOLOGY,ANDPRACTICEOFSUMMERCAMPSINTHEEVANGELICAL
LUTHERANSYNOD

ATHESIS
SUBMITTEDTOTHESEMINARY
INPARTIALFULFILLMENTOFTHEREQUIREMENTSFORTHEDEGREE
MASTEROFDIVINITY
BY
JEFFREYD.HENDRIX
BETHANYLUTHERANTHEOLOGICALSEMINARY
ADVISOR:DR.THOMASKUSTER
MANKATO,MINNESOTA
APRIL2015

Abstract

THESIS:ATableintheWilderness:History,Theology,andPracticeofSummerCampsinthe
EvangelicalLutheranSynod

STUDENT:JeffreyD.Hendrix

DEGREE:MasterofDivinity

DATE:April2015

PAGES:117

ThisthesisexplorestheideawhetherornotsummercampsintheELShaveacommon
historicalandtheologicalfoundationwhichhasguidedthemindevelopingadistinctLutheran
campculture.
Besidesthesocialandtheologicalfoundationofthesecamps,thisstudyalso
seekstoexaminethecultureoftheLutheransummercampexperience.Whataretheshared
experiencesatthesecampswhichcanhelppaintapictureofsummercampsintheEvangelical
LutheranSynod?
Asummaryofthehistory,theology,andpracticeofsummercampsintheSynodwill
helpdetailtheuniqueneedthatthesecampsfill,aswellastheuniquewaysthatcampsareable
toministertopeopleofallages.Possibleareasofimprovementandoutreachwillalsobe
exploredinordertoassistfutureleadersanddirectorsofcampsintheSynod.
Toaccomplishthesegoals,thisthesisemploysamethodofethnographyaswellasthe
simplecombingthroughofhistoricaldocuments.ThecampsincludedinthisstudyareCamp

IndianheadMN,CampIndianheadWI,CampLorRay,Camp4Star,CampLutherhaven,the
ELSCircuitCampinFlorida,andthenowsoldandrenamedSchwanRetreatCenter,aswellas
othercampsoftheSynodheldinIowaandTexas.Asapointofcontext,twoappendicesare
included:AlistingofeveryLutheranYouthAssociationconventionbyyearandtheme,andan
incompletelistofeverysummercamptheme.
ThesummercampsoftheSynodwerefoundtohavesharedcommonhistories,manyof
thecampswerefoundedasadirectresultofdiscussionontheSynodicalyouthboardlevel.The
campsinonewayoranotherallsharesimilarprogramsandfeatures,manyofwhichhavebeen
borrowedfromonecamptothenext.Finally,continuitywasfoundinthesummercampsofthe
EvangelicalLutheranSynod,acontinuityofhelpingyoungpeoplegrowintothelifeofthe
church,aswellasacontinuityofteachingthehistoricChristianfaith.

Acknowledgments
Sincerethanksandappreciationareextendedtomythesiscommitteefortheirinputand
graciousunderstandinginthisuniqueareaofstudy.Iamespeciallygratefultomychair,Dr.
ThomasKusterforhisguidanceandgenuineinterestinmyefforts.Inaddition,Iamgratefulto
Prof.ErlingTeigenandPres.JohnMoldstadJr.fortheirhelpinresearchingcertainareasofmy
thesis.Eachofthesethreecommitteemembershavehadsomepersonalexperiencewithsummer
campingintheELSandIhavebenefitedfromtheirfirsthandknowledge.
Mythanksalsogoouttomyparents,JamesandJacalynHendrixwhohavecontinuously
supportedmethroughmylengthypostsecondaryeducationandfinallytomywifeCarla,who
hasnowbeenforcedtowatchmestrugglewithtwograduatethesesinfouryears,andhasbeen
wonderfullyforgivingandpatient.FinallythankstomycolleaguesandbrothersatBethany
LutheranTheologicalSeminaryaswellasallofmyprofessorsfortheirinterestintheworkof
theGospel,andencouragingmeinmypastoralstudy.

Abstract

Acknowledgments

1.IntroductionHistorical&TheologicalBackground

2.HistoricalandTheologicalContext

12

TheDevelopmentofChristianCampsinAmerica

12

Scouting&Pioneers.

15

EarlySynodicalYouthWork.

18

YoungPeoplesAssociation.

20

3.BriefHistoryofSummerCampsintheELS

27

ASynodSummerCampisFounded.

27

CampIndianheadMN&CampIndianheadWI

29

CampLorRay.

34

SouthernMinnesotaNorthernIowaCircuitCamp.

47

CampFourStar.

49

CampOlympicLutherhaven.

51

FloridaCircuitCamp.

54

TexasCircuitCamp.

56

SchwanRetreatCenter.

56

4.ReligiousActivities

60

ServiceUndertheTrees.

60

BibleStudiesandMethodsofReligiousInstruction.

63

Devotions&Songs.

68

ConclusiontoChapterFour.

74

5.Conclusion

77

SuggestionforFutureResearch.

77

BlessingsandChallenges.

77

AreasforOutreach.

79

Glamping

80

EarlyChildhood

81

Hispanics

82

PracticalApplications&SuggestionsforPlanningandOrganizingaCamp.

84

Conclusion:TheDistinctNatureofELSSummerCamps.

88

Bibliography

90

AppendixA.YPA/LYAConventions

97

AppendixB.ELSCampDates,Locations,Directors,andThemes

99

1.IntroductionHistorical&TheologicalBackground
OnaMondaymorninginearlySeptemberof1844,dozensgatheredundertwooaktrees
forauniqueworshipservice.Somanywereinattendancethatnobuildingcouldcontainallthe
worshippers.Asimpleboardwaswedgedinbetweenthetwotreestoserveasanaltar.Thetext
forthepreparatoryaddresswasfromPsalm78:19,canGodfurnishatableinthewilderness?
ThetextforthesermonwasMatthew11:28,Comeuntomeallyethatlaborandareheavy
laden.1Thisservicewasnotasummercampservice,norwastheserviceheldoutsideby
choice,ortryingtomanufactureapioneerexperience.Thiswasthetruepioneerworship
experience.Onlyadaybefore,thefirstNorwegianLutheranchurchserviceonAmericansoil
ledbyaregularlytrainedclergymanwasheldinasmallbarninthesettlementofKoshkonong,
Wisconsin.J.W.C.Dietrichsonwasthepastor,amanwhohadventuredfromNorwayoutof
sympathyfortheseemigrantsofNorway,alwaysplanningonreturningtohishomelandoncehis
workoforganizingwasdone.ThiswasthebeginningoftheEvangelicalLutheranSynodasit
existstoday.ThesceneistaughttoeverypastoroftheSynodtoserveasareminderofits
humblebeginnings.
121yearslater,anothergroupofworshipers,thetheologicaldescendentsofthosefirst
settlers,gatheredbeneathagroveofoaktreesafewhundredmilesawayinwesternMichigan.
Thesettingwassimilar,butthereasonwasverydifferent.Seekingpastoralrelaxationwhile
receivingpastoralcare,campersvacationedatanewlypurchasedforestedpropertysurrounding
aprivatelake.CampLorRaywasthefirstcamppropertypurchasedanddevelopedbymembers

S.C.Ylvisaker,
GraceforGrace:BriefHistoryoftheEvangelicalLutheranSynod
,ChristianAnderson,
andGeorgeO.Lillegard,eds.(Mankato,MN:LutheranSynodBookCompany,1943),1921.
1

oftheEvangelicalLutheranSynod.Whenitwasfoundedin1965,itseemedtoberightinthe
middleofaLutherancampboom.MorepermanentLutheransummercampswerestarted
between1955and1965thananyotherperiodofexistenceofLutheranisminAmerica.2
However,researchershavenotedthatbeginningaround1960,summercampsinAmericawere
actuallyonadeclinedecliningnotonlyintermsofthenumberofcamps,butdeclininginthe
sensethatthetraditionalemphasesofAmericancampsweregivingwaytoalternativecamps.
Thispresentsthequestionofwhy,withinthebroadsettingofAmericanorganizedcamps,
Lutheransummercampsdevelopedinthisspecificperiodinhistory?Weretheresome
theologicalemphasesthatwereespeciallystressedduringthisperiodoftimethatgavewaytothe
explosionofLutheransummercamping,orwasthedevelopmentofthesecampsmorepractical
innature?Thesequestionsserveasguidingquestionsforageneralbasisofstudy.Thetime
periodbetween1955to1965willreceivesomespecialattention,butanentirebriefhistoryof
summercampsoftheEvangelicalLutheranSynodispresented,sothisstudywillgofarbackas
the1940s,aswellasuptothepresentday.Besidesthesocialandtheologicalfoundationof
thesecamps,thisstudyalsoseekstoexaminethecultureoftheLutheransummercamp
experience.Whatarethesharedexperiencesatthesecampswhichcanhelppaintapictureof
summercampsintheEvangelicalLutheranSynod?
Presently,theonlyresearchthatexistsonthetopiciseitherofasecularnature,ortoo
narrowlyfocusedonaspecificcamptoansweranyquestionsrelatingtothecultureofthe
Lutheransummercamp.Threebooksdeservementionhowever,becauseoftheir
crossdepartmentalresearchintosummercampinginAmerica.Thefirstis
ChildrensNature:

Thatis,campseitherowningtheirownlandorcampscomprisedofofficialassociationsororganizations,
ratherthansimplychurchoutings.BasedonasurveyofELS,WELS,andNLOMAcampwebsites.

TheRiseoftheAmericanSummerCamp
,byLeslieParks,whichresearchesthebusinessof
summercampsaswellastheircontributiontotheupbringingofchildren.Secondisthedoctoral
dissertationofClarencePetersin1951:
DevelopmentsoftheYouthProgramsoftheLutheran
ChurchesinAmerica
.3Thisworkistheoneofthemostcomprehensiveworksexaminingthe
theologyofyouthprogramsinthelate1800sandearly1900s.Howeverthismassiveworkof
over550pagesspendsamereonepageontheNorwegianSynodsyouthprograms.Afewmore
pagesaredevotedtoLutheransummercampsingeneral,butcampingisnotthefocusofhis
work.Hisdissertationwasalsofinishedayearbeforethefirstsummercampwasevenbegunin
theNorwegianSynod.PetersdoeslistthenumberofLutheransummercampsacrossallsynods
andchurchesasbeinginthehundredsalreadyin1950.Nearlyallofthesewerecampsthathad
nospecificpropertyoftheirown,andmanydontexisttoday.Thisreinforcestheideathat
campssincethe1960sandthusmanyofthecampsintheELSareofadifferentnature.
Thethirdbookworthmentioningis
AManufacturedWilderness:SummerCampsandthe
ShapingofAmericanYouth
,18901960byAbigailA.VanSlyck.VanSlyckusesthefieldsof
architecture,psychology,sociology,andeducationtotracethehistoryofcamplifeandthe
impactofwhatsheaptlytermed,manufacturedwildernessesonAmericanyouth.
VanSlyckhassuggestedthatcampsofthelate19thandearly20thcenturieswere
institutionsaimedatprovidingrespitefromwhatwereregardedasthemoralandphysical
degradationsofurbanlife,evilstowhichwomenandchildrenwereunderstoodtobeparticularly
prone.4Shehasgonesofarastoclaimthatastheteachers,directors,andScoutleaders

ClarencePeters.
DevelopmentsoftheYouthProgramsoftheLutheranChurchesinAmerica.(
PhD.diss.,
ConcordiaSeminary,St.Louis,1951).
4

AbigailA.vanSlyck.
AManufacturedWilderness:SummerCampsandtheShapingofAmericanYouth,
18901960.
(Minneapolis,MN:UniversityofMinnesotaPress,2006),ixx.
3

arrangedtheenvironmentofsummercampstomeettheneedsofthechildren,theyhelpedinvent
asociallyconstructednotionofmodernchildhood,whichwasinpartarejectionof
modernism.Fromtheperspectiveoftheseadults,shewrote,themodernworlddeprived
youngstersofessentialchildhoodexperiences,andcampswereonemeanstocompensatefor
thoselosses.5Thisraisesthequestionofwhetherornotreligiouscampsattempttocorrector
compensateforwhatsomeleadersmayseeasfailingsofthemodernchurchorofmodern
cultureatlarge.Doreligiouscampstrytocreateoasesofreligiousorliturgicalpractice
perfection,atleastinthemindsofleaders?Anascertainablemethodofdeterminingthisvery
thingwillsimplybecomparingthereligiousaspectsofvariouscampstothecommonreligious
practiceintheSynod.Thisisdoneinchapterfour.
Bothofthebookspreviouslymentionedfitwithintheemergingfieldofthehistoryof
childhood.Whileeachisuseful,bothbookshavetheirshortcomings,inthattheytendto
overstressthecreationofraceandgenderidentificationasadominantmotivatorinearlysummer
camps.Additionally,neitheronespendsmuchtimeonthereligiousexperience,andwherethey
do,religionisoftennegativelyconnectedtoracialandgenderidentification.6Eventhesetwo
studiesendtheirresearchonsummercampsatabout1960,duetothealreadynoteddeclinein
Americansummercamping.7SincethebulkofthisessayfocusesontheLutheranCamp
experienceafter1951,whenthefirstyouthorganizationoftheELSwasfounded,thetwo

vanSlyck,xxi.

Forinstance,ParisspendsaconsiderablelengthindiscussingthemuscularChristianitymovementand
thewaysitattemptedtoreinforcemasculineidentitieswhilesuppressingfemininity.
7

Parischaracterizes:Ifyourchildhoodexperienceofcampincludeshavingsung,LittleRabbitFooFoo
orAlShermans1963classicHelloMuddah,HelloFadduh,thenyouareyoungerthanthegenerationsshe
chroniclesinherbook.Stillyouwillundoubtedlyrecognizemanycampritualsthatarewelloveracenturyold,
suchastheuseofthetermcounselor,theimportanceofcampsongs,andthevarietyofactivities.Forovera
century,childrenhaveexperiencedthepainofhomesickness,learnedtoswim,andsataroundcampfiresatnight,
14.
6

10

aforementionedstudieswillprovidesomecontextualnotesoncertainuniversalcampritualsand
themes.
ThehistoricaldevelopmentofsummercampsintheEvangelicalLutheranSynodisa
timelyandinterestingsubject,notonlyfromanhistoricalperspective,butalsoparticularlyfrom
areligiousandcommunicativeperspective.2015marksthe50thanniversaryofCampLorRay,
thefirstcamppropertyownedbymembersoftheSynod.Reflectingonthelast50yearsisa
positivewaytolearnusefulapproachesinconductingauniquelyLutheransummercamp,and
alsotoanticipatewhatchallengesacampmayfaceinthefuture.Examiningtheshared
experiencesofcampsservestoshowwhatprogramsandactivitieshaveworkedinteachingand
instillingtheChristianfaithinthecampers.Finallycomparingreligiouspracticesallowsusto
seewhetherleadersviewcampsasvenueswheretheymaybeallowedtoexperimentwitha
varietyofliturgicalpractices,withoutthesupposedhindrancesofthetraditionalservicestructure
seeninmostchurches.
BesidesbeingtheonlycomprehensivelookattheLutheransummercampexperience,
thisessayisuniqueandimportantinafewotherways.First,thisessayaimstoexaminewhat
socialfunctionsandreligiousfunctionsLutherancampsserve.Second,itexamineswhycertain
religiouspracticesmayexistatcampsandwhateffectthedifferencesinpracticehasoncampers.
Finally,thisessayofferspracticalapplicationandguidancefromcurrentcampdirectors.
Themethodthisessayemploysisacombinationofethnographyandthecarefulcombing
throughofhistoricaldocuments.Brochures,Biblestudyoutlines,devotiontopics,summer
themes,songbooksandhymnbooks,listsofactivities,andevenpictures,oldslidereelsand

11

videoshavebeenexamined.Nearly40interviewswereconductedwithindividualsconnectedin
somewaytocamps:directors,Bibleleaders,boardmembers,andformercampers.
ThecampsincludedinthisstudyareCampIndianheadMN,CampIndianheadWI,
CampLorRay,CampFourStar,CampLutherhaven,theELSCircuitCampinFlorida,andthe
nowsoldandrenamedSchwanRetreatCenter.ThroughouttheSynodshistory,othercamps
havebeenheldinIowaandTexasthesewillreceivepassingmention.Asapointofcontext,an
appendixisincludedwhichisthefirstlistingofeveryLutheranYouthAssociationconvention
byyearandtheme,aswellasincompletelistofeverysummercampthemeofeachcamp,based
onavailableinformation.
Thisthesisisarrangedaccordinglyinthefollowingfourchapters:Chaptertwosurveys
theh
istoricalandtheologicalcontextinwhichthemajorityofELSsummercampsdeveloped.
Chapterthree
containsabriefhistoryofthesummercampsintheSynod,withparticularfocus
onCampLorRay.Chapterfourexaminesthereligiousactivitiesatvariouscamps.
Finally,
chapterfiveconcludeswithpracticalapplicationsforsummercamps,specificallyrelatingto
theologicalmatters,butalsomoregenerallyintheoverallsuccessfuloperationofaLutheran
summercamp,andfinallyc
ommentsonthedistinctnatureof
LutheranSummerCamps.

12

2.HistoricalandTheologicalContext

TheDevelopmentofChristianCampsinAmerica
ThehistoryofELScampsissituatedwithinalargercontextofAmericansummercamps
generally,andreligioussummercampsspecifically.AboutthesametimethatNorwegian
immigrantsweresettlinginthemidwest,buildingchurches,andlivingtruepioneerlives,
semirusticresortswerespringingupintheeastformiddleandupperclassAmericanswho
wantedtoescapehecticurbanlife.Towardsthemiddleofthe19thcentury,doctors,religious
leaders,andthepopularpressbeganincreasinglytopromotevacationing,especiallyasatonic
forurbanmencaughtupintherisingindustrialeconomy.8Infactthetermvacationingitself
didnotcomeintobroadusageuntilthe1850s.Vacationing(whichusuallymeantescapingtoa
rusticretreatormoderatelyrusticlodge)waslargelylimitedtomiddleandupperclass
Americans,sincefarmdwellingAmericanscouldnotaffordtoleavethefarmforanextended
periodoftime,andurbanworkingclassAmericanslivedpaychecktopaycheck.9 Thissetthe
backgroundofsummercampsforyouth.Earlysummercampsexistedtogivetheboysandgirls
entrustedtotheircareasummertimeoasisfreefromcare,withtheexceptionofcertainmoral
instructions,hygiene,andpracticalskills.
Thefirstchurchsponsoredsummercampwasactuallyonlythesecondboyscampin
America,accordingtoatleastoneaccount.10 Itwasbegunin1880bytheReverendGeorgeW.

LeslieParis.
ChildrensNature:TheRiseoftheAmericanSummerCamp.
(NewYork,NY:NewYork
UniversityPress,2008),22.
9

Ibid.,22.
10

Ibid.,32.NancyFergusonandJenniferBurchin
CampingMagazine
reportedthatthefirstorganizedcamp
beganin1861,withotherorganizedcampsspringingupsoonthereafter.Whiletheydontclaimitisthefirstof
itskind,theylistCampChocoruainNewHampshire,foundedin1881,asthebeginningoftheirhistoryofreligious
camping.2011November/DecemberCampingMagazine.
8

13

HinckleyofWestHartford,Connecticut.Hinckleywasanondenominationalministerwhohad
surrenderedtoGodafteraperiodinlifewherehehadrebelledagainstreligionforbeing
unabletoattendYaleCollegeandYaleTheologicalSeminary.11 Hewasaselfproclaimed
apostleoffreshair,startinghiscampforChristianboyswiththereasoningthattheracewas
dyingdyingofitsownstupidity,dyingofindoorness.12Inabookheselfpublishedonthe
subjectoverthirtyyearslater,helamentedthemodernideaofcampinginagloriouslodge
withallthemodernconveniencesormoreofhome.Hecalledthatsortofcampingafarce,
andclaimedthatitdidntevendeservethetitleofcamping.Healsolamentedthepoor
trainingandequippingofboysofhistime,andinadequateboyscamps.Manyboyscamps,
hewrote,areconductedonthesameprinciple[suchascampinginagloriouslodge].Itseems
tobeassumedthataboydoesnotknowhowtodoanyoneofahundredthingsthatwouldprove
apositivebenefitandthatbecausehedoesnotknowheshouldneverlearn.Threeyearsago,I
campedoutwithfourorfiveboysitwastherealthing.13
HinckleywasdeeplyimbuedwiththesocalledmuscularChristianitymovementwhich
soughttoincreasepiety,morals,andphysicalhealthformenthroughthecombinationofcertain
Christianteachingswithphysicalactivities.Themovementtookitsfoundingprinciplesbasedon
PaulsvarioussportandphysicalmetaphorsfortheChristianlife.TheYMCA(YoungMens
ChristianAssociation)wasformeddirectlyfromthismovement.Anotherorganizationwasthe
BoyScoutsofAmerica,whichwillbetouchedonlaterinthischapter.

AmericanCampAssociation,November/December2011,accessedMarch2015,
http://www.acacamps.org/campmag/1111/religiouscamps.
11

Ibid.
12

GeorgeW.Hinckley.
RoughingitwithBoys:ActualExperienceofBoysatSummerandWinterCampsin
theMaineWoods
.(NewYork,NY:AssociationPress,1913),2.
13

Ibid.,3.

14

Parishasfoundthatatthebeginningofthe1900s,manycampbrochurespromised
healthandstrengthandtrueChristianmanliness,asoutcomesofthecampexperience.14
MuscularChristianityandmanycampsinthelate1800shadanovertlyantimodernistictone,
evenwhilethecountrywastransitioning.However,withWorldWarIcameanalmostuniversal
acceptancethatmodernismwasheretostay.15Thus,ParishasnotedthatmuscularChristianity
cametoseemoldfashionedand,inthewakeoftheFirstWorldWar,evendistastefully
militaristic.16 ForcedtoreinventthemselvesaftertheWar,Christiancampsadoptedmore
ecumenicalprogramsthatstressedmoralsoverreligiosity.17
Campssawrapidgrowthandchangeintheinterwarperiod.Manysecularcampsused
theoutdoorsasspringboardsforoutdoorsactivities,whileprotestantreligiouscampsusedthe
outdoorsasameansinandofitself.Theoutdoorsaddedaspecialdimensiontoreligious
contemplation,withmostservicesbeingconductedinopenairchapelsinclearingsinthe
woods.Eventhecampfirewasareligiousevent.18Infact,Parishasquotedonecamperata
YWCAcampinFloridain1925,andcommentedthatherletterwasexactlythetypeofresponse
tocampthatthestaffmostwishedtoelicit.Thecamperwrote,Iamolderthisyearandcan
appreciatethewondersofGodsworldmore...inBibleclassIhavemetanewJesus,anoutdoor
Saviourwholovednatureasmuchasweourselvesandwhoknewhowtounderstandittoa
greaterextent.19Characteristicofreformedtheology,attendeesattheseChristiancampscame

14

Paris,71.

TheNorwegianSynodsessayin1931bytheRev.Geo.O.LillegardwasonModernism,citingexamples
ofwheremodernismhadpollutedanddestroyedgoodtheology.
16

Paris,72.
17

Ibid.
18

Ibid.,118.
19

Essayinscrapbook,PinellasCounty,GirlReserveCamp1925atPortRichley,Florida,box219,YWCA,
inParis,132.
15

15

toviewworshippinginnatureascommuningwithGod.ApartfromtheWord,theexperienceof
timealonewithGodinnaturewasitselfviewedassacramental.
DuringthesecondWorldWar,forobviousreasonsfewercampswerefounded,andsome
wereevenconvertedintomilitarycamps.TheAmericanCampAssociationreportsthatthe
periodafterthesecondWorldWarandbefore1970sawthehighestpercentageofAmerican
summercampsbeingfounded.20 ThiscouldverysimplyexplainwhythemajorityofLutheran
summercampswerefoundedwithinthistimeperiod.
VanSlyckhasnotedthat
byabout1960,however,traditionalcampsseemedtobeonthe
decline,outpacedbycampsteachingspecialskillsandeventuallyoutnumberedbydaycamps
(whichoftenfunctionedassummertimedaycarecentersforschoolagechildren).21
Lutheran
summercampsseemtofitwithinthemodeloftraditionalsummercamps,sincetheirspecial
skilloremphasiswastheinstructionofyouthinGodsWord,asimilaremphasisformanyof
theearlycamps.Itappearsthenfromthisperspective,thatLutherancampsweremerelylatein
developing.

Scouting&Pioneers.
OneofthemoststressedareasofdiscordduringthebreakupoftheSynodicalConference
(TheELSwithdrewfellowshipfromtheLutheranChurchMissouriSynod(LCMS)in1955,the
WELSin1961,forcingthebreakupoftheconferencein1967)wastheissueofBoyScoutsand
GirlScoutsandthefalseteachingsallowedandtaughtinboth,andthustheconcernsover
participationineachorganization.TheBoyScoutsofAmericawasfoundedonFebruary8,

20

21

AmericanCampAssociation.
Mapping
PowerPoint.,n.d.,slide10.
vanSlyck
,
xxvii.

16

1910,theGirlScoutsjusttwoyearslater.22 Itwouldbealogicalassumptionthatanalternative
totheseprogramswouldcompriseasignificantamountofearlydiscussionintheELS,and
especiallyontheELSyouthboard.
Surprisingly,verylittlehasbeenwrittenbytheELSontheissueofscouting.23Even
fromWELSsourceshowever,verylittlewaswrittenearlyon.Oneoftheseearliestwritingsby
theWELS,whichpointedouttheerrorsintheScoutsandtheproblemsoffellowshipwith
joiningascoutorganization,wastitledOurPosition
Against
Scouting(quotedbyJohn
HuebnerinanessaycalledAFreshLookatScouting,emphasisoriginalinHuebner)published
in1954.24 Huebnersuggestedthatthiswasreallyanunfortunateattitudetohave,sinceWELS
wasnot,afterall,against
Scouting
,butagainsttheunavoidablefalseteachingsandpractices
withintheorganization.OnlyonerelevantessayexistedinWELSbefore1954,onepresentedat
theMichigandistrictoftheWisconsinSynodin1951byProf.C.Lawrenz.25 Huebnerhas
suggestedalsothatthereasonthereappearstobelittlecommentaryonthescoutsfromearlyon
iswhathecallstheargumentfromsilence,thatis,virtuallyeveryoneinWELSwasin
agreementonScouting,andthatsinceeveryonewasinagreement,nopapersoressaysneededto
bewritten.26 Indeed,wheretheargumentfromsilenceholdstrueforWELS,itisevenmoretrue
fortheELS.ThefirstmentionofscoutingintheannualSynodReportoftheformerNorwegian

22

BoyScoutHandbook,10thEdition,1990inJohnHuebner,AFreshLookatScouting,(paperpresented
attheEvergladesConference,WELSSouthAtlanticDistrict,Sept.1819,1990),6,
http://www.wlsessays.net/files/HuebnerScouting.pdf.
23

PaulR.ZagerpreparedanessayfortheELSDoctrineCommitteein2001entitledTheChristianand
Scouting:HowCompatible?InithementionedthatwrittenevaluationsbyearlierpastorsfromtheELSand
WELScanstillbefoundwithalittlesearching.
24

JohnHuebner,AFreshLookatScouting,(paperpresentedattheEvergladesConference,WELSSouth
AtlanticDistrict,Sept.1819,1990),2,http://www.wlsessays.net/files/HuebnerScouting.pdf.
25

CarlLawrenz.
TheHistoryoftheBoyScoutIssue
.(EssaygivenataspecialconventionoftheMichigan
DistrictoftheJointSynodofWisconsinandOtherStatesatSt.PaulsLutheranChurch,Saginaw,Michigan,June
2829,1951),http://www.wlsessays.net/files/LawrenzScout.pdf.
26

Ibid.,8.

17

Synodwasin1961andwasactuallyasuggestiontoexaminethepioneerprograminWELSto
seeifitwouldbeanacceptablealternativefortheSynod.In1962
theSynoddidofficially
recommendedtheLutheranPioneerprogramasapositiveapproachtotheproblemof
scouting.27
However,wheretheELSandWELSweresilent,theLCMSwasnot.Atthenational
conventionoftheLCMSin1944(whichalsowasheldinMichigan),theSynodadoptedan
officialstanceonScouts:Itisamatterforthelocalcongregationstodecide.28 Theacceptance
ofscoutsinoneofWisconsinssistersynodsnaturallycausedriftsinWELS,andevencourt
cases.29WELSfoundasolutionbystartingtheirownScoutslikeorganization,Lutheran
Pioneers.
TheideaforaLutheranPioneerassociationactuallystemsfromoneofthemostunlikely
sources:apamphletpublishedbyalaymanintheformerLutheranChurchinAmerica(LCA).
Oneoftheconcludingstatementsinthepamphletwasthis:Wehavenootherchoicebuttocut
offthisgrowingmenace(i.e.Scouting)andtodevelopourown
Christ
centeredyouthprogram,
onethatisestablishedbyLutherans,ledbyLutherans,andthereforecontainsonlytrueLutheran
theology.SurelyourLutheranchurchhastheresourcesforestablishingsuchaprogram
(emphasisoriginal).30BruceThompson,aWELSlayman,andhispastor,ReubenMarti,tookup
thechallengeandcreatedtheLutheranPioneersinJuneof1951.Itwasfoundedonthe
followingpillars:1)thatitcontaintrueLutherantheology2)givetheboysthegreatoutdoors3)

ReportoftheYouthBoard,ActionoftheSynod,
1962SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:Evangelical
LutheranSynod,1962),70.
28

Huebner,8.
29

Ibid.,89.
30

ScottCarmichael,TheEarlyHistoryoftheLutheranPioneerProgram,(SeniorHistoryPaperfor
WisconsinLutheranSeminary,Mequon,WI,1986),2.
27

18

buildleadership4)buildcitizenship5)teachsafetyand6)givetheboyssomething
constructivetodo.31Onlyafewmonthslater,andwhileattendingapastoralconferenceto
explaintheLutheranPioneerprogramtoothercongregationsintheirconference,Rev.Marti
sufferedastrokeandtheLordcalledhimhomeafewhourslater.ThePioneerprogramwould
spreadnonetheless,growingupto500trainsinWELScongregations.32
SincethePioneerprogramwasrecommendedforuseintheELSin1962,various
congregationshavemadeuseofit.Howevernothinginwritingcouldbefoundaboutspecific
numbersofcongregationswithPioneertrains.Onethingiscertain:Pioneertrains,wherethey
wereused,providedapositiveapproachtoscouting,incorporatingBiblicalteachingswith
physicalprograms.
ItispossiblethattheacceptanceofScoutsintheMissouriSynodgavetheirsummer
campsareasontostart,thewaythattherejectionofScoutsintheELSandWELScaused
summercampstospringupinthesetwosynods.ScoutsintheMissouriSynodwouldneeda
placetoholdretreats.ChildrenintheELSandWELS,sincetheycouldnotbecomescouts,
wouldalsoneedaplacetocampandholdsimilarretreats.Nodoubtthereweremanyother
factorsbesidesPioneersthatwentintothefoundingofeachcamp.Oneofthesefactorswasa
willingnesstorevitalizetheYoungPeoplesAssociationoftheSynod(laterLutheranYouth
Association)andtocreateacommitteewhichwouldhandlealltheyouthworkfortheSynod.

EarlySynodicalYouthWork.

31

32

Ibid.,3.
Ibid.,4.

19

AfterWorldWarIIended,theSynodturneditsattentiontoworkithadstartedbeforethe
war,includingbeginningaSeminaryprogramandorganizingyouthwork.In1947aresolution
waspassedtobeginayouthcommitteefortheSynod.The1947GeneralPastoralConference
electedacommitteetobringrecommendationstotheSynodregardingyoungpeopleswork.
Soin1948thefollowingrecommendationswerepresentedattheannualSynodConvention:
1)thattheSynodelectastandingboardforyoungpeople'swork2)thatthisboard
shallbemadeupofonepastorandonelaymanfromeachcircuitofsynodandthe
presidentofBethanyLutheranCollege...4)thatthisboardnowbeelectedtolayplansfor
permanentjointworkamongtheyoungpeoplessocietiesinthecongregationsofthe
synodandpresentthoseplanstothenextconventionofthesynod5)thatmeanwhilethis
boardshallimmediatelymakeplansforsuchworkduringthisyearandcarrythemoutin
suchamannerastheboarddeemsadvisable6)thatthisconventiondiscuss:a)the
possibilityofhavingaconventionandchoralunionthissummerb)topicdiscussion
materialc)theformationofregionalgroups.33

However,noactionwastakenatthisconventionotherthanthecreationofthis
committee.The1949reportgaveanexplanation:
Thecommitteebelievesthatallrecommendationsandproposalsforactioninthis
conventionareprematureuntiltheSynoditselfhasformallydecidedwhatpartofthe
Synodasasynodwishestotakeinyoungpeople'swork(E.g.,shalltheSynodinterest
itselfinasynodwideeducationalprogramforyoungpeople,synodwideprojectsfor
youngpeople,synodwidegatheringsorconventionsoftheyoungpeople?Etc.)34

Accordingly,atthesameconvention,threedirectivesweregiventothisnewlyformed
committeea)arrangeaSynodWideyoungpeoplesconvention,b)takestepstorevivethe
ChoralUnion,andc)makesuggestionsforeducationalworkintheyoungpeoplessocieties.35
From194950theyouthcommitteeconsistedofRev.ClarenceHanson,Rev.IverJohnson,and

OverturetoSynodRegardingYoungPeoplesWork,
1948SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:Norwegian
Synod,1948),65
34

ReportoftheYoungPeoplesWorkCommittee,
1949SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:NorwegianSynod,
1949),74.
35

Ibid.,76
33

20

Prof.J.A.O.Preus,36 andfrom19501951thecommitteewasmadeofRev.AlfMerseth,Rev.
NeilHilton,Prof.AlfredFremder,anddelegatesElmerOlson,J.FrankHarmon,andEinar
Ingebretson.37
In1950,inadditiontotheprojectssetforthayearearlier,thecommitteecametothe
SynodConventionwiththreemainobjectives:1.TheencouragementofChristianknowledge
andfellowshipamongtheyoungpeopleoftheNorwegianSynod.2.TherevivaloftheChoral
Union.3.ThefurtheranceofinterestinBethanyLutheranCollege. 38Thecommittee
immediatelysettoworkonaccomplishingthetaskstheSynoddelegatedtoitandbegantoplana
Synodwideyoungpeoplesconventiontobeheldin1951fromaSaturdayatnoonuntilthe
followingSundayevening.Inaddition,thecommitteeproposedthreemoregoals:a)Thatan
annualsummercampforourSynodsyoungpeoplebeestablished,b)Thattothiscampallour
Synodsyoungpeoplewhohavereachedtheeighthgradebeinvited,c)Thattheinitialsummer
campbeconductedin1951.39

YoungPeoplesAssociation.
WhilethefirstSynodsummercampwouldnotbeheldthatsummer,thefirstYoung
PeoplesAssociation(YPA)conventionwasheldin1951attheNorselandNorwegianGrove
Parishfrom
July2122withabout80inattendance.Thetopicwas
TheFirstTableoftheLaw
presentedbyD.L.PfeifferofCottonwood,Minn.Inactuality,thisconventionwasa

ConventionCommittees
1950SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:NorwegianSynod,1950)7.

ConventionCommittees
1951SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:NorwegianSynod,1951),5.
38

ReportoftheYoungPeoplesWorkCommittee
1950SynodReport,
(Mankato,MN:NorwegianSynod,
1950),5152.
39

Ibid.
36
37

21

reorganizationmeeting,butthefirst
national
conventionofYPA.40TheYoungPeoples
AssociationwasofficiallyfoundedonOctober17,1936astheYoungPeoplesOrganization
(YPO)oftheNorwegianSynod,thoughaninformalassociationhadexistedsinceatleast1933.41
YPOwasoriginallyanorganizationofthesocietiesintheAlbertLeaCircuitoftheSynod,with
annualtwodayconventionsinMankatoclosingwithaChoralUnionconcert.42 Apparently
sometimeduringtheSecondWorldWar,bothYPOandtheChoralUnionhadceasedtomeet,
likelyduetoashortageofmanpower.43 YPOwastheumbrellaorganizationofyouth
organizationswithineachchurchoftheNorwegianSynod,calledYoungPeoplesSocieties
(YPS),whichhadexistedintheformerNorwegianSynodsince1906.44
Itshouldbenotedthatintheearlytomidtwentiethcentury,thetermYoungPeoples
Societywasmoreorlessauniversaltermreferringtowhatwouldroughlybeequivalenttoa
youthgrouptoday.TheindividualyouthprogramsoftheWisconsinSynodandMissouri
SynodcongregationswerealsocalledYoungPeoplesSocieties.

40

TheEvangelicalLutheranSynodsarchiveshasasinglefoldertitledFirstYPAConventioninBoardfor
EducationandYouthLutheranYouthAssociation19361970.Coll.s.720.EvangelicalLutheranSynod,Bethany
LutheranTheologicalSeminary.
The1950SynodReportsuggeststhatthiswasthefirstconvention,butthe1951Reportmentionsitisa
reorganizationmeeting,whichseemstoimplymeetingsinthepast.
41

AbudgetwassetasidefortheYoungPeoplesAssociationin1933,andin1934,theSynodReportstated
thefollowing:
TheSaturdayafternoonsessionwasgivenovertotheYoungPeoplesAssociationoftheAlbertLea
Circuit,thepresidentofwhichisWilfordHuso,Northwood,Iowa.StudentMartinGalstadofConcordiaSeminary,
St.Louis,MOdeliveredanexcellentlectureontheworkoftheyoungpeopleofthecongregations,whichcreated
interestingdiscussion.Addedtothis,severalmusicalnumbersandanexcellentaddressbyRev.J.A.Moldstadof
ChicagoabouttheworkofthefirstleadersoftheSynod,makingaspecialpointofthefirstserviceandsermon
undertheJuveoaksonWestKoshkononginSeptember,90yearsago,madethisindeedaveryfestivesession.
1934SynodReport
(Mankato,MN:NorwegianSynod,1934)
,63.
42

TheChoralUnionoftheSynodhasbeeninoperationsincethereorganizationoftheSynodin1918.The
ChoralUnion,madeupofYPO(YPA)membersfromacrosstheSynod,wouldjointogetherinasacredconcert
eachyearforSynodConvention.TheeventisknowntodayasHonorChoir.
43

ClarencePeters,322323.
44

LutheranYouthAssociation
(Mankato,MN:ELSOttesonMuseum,n.d.),museumexhibitlabel.

22

In1951,theYPOconstitutionwasreworkedandtheorganizationrenamedYoung
PeoplesAssociation.AswithYPO,thepurposeofYPAwastheglorificationoftheGodofall
grace,andthepromotionofthespirituallifeofChristianyoungpeople.45 Verydifferentfrom
anyyouthprogramtoday,YPAfunctionedasaminisynod,withanelectedpresident,
vicepresident,treasurer,andsecretarywithannualbusiness.Similarly,theYPAconvention
functionedlikeaminisynodconvention,withbusinessmeetings,boardmeetingswithyouth
appointedtoindividualboards,anannualessay,andtheselectionofannualserviceprojects.All
confirmedmembersoftheAssociationwereeligibletovoteandholdoffice.46Timeforfunand
fellowshipwasobviouslyincluded,buttheemphasisoftheconvention,andoftheassociation
itselfwasservice.47 Theformatoftheseconventionsremainedsimilarallthewayuntilthe
1990s.

45

ConstitutionoftheYoungPeoplesOrganizationoftheNorwegianSynodasadoptedatBethanyLutheran
College,Mankato,Minn.,onOctober17,1936,andrevisedOctober15,1938,andOctober19,1940,and1952,
BoardforEducationandYouthLutheranYouthAssociation19361970.Coll.s.720.EvangelicalLutheranSynod,
BethanyLutheranTheologicalSeminary.
46

UnliketheMissouriSynodsWaltherLeague,whichseemedtobeasocietywithinasociety,the
NorwegianSynodregardedallYoungPeoplesSocietieswithinSynodcongregations,orcongregationsservedby
Synodpastorsasmembersoftheassociation.Forcongregationswhichhadnoformalsociety,individualmembers
uponrecommendationoftheirpastorwereregardedasmembersoftheassociation(
ConstitutionoftheYPA,
Article
IIIMembership).
Everysocietywasentitledtofourvotesatconventioneverypastor,professor,andChristianDaySchool
teacherservingintheSynodwasentitledtoonevoteeachandeveryconfirmedmemberinaSynodcongregation
waseligibletoofficeandspeakatconvention(
ConstitutionoftheYPA,
ArticleV.Conventions,par.24).
47

The1951YoungPeoplesWorkCommitteereportedthattheyoungpeopleofYPAofferedtoassistinany
waypossiblewiththeCentennialCelebrationoftheSynodin1953.WiththeCentennialCelebrationofthe
reorganizedSynodcominguptwoyearsfromthewritingofthisessay,itcouldbeaworthwhileprojectforyouthin
theELStodaytobeinvolvedwithhelpingwiththe2018anniversarycelebration.
TheConstitutionofYPAstatedthatitshallservethelocalsocietiesbyfurtheringthestudyand
appreciationoftheBible,adeeperunderstandingofhistory,principles,andactivitiesoftheorthodoxLutheran
Church,andbyofferingpracticallessonsinChristianservice,andassistinginthesocialphaseofyoungpeoples
work.Ibid.

23

AsimilarsynodwideyouthorganizationhadexistedintheMissouriSynodcalledtheWalther
League,buttheWisconsinSynoddidnothaveanysuchorganization.48Thegeneralsentimentin
theWisconsinSynodthroughatleastthe1950sseemedtobethatthereweredangerous
theologicaldevelopmentsintheyouthorganizationsofsomeotherLutheranchurchbodies.An
essaydeliveredin1937intheWisconsinSynodbyE.E.Kowalkestatedthatyouthgroups
shouldnotexistinthechurchasspecialgroups.Theyposedathreattotheunityofthechurch
theysoeasilyinstillintheirmembersawrongconceptionoftheircallingbeforeGodas
childreninthefamilyandasmembersoftheChurchtheysoeasilydevelopafalseconception
ofwhatconstituteschurchworktheirattentionisdistractedfromtheonepurposeofthewhole
congregationtotheirownprivateobjectives.49
Anotherreasonwasaverypastoralconcern,thattheyouthinacongregationshouldbe
servedbytheirownpastors.In1951,Rev.JohnBrenner,presidentoftheWisconsinSynod,
wroteinalettertoDr.ClarencePeters,whoservedontheMissouriSynodsBoardforYoung
PeoplesWorkandwasworkingonhisdissertationaboutyouthprogramsinAmerica,The
WisconsinSynoddoesnothaveasynodicalprogramforyoungpeople,believingthateach
congregationshouldtakecareofitsown,allofthem,andnotonlythosethatgetinterestedinan
intercongregationalorganization.AlthoughtheMissouriSynodsWaltherLeaguewasnot
intendedtousurptheauthorityofthelocalcongregation,thisseemedtobeafearamongthe
WisconsinSynod.IntheELShowever,thisdidnotseemtobeaconcern.Infact,althoughthis

48

Asapointofinterest,thefirstLCMScampwasestablishedinArcadia,MIbya1923conferenceofthe
WaltherLeague.Theexperienceofcombiningaprogramofeducationandworshipwithwholesomeoutdoor
recreationprovedtobesopopularthattheWaltherLeagueextendedthecampingprogramtothedistricts.In1950,
43campswithareportedattendanceof2,208campersfrom36camps,wereheldintheLCMS.Peters,94&
140141.
49

E.E.Kowalke,
TheChurchanditsYouth
(Milwaukee,WI:NorthwesternPublishingHouse,1937),1417
inPeters,324.

24

nevercametobe,in1959itwassuggestedtomodeltheyouthworkafterthatoftheEvangelical
LutheranChurch(ELC),withafulltimepastorasdirectoratthetop,notsimplyasanadvisor.50
Attheinauguralsynodwidereorganizationconventionin1951,anexecutivecommittee
wasformedfortheYoungPeoplesAssociation,consistingofhighschool,college,andseminary
ageindividuals.ThefollowingofficerswereelectedtothisfirstExecutiveCommittee:Sven
Tjernagel,PresidentOwenSwenson,VicePresidentGudrunAnnexstad,Secretaryand
DorothyGullerud,Treasurer.TheSynodsYoungPeoplesBoardandtheExecutiveCommittee
oftheAssociationweretoworktogethertoplantheannualconventions.
In1954,theYoungPeoplesWorkCommitteebeganpublishinganewperiodicalforthe
YoungPeoplesAssociation,called
YPAQuarterly
undertheeditorshipofRobertMoldstad,a
youngSeminarystudentandpresidentofYPA.TheYPAhadelectedMoldstadtobethe
associationspresidentin1953.OtherofficersincludedLarryMonsonasvicepresident,
AmandaTjernagelassecretary,andayounghighschooler,JamesOlsenastreasurer.51
By1954,theSynods1949directivestotheTheYoungPeoplesWorkCommitteewere
capablyfulfilled.Muchwasaccomplishedbytheboardduringthisyearanditsreporttothe
SynodstatedthattheguidelineswerereviewedandapprovedbytheBoard,anddutieswere
establishedandreaffirmed.TheSynodhadonemoreimportantchangetomakeregardingthis
boardin1955:Whereas,thenameTheYoungPeoplesWorkCommitteeisanunwieldyone,
1)resolvedthattheSynodadopttherecommendationoftheCommitteeofCommitteesthatthe

MinutesfromtheELSYouthBoardmeeting,May26,1959,Minneapolis,MN,

BoardforEducationand
YouthMinutes/Correspond.1987_.Coll.s.700.EvangelicalLutheranSynod,BethanyLutheranTheological
Seminary.
51

ReportoftheYoungPeoplesWorkCommittee.In
1954SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:Norwegian
Synod,1954),69.
50

25

nameofTheYoungPeoplesWorkCommitteebechangedtothenameYouthBoard.52
Thatsameyear,theyoungpeopleinYPAreportedtheytoowereconsideringanewname:
LutheranYouthAssociation(LYA).LYAwassuggestedasthenewnamebecausethepresent
nameYoungPeoplesSocietydoesnteventellusthatitsaLutheransociety.53AttheYPA
conventionitwasdecidedtowaittorenametheassociationuntiltheSynoddecidedanewname
foritself.Thenewnamewouldbeusedanywayin1956,twoyearsbeforetheNorwegianSynod
wasrenamedtheEvangelicalLutheranSynod.
YPA/LYAisanorganizationthatappearedatfirsttohaveonlypassingsignificancefor
ELSsummercamps.54Furtherstudyhoweverrevealedjusthowmuchthisorganizationaffected
summercampsintheSynod.SinceYPAfunctionedlikeaminiSynod,manyofthedutiesofthe
youthintheassociationparalleledthatofboardmembersintheSynod.The
YPAQuarterly
revealedthatinadditiontopromotingtheYPAconvention,promotingtheattendanceatBethany
LutheranCollege,andwritingtheologicalessaysandmeditations,theyouthoftheassociation
activelypromotedthecampsintheELSandhelpedplanthem.An
LYAQuarterly
article
entitledCometoCamp:ARealVacation!hadthistosay:
Haveyoueverhadtheunhappyfeelingthatyouhavepracticallywastedyoursummers
vacation?Perhapsyoulookedforworkandcouldnotfindany.Norcouldyouaffordan
expensivevacation.Soyoustayedaroundhome,andloafedawaymostofyourtime.
Normuchtodo,andnothingveryexcitinghappenstomakeyoufeelthatyoursummer
vacationwasworthwhile.Oryoumaybeamongthemorefortunateyoungpeoplewho
haveajoborliveonafarmwherethereisalwayssomethingtodo.Yoursummer,then,
hasnotbeenwasted,butyoumayfeeldisappointedbecauseyoursummerwasalmostall
work,andnorecreation.Ineithercasehavehavetheanswertoyoursummersproblem.
AweekatoneofourLutheranyouthcampswillmakeyoursummeronetoremember. 55

GuidelinesfortheYouthBoard.In
1955SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:NorwegianSynod,1955),74.

YPAQuarterly
,VolII.,No.III,(1955),4.
54

TheonlyexperiencetheauthorhaswithLYAisattendingthe2014conventionasaSeminarystudent
breakoutsessionleader,andobservingLYAasmerelyanannualyouthconvention.
55

LYAQuarterly
,Vol.III,No.III,July1,(1956),1.
52
53

26

TheoldermembersofYPAtookownershipofthesummercampsintheSynodand
regardedthemastheirresponsibility.InthiswayYPAwasacompletesupportnetworkfor
youthworkintheSynodfromgradeschoolagetoSeminary.
Knowingthesehistorical,cultural,andreligiouscontextshelpstobetterunderstand
possiblemotivatorsbehindformingsummercamps.Withthesebackgroundssetforcampsin
theSynod,thenextchapterwilloutlinethespecifichistoriesofeachcamp,howandwheneach
onedeveloped,aswellasmajoreventsandundertakingsinparticularcamps.

27

3.BriefHistoryofSummerCampsintheELS

ASynodSummerCampisFounded.
ThefirstSynodyouthcampwasscheduledfor1951,but
didnottakeplaceaswas
planned.TheYoungPeoplesWorkCommitteeexplained:
Uponexaminingtheaspectsoftheworkinvolvedinthisproject,thecommitteefound
thatitwasamuchgreaterundertakingthantheyhadrealized,andconcludedthatitwould
beunwisetoundertakesuchaventurewithoutsufficientpreparation.Thereforethe
committeehasnotarrangedfortheestablishmentofayouthcampthissummer.The
committeehasnotdisregardedtheSynodsinstructions.Itisplanningtoconducta
summercampatBethanyLutheranCollege,Mankato,Minnesota,in1952.Asummer
camp,ifitistobemadeavailabletotherankandfileofouryouth,maynotbe
selfsustaining.Thecommittee,therefore,asksiftheSynod,sinceithasauthorizedthis
venture,wouldbewillingtogiveitanyfinancialsupport.56

TheSynoddidnotgrantthisfundingtothecommitteeasithadrequestedinsteadit
offeredfundstohelpwithpromotionswhennecessary.TheresolutionstatedthattheYoung
PeoplesSummerCampbeoperatedonitsownincome.57ThiswouldimpacthowtheSynod
dealtfinanciallywithsummercampsinthefuture.Tothisday,theSynodgrantsonlyasmall
stipendtoeachcamp.
Bythenextsummer,theYoungPeoplesBoardhadacquiredtheuseofLakeShetek
StateParkinTracy,Minnesota,fortheSynodssummercampsotheuseofBethanyColleges
propertywasnotneeded.Thiscamp,calledSummerBibleCampatLakeShetekStatePark
washeldfromJuly2027,1952underthedirectionofJohnA.Moldstadforallchildrenof
confirmationageorolder.Thecostwas$15forthewholeweek,or$3.00forcamperswho
wishedtostayshorterperiods.Aspiritualandphysicalprogramwasplanned,includinga

ReportoftheYoungPeoplesWorkCommittee,
1951SynodReport,
(Mankato,MN:NorwegianSynod,
1951),79.
57

Ibid.
56

28

specialclosingopenairserviceonSunday,July27,at11:00a.m.DeanNormanA.Madson
ofBethanyLutheranTheologicalSeminarydeliveredthesermon.58
Childrenwerewelcometobringacamera,musicalinstruments,aphonograph,anda
flashlight.ThisofficialSynodcampwouldbeoperatedbytheSynodonlyfortwoyears.That
samesummerhowever,thecongregationsintheEauClaire,WIcircuitestablishedtheirown
YoungPeoplesCampinDrummond,WIunderthedirectionoftheRev.RaymondBranstad.
ThiscampwasnamedIndianheadLutheranCamp,areferencetotheshapeofthe
WisconsinMinnesotaborder,whichwascommonlythoughttoresembletheheadofaNative
Americanwithheaddress.Thiscampwasopentoyoungpeopleage12andupwhowereof
goodChristiancharacter.59
WithtwocampsintheSynod,onerunexclusivelybylocalchurches,theSynodurgedthe
YoungPeoplesBoardtomakeeveryefforttocontinuesuchcamps.60
TheYoungPeoples
BoardoperatedthecampwhichbecamereferredtoasLutheranCamporLakeShetekCampin
1952and1953.Howeverthe1953campwasnotaswellattendedasthepreviousyearandthe
campdirectorsrecommendedtotheBoardthatotherarrangementsshouldbeconsideredforthe
comingseason.Afterstudyingthematter,theYoungPeoplesWorkBoardconcludedthatit
shouldnotcontinuetooperateacamponbehalfoftheSynod,butratheritrecommendedthatthe
variouscircuitsoftheSynodconsideroperatingtheirowncamps.
Asaresult,twocampswouldbeoperatedbylocalcongregations,LakeShetekCampand
thecampatDrummond,Wisconsin.
Thesetwoinitialcampseventuallybecameknownas

58

Ibid.

YPAQuarterly
,VolI.,No.II,(1954),5.
60

ReportoftheYoungPeoplesWorkCommittee,
1952SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:NorwegianSynod,
1952),4748
59

29

CampIndianhead,throughasometimesconfusingarrangement:Thecampnowknownas
CampIndianheadMNwaslocatedforatimeinWisconsin,andwhatisnowknownasCamp
IndianheadWIwasatoneperiodjoinedtogetherwiththecampinMinnesota.

CampIndianheadMN&CampIndianheadWI
Thesecondissueofthe
YPAQuarterly
,publishedinJulyof1954bySeminarianRobert
Moldstad,describedthecampswhichwouldbetakingplaceinthecomingweeks.TheLake
Shetekcamp,itstressed,wouldbethesamecampthattheSynodoperated,butnowrunbythe
circuitconsistingofcongregationsinSiouxFalls,Okabena,Luverne,RoseDell,Belview,Delhi,
RockDell,Cottonwood,andTracy.Rev.T.N.Teigenwouldbethecampdirector.Whileit
wouldbeoperatedbyalocalcircuit,theywelcomedyoungpeoplefromthewholeSynodand
evenfromthewholeSynodicalConference.TheinclusionoftheothersintheSynodical
conferencewasthebeginningoftheWisconsinSynodsownLakeShetekCamp,Minnesota
ValleyBibleCamp,stillheldatthesamelocation.
IndianheadLutheranCamphasoneofthefinestcampingsetupsavailable...withsuch
conveniencesashotandcoldwater...twolovelybeaches,boats,ballgrounds,etc.Itisthekind
ofequipmentwhichoneexpectstofindonlyatthemoreexpensiveresorts,boastedThe
YPA
Quarterly
.61 Theprogramlikewisewasimpressive,describedastheresultofyearsof
experienceinthistypeofyouthwork.Itisawellbalancedprogramofspiritualinstruction,
devotion,andrecreation.62

61

62

YPAQuarterly
,VolI.,No.II,(1954),5.
Ibid.

30

By1955,interesthadincreasedincampssomuchthatfourcampswouldbeconducted
byareacongregationsindifferentregions.LakeShetekCampwouldbesponsoredbythe
SouthwesternMinnesotaSouthDakotacircuit,withRev.ArthurSchultzservingasDeanofthe
Camp.IslandLakeCamp,inLengby,MN,wouldbesponsoredbytheNorthern
MinnesotaNorthDakotacircuit,underthedirectionofRev.JohnA.Moldstad.63 ClearLake
CampwastentativelyplannedbytheIowaSouthernMinnesotacircuitinNorthernIowato
includethecircuitYPSconventiononthelasttwodaysofthiscamp.Finally,Indianhead
LutheranCampinDrummond,WI,wouldbesponsoredbytheWisconsincircuit,withRev.R.
Branstadasdirector.64Thenextyearin1956afteronlyoneseason,theNorthernMinnesota
campwassuspended,butIndianheadLutheranCampwasextendedtotwoweeks:thefirstweek
forpreconfirmationageyouthandthesecondweekforteens.65Asmanyas175youthattended.
66

In1957,theoriginalLakeShetekCampwasalsonotheld,droppingthenumberofcampsin

theSynoddowntotwo.
CampIndianhead,whichnowdrewyouthfromasfarawayasChicagoandIowa,was
forcedtochangeitslocationin1959andwasheldatSt.CroixStateParkinMinnesota.This
movepromptedtheBoardtowriteofthedifficultiesinsecuringcampsitesandbegan
consideringthepurchaseofacampsite:TheBoardhasspentsometimeconsideringthe
possibilitiesofpurchasingacampsiteorencouragingsomegroupwithintheSynodtodoso.
MinutesfromtheYouthBoardshowthattheBoardhadactuallydiscussedanumberofoptions,
includingajointcampwithdoubleauthority.DirectorBranstadpreferredhowevertooperate

63

TheMinnesotaCampwouldreturntothislocationyearslater.TheislandcampisanLCMScampnamed
LutherIslandCamp.
64

YPAQuarterly
,Vol.II,No.II,(1955),10.
65

ReportoftheYouthBoard,
1956SynodReport,
(Mankato,MN:NorwegianSynod,1956),80.
66

ReportoftheYouthBoard,1960SynodReport,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1960),78

31

thecampfreelancestyle.Alsomentionedwasthemisconceptionthatmosthaveaboutthe
SynodYouthBoard,thatitisincontrolofthecamps.ItwasmadeclearthattheSynoddoesnot
havecontrolorresponsibilityinthesummercampsprogram,anditwasnotedthattheonecamp
theSynoddidoperatefoldedup.Sotheideawasfloatedofacorporationaffiliatedwiththe
SynodpurchasingacampandmakingitavailableforyouthworkintheSynodonarentalbasis.
67

Nothingwasdecided,andthusattheSynodConvention,theyresolvedthatforthemoment

owningtheirowncampsitewasnotfeasible.68HowevertheBoardwouldcontinuetostudysuch
anoptionyearbyyearforthenextsixyears.
AsubcommitteeoftheBoardwasauthorizedin1960tostudyandplantheSynods
summercampsprogramwithpowertoact.Thisdecisionbroughtthecamponceheldin
Drummond,WIundertheSynodsdirectcontrol.Inadditiontothecircuitcampsleaders
difficultiesinsecuringland,theBoardgaveonereasonwhythiswasdone:Regrettablythe
leadershipofPastorBranstadinthesummercampprogramisnolongeravailable.69Rev.
BranstadhoweverhadrecentlypurchasedaretreatonSullivanLakeinHillman,Minnesota
calledSquawPoint.HeinvitedtheBoardtorenthisfacilitiesforthesummercampsofthe
Synod.TheBoardacceptedhisofferandmovedIndianheadLutheranCamptohisresort.Thus,
beginningin1960,CampIndianheadwouldbetheofficialSynodcamp,andClearLakeCampin
Iowa,nowoperatedbytheSouthernCircuitNo.4oftheSynodduetoarestructuringofthe
circuits,wouldbeheldonlyonemoreyear.

MinutesoftheELSYouthBoard.May26,1959
,
BoardforEducationandYouthMinutes/Correspond.
1987_.Coll.s.700.EvangelicalLutheranSynod,BethanyLutheranTheologicalSeminary.
68

ReportoftheYouthBoard,
1959SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1959),70
69

ReportoftheYouthBoard,
1960SynodReport,
(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1960),
67

32

UponarecommendationfromtheYouthBoardtocreateapositionofaYouthDirector,
theSynodresolvedatthe1960conventionthattheYouthBoard,asquicklyaspossible,fillthe
positionofYouthDirectorto:a.EditandpublishtheLYAQuarterlyb.Serveasexecutive
secretarytotheYouthBoardc.BeadvisortotheLutheranYouthAssociationd.Directthe
SummerCampprogram.70Thispositionwasneverfilledbyafulltimecalledindividual.
Beginningin1961,onlyonecampservedalltheyouthoftheSynod,ages10andup,and
childrenwouldarrivebybusortrainfromallacrosstheSynod.
ThiscampwasgenerallyregardedasthecontinuationofCampIndianhead,WI.Inan
LYAQuarterly
articlefrom1963whichproclaimedFun?Ifyouhadmuchmoreofit,you
woulddieofexhaustion!thecampwascalledthe13thconsecutiveseasonofcamping.The
programremainedthesameinfactitwasexplainedtherewouldbeahowlofaprotestifwe
triedtochangeittoomuch.Ithasproveditselfovertheyears.71
Whilepastorsandcongregationssupportedthiscamp,itwasnotdonesowithout
criticism.SomecongregationspleadedwiththeBoardtolowerfeesandfindamorecentrally
locatedarea.TheBoardreported:
InconsideringthecampingneedsofourSynodsyouthprogram[weare]repeatedly
facedwiththequestion:ShalltheSynodownitsowncamp?Beforegoinganyfurther
withthedetailsofacquiring,financing,andoperatingacentrallylocatedcampsiteofits
own,theYouthBoardisherewithaskingtheSynodinconventiontoexpresswhetherit
wishestheYouthBoardtoproceedfurtherinthismattertowardsacquiringacampsiteof
ourown.WearenotaskingtheSynodtoworkoutthedetailsoffinancing,orthedetails
ofoperatingsuchacampifweweretohaveone,butsimplytoindicatewhetherthe
SynodwishestheYouthBoardtoconsiderfurtherthequestionofourowncampsite,and
totakestepstowardworkingoutarrangementswhichmightmakesuchacampsite
feasible.72

70

72

71

Ibid.
CampAction,
LYAQuarterly
,Vol10,No.1,(March1963),7.
ReportoftheYouthBoard,
1963SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1963),76.

33

TheSynodrespondedin1963byacknowledgingthefactthatnotallthecongregationsof
theSynodarelocatedwheretheycouldmakeuseofaSynodacamp,suchascongregationsin
MichiganorWashington,andsoitresolvedthattheSynoditselfshouldnottakeuponthetaskof
purchasingacampsite.Notcompletelydroppingthecampsiteidea,anotherresolutionwas
passed:Weshouldencouragecongregationstoestablishsummercamps,andthattheYouth
Boardcontinuetoworkwithinterestedcongregationsintheestablishingofsuchcampsor
camp.73
Finallyin1964anevaluationoftheSynodcampatSquawPointwasdonebytheYouth
Board.ItwasnotedthatthecampservedfiveareasoftheSynod:TheNorthernCircuit,Twin
CityandSouthernMinnesota,MadisonArea,Chicagoarea,andIowa.FortheNorthernCircuit,
theboardobservedthateventhoughthecampwasthemosteasilyaccessibletothiscircuit,
interestwasnotsogreatsincethechurchesservedmostlyruralfamiliesoflowereconomic
status.FromtheTwinCitiesandSouthernMinnesotaagoodnumberofyouthattend.Itwas
observedthatasmanyas50%ofyouthcomefromtheMadisonarea,butdistancewasa
problem.ForChicago,itwasreportedthatdistancewasaproblem,andnochildrenhadcome
fromtheChicagocongregationssincethepricewasraisedabove$15.00,butLombardalone
supplied30campersin1962.74Costwas$21.50fortheweekin1964.SincetheSynodcamp
wasalreadylowerthantheaveragechurchoperatedyouthcampofothersynodsorchurches
whichwerebetween$30$40,theYouthBoardcoulddolittletoreducecost.Regarding
distanceitwassuggestedamorecentrallocationfortheSynodcampwouldbetowardsEau
Claire,WI.Asafairsolution,theBoarddecideditwouldarrangefortwoSynodcampsfor
73

Ibid.,7778

Inadditiontohostingtheirowncircuitcampin1962with166campersandcounselors,sending30campers
toCampindianheadshowswhatanimpressiveinterestincampingtheLombardcongregationhad.
74

34

1964:CampIndianheadNorthatSquawPoint,andCampIndianheadSouthnearBlackRiver
Falls,WIataYMCACamp.Rev.N.MadsonwouldbethedirectorofCampIndianheadNorth,
assistedbyRev.CarlWosje,andRev.A.V.KusterwouldbethedirectorofCampIndianhead
South,assistedbyRev.W.Petersen.75
WhiletheBoardwasbusyregainingacampunderitscontrolandquestioningwhetheror
nottobuyland,Robert(Bob)Moldstad,thefirsteditorofthe
YPAQuarterly
andnowthepastor
atLombard,ILJames(Jim)Olsen,oncethehighschoolstudenttreasurerofYPA,nowpastorat
Holton,MIandTheodore(Ted)Kuster,pastorinChicago,ILtooktheencouragementofthe
YouthBoardtobeginacampseriously.

CampLorRay.
Campingisnotnew.Mansfirstnightsinthisworldwereundoubtedlyspentunderthe
newlycreatedstars.TheChildrenofIsraelspentfortyyearsintents.AndGodschurch
convenedregularlyinatent.Neverthelesscampingpossibilitiesarestillnew...inthefieldof
campingtherearenoprescribedlimitations.76ThesewordswerepennedbytheRev.Robert
MoldstadforapresentationtotheChicLaDistrictoftheLutheranPioneersatPalosHeights,IL
onMay28,1963.Thiswashisrationaleforcamping,onewhichhehaddevelopedthroughhis
yearsofexperienceinthewoods.
MoldstadhadspentmanysummerscampingintheNorthernMinnesotaBoundaryWaters
withhisfamilyandhadbeenaBibleleaderatCampIndianhead.77Hebroughthislovefor

ReportoftheYouthBoard,
1964SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1964),84.

RobertMoldstad,
IntroductiontoChurchCampingintheLocalCongregation.
(PresentationtotheChicLa
DistrictoftheLutheranPioneersatPalosHeights,ILonMay28,1963),

BoardforEducationandYouthLutheran
YouthAssociation19361970.Coll.s.720.EvangelicalLutheranSynod,BethanyLutheranTheologicalSeminary.
77

KathyBruss,interviewbytheauthor,June,2014.
75
76

35

campingtohiscongregation,St.TimothyLutheraninLombard,IllinoisandtotheentireLake
MichiganCircuit.Intheoutlineofhispresentation,hedescribed11differenttypesofcamping.
Hiscongregationwasinvolvedwithmanyofthem,includingcampingonthechurchlawn.
ThishasbeenusedeffectivelyinLombardasafathersondaughtercampout,anyage,held
onceeachsummer,withmothersinvitedtobreakfastthenextmorning.Fatherspreparethe
breakfast.Asecondtypewascircuitcamping,whichhehadstartedforthefirsttimetheyear
beforein1962atHerrickLakenearLombard.Hedescribeditasacampwhereseveral
churchesofagivenareacometogetherforajointcamp,eachgroupresponsiblefortheirown
childrentoagreaterextent.78
CongregationsoftheLakeMichiganCircuitoftheELS,mostlyfromtheChicagoarea,
pulledtogethertoputonthecampunderMoldstadsdirection.Rev.TedKusterwasassistant
director.Initsfirstyear,excitedtoescapethecitylifeofChicago,166campersandcounselors
attended.Boyscampandgirlscampweresplit,fourdayseach.Thesecondyearthey
anticipatedupto250attendees.79 LorlieandEinarRaymondRayReiser,Jr.,membersofSt.
Timothy,wereyouthleadersofthiscamp.80
TragicallyonAugust3,1963,theLordcalledthem
hometoheaveninanautomobileaccident.
In1964,withRobertMoldstadontheSynodsYouthBoardandthesuccessofhiscircuit
camp,theBoardreportedthatitonceagainwasinvestigatingthepossibleacquisitionofarea
campsitesforredevelopment.81Thepossibilityoflandcameatanunexpectedlocation.Rev.

78

7576.
80

6970.
81

79

RobertMoldstad,
IntroductiontoChurchCampingintheLocalCongregation.

ReportoftheYouthBoard,
1963SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1963),
ReportoftheYouthBoard,
1965SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1965),
ReportoftheYouthBoard,
1964SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1964),85.

36

JimOlsen,whograduatedfromBethanyLutheranTheologicalSeminaryin1963andhad
receivedajointcallin1964fromthemissionboardandHoltonLutheranChurch,waspastorin
Holton,MI.AlreadythatfallOlsenlearnedfromamember,JeanThompson,ofpropertyforsale
nearthecongregation.IntheSpring,ThompsoninvitedOlsentovisitthepropertyandlaterthat
weekOlsencalledMoldstadtoinformhimoftheproperty.
Thelandwas23acresoffederalgovernmentownedpropertysurroundinga16acre
borrowpit.AnupgradeofUS31in1963extendedthefreewaynorthfromMuskegontojust
northofMontague.82Theconstructionofthissegmentofthehighwayinvolvedbringingsandto
helpraiseandlevelareasofland,andasaresult,numerousmanmadelakes(borrowpits)were
formedalongthenewstretchoffreewaywhichthefederalgovernmentwasnowselling.Afew
shortweekslater,bothMoldstadandOlsenexploredthepropertytogether.
AboutthesametimeinMarchofthatyear,Moldstadhadreceivedandacceptedacallto
serveatFirstLutheranChurchinSuttonsBay,MI.83 TedKusterfilledthevacancyatLombard.
GodstimingincallingMoldstadtoSuttonsBayallowedforthatcongregationtobemoreeasily
includedinthecircuitcamp.MovingthecircuitcampwhichwasbeguninLombardtoacentral
locationinMichiganwouldmakeperfectsense.
MoldstadandalaymanfromhisnowpreviouscongregationinLombard,Dr.William
Langreder,workedtoformanassociationwiththeintenttobuytheland.84 TheAssociationwas
arrangedsimilarlytotheLutheranYouthAssociationwhichMoldstadhadbeenpresidentofjust

82

MichiganStateHighwayDepartment.OfficialHighwayMap(Map).Scalenotgiven.Cartographyby
MSHD.SectionM7L8.,1963.
US31Wikipediaarticle,
accessedJanuary,2015,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_31_in_Michigan.
83

LeroyMeyer.BriefHistoryofSt.TimothyLutheranChurch,Lombard,IL.
OakLeaves
,Vol.10,No.4,
2007,4.http://www.elshistory.org/download/oakleaves/oakleavesvol10no42007.pdf
84

CampLorRayHistory,CampLorRay,(n.d.)accessedJanuary2015,http://camplorray.org/history.

37

tenyearsprior.AnypersonintheEvangelicalLutheranSynod,orinacongregationin
fellowshipwiththeELS,regardlessofage,couldbeconsideredamemberintheassociation.
Theinitialgroupmenandwomen,andyouthmembersofLYSgroupsfromtheELSchurches
inChicago,Lombard,SuttonsBay,andHoltonmetneartheproposedsiteonMay22,1965.
TheAssociationdeclareditspurpose:Theobtainingofacampsiteanddevelopingitforuseof
theEvangelicalLutheranSynodcongregationsoftheIllinoisandMichiganarea...Olsenwas
electedasChairman,Moldstadassecretary,andLangrederastreasurer.85
TheassociationwascalledtheLorRayCampAssociationinmemoryofLorlieand
EinarRaymondRayReiser,Jr.,theyouthleadersoftheinitialcircuitcampinLombard.Soon
othermembersfromSt.Marks,Chicago,St.Pauls,Chicago,Holton,andFirstLutheranjoined
theassociation.OlsenvisitedthestatehighwaydepartmentofficeinMuskegonandlearnedthat
thelakeandpropertywereunderfederalcontrol,butthesalewasbeinghandledbythestate,and
anauctionwasscheduledforthecomingfall.Moldstadsecuredfinancingforthelandfrom
personalfundsandfrominheritancemoneygiventothechurchfromLorlieandRaymond
Reiser,andatthelandauctionthebidputoutbyOlsenandMoldstadwon.The23acresofland
whichsurroundedthe16acrelakewerepurchasedonOctober14,1965,atapriceof$4,600.00.
InadditiontothemembersofthecongregationsoftheLakeMichiganCircuit,Olsen
traveledtoaboutahalfdozenWELScongregationstotrytointerestmenandwomenthereto
jointhenewassociation.Membershipsweresoldfor$2perindividualand$5forfamilies.As
membershipsintheLorRayCampAssociationbroughtinfunds,theloanfrompastorMoldstad
wasrepaid.SoonMoldstadloanedmoremoneytotheassociationtopurchaseanother102acres

85

SummaryoftheOrganizationalMeetingoftheLorRayCampAssociation,TwinLake,MI:LorRayCamp
Association,1965.

38

ofadjacentlandonMarch1st,1966for$3,000,andfinallyanother40acresoflandownedby
JeanThompson.EventuallytheLorRayCampAssociationhadaphysicallocationtocamp,and
with165acres,CampLorRaybecametheSynodsanswertoyearsofdiscussionsofbuyinga
camppropertyforSynodyouth.86CongregationsfromasfarawayasMadison,WIwouldtravel
tousethisnewcamp.87
TheYouthBoardoftheSynodnotedinconventionthatsummerthatitwaspossibleto
operatetwoSynodcampswithoutcampersfromIllinois,andsoitrequestedthatCampLorRay
beathirdSynodyouthcamp.
TheYouthBoardaskspastorsTheodoreKusterandRobert
MoldstadtooperateacampthatwouldservetheIllinoisandMichiganYouthofourSynod.This
campwillbeatentcamp,insessionJuly1117,atalocationneartheHolton,Michigan,
congregation.88
Withinonlyoneyear,theassociationbegandevelopingthelandforcampuse.APioneer
TrainfromSt.Pauls,Stevensville,MI(WELS)workedduringthespringof1966toclearan
entranceroadtothecamp.89 TheLutheranYouthSocietyfromSuttonsBayclearedanareanext
tothelakeforachapelandbuiltanaltarandcross.Olsencommentedinaninterviewthatthere
wasnoendofwillinghelpers.NumerousWELSmembersfromcongregationsinMuskegon,
GrandHaven,St.Joseph,Stevensville,andBentonHarborallcametohelp.DuaneAnderson,
whowasanarchitectandmemberatSt.Pauls,Chicago,drewuptheplansforthecamp
86

ReportoftheYouthBoard,1966SynodReport,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1966),
7172.WithclarificationsfromJamesOlsen,interviewbytheauthor,June2014.
87

MinutesfromtheAnnualMeetingoftheLorRayCampAssociation,TwinLake,MI:LorRayCamp
Association,April19,1969,6.
88

ReportoftheYouthBoard,in1965SynodReport,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1965),.
6970.
89

CampLorRayHistory,http://camplorray.org/history.
Myfather,JamesHendrix,waslikelyoneoftheyoungpioneersalongonthistrip.Hedoesntrecall
helpingclearland,buthedoesrecallgettinghitinthefacewithaflyingbaseballbat,swungbyfellowpioneer,
FreddyKrieger.

39

buildingsandGusGorskefromStevensvilleheadedthebuildingcommittee.90Duanewould
laterbecalledtobethechiefarchitectfortheWisconsinSynod. 91Ingeneral,theLutheran
ChurchinMichiganwasexperiencingtremendousgrowthandmomentumduringthesefew
years.AnewELSCongregation,FaithLutheraninMuskegonservedbyRev.TomKuster,92
wasadmittedintomembershipandanewpreachingstationinPetoskeywasbegunbyMoldstad
in1966.93
Amidthegrowthandexcitementhowever,tragedywouldstrikeagainformembersofa
congregationservedbyMoldstad.InearlyJulyof1966,GeneandAlbertSetterboweredriving
threechildrentoCampLorRayfromFirstLutheraninSuttonsBay.Godsawfittoallowan
automobileaccidenttobringbothGeneandAlberttotheirheavenlyhome.ThelakeatCamp
LorRaywouldbenamedintheirmemory.94
RobertMoldstadwouldcontinuetoserveastheleaderoftheLorRayCampAssociation
inhismostinfluentialrole[ofthecamp]asheadcampcounselorateachyouthcamp,95
untilhe
wascalledasamissionarytoPeruin1972.96Infact,TedKusterwastheSynodsfirst
missionaryinPeruin1968,andJimOlsenfollowedin1970.Thethreemenwhoworkedto

90

JimOlsen,interviewbytheauthor,June,2015.

FromArchitecturetoEvangelism:HesStillBuildingtheChurchin
ForwardinChrist
,Vol.82,No.5,
May1995.
http://wels.prometdev.com/newsevents/forwardinchrist/may1995/architectureevangelismhesstillbuildingchur
ch
92

1966SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1966,pg.4.
93

ReportoftheBoardofMissions,
1966SynodReport
,48.
94

SpecialNoticesin
RecordEagleNewspaper
,TraverseCity,MI.July19,1966,18.Also,CampLorRay
History,http://camplorray.org/history
95

JamesOlsen,interviewbytheauthor,June2014.
96

Inall,Moldstadwouldfoundtwocongregations,acircuitcamp,acampassociation,anewsletterfor
Lutherancollegeagedyouth,MissionNews,FaithMissionarySociety,andhelpfoundthePeruvianSeminary,all
between195778.RobertMoldstadwasconcernedfortheministeringofpeopleofallagesandallnations.Hehad
aheartformissionsanddesiredtoworkforaWELSMissioninAfricasothathemightgainexperienceforworking
inaforeignmissionoftheELS.
91

40

foundCampLorRaywouldworktogetheragaintobuildtheEvangelicalLutheranSynodin
Peru.
In1968,theyouthcampwasexpandedtotwodifferentweeksfordifferentages.
MoldstadwrotethatinadditiontotheELSyouth,25WELSyouthattendedthisyearaswell.97
In1969,aseparateWELSyouthcampwasbegun,andbetweentheyouthcamp,groups,and
familycampers,over500peopleusedCampLorRay.98
TheyouthcampatCampLorRay
continuedtobeoperatedandsupportedbytheSynodYouthBoardandconsideredoneofthe
threeofficialSynodCampsuntil1970whenitwasturnedovertotheLorRayCamp
Association.
By1973,theSynodsYouthBoardwouldturncontrolofitsothertwocampsto
areacongregations.99
Sixweeksofgroupyouthcampswereplannedfor1970,dividedamongELS,WELS,
andLCRyouthcampsofvariousages,directedbyRobertMoldstad,Mr.KenNolte,andRev.
DonKrause.Inaddition,threeteenretreats,agirlscamp,anorganizedfamilycamp,a
programmedcampforinnercityChicagoyouth,andahalfweekhandicampwerescheduled,
nottomentionchurchoutings,pioneerretreats,andweeklycampersinthefamilycampportion
ofthecamp.100
Withtheexplosioningrowth,theassociationhiredafulltimesummerCampManagerin
1971,BobRing.Hewasgivenatrailertoliveinforthesummeralongwithasmallstipend.

Letter,RobertMoldstadtoTedKuster,August16,1968.
AHistoryoftheELSPeruMission19681972
.
AccessedMarch2015,
http://www.kusterweb.net/HistoryELSMission/historyelsmission/1968moldstadcorrespondence/680816bobto
tfka.html.
98

ReportoftheYouthBoard,
1970SynodReport,
(Mankato,MNEvangelicalLutheranSynod,1970),73.
99

ReportoftheBoardforEducationandYouth:Youth,
1973SynodReport
,(Mankato,MNEvangelical
LutheranSynod,1973),63,andReportoftheBoardforEducationandYouth:Youth,
1974SynodReport
,
(Mankato,MNEvangelicalLutheranSynod,1974),8788.
100

ScheduleduseofthegroupcampareaTwinLake,MI:LorRayCampAssociation,March5,1970.
97

41

Theassociationalsolookedtocreatetwomoreadministrativepositions,includingonethat
wouldmanageaplannedcollegeministryprogramofthecamp.101Inlessthantenyears,asmall
circuitcampinIllinoisbecameoneofthelargestnonprofitorganizationsaffiliatedwiththe
ELS.
TheLorRayCampAssociationhostedachurchcampingseminarin1970,entitled
ChurchSponsoredYouthCampoutsPrinciplesandMethodsatthenewlyconstructedFaith
LutheranChurchinMuskegon.Moldstadreiteratedhissimpleandhumblerationalefor
camping:Camping,orlivingintentsisnotnew...tentingforGodspeoplehelpedconveythe
ideathattheirlifeonearthwasjustasojourn,heavenwastheirpermanenthome.102
Afteradininghallandcabinswereconstructedatthecamp,amasterplanfortheCamp
LorRaypropertywasdeveloped.Anewbuilding,whichwouldserveasafamilycabinfor
groups,anursescabinfortheyouthcamp,andawintercabinduringcoldermonthswasplanned
for1967.103Threewashhousesweretobecompletedby1972andthreeroadsofcampsitesfor
familycamptobefinishedby1974,alltohavewaterandelectric,andmanytohavesewer
hookups.104 Twocabinsforthegroupcampareawerebuiltbymaterialspurchasedfrom
ConsumersPowerCo.in1974,butprogressslowedaftersomeoftheoriginalmenleftthe
association,andtherestoftheplanswerenotcompletedasplanned.Thenursescabinwasnot
completeduntil1984,andthethirdwashhousewasnotstarteduntilthe1980s.Afterthedeath
101

ReportoftheSecretaryoftheBoardofDirectors,TwinLake,MI:LorRayCampAssociation,September
4,1971,5.
102

RobertMoldstad.WhatMakesaWellOrganizedChurchSponsoredCampOut?

(Presentationgivenat
the
ChurchSponsoredYouthCampoutsPrinciplesandMethodsSeminar,
Feb28,1970),BoardforEducationand
YouthLutheranYouthAssociation19361970.Coll.s.720.EvangelicalLutheranSynod,BethanyLutheran
TheologicalSeminary.
103

ReportoftheYouthBoard
1967SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1967),
6566.
104
ReportoftheSecretaryoftheBoardofDirectors,TwinLake,MI:LorRayCampAssociation,September4,
1971,1115.

42

ofRobertMoldstad,theLorRayCampAssociationBoardrenamedthemaindininghall
MoldstadHallinhismemory.105
Internalstrugglesandacontroversyatcampwouldhurtattendanceatboththeyouth
campandfamilycampandimpedethecompletionofthemasterplan.Thecontroversywhich
aroseatCampLorRaywasamatterofdifferencesinviewpointbetweensomeareaWELS
pastorsandsomeELSpastorswhoservedatthecamp,andconcernedthehistoryandpracticeof
thecamp.Anopiniondevelopedinthe1990samongsomeWELSpastorsthatwomenshould
neverbeallowedtoexerciseauthorityovermen,whetherinthechurchorinsecularsociety.106
TheLorRayCampAssociation,whichhadhadwomenservingontheBoardofDirectorssince
itsincorporationwasthusindirectconflictwiththeirview.DavidZahn,aWELSpastor,had
expressedhisconcernovertheissuetotheWELSMichiganDistrictConstitutionCommitteein
1994.MoreWELSpastorsbecameinvolvedandrequestedthattheVicePresidentoftheWELS
MichiganDistrict,PaulNaumann,alsostepin.Later,Rev.PaulZageroftheELSDoctrine
Committeealsobecameinvolved.Theissueeventuallybecameanissueoverthedefinitionof
churchratherthanontherolesofmenandwomen.Rev.MichaelSmith,thenamemberofthe
BoardofDirectors,wrote,
Theprimaryissueathandappearstobe:istheLorRayCampAssociationchurch?
ManyoftheWELSpastorsintheMichigandistricthaveweighedinwithadefiniteyes.
IftheAssociationisdefinatelychurch,thenwewouldhavenochoicebuttodisallow
womenthevoteintheannualAssociationmeetings.However,afterspeakingand
correspondingwithmanypastorsintheELS,includingthepresidentofBethany
LutheranTheologicalSeminary,thevicepresidentofthesynod,anothermemberofthe
synodsdoctrinecommittee,andtheVisitorofELSCircuit3,Idonotbelievewecan
answerthatquestion(IstheLorRayCampAssociationchurch?)withsuchcertainty.
TheAssociationsstatedpurposesare:TotaketitletorealestateintheStateof
Michigan,foracampsite,andtodevelopitfortheuseoftheEvangelicalLutheran
105

56.
106

LeeNicol.
CampLorRay:20YearsofGrace
.(TwinLake,MI:LorRayCampAssociation.May1985),
PaulSchneider,interviewbytheauthor,February2015.

43

Synodcongregations,andcongregationsinfellowshipwiththeEvangelicalLutheran
Synod,andtoassistthecongregations,especiallyintheirworkwiththechurchsyouth.
(fromtheoriginalArticlesofIncorporation,ArticleII)
...OneoftheprimaryfociofKidsCampisthedailyBiblestudiesanddevotions.Soyes,
hereisworkinvolvedwithGodsWord.Butisthistheprimaryfocusofthe
Association?Hereisoneareainwhichthematterofchurchasitrelatestothe
Associationisgray.107

Afteryearsofstruggles,theconflicthadreachedsynodicallevelsandameetingbetween
theWELSCommitteeonInterChurchRelations(CICR)andtheELSDoctrineCommitteewas
heldJanuary11,2002.TheWELSCICRnotedthattheycouldnotacceptaproposedrevisionof
theconstitutionbecauseitimpliedthatthecampassociationneednotnecessarilybeconsidered
church.Rather,theyunequivocallystatedthatthecampassociationwaschurchbecauseall
oftheattendeesattheannualmeetingaremembersoftheELSandWELS.108
AmeetingwascalledbetweenbetweenthetwosynodsinJuneof2002,withthenVice
PresidentoftheELS,Rev.JohnMoldstadJr.,actingaschairman.Thepurposeofthismeeting
wastoresolvethedifferencesthathavedevelopedconcerningtheorganizationstructureofthe
associationthatrunsCampLorRay,anditwasagreedthatthethedesireofbothsynodswasto
followBiblicalprinciplesregardingtheroleofmanandwoman.109 ItwasnotedthattheLorRay
CampAssociationsawitselfasanindependentorganization,andthemembersdidnotviewthe
ELSasseekingtoexerciseanyauthorityovertheassociation.However,therewasthe
perceptionthattheWELSseemstobeexercisingauthorityratherthanservingasadvisory.110

107

MichaelK.Smith.LettertotheBoardofDirectorsoftheLorRayCampAssociation,April5,2000.

CampLorRayELS/WELSdiscussion,minutesofthemeetingwhichwasheldatEmanuelFirst
EvangelicalLutheranChurch,Lansing,MI,June3,2002,revisedJuly2002,12.
109

Ibid.,2.WhilebeingmoreorlessclearlydividedbetweenELSandWELSonthepastorallevel,the
controversyseemstohavebeenlessclearamongthelaityatcamp.
TotrytomakethepointthatCampLorRaywas
notchurch,andsokeepwomenvoters,somelaymembersinchargeoffamilycamptriedtostoptheweekly
chapelservicesfrombeingheldontheweekendsatthecamp.FredAdrian,emailtotheauthor,April9,2015.
110

CampLorRayELS/WELSdiscussion,minutes,2.
108

44

Inthemeeting,V.P.PaulNaumanstatedthattheprinciplesoftheheadshipofman
appliedtotheworldjustasmuchastothechurch.TheELSviewpointreflectedtheirdoctrinal
statementwhichnotedthatScripturedoesinfactmakealawastotheheadshipprincipleinthe
church,butthatonenotbelegalisticaboutapplyingthatlawtosecularsocietyandgobeyond
whatScripturesays.Eventually,theELSrepresentativesconcededwithrestrictingboard
positionsandvotingrightstomales18andover.111Inaddition,totrytokeepunityamongthe
LorRayCampAssociation,theELSrepresentativessuggestedincludingRomans14:21and1
Corinthians10:32,passagesonnotgivingoffense,acknowledgingthatthereweredifferencesof
viewpoint,andconsideringtheoriginalorganizationoftheassociation.JonBalgefromWELS
notedthattheRomanspassagemightmakesomequestionwhoistheweakerbrother,andsothe
passagewasdropped.112
Historically,bothsidesoftheargumenthadprecedencefortheirpreferredorganizational
structure.Inthe
ELStherecouldexistorganizationswithinthechurchandoperatedbythe
churchthatwerenotconsideredchurchthemselves.YoungPeoplesAssociationhadallowed
anyconfirmedmembertoserveontheexecutivecommitteesince1936Camp4Starhad
allowedwomentoholdpositionsontheboardandothersocietiessuchastheELSHistorical
Society,allacknowledgedthisviewpoint.ItseemstobewiththisassumptionthattheLorRay
CampAssociationdevelopeditspolicy.Certainly,whenCampLorRaygatheredtoworship,the

111

AsummaryoftheLorRayCampAssociationOrganizationmeetingbrochuresentouttoELSchurchesin
1965statedveryclearlythattheoriginalbylawsoftheassociationrequiredthatonlymaleswhoareoflegalage
couldvote.BoardofDirectorsweretobechosenfromvotingmembership.Acopyofthebylawsfrom1972
howevershowedthatthebylawshadbeenamendedApril11,1970.Thisamendmentwasinclusive,mentioningthe
WisconsinSynodforthefirsttimeinthebylaws,andalsobroadeningvotingmembershiptoincludeactive
members,21yearsandup,whoarepartoftheEvangelicalLutheranSynodorWisconsinEvangelicalLutheran
Synod,orofacongregationinfellowshipwiththesesynods.
112

Ibid.

45

leaderwasalwaysapastor.Similarly,theleadersoftheELSyouthcampwerealwayspastors,
andtheWELSrequiredthatcalledmaleteachersorpastorsleadtheiryouthcampatLorRay.
OthercampswithinWELS,suchasMichigansownCampKillarney,havefemale
boardmembersandevendirectors.Thesecampsareseenasorganizationsrunbythechurchand
notneedinganecclesiasticalpolityorwithanyobligationtofollowPaulsrolesofmenand
womenintendedforecclesiasticalorderinthechurchproper.Theteachingroleswithinthese
campsandconventionsandthemeetingsaroundWordandSacramenthoweverdid/doneedto
followPaulsguidelines.ThisisinkeepingwiththeWisconsinSynodsstatementonchurch.113
Yetsincetheexternalformofthechurchisnotnotdivinelyinstituted,Christiansareto
begovernedbythelawofloveandwillwanttodothingsdecentlyandinorder. 114Thus,ina
sense,anorganizationlikeCampLorRay,whichdoesgatheraroundtheWord,couldbe
rightfullyconsideredchurch.ThisalsoisinagreementwiththeELSStatementonchurch.115
Thelatterarrangement,totreattheLorRayAssociationasachurch,wasdecidedonandwasthe
conclusionofthecontroversy.
In2014,amongtheBoardofDirectors,aquestioncameupabouthavingafemaleactas
directorofoneoftheweeklycamps.Basedonthepresuppositionthattheorganizationwas

113

TheChurch,thecommunionofsaints,ispresenttherewherethemeansofgraceareinuse,wherethe
GospelisrightlytaughtandtheSacramentsarerightlyadministered(MarksoftheChurch).Wisconsin
EvangelicalLutheranSynod.
ThesesontheChurchandMinistry
,Adopted1969,I.,D.,
http://www.wels.net/aboutwels/doctrinalstatements/churchandministry.
Likewise,I.,D.,4:
Thespecificformsinwhichbelieversgroupthemselvestogetherforthefellowshipand
workoftheChurch,thespecificformsinwhichtheyarrangefortheuseofthemeansofgraceinpublicworship,the
specificformsinwhichtheyestablishthepublicministry,havenotbeenprescribedbytheLordtoHisNew
TestamentChurch.
114

EvangelicalLutheranSynod,
DoctrineoftheChurch,
Adopted1980.
http://els.org/beliefs/doctrinalstatements/thedoctrineofthechurch,thesis7.
115

Ibid.

46

church,itwasdecidedthathavingafemaledirectorwouldviolatethecampspositiononroles
ofmenandwomen.
Thelongstrugglewasnotwithoutanynegativeeffect.The1990sareconsideredby
someintheassociationasalowpointinCampLorRayshistory.AletterfromWELSpastor
DonaldW.Seelhoff,Jr.actuallysuggestedthattherighthandoffellowshipwiththe
WELS/ELSbesevered. 116AnotherpastorandsuperintendentofCampLorRayKidsCamp
viewedtheassociationssuspensionofworkonanewconstitutionwhichwouldhaveincluded
revisedarticlesthatdeclaredtheassociationtobeachurchanddisallowedwomen'ssuffrageas
anapparentbreakinfellowshipwiththeWELS.117 Duetothecontroversy,achangewas
proposedtotheoriginalarticlesofincorporationofthecamp.Theoriginalarticlesof
incorporationstatedthatintheeventthattheassociationwouldeverdissolve,alloftheproperty
andassetsoftheLorRayCampAssociationwouldbecomethepropertyoftheEvangelical
LutheranSynod.FearinganactualsplitinfellowshipbetweentheELSandWELSoverthis
controversyatCampLorRay,achangewasproposedthatwouldgivehalfoftheassetsand
propertytotheWisconsinSynod.Thiswasneverdone.Instead,anunalterableand
irrepealablechangewasaddedtotheconstitutionwhichstatedthatthepropertyandall
equipmentofthiscongregationshallremainwiththatportionofthemembershipwhichadheres
tothisConstitution,regardlessofnumber.118Notablewastheadditionoftheterm
congregationtodescribetheassociation.

116

DonaldW.Seelhoff,Jr.LettertoMichaelBrenner.February6,1996.

FredAdrian.LettertoCampLorRayBoardofDirectors.November5,1999.
118

LorRayCampAssociationArticlesofIncorporation,December1,1965andLorRayCamp
AssociationConstitution,ArticlesVIIandVIII,Adopted2002,Ratified2003.
117

47

Personalityconflictsandotherissuesplaguedtheassociation.LYAhadactuallyplanned
toholdtheirannualyouthconventionatCampLorRayin1989,andwhenthatfellthrough,
planswereadjustedtoholdtheconventiontherein1990instead.Possiblyduetothelow
capacityofthefacilitiestheconventionwasneverheldatLorRay,119althoughmismanagement
couldhavebeenanotherlikelyreason.In1994theELSYouthBoardreceivedwordthat
LorRaywasfoldingeventhough145campershadattendedin1993,thehighestnumberofall
ELScampsthatyear.Determinednottolosetheyouthcamp,theBoarddirectedR.ONeillto
contactRev.M.KrentztoseeiftheBoardcouldhelpestablishanewcampinMichigan.120
Afteraperiodofstruggles,andtheeventualclosingoftheyouthcampin2004,oneofthe
originaldirectorsoftheWELScampin1968,Mr.KenNolte,assumedthepositionof
superintendent.Underhisleadership,theyouthcampwasheldagainin2005andhasgrownto
attractaround160youtheachsummer.
ThusanewerawasbegunatCampLorRay,andoverthelast10yearsthecamphas
experiencedagreatamountofmomentum.Twoadditionalweeksofyouthcamp,a
KinderCampandateenretreat,underdirectionoftheauthor,havebeenheldbringingthe
numberofscheduledgroupcampsbackuptofourweeks.Anewresidentialcabinwas
completedin2013,andthewashhouseandsewerlinesinfamilycamp,whichhadbeenapartof
theoriginalmasterplan,willfinallybecompletedthissummer.Asthecampcelebratesits50th
anniversaryin2015,theassociationislookingforwardtoanumberofprojects,includinga
renovatedchapelarea,newfamilycampcabins,andadualcablezipline.ALorRayDay,an

ReportoftheBoardforEducationandYouth.In
1988SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:Evangelical
LutheranSynod,1988),9495.
120

MinutesfromtheELSBoardforEducationandYouth,KingofGraceLutheranChurch,GoldenValley,
MN.September30&October1,1994,BoardforEducationandYouthMinutes/Correspond.1987_.Coll.s.700.
EvangelicalLutheranSynod,BethanyLutheranTheologicalSeminary,5.
119

48

homagetotheLorRayDayheldin1970overthe4thofJuly,isagainscheduledandwill
includeananniversaryservice.Rev.JimOlsen,oneofthecofoundersofthecamphasbeen
askedtopreach,andPres.JohnMoldstad,Jr.willbebringinggreetingsonbehalfoftheSynod.

SouthernMinnesotaNorthernIowaCircuitCamp.

Forashorttime,anotherELSCampwasheldinIowafrom19741975,aftertheYouth
BoardhadbegunlookingintothepossibilitiesofoperatingacamptoservetheSouthern
MinnesotaNorthernIowaCircuitin1969. 121Afteritopenedin1974,theYouthBoard
explained,OneoftherealblessingsoftheEvangelicalLutheranSynodisthesmoothoperation
andgrowthofthecampingprogram.NotonlywerecampsinMinnesota,Wisconsin,Michigan,
andWashingtononceagaincarriedonbutalsoIowabecamethesiteofyetanotherELScamping
program.122 Ayearlater,althoughtheBoardwouldcommentthatthepotentialforgrowthof
thepresentcampsandpossibleexpansionofthecampingprogramlooksbright,thecampwould
seeitslastseason.123 Nonetheless,theBoardwouldsuggestalreadyin1979thatacampforthe
SouthernMinnesotaNorthernIowaDistrictbereopened.124 Ratherthanopeninganewcamp,
theBoardwouldonceagainassumecontrolofCampIndianheadNorthin1981andmovethe
campsouthtoIowa.125Ingeneral,theBoardseemedtohavetheviewthatyouthworkinthe
Synodwasonadownwardtrend.Despiteasubsidyof$500tothiscamp,yetonly38attended

ReportoftheYouthBoard,
1969SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1969),
6223.
122

ReportoftheBoardforEducationandYouth:Youth
1974SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:Evangelical
LutheranSynod,1974),8788.
123

ReportoftheBoardforEducationandYouth:Youth1975SynodReport,(Mankato,MN:Evangelical
LutheranSynod,1975),79.
124

ReportoftheBoardforEducationandYouth:Youth,
1978SynodReport,
(Mankato,MN:Evangelical
LutheranSynod,1978),83.
125

ReportoftheBoardforEducationandYouth:Youth,
1982SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:Evangelical
LutheranSynod,1982),91.
121

49

in1982,126 andtheLYAconventionin1981hititslowestpointat30attendees.Shockingly,the
Boardwouldstatein1982thatThefutureofcampingandthepossibilityofobtainingacamp
forouruseyearroundhasbeenbroughtupanddiscussed.127 Withseeminglynoknowledgeof
theBoardspreviousattemptsatacquiringacamppropertyandwithnoreferencetothecamp
successfullypurchasedbyanassociationofELSmembers,CampLorRay,theBoardwould
onceagaintrytobuyacamp.Howeveralreadyby1983,CampIndianheadNorthwouldbe
appropriatelymovedbacknorthtoanewlocation,CampJIMnearBrainerd,anddiscussion
wouldendregardingthepurchasingofacampsite.128

CampFourStar.
WhiletheSynodtookofficialactiontocreateasummercampinsouthernMinnesota,and
eventuallytookactiontocontrolsummercampswithinthemidwest,churchesonthefringesof
theSynoddevelopedcampsontheirownwithsmallgroupsofdedicatedpeople.Asillustrated
bytheBoardsattemptsthroughouttheyearsoftryingtocontrolandoperateaSynodCamp,
programsstartedbylocalgroupssometimesendupmoresuccessfulthanprogramsstartedbya
topdownapproach,sincetheneedismoreacutelyrecognizedandresponsibilitymore
personallyappropriated.Indeed,onlythecampsbegunintheSynodbylocalassociationsor
groups,orthosethathavebeenturnedoveragaintolocalgroupshavesurvived.Suchwasthe
casewithacampbegunin1959inWashington.

ReportoftheBoardforEducationandYouth:Youth,
1983SynodReport,
(Mankato,MN:Evangelical
LutheranSynod,1983),91.
127

ReportoftheBoardforEducationandYouth:Youth,
1982SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:Evangelical
LutheranSynod,1982),91.
128

ReportoftheBoardforEducationandYouth:Youth,
1984SynodReport,
(Mankato,MN:Evangelical
LutheranSynod,1984),84.
126

50

AgroupofparentsfromParklandLutheranChurchinTacoma,WAplannedaweeklong
sleepoverBiblecampforchildreninthesummerof1959.OneotherELScongregation
(LakewoodLutheran)andtwoWELScongregations(FaithandSt.PaulsLutheran)wereinvited
tojoin.Eventually,membersfromadditionalcongregationsinthePugetSoundareabecame
interested.TwodifferentlocationswereusedfortheyouthcamppriortofindingMillersylvania
StateParkby1965,thesiteatwhichthecamphasbeenheldeversince.Theyouthcampisheld
ataseparatesectionoftheparkknownastheEnvironmentalLearningCenter.Thiscenter
includesbeachaccesstoalake,largemeadowsforgames,twoseparatecabinareas,acampfire
areawithlogbenches,andaniconicloglodgedininghallandkitchen.Mr.WillisLloydTex
Morrowwasthedirectorofthecampandremainedthedirectorformanyyears,evenupuntilthe
1980s.HissoninlawRonO'NeilltookoverafterTexretireduntilaBoardofDirectorswas
formed.Currently,theBoardappointsadirectorofthecamp.129TheBoardofDirectorsconsists
oflaymenandlaywomen,withlocalELSandWELSpastorsprovidingspiritualleadershipand
support.PastorsH.TheisteandW.McMurdiewerelistedascampdirectorsin1965inthe
LYA
Quarterly
,meaningthatwhileTexwasthedirectoroftheentirecamp,programdirectorshave
beenchosenduringtheyouthcamptomanagetheprogram130
ThefirstacknowledgementofthecampbytheSynodsYouthBoardwasin1963,Our
WashingtoncongregationsatParklandandLakewoodhaveoperatedaweeklongcampfor
childrenoftheircongregations.131 The
LYAQuarterly
promotedthecampasoneofthefour
campsinthesynodin1969

withthisnote:Theresquiteaselectionofcampstochoosefrom
thisyear.Takeyourpickwellseeyouatcamp...FromJuly1622,1015yearoldscancamp
129

131

130

MaureenKelly,emailmessagetotheauthor,January29,2015.
LYAQuarterly
,Vol.12,No.2,(June12,1965),5.
ReportoftheYouthBoard,
1963SynodReport,
(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1963),76.

51

nearoneofthebeautifullakesinMillersylvaniaStateParknearTacoma,Washington(Ifyou
andyourfolksarecomingintheWestthissummer,stopatthestateparkforafinecamping
spot.)132
Inthelate1960sanamethecampcontestwasheld.Camp4Starwasthewinning
name,payinghomagetothefourcongregationsoriginallyinvolvedinthecamp.Camp4Star
stillenjoyssenioritystatuswhenreservingthestateparkfacilityeachyearduetoits
longstandinguseofandgoodrelationwiththestatepark.Infact,aCamp4StarAssociation
hastakengreatprideintheircampandputefforttowardthecampssuccessevenbeforeyouth
campbeginseachsummer.Eventhoughthecamphasbeenheldatayouthcamplocatedinside
MillersylvaniaStatePark,andnotatacampownedbytheAssociation,annualfellowshipand
workdayshavebeenheldonaweekendeachSpringtocleanupandpreparethecamp.Infact,
theAssociationevenhelpeddevelopthephysicalsiteofthecamp.Theinvitationtothework
daysin1981fromCamp4StardirectorTexMorrownotedthatAftermanyyearsofrequests
fromourAssociation,theStateParkshavegivenusthepermissiontobuilda8x18additionon
thesouthcornerofthelodge...anothermilestoneachievedispermissiontoinstallunderground
waterandelectricalhookupsforsixtrailers.133
TodaythecampserveschildrenfromELSandWELScongregationsacrossthestateof
Washington,andiscurrentlyintheprocessofattemptingbecomeanonprofitorganization.To
accomplishthis,anoverhaulingofthehandbooksisrequired,andsoCamp4Starhasreceived
somehelpfromCampLorRay,alsoanonprofit,andhasborrowedtheircurrenthandbook.

LYAQuarterly
,Vol16,No.3.,(Summer1969),67.

TexMorrow.CampFourStarAnnualFellowshipandWorkDaysInvitation.Spring,1981,Olympia,WA:
Camp4Star.
132
133

52

CampOlympicLutherhaven.
OfalltheSynodcamps,anothercampinWashingtonisactuallytheoldestcampsite
ownedbyagroupwithintheSynod.However,itwasntuntilanumberofyearsafterthiscamp
wasformedandthelocationpurchasedthatoneoftheassociationchurchesbecameamemberof
theELS.CampOlympicLutherhaven,orsimplyCampLutherhaven,beganasanassociationof
LCMSandALCchurches.The
HistoryofOlympicLutherhavenCamponWildcatLake
has
describedthebeginningofthiscamp:
ItallbeganMay1955.EmilSunderlandofSilverdaleLutheranChurchreceivedaphone
callfromafriend,Mrs.Roseboom,tellinghimshewasgoingtosellherpropertyon
WildcatLake,whichwasknownasRosey'sRoostResort,consistingof35acresandover
1,000feetofwaterfront.Shewonderedifhewouldbeinterestedinbuyingit,andshe
wouldgivehimtimetothinkitover.EmilthoughtWhataniceplaceforaBibleCamp,
sohecalledhiscousinAlbertHeglandofOurSaviour'sLutheranChurchinBremertonto
sharehisidea.Themoretheytalkedaboutitthemoreexcitedtheybecameaboutthe
possibilityofaBibleCampinKitsapCountyandtheOlympicPeninsula.Thenthey
sharedtheirideawithBillTennesen,alsoofOurSaviours,whoagreedwiththemand
said,Letsdoit.SomemoneywasputdowntoholdthepropertywhileEmil
SunderlandmadethefinalarrangementswithMrs.Roseboom.134

AsteeringcommitteewasformedandthecommitteecontactedalloftheLutheran
Churchesinthearea,withthegoaltogetalloftheminvolved.Ninechurchesagreedandjoined,
withBethanyLutheran,aMissouriSynodcongregation,beingoneofthesefoundingchurches.
Tofundthecamp,allchurchesagreedtopay10centsperconfirmedmember,permonth.Each
churchwastoelecttwomemberstobeontheBoardofDirectors.RobertShadboldandLarry
BaughnwerethetwodirectorsappointedfromBethanyLutheran.Fifteenyearslater,onJanuary
1,1970,thefinalpaymentwasmadeonthecamppropertyandallcongregationswereequal

134

HistoryofOlympicLutherhavenCamponWildcatLake,in
OurSaviorsLutheranChurch100th
Anniversary
,Clarkston,WA:OurSaviorsLutheranChurch,RevisedAugust28,2007,accessedJanuary,2015,
3839,http://olympiclutherhaven.org/CampRulesandForms/History_of_Lutherhaven.pdf.

53

ownersofthecamp.135Justoneyearlaterin1971,BethanylefttheMissouriSynodover
doctrinalconcernsandjoinedtheEvangelicalLutheranSynod.SoitwasthenthatCamp
LutherhavenbecameayouthcampassociatedwiththeELS.
Asanequalownerofthecampproperty,BethanyLutherancontinuedusingthesitefora
youthcamp.Rev.TonyPittenger,currentseniorpastorofBethanyLutheranstatedthatthe
originalideaforthecamppropertywasforeachcongregationtoreceiveoneweekeachsummer
tousethecamp.Sincethechurchhadahistoryofusingthecampfornearlytwentyyears,and
couldcontinueusingthecampwithoutcompromisingfellowshipprinciples,Bethanynever
joinedtheotherELScongregationswithCamp4Star.Pittengerremarkedthathowthis
arrangementworksouttodayisa
casestudyoftheologyinitself.136
TheremainingLCMScongregationswhoownthecampremainratherliberal,andhave
cooperatedtogetherwiththeELCA(formerALC)congregationstooperateajointyouthcamp.
Whilethetheorystillstandsthateachchurchcanusethefacilityforaweek,BethanyLutheran,
whichoperatesaseparatecamp,istheminorityopinioninthings.Pittengernotedthatthe
constitutionwasaliveandletlivearrangement.Thehistorypublishedofthecampreflects
this,
TheoriginalconceptoftheBibleCampwasthatthecampwasNEVERtobesold.Itwas
tobeusedasaBibleCampandRetreatforallLutheranChurchesinthearea.Ifcostbecametoo
great,ortheenthusiasmwaned,thenallthechurchesinthecountywouldbeinvitedto
participatesoitwouldalwaysbeaplaceforChristianpeopletomeetandpicnic.137
TheproblemforBethanyLutheranariseswithatheologicalmisunderstandingofthe
wordministry.Pittengerexplainedthattheothercongregationscallthecampourministry,
135

137

136

Ibid.
TonyPittinger,interviewbytheauthor,December2014.
HistoryofOlympicLutherhavenCamponWildcatLake,39.

54

andproceedtorentthecampoutforaNativeAmericanSweatLodge,aceremonywhich
includesprayersandsongs,andofferingstothespiritworld.Inthemindoftheotherchurches
andmembersofthecamp,theNativeAmericansusethecamptobeoutwithnature,andsothey,
byallowingtheSweatLodgestotakeplaceintheircamp,aredoingaGodpleasingthing.
Similarly,thecamphasalsobeenrentedouttoBuddhists,andatonepoint,theBoarddiscussed
tearingdownthecrosstoavoidoffendingclients.Allowingthesegroupstousethecamp,in
themindsoftheotherchurches,isaddingtoandimprovingtheministryofLutherhaven.
BethanyLutheran,owninganequalshareofthecampyethavingonlytworepresentativesonthe
BoardofDirectors,isoftenleftpowerless.TheotherchurcheswilloftenaskBethanytojoinin
theirprograms,withthereasoningthatItscamp...whydoesitmatter?ItsnotSeminary.138
Inspiteofthesechallenges,theyouthcamprunbyBethanyLutheranatCamp
Lutherhavenhasbeenblessed.Itistreatedaspartofthechurch,inasimilarwaythatmost
churchestreatVBSprogramsandasaresult,thecamphasafantasticattendancerate.The
CamphasalwaysbeenformorethanjustyouthfromBethanyhowever.In2002,throughELS
missionworkandtheThoughtsofFaithorganization,twoEasternEuropeanyouthdesiredto
volunteeratLutherhavenandattendtheLYAconvention.TheBoardforEducationandyouth
devoted$1,000topartiallysubsidizetheirtrip.139 CampLutherhavennowserves3rdand4th
generationkidsfrom4th8thgrade.About57campersattendeachyear.140

FloridaCircuitCamp.

138

TonyPittenger,interviewbyauthor,December,2014.

MinutesfromBoardforEducationandYouth,KingofGraceLutheranChurch,GoldenValley,MN,
January11&12,2002,4
140

TonyPittenger,interviewbyauthor,December,2014.
139

55

In1989,theELSYouthBoardreportedthatplanswereunderwayforanewcircuitcamp
tobegininFlorida.141Duringthe1980s,astheFloridaCircuitoftheELSdeveloped,regular(at
leasttwiceayear)weekendyouthretreatswereheld.Rev.DonMoldstad,whowaspastorin
Naples,FLwasinstrumentalintheseretreats.Numbersofyouthinattendanceatthesewere
relativelyhigh,oftenover40.Soon,therewasadesiretohaveaweeklongretreatduringthe
summertobringtheyouthtogetherforChristianfellowshipandthestudyofGodsWord.
Rev.JoelWillitzarrivedatanewmissionstartinSebring,Floridain1990andlearnedof
theLakePlacidConferenceCentersite.Earlythenextyear,thepastorswinkelmetatthecenter
andbeganmakingplanstoconductacamptherebeginningthatsummer,andinthesummerof
1991,thiscampwouldhaveitsinauguralseason.142
Revs.CharlesKeeler,JonathanMadson,
KenMellon,andJoelWillitzwerethefourpastorsthatinitiallybeganthecamp.
AdroughthitFloridainthelate1990s,causingthemainfeatureofthecamp,Lake
Placidtonearlydryup.DanielRuiz,whohadbeenacamperaroundthetimerecalledthat
becauseofthis,interestamongyouthalsoseemedtodryup.143TheYouthBoardreceivednotice
thatthecampmightnottakeplacein1997.144However,thecamppersistedandWillitzreported
thatby2005therewereonlyaboutthreecongregationsthathadchildreninvolved,andthe
numberofkidsatcamphaddeclinedtoabout20.145 Consequently,therewasahiatusinthe

ReportoftheYouthBoard
1989SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1989),
102103.
142

JoelWillitz,emailtotheauthor,January25,2015.
143

DanielRuiz,inconversationwiththeauthor,March18,2015.
144

MinutesfromtheBoardforEducationandYouth,KingofGraceLutheranChurch,GoldenValley,MN,
February6&7,1997,BoardforEducationandYouthMinutes/Correspond.1987_.Coll.s.700.Evangelical
LutheranSynod,BethanyLutheranTheologicalSeminary,5.
145

Ibid.
141

56

campforanumberofyears.In2014acampwasonceagainheld,andtheorganizerslooked
forwardtoagainmakingthisayearlyevent.
TwentyfouryouthenjoyedtheELSCircuit1CityCampfromJuly28th31st.Thecamp
washeldinthelargestOrlandocityparkissurroundedbytheFLTurnpikeandhighrise
apartments.Howeverdespitebeinglocatedinthecity,thecampersenjoyedmuchof
Godscreationandtraditionalcampthingslikestayingcabinsandnightlycampfires.
PastorMattMoldstadservedastheCoordinator.PastorPeterHeynandPastorAndrew
BurmeisteralsohelpedwithleadingthegroupindevotionsandBibleClassalongwith
funcampfiresongs.ThreeotherELSmembersservedascampcounselorsforthecamp.
MuchfunwashadbyallandCircuit1looksforwardtomakingthisayearlyevent.146

TheELSYouthBoardreportedsixcampswereoperatedbycongregations,circuits,and
associationswithintheSynodin1993:CampIndianhead,Brainerd,MNCampIndianhead,
Montello,WICampLorRay,TwinLake,MICampLutherhaven,PortOrchard,WACamp
FourStar,Olympia,WIandanewcampinFlorida.Atotalof144staffvolunteeredtoservethe
550totalyouthinattendance.147

TexasCircuitCamp.
IntheELS,theSynodhasseemedtoexpandinpockets,withregionsoftheSynod
experiencingnewstartsandgrowthatdifferenttimes.Inthe60s,thisgrowthtookplacein
Michigan.Inthe80s,inFlorida,andinthe2000s,inTexas.AswithMichiganandFlorida,
whenacampdevelopedhandinhandwiththegrowthofchurches,soagaininTexas.Seven
campswereheldin2002,includinganewcampinTexas.148 Thiscampwouldbeshortlived

146

FacebookpostbyEvangelicalLutheranSynod(ELS),Aug26,2014,
https://www.facebook.com/elslutherans/photos/a.141339675951157.37508.125469784204813/668323583252761/?t
ype=1&theater.
147

ReportoftheBoardforEducationandYouth,
1993SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheran
Synod,1993),131132.
148

ReportoftheBoardforEducationandYouth,
2003SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheran
Synod),103

57

however,andreceivedonlyasinglementionfromtheELSBoardforYouthintheannualSynod
Report.

SchwanRetreatCenter.
Afteryearsofdiscussingpurchasingcamppropertyinthemid1950s,early60s,and
early80s,eventhoughtheELSnowhadtwocamppropertiesownedbycongregationsand
associationswithinitself,theSynodwouldonceagainfinditselfinthesamepredicamentinthe
late1990s.Althoughthistime,thesuggestionwasnotbytheYouthBoard,butbytheBethany
LutheranCollegeBoardofRegents.
WhenCampIndianheadmovedfromWisconsintoMinnesota,itfolloweditsfounder,
RaymondBranstadtotheresortheownedcalledSquawPoint.Branstadhiredamanbythe
nameofMarvinMeyerandhiswifetomanagetheresortin1961.AyearlaterBranstadsoldthe
resorttothem.In1976,Meyersoldtheresortagain.In1970,Branstadreceivedthecalltobe
presidentofBethanyLutheranCollegeandironicallyin1982,Meyerwouldalsobecalledtobe
presidentofBethanyLutheranCollege,apositionhewouldremaininuntil2002.
Meyerstatedthattheideaofthecollegeowningaretreatcenterwashisdream.Sincehe
wasinthemidstoftransitioningBethanyLutheranCollegefromatwoyearcollegetoafour
yearcollege,MeyerwasheavilyinvolvedinthetwoyearprivatecollegemovementintheUS.
OneofthemeetingsheandotherrepresentativesfromBethanyattendedwasameetingofthe
PrivateJuniorCollegeCouncil.TheymetataretreatcenterontheEastCoastthatwasowned
bytheCouncil.Itwasagreattime,itenergizedyoutodothings...anditkeptyouawayfrom
theglamourofamajorcity.Ithoughtitwouldbewonderfulifthecollegecouldownaplace

58

likethat.149 SoMeyerwenttotheBoardofRegentsandsuggestedtheideain1993andthey
beganlookingforlandin1995.HowevertheBoardofRegentsmentionednothing(atleastin
writingorinofficialnotes)totheSynodatConventionuntil1998afterthepurchasehad
alreadybeencompleted.Eventhen,theRegentssimplydetailedeverythingtheyhadbeendoing
forthepreviousnumberofyears.
AtaBoardofRegentsmeetinginthesummerof1993,therewassignificantdiscussion
onthepossibilityofthecollegeowningandoperatingaretreat/conferencecenter/camp
forthecollege,synod,andotherstouse.Inthefallof1995,thecollegebeganinearnest
tolookforapieceoflandoranexistingfacilitytodevelopforthatpurpose.In
Septemberof1997,asitewaslocatedandnegotiationsbegan.Thenegotiatingleadtoan
agreementwiththeclosingdatesetforMay1,1998.Thepropertyisinnorthern
Wisconsinapproximately20milesnorthofSpooner.Withinthe700acresoflandare
twolakesittrulyisamarveloussite.Planninghasbeguntodeveloptwocampuseson
thesite.Onesitetofacilitateaconference/retreatcenterandoneforayouthcampus.
Bothsiteswhencompletewillhouse120individuals.Itisourhopetohavemuchofitup
andrunningbyfallof1999.150

Thepropertywasquicklydeveloped.Aportionwasdevotedtoyouthandaportionto
families.AstheRegentstalkedmore,itwasalsodecidedtobuildanupscalelodgeand
conferencecenterwhichwouldservetheSynod,groupsfromtheWELS,aswellasotherchurch
bodies.ItwastobesomethingextremelyspecialinourSynod.151 Itwouldalsobea
permanentplaceforbothCampIndianhead,MNandCampIndianhead,WItoholdcamp.The
facilitywasfinallycompletedby2001andDr.TedManthewashiredastheexecutivedirector.
Rev.DavidRossowwascalledandinstalledasthecenterschaplain.In2003,afterRossowleft,
Rev.DavidThompsonwascalledandinstalledasthenewchaplain.152

149

MarvinMeyer,interviewbytheauthor,March,2015.

ReportoftheBoardofRegents,in
1998SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,
1998),84.
151

MarvinMeyer,interviewbytheauthor,March,2015.
152

ReportoftheBoardofRegents,
2003SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,2003),
7778
150

59

However,plansdidnotworkoutaswellaseveryonehadhoped.Pastoralconventions
wereheldthere,butratherthanembracingthesecludedenvironment,somecomplainedoverthe
distancefromamenities.153TheCenterhadenjoyedacoreclienteleofLutherangroups,
includinganationalgatheringofWELScollegiansin2000,butneveraggressivelycourt[ed]
outsidebusiness.154Thecollegesownfacultyalsodidnotusetheretreatasmuchaswas
hoped.CampIndianheadappearstohavebeentheonlygroupintheSynodtorecognizethe
immenseblessingthatwasbeforethem.Still,theretreatcenterhadyettomakeaprofit.
NotlongafterMeyerretiredfromofficein2002,theRegentsdecidedtosellthecenterin
Octoberof2005toThriventFinancialforLutherans.ArepresentativefromThrivent
commentedtotheBusinessNorthonlinepublicationthatBethanyapproachedThriventand
madeacompellingcaseforthesale.Financialdetailswerenotdisclosed,howeverrevenue
wassaidtohaveincreasedsubstantiallyinthefirstyearunderThriventownership.Thriventdid
notattempttomanagetheresortonitsown,butinsteadhiredafirm,Flik,whichin2005
managed13propertiesacrosstheUnitedStates.Thriventrecognizedthatthehospitality
businesswasnotacorecompetencyofthecompany.155
Whilethebasicprinciplebetweenacampandasecludedwildernessretreatcenteris
similar,thebusinessandtheclienteleofthetwoareverydifferentfromeachotherinmany
ways.Bethanysimplywasnotuptothetaskofrunningsuchalargehospitalityorganization.

153

MarvinMeyer,interviewbytheauthor,March,2015.

PaulOsterman&JenaSchwichtenberg,StarsintheWilderness,
ForwardinChrist,
Vol.88,No.4,
WisconsinEvangelicalLutheranSynod,April2001,
http://www.wels.net/newsevents/forwardinchrist/april2001/starsinwilderness.
PaulLundgren,Heartwoodconferencecenterresortreshapesitsimage.BusinessNorth.com,December
11,2006.http://www.businessnorth.com/viewarticle.asp?articleid=1662
155

Lundgren,Heartwoodconferencecenterresortreshapesitsimage.
154

60

Reflectingontheventure,Meyerreiteratedthatamainfocusofthecenterwastheyouth
oftheSynod.
Ijusthopeourchurchcancontinuetohavecamps.Iamagreatbelieverinthe
valueofthem,andthattheyouthcanfindtimeandthechurchcanfindresourcestohave
them...Sometimesweforgettheneedsthatouryoungpeoplehaveandthechallengesthatthe
youngpeoplehave.Headdedthatheprayedthatwedontleavethemoutinthewildand
allthatcanbedonenowisprayandmoveforward.156
Ashasbeenexplored,manyofthecampsintheSynodsharemanyofthesameroots,
manyhavesharedresources,somehavesharedthesamelocation,andsomehaveevenshared
staff.Assuch,thecampswouldtheoreticallyhavesimilarreligiouspracticesandreligious
programs.ThenextchapterwillexaminetheseprogramsatthevariouscampsoftheSynod.
4.ReligiousActivities

ServiceUndertheTrees.
Theoutdoorserviceundertheoaksconductedin1844byRev.Dietrichsonwasdoneby
necessity.Bothpastorandparishionerslongedforanadequatebuildinginwhichtoworship
reverentlyandreceivethegiftsofGodinthedivineservice.Theconstructionofaworshipspace
wasofsecondpriority,behindorganizingaformalcongregation.Infact,twochurchbuildings
wereconstructedonlyaboutthreemonthsafterthefirsttwoAmericancongregationsofthe
Norwegianchurchwereorganized.Dietrichsongatheredtogethertheimmigrantsandon
October10and13,1844thefirsttwocongregationsoftheNorwegianchurchwereestablished.
TwochurchbuildingswereerectedanddedicatedonDecember19andJanuary31,1845

156

MarvinMeyer,interviewbytheauthor,March,2015.

61

respectively.157 ForNorwegianimmigrants,manyofwhomlivedinpoorconditionsinNorway,
lifeinAmericapromisedmorecomfortablelivingandbetterlivingconditions.Forothers,
includingpastorswhohadenjoyedarelativelyhighersocialclassandmorecomfortableliving
conditionsinNorway,lifeintheAmericanpioneertownsinthemid19thcenturywasa
sacrifice.158 OthergroupsofsettlersfromEuropehadsimilarexperiences.
Ironically,bytheearly20thcentury,theideaoflivinglikeapioneerhadalreadybeen
romanticized.EvenmoreironicisatendencythatParishasnoted:youngcampersgenerallydid
notarriveatcampdrivenbyambivalencetowardthemodernage.Infact,campwasoftenwhere
boysandgirlslearnednostalgiaforanerathattheyweretooyoungtorecall.159 Nevertheless,a
worshipserviceliketheonedescribeddoesallowforsomeromanticizing.
Infact,abrochureforthefirstSynodcampin1952atLakeShetekdescribedthe
religiousprogram:ThemorningswillbespentinastudyofabookoftheBibleandthehistory
oftheNorwegianSynod.OurSynodwillbeonehundredyearsoldin1953,andheresyour
chancetolearnmoreaboutit.160 Nodoubttheserviceundertheoakswasmentionedand
parallelswerelikelydrawn.
Evangelicalcampstracetheirworshiphistory,sometimesinverysimilarwaysinterms
oflocation,theology,andpurpose,totentrevivalsorcampmeetings.Intheirhistoryofreligious

S.C.Ylvisaker,
GraceforGrace:BriefHistoryoftheEvangelicalLutheranSynod
,22.

SeeElisabethKorensdiaryonherexperience,fromlivingratherluxuriouslyinNorwayasthedaughterof
apastor,tohernewlifeinAmericawithherhusbandU.V.Koren,wheretheyhadnohouseoftheirownfornearly
thefirsttwoyearsuponarrivinginAmerica.
ElisabethKoren,
DiaryofElisabethKoren
,trans.anded.byDavidT.Nelson,(NorwegianAmerican
HistoricalAssociation,1955).
159

Paris,13.
160

Brochure,
SummerBibleCampatLakeShetekStatePark,Tracy,Minnesota
.(Mankato,MN:TheYoung
PeoplesBoardoftheNorwegianSynodoftheAmericanEvangelicalLutheranChurch,1952),BoardforEducation
andYouthLutheranYouthAssociation19361970.Coll.s.720.EvangelicalLutheranSynod,BethanyLutheran
TheologicalSeminary.
157
158

62

camps,FergusonandBurchseeadirectconnectionbetweenthebeginningsofmodern
evangelicalcampsandtheearlycampmeetings:Thesinglereligiouspurposeofcampmeetings
wasconversion.Thestructureofthecampmeetingmovedparticipantstowardcommitmentto
JesusChrist.Singing,exhortations,testimonials,andpreachingwereelementsofsmallandlarge
meetings.161
Unlikethesecamps,noneoftheELScampsstudiedhavemadeaconsciouseffortto
createanysortofromanticizedpioneerworshipexperienceoranattempttoharnessconversion
experiencesthroughtheoutdoorsetting.Indeed,theexplanationoftheNorwegianSynod
historyin1952wasatheretellingofpioneerhistory,butnotanattempttorecreateaspiritual
experience.Afterall,theserviceundertheoaktreeswasnodifferenttheologicallythanservices
todayintheSynod.However,theredoesseemtobeafeelingofconnectionwiththepastwhen
worshippingoutdoors.However,theconnectionisinahorizontaldirection,aconnectionwith
Christiansandpioneersofthepast,thecontinuityofChristiansworshippingGodinoutdoor
settings,ratherthaninaverticaldirection,aconnectionwithGodsimplybybeinginthe
outdoors.
TheplacementoftheCampLorRaychapelandespeciallythealtarinthemiddleof
someoaktreesonthepropertymaybeoneindicationofthis.Whilenoonecouldconfirmthe
serviceundertheoaksin1844wasinmindwhenthefoundersofCampLorRayplacedthe
chapelthere,thefactthatELSmembersandpastorsfoundedthecamp,andkeepinginmindhow

161

NancyFergusonandJenniferBurch.ReligiousCamps:CommonRootsandNewSprouts,
Camping
Magazine
,Nov/Dec2011.AmericanCampAssociation.AccessedFeb25,2015.
http://www.acacamps.org/campmag/1111/religiouscamps

63

wellknowntheaccountistobothpastorsandlaymen,thetheoryiscertainlyplausible.Afew
interviewssuggestedthatthiscouldhaveverywellbethecase.
AmongELSCamps,CampLorRayisnotunusualinworshippingintheoutdoors.In
fact,thescheduleandreligiousprogramofCampLorRaywasdirectlycarriedoverfromthe
Indianheadcamps.Thethreecampsclosedtheweekswithanopenairserviceat11a.m.for
campers,parents,andfriends.Infact,eventodaytheschedulesofbothIndianheadcamps,
LorRay,4Star,Lutherhaven,andtheothercircuitcampshaveremarkablysimilarschedules
withregardstoreligiousactivities.Daysbeginandendatallcampswithdevotionandhymn
singing,andtwoBiblelessonsaretaughteachdaybyareapastors.Thesestudiesandmethods
ofinstructionareexplorednext.

BibleStudiesandMethodsofReligiousInstruction.
BibleStudiesandmethodsofreligiousinstructionhavevariedsomewhatthroughoutthe
campsintheSynod,butmostofthemoweatleastsomeoftheirstructuretoCampIndianheadat
Drummond,WIandtheleadershipofRaymondBranstad.FromtheverybeginningatCamp
Indianhead,manydifferentpastorswereinvolvedwithdifferentaspectsofthecampreligious
(andphysical)program.OnepastorwouldleadmorningMatins,onepastorwouldleadevening
Vespers,anotherwouldleadBiblediscussiontopics,andfinallyafourthwouldleadtheBible
Study.Anentirelydifferentpastorwouldbethedirectorofthewholeprogram.Stilltodayat
everycamp,Biblestudiesaretaughtanddevotionsledbypastors(incertainplaces,malecalled
teachersalsoleadthese),andmostcampshavepastorsasdirectors.

64

Theimportanceofinvolvingthepastorsoftheyouthintheworkoftheiryouth,seemsto
besomethingthatisuniquetotheELS.AtmanyLCMScampsandevenatsomeWELScamps,
Biblestudiesanddevotionsaredonebyhiredcollegestudentsservingascounselors.Also
uniquetoELScampsisacampnewspaper.CampIndianheadstarteditspaper,the
Camp
IndianheadTomTom
,forthecampsinauguralyearin1952.CampLorRayandCamp4Star
wouldeventuallypublishpapersbasedonthesameformat.Includedineachpaperwere
highlights,jokes,news,andmoreimportantly,arecapofthepreviousdaysdevotionsandBible
studies.63yearslater,CampIndianhead,WIstillpublishesthe
TomTom
today.
In1960,the
LYAQuarterly
includedanoticeforthesynodstwoyouthcampsthatyear:
ClearLake,IAwhichwastobeheldattheRegularBaptistCamp,andCampIndianhead.For
CampIndianhead,itwassaidthatafter13years,theprogramremainsunchanged,withdaily
devotions,talksbyneighboringpastors,andgroupdiscussions... 162TheprogramatClearLake
wasdescribedinthisway:
Theprogramisdesignedtogiveyouaweekstimulatingtobothbodyandsoul.Latest
wordisthatthemorningtopicstudieswillbemostinteresting.Topicsincludethese:The
lastthings,datingandmixedmarriages,istheCatholicchurchreallysobad?,Christian
education,scienceinthelightofChristianity,andafinalquestionboxonSaturday
morning.Besidesthesetopics,dailyBiblestudiesandeveningdevotions,thecamp
programincludesswimming,softball,horseshoes,croquet,excursionboatrides,
campfires,andlotsmore! 163

AcompendiumofvariouscampdevotionalandBiblestudythemeswasdevelopedbythe
YouthBoardin1965.Sixtopicsofthreecampswerelisted,inadditiontothreeyearsofseries
usedbyanunnamedBaptistcamp(mostlikelythesameBaptistcampwheretheClearLake
campwasheld).FortheELScamps,therewassometimeslittleconnectingallofthedaily

162

163

LYAQuarterly
,Vol.7,No.1.,(1960),7.
Ibid.,6.

65

topics,apartfromtheobviousthateachonewasbasedonthetruthsofScripture.LakeShetekin
itssecondyearhadsixtopics,allofthemverymuchlawbased:Obediencetoparents,humility,
forgivingspirit,submission,loveforlostsouls(whichstressedhowyoungpeopleshouldbe
missionminded,notonlybringingtheirgiftsofmoneytomissions,butalsobybeingreadyand
eagertospeaktoothers),andfinallyobediencetoGovernment.ClearLakespentfourdayson
theTrinityandtheworkofeachperson,andthenadayonjustificationandadayonlastthings.
In1958,ClearLakechosetopicsfortheinterestofthecampers,suchasthefourth
commandment,thesixthcommandment,andfaithhealing.ThefinalstudywasaQuestion
Boxwherethepastorswouldanswerquestionsthechildrenhadsubmittedthroughouttheweek.
In1961,CampIndianheadNorthusedaseries,studyingvariousAmericanchurches.Finally,
CampIndianheadNorthin1964developedaweeklongcohesiveseriesbasedonYou.#1.
You!YouandYourSavior,YouandYourChurch,YouandYourSex,[and]YouandYour
Vocation.164
RobertMoldstadinhispresentationattheLutheranPioneerconventionin1963,spokeof
possiblespiritualideas,themes,andstudiesforcamps.Innocaseshouldthespiritualprogram
beomitted,heimplored.Ifpossible,takeadvantageoftheoutdoorsurroundingsinyour
spiritualpresentation.JesusreferredtothethingsaroundHiminHisteaching.Insidethetent
devotions,andlakesideorfiresidedevotionsateveningtimearemostinspiring.Havesome
goodrainyweatherdiscussionquestionsinmindifhardrainshouldconfineyoutothetentsfor
awhile.HeevenwentontosuggestpossibledevotionandBiblestudytopicthemes,relatingto

164

CampDevotionalThemes,1965,BoardforEducationandYouthLutheranYouthAssociation19361970.
Coll.s.720.EvangelicalLutheranSynod,BethanyLutheranTheologicalSeminary.

66

theoutdoors:TheCamperWhoHadNoCampEquipment,(JacobfleeingEsau)andA
CampPartnerWhoWasMerciful,(DavidnothurtingSaulinthecave).165
Moldstademphasizedthattherewasmorespiritualgrowththathappenedatcampthan
throughformalworshipservicesandBiblestudies.Indoingthishesometimesborderedon
equatingmoralismwithspirituality.Wewillleadinspiritualgrowthbyconductingourcamp
fairly,teachingotherstobefair,apportioninggoodoldKPevenly...Wecanshowconcernand
loveforeachother...Teacheachcamper:Iammybrotherskeeper.166 Butinalmostallofa
campsdailyroutine,hesawspiritualvalue,simplybecauseChristianityisinseparablefroma
personseverydaylife.Forexample,weareinterestedinFirstAidbecauseoftheFifth
Commandment.Headmittedthattherewasmoretochurchworkthancamping,butcamping,
properlyused,canbeaneffectivemeansofdoingpartofthechurchswork.Itwashisgoal
thatthechildrensinterestinwhatthechurchdoesincamping,wouldaddtotheirinterestin
SundaySchool.167
AninformalteachingmethodhasbeenusedforsometimeatCampIndianhead,WI
throughanactivitycalledRomansandChristians.168Thisroleplayinggameallowscampers
todontheidentityofChristiansduringthetimeofEmperorNero.Thegamecreatesashared
identitywithChristiansofthepast,demonstratingthatChristiansofalltimeshaveneededto

RobertMoldstad,
IntroductiontoChurchCampingintheLocalCongregation,
BoardforEducationand
YouthLutheranYouthAssociation19361970.Coll.s.720.EvangelicalLutheranSynod,BethanyLutheran
TheologicalSeminary,3.
166

Ibid.,4.
167

Ibid.,5.
168

NateAbrahamson,inconversationwiththeauthor,July,2014.
165

67

witnesstheirfaith.Withtheproperinstructionanddebriefingafterthegame,thisgamecanbea
powerfultool.Without,thegamecanpotentiallybeoverlyintimidatingandevenharmful.169
ThereligiousprogramatCamp4Starisuniqueinthattheprogramactuallyrotateseach
yearbetweentheELSandtheWELS,plannedbytheirpastors,andthusreflectingtheirSynods
respectivestylesandcultures.ThetwosynodsalternateresponsibilityfortheBiblestudieseach
year.MaureenKelly,oneofthecampsdirectorsontheboardexplained,
Arepresentativefrom
theCampBoardnotifiesapastorfromtheresponsiblesynodwhatthecampthemeisforthe
year,andthepastorsfromthatsynoddecidewhofromtheirmembershipwillprovidetheBible
studiesthatyear.Sometimesmultiplepastorssharethedutysometimesonepastorpresentsall
weeklong.170 Thecampreallyhastwothemeseachyear.Themainthemefortheentirecamp
ischosenbytheBoardandmayormaynotnecessarilybeBiblical.Sometimesthethemeis
secular,suchasGoGreen!andwouldgivetheleadersextraopportunitiestoteach,suchas
howtobegoodenvironmentalstewards.ThepastorsofeithertheELSorWELSchooseatheme
forBibleStudiesanddevotions.In2013,thecampthemewasJesusisOurTreasure,andthe
BiblestudyanddevotionthemewasTeDeum.
SomethingsimilarhasbeendoneatCampLorRay.TheSuperintendentorBoardof
Directorswouldchooseasummertheme,butthepastorsappointedbytheSuperintendentwould
chooseBiblestudies.TheseBiblestudieswouldoftenbefrommaterialspublishedby

169

FromtheauthorsexperienceatplayingaRomanonesummerataMissouriSynodcamp,ifthegamewas
nottaughtproperly,orifcamperswerenotinstructedhowtowitnesstheirfaith,sometendedtoresorttoReformed
theologyie.,ChristianstellingRomanstopraythatJesuswouldworkintheirheart.Ifcamperswerenot
properlydebriefedandtheactivityexplained,manywouldbelefttheimpressionthatthecounselorswereterrorizing
themfortheirfaith.
170

MaureenKelly,emailmessagetotheauthor,January29,2015.

68

NorthwesternPublishingHouse.Recently,therehasbeenanattempttocoordinatestudiesand
devotionsdirectlywiththesummertheme.
AtCampLutherhaven,pastorsleadBiblestudiesalsopublishedbyNorthwesternor
ConcordiaPublishingHouse.Pittengernotedthataround2025camperseachyeararefriendsof
members,andmorethanlikelythesechildrenareunchurched.Thispresentsagreater
opportunitytoevangelizethanattheothercampsandsoPittengersaidhetriestoreturntosome
basicsofChristianityeachyearforthebasisofthestudies,suchastheLordsPrayer,Psalm23
(whichisrecitedeveryotheryearintheevening),andLuthersMorningPrayer.Ateacherfrom
BethanyLutheranSchoolwilloftencometothecampandteachimportantBiblestudiesifsome
childrendonotknowthem,andifsomeonedoesnothaveaBible,theywillbesenthomewith
one.TheteachersunderstandhowimportantitisthatchildrenopenuptheBibleandreadfrom
it.Someobjectlessonshavebeenusedaswell,suchasfireandaflashlighttoteachthethemeof
theLightofLife,andamapandcompasshavebeenusedtoteachthatChrististheWay.171

Devotions&Songs.
AyoungboywhowasattendingCampIndianheadinDrummondin1954wroteofa
TypicalDayatCampinanarticleforthe
YPAQuarterly
.Everymorningbeganat7:00amby
thesoundofabugleorsiren.Thenitwasofftobreakfast.Afterbreakfasteveryonewould
assembleinthechapelforaMatinsservice,whichwasfollowedbytwoBiblestudies.He
commented,Whilethissoundslikeschool,itdoesntseemlikeitatall.Wereallygetalotout
oftheseclasses.Therewasalsoaperiodofmusic,inwhichwelearnsomethingaboutmusic
inourchurch.Itseemsthatwiththismusicperiod,thecampprogramattemptedtomirror

171

TonyPittenger,interviewbytheauthor,December,2014.

69

normalchurchlife.Therewasanotherspecifictimethatwasdesignatedforsongswithcatchy
tunesandcleverwords,butthisonewasdedicatedforsacredmusicandoflearningaboutthe
churchsmusic.EveryeveningcametoaclosewithaVespersservicewhichusuallytookplace
inthechapel.Theboyaddedhowever,thatononenightofthecamp,Wehavealakeshore
Vesperthatistrulyimpressive.Youhavetotakepartinittotrulyappreciateit.
OnSundaymorningwehaveaservicejustaswedoathome,withchoirandall.Yet,
somehow,outthereinthewoodsontheshoreofabeautifullake,theserviceseemsevenmore
impressiveandyoucantellthatthesermonhasbeenwrittenjustforus.172
AnotheryoungcamperwouldexpoundonthespeciallakeshoreVesperinthe
YPA
Quarterly
in1961.Somethingshavebecomeatraditionatindianhead.Oneofthemost
beautifuloftheseisthemoonlightvespers.Candlesaresetoutonpaperplatesinasemicircle
onthelakeandtheministerpreachesfromeitherarowboatoracanoe.Itisreallyvery
impressivesittingoutunderthestarslookingoverapeacefullake.Iamremindedofthetime
whenJesuswentoutinaboatontheSeaofGalileetopreachtothepeople.173
TheseexperienceswouldnotbelimitedtoCampIndianheadalone.ApparentlyRobert
Moldstad,whohadbeenaleaderatCampIndianhead,wouldbringthisuniqueservicewithhim
toCampLorRay.174JimOlsen,KathyBruss(Moldstadsdaughter),andBobRing,all
emotionallyrecalledtheeveningcandlelitlakesideVesperininterviews.

LarryMonson.ATypicalDayatCamp
YPAQuarterly
,Vol.1,No.II,(1954),3.

JudyMaginnis,CampingAheadin
YPAQuarterly
,Vol.10,No.1.,(1961),1112.
174

The1959CampIndianheadTomTomnewspaperreportedthatMoldstadledMatinseachmorningatthe
camp.DevotionswerebasedonmorningscenesintheBible,suchasthemorningthatamanandhisonlyson
walkedtogetherupamountainwithwoodtoburnasacrifice,butnolamb.VesperswasleadbyRev.Luther
VangenofEauClaire.Moldstadalsoledthesportsprogram,withhelpfromTedCuster(sic)oftheUniversityof
Minnesota.ThepapersaysofMoldstad,mostofyouwillrememberhimfromformeryears.
CampIndianheadTomTom
.Vol.VIII,No.1&3,August15&17,1959.Hinckley,MN,Boardfor
EducationandYouthLutheranYouthAssociation19361970.Coll.s.720.EvangelicalLutheranSynod,Bethany
LutheranTheologicalSeminary.
172
173

70

Whileothercampsmayhaveservicesanddevotionswithlittlestructure,campsinthe
ELSallhavehadliturgicalservices,usinghistoricordersofworship.Somehaveevenhadfull
worshipservicesinvolvingapreachingpastor,aliturgist,andevenanorganist.Thesettingsfor
theseserviceshavealsobeenimportant.CampIndianheadconvertedtheirdiningroomintoa
chapelin1959andexpectedcamperstoactasyouwouldinchurch.Enterquietlyand
reverentlybeforetheservicejustasyouwouldinyourownchurch.Camperswerealsoasked
todressintheirbestfortheservice.Thecanteencampbankwouldbeopenforyouthto
takeouttheirofferingmoneytogotowardSynodyouthwork.175
AllofthecampshaveusedtheservicesofMatinsandVespersforopeningandclosing
devotionsatsomepointintheirhistory,andmoststilldo.PrimeandComplinearealso
regularlyused.Earlycampsusedhymnsfromboth
TheLutheranHymnal
and
TheLutheran
Hymnary
,andatleastin1959attheClearLakeCamp,thehymnarywasfavored.176
TheYouthBoardpublishedahymnbookin1967,editedbyRobertMoldstad.1500
copieswerepublished.177
Thishymnbook,calledthe
CampHymnbook
andbearingtheinsignias
ofLutheranPioneers,LutheranGirlPioneers,BethanyCollege,andCampLorRay,wasusedat
thethreesummercampsoftheSynodandattheLYAConvention.ItssubtitlewasServingour
congregationsandtheiryouth,buildingforourSavior,Jesus.Arevisededitionwaspublished
almostimmediatelyafterin1969.
Justbetweenthetwoeditionsofthehymnbook,therearevast
differences.The1967editionincludeshymnsfromvarioushymnals:
TheLutheranHymnary
,

CampIndianheadInstructionSheet,
1959.Also
CampIndianheadTomTom
,Vol.III,No.2.,August16,
1959,Hinckley,MN,BoardforEducationandYouthLutheranYouthAssociation19361970.Coll.s.720.
EvangelicalLutheranSynod,BethanyLutheranTheologicalSeminary.
176

AletterfrompastorRichardNewgardtopastorGeorgeGullixsondatedMay25,1959statedinapostscript
notetochooseahymnfromthe
Hymnary
tosingforthedevotion&Biblestudyhewastoplan.
177

ReportoftheYouthBoard,
1967SynodReport
,(Mankato,MN:EvangelicalLutheranSynod,1967),
6566.
175

71

TheLutheranHymnal
,
WorshipandServiceBook
,and
TheServiceBookandHymnal
.Afair
numberofsongswouldhavebeenconsideredcontemporarytothoseintheELSandWELSsince
manywereincludedfromHopePublishings
WorshipandServiceBook
andAugsburgs
Service
BookandHymnal
.ThereIsaGreenHillFarAway,Jesus,SaviorPilotMe,ThyWordis
LikeaGarden,Lord,AmazingGrace,WhereYouThereWhenTheyCrucifiedMyLord?,
HowGreatThouArt,PraiseHim!PraiseHim!andotherrelativelygenericpraisesongs
wereincluded.AsabookofficiallypublishedbytheYouthBoard,thiswouldhavelikelybeen
thefirstSynodicalhymnbookbetweentheELSandWELSwhichincludedsuchsongs.
Interestingly,allofthesesongswereremovedintherevisededitionpublishedonlytwo
yearslater.Itappearstherewasadesiretoimprovethetheologicalcontentofthesongsused
evenatcamp.AnorderofMatinsandVesperswasincludedinthisnewversionandhymns
weretakenalmostexclusivelyfrom
TheLutheranHymnary
and
TheLutheranHymnal
.More
songswereincludedinthishymnbook,andmanyusedimageryofnature,suchasTheSunHas
GoneDown,andJesusShallReignWhereertheSun.Almostrightawayitseems,theYouth
Boardsawtheimportanceofchildrensingingatcampthesamehymnsthatwereusedinchurch.
Sillysongswereofcoursesung,buttheseweretaughtverballybycounselorsand
memorizedbythecampersthroughrepetition,orwrittenonlargeposterboards.Thiswouldnot
alwaysbethecasehowever.AtCampLorRayyearslater,anewcampsongbookwasput
togetheraround1995.Thissongbookcontainedallofthesongshymns,secularsongs,and
evensillyreligioussongswhichwouldbesungduringaweekatCamp.Nodivisionwasmade
betweenhymnsandsillyreligioussongs,butsimplycategorizedunderasacredsection.Also,
nohymnswereincludedfromthe
TheLutheranHymnary
or
TheLutheranHymnal
,thetwo

72

hymnalsusedbytheELSatthetime.Manyofthesongsremovedfromthe1967
Camp
Hymnbook
wereputintothisnewsongbook.
Camp4Starintheearly1980sincludedasingingtimeorchoirrehearsal.Thistook
placebetweenthetwomorningBiblestudytimesintworotatingsessions.Whileonegroupwas
singing,anotherhadfreetime.Achoirwouldsingattheclosingserviceofthecamp.
Devotionswereabout15minuteslong,andincludedahymn,thedevotionbasedonthe
themefortheweek,aprayer,andthelastverseofthehymnsungpriortodevotion,oranother
hymn.AlettertopastorsparticipatinginCamp4Starin1981notedthatWednesdayevening
devotionisusuallyoutsidearoundacampfire.TheHarstadshaveasingalongandthena
devotiontowardstheend.178 SongssuchasTurn!Turn!Turn!,ItOnlyTakesASpark,and
TelltheWorldweresung.Thesongbookusedatthecampwas
SongsAlongtheWay
,
publishedbyAugsburgPublishingHouse.ThisbookcontainedthesongAContemporary
Psalmonthefrontcover,andEarthandAllStars,Love,Love,Love,HesGottheWhole
World,alongwith21otherhymns,fivePsalms,theApostlesCreed,theLordsPrayer,anda
suggestedorderforworship.ThereligiousprogramatCamp4Startodayissimilar,onlywith
singingandtheBiblestudiesbeingdoneinalternation.In2013,thelasttimetheELSpastors
plannedthecamp,theychoseforareligiousthemeTeDeum,andappropriatelysungthe
Te
Deum
.AmodifiedversionoftheserviceofPrimewasusedformorningdevotions.
Recently,worshipatCampIndianhead,MNhasreturnedtoamorereverentstyle,thatis,
purposefullyconductingtheworshipservicesinthesamemannerthatanormalSundaydivine

178

TedGullixson.LettertoPastorsparticipatinginCampFourStar,19June,1981.

73

Serviceisconducted.DavidThompsoncommentedthatatCampIndianhead,theydistinguish
betweenatimeforfunandatimetofocusonChristandhisWord.
Wemadesurefunwasfunwildfunattimes(likeourcrazySummerandFoul
Olympics)andsometimesborderingonrecklessness(likeCapturetheFlagwhereblood
wasspiltonrareoccasion).ButwheneverwefocusonChristandhisWorditisalways
donewithcompletereverenceweavoidsillyprayersandsongsthatwerelessthan
reverentagoodlessonforyouth.179

Guitarandpianoaresometimesusedtoaccompanythesinging,butallofthesacred
songsandhymnsthataresungaretakenfromtheELH.Eachsummer,ahymncorresponding
withthesummerthemeischosentobesungandmemorized(usuallyabout45stanzasare
knownbytheendoftheweek).Atthecampfire,afterthefunandsillysongshavebeensung,
thishymnispracticedandsung,followedbytherecitingoftheCreed,chantingtheLords
Prayer,singingOnMyHeartImprintThineImage,andfinallyclosingwiththeAaronic
blessing.Thereishardlyacamperthatdoesnotappreciateourcleardistinctionbetweenfun
andworship,Thompsonreflected,addingthatRev.JoeAbrahamsonwasworkingonanew
campworshipbook,whichwillbethebesteverintheworld(noexaggeration).180
CampLorRayisattemptingtocapturethesuccessofthespiritualprogramatCamp
Indianheadandreflectitwithsomemodificationsforitsownuniquecamperneeds.Aserviceof
PrimeandComplineandmorehymnshavebeenincludedinarecentsongbookusedbythe
camp.Favoritessuchasthedoxologyareroutinelysung,andAbideWithMeissungasthe
closinghymnofeverycampsession,ifnotsungastheclosinghymneverynight.
TheELSBoardforYouthOutreachiscurrentlyassistingCampLorRayinfindingused
ELH

hymnaries
tobeusedintheoutdoorcampchapelandfordevotionaluseatthecamp.After

179

180

DavidThompson,emailmessagetotheauthor,February14,2015.
Ibid.

74

aplannedchapelrenovationproject,whichwilladdbencheswithseatbacksandsomeneeded
shade,thehopeisthatthechapelwillonceagainbeusedregularlyforkidscamp.Currently,
thechapelisusedonlyforshortworshipservicesontheweekendsforfamilycampers.Abellat
thechapelisrungandsummonseveryonetotheservice.
AtCampLutherhaven,whenabellfromanoldNorwegiancongregationringseach
morning,camperscomeintotheindoorchapel,whichfeaturesapictureofJesusintheGardenof
Gethsemane,formorningdevotion(PittengernotedthattheELSgroupistheonlyyouthcamp
thatstillusesthechapelasachapel).TheorderofPrime,oravariationofPrimeisusedeach
morning.Complineoravariationofitisusedintheevenings.Funsongswillbesungaround
thecampfire,andthensongssuchasThreeMenonAMountain,asongbythebandThe
Divers,agroupformedofELSmembersfromMankato,issungbeforedevotiontowindthe
campersdown.HymnssuchasAbidewithMe,orMyLovedOnesRestSecurelyaresung.
181

AtLakePlacidCamp,DanielRuizrecalledfromhistimeasacamperthattherewere

devotionseveryday,butonceaweekaformalservicewasconducted.Childrenwerenot
expectedtodressup,buttheywereexpectedtobecleanfortheservice.
HealsorememberedadevotiongivenbyRev.GregSchmidt,usingthethemeofChief
ofSinnersfrom1Timothy1:15.SchmidtusedtheimageofaNativeAmericanChief,wearing
anelaborateheaddresswithmanyfeathers.ThefeathersrepresentedtheexperienceoftheChief
themorehedid,themorefeathershewouldreceive.Inasimilarway,eachtimeapersonsins,it

181

TonyPittenger,interviewbytheauthor,December,2014.

75

isasiftheyareearningafeatherintheirheaddress.Eventually,thatpersonbecomesthe
Chiefofsinners.182

ConclusiontoChapterFour.
B.W.TeigenwroteashortessayontheimportanceoftheSynodscampingprogramin
1964,muchofwhichdeservesquoting:
OurLutheranyouthCampsnowgobackmanyyears.OurSynodhashadconsiderable
experienceinthisphaseofyouthwork.Itisremarkablehowmanymembersofour
Synodhaveattendedoneormoreofthesecamps,eitherasacamperorasamemberof
thestaff.Thisfactpointstooneofthevaluesofhavingsuchcamps.Theyouthfromour
scatteredcongregationsgettoknoweachothertheylearntheblessingsofthefellowship
offaith,andtheregrowsoutofthesesharedcampexperiencesasolidaritywhichismost
beneficialtothechurchduringthesetimeswhenourcivilizationandculturetendtobe
unstableandmobile.

Teigenobservedthat,ratherthandrawingchildrenawayfromthechurchwithnewideas
andmethods,theSynodscampsdrewchildrenintothechurchandincludedtheminthelifeof
theSynod.Hewrote,
ThereareevengreaterblessingswhichaccruetoourSynodthroughwellrunyoung
peoplessummercamps.Bywayofillustration,thebrochureforthesummercampheld
atLakeShetekStatePark,July2027,1952,carriesthisparagraph:Themorningswill
bespentinastudyofaBookoftheBibleandthehistoryoftheNorwegianSynod.Our
Synodwillbe100yearsoldin1953,andheresyourchancetolearnmoreaboutit.
ThosepioneeringyoungpeoplewhowenttothisfirstcampsponsoredbyourSynods
YouthBoardlearnedmuchatthatsummercampwhichencouragedthemtolovetheir
Saviorandtoappreciateevermoredeeplytheheritagewhichhascomethroughthe
doctrineandthepracticeoftheNorwegianSynod.183

Whilethephysicalsettingandmindsetsofindividualspresentin1844mayhavebeen
different,attheheartoftheirservicewasanappreciationforthegiftsofGod,exemplifiedmost

182

DanielRuiz,inconversationwiththeauthor,March18,2015.

BjarneW.Teigen.TheValueofOurSynodsCampingProgram.June20,1964,BoardforEducationand
YouthLutheranYouthAssociation19361970.Coll.s.720.EvangelicalLutheranSynod,BethanyLutheran
TheologicalSeminary.
183

76

stronglyinthepreparatoryaddressbeforetheLordsSupperwasdistributed.Similarly,atheart
oftheoutdoorworshipservicesatELScampsisanappreciationforthegiftsofGodinWordand
Sacrament,andsecondarily,forHismagnificentcreation.Thereisacontinuitythatexistsinthe
summercampsoftheELS,acontinuityintermsofreligiousandphysicalpracticesfromcampto
camp,andmoreimportantly,acontinuityofthehistoricChristianfaith.

77

5.Conclusion

SuggestionforFutureResearch.
Theauthorofthisthesishasheardonmorethanoneoccasionandinvariousplacesthe
sentimentthatbadtheologyandliberalnesstendtogrowintwoplaces:Inforeignmissionsand
inyouthorganizations,suchassummercamps.IfPres.JohnBrennersaforementioned
commentregardingtheWisconsinSynodsnegativeperspectiveonyouthorganizationsalready
inthe1950sisanyindication,thenthissentimenthasbeenaroundforsometime.Thisessay
hasexploredinparticularthereligiousactivitiesandprogramsofELSsummercampsandhas
foundacontinuityinpracticeandthehistoricChristianfaith.Sowhiledeterminingthe
liberalnessofcampswasnotagoalofthisthesis,itcangenerallybesaidthatthesentiment
doesnotappeartobetrueoftheELS.Ofcourse,amorecomprehensiveandmoreindepth
studywouldperhapsprovideexplanationtowhereandwhythissentimenthasdeveloped.A
comparativestudyofotherLutheranSynodscamps,youthorganizations,andyouthrallies
wouldservewellforthispurpose.Ifthesentimentisinfacttrue,thenthiswouldhavebroad
implications,forasvanSyckhasevencommented,Amongsocialinstitutions,onlypublic
schoolshavetouchedthelivesofmoreyoungsters[thansummercamps].184
Ofcourse,thefactthatsummercampsarethelargestinstitutionwhichimpactthelivesof
youngpeoplecanbeatremendousblessingaswell.

BlessingsandChallenges.

184

vanSlyck,ixx.

78

Forthepastfewyears,CampLorRayhasconductedaclosingmeetingwitheachofits
staffgroupscalledcoalsanddiamonds,orsomevariationonthetitle.Everystaffmemberis
givenanopportunitytostateanegativethingthathappenedatcamp(acoal),andoneormore
positivethingsthathappenedatthecamp(adiamond).EachoftheELScampshave
challenges,buttheyallhaveblessings.Likeacoalturningintodiamond,sometimesthese
challengesturnintoblessings.TheIndianheadCampswillrentpropertyfromLCMS,Baptist,
orothergroups,andaresometimesfacedwiththeproblemofthenonfellowshipstaffatthose
campswantingtoassumespiritualleadershipovertheELSyouthcamp,byleadingdevotions
andprayers.Ontheotherhand,holdingcampatthoselocationshasallowedtheyouthofthe
ELStoletthelightoftheGospelshine.DavidThompsonrecalledthatatLutherIslandCamp,
theyinteractedwithsomegoodconfessionalLCMSpastors,whoweresomewhat
jealousofour
campanditstheologicalandconfessionalemphasis(thecampsthatLICrunarealittlemore
Kumbayaoriented).Onseveraloccasions,LutherIslandstaffwantedtoknowwhatisthe
ELS?andanumberoftheminreturnhavecometoBethanyLutheranCollege.185
Theauthorofthisessaywasalsoprivilegedtowitnessanotherblessingthispastsummer
attheannualLutheranYouthAssociationconvention.Astudent(notELS,butstillinfellowship
withtheELS)wasinattendancewhoapparentlyhadseemedtobegrowingawayfromthe
worshipofthechurchandhadapparentlynodesiretoattendaLutherancollege.Bytheendof
theconvention,thestudentstatedthatshelovedtheconventionandwasactuallynow
consideringattendingBethanyLutheranCollege.

185

DavidThompson,emailmessagetotheauthor,February14,2015.

79

ThecommenthascomeupagainandagaininannualSynodReportsthatLYAand
summercampshaveaverypositiveeffectonattendanceatBethanyLutheranCollege.
MembershipretentionintheSynodwouldalsolikelybepositivelyaffected.Statisticswere
attemptedtobegatheredfromthecollegeregardingLYAandcampattendance,howevernosuch
dataexistsintheadmissionsdepartmentofthecollege.Keepingtrackofsuchadmission
statisticswouldperhapsbebeneficialforthecollege,aswellasLYAandthesummercamps.
SummercampsintheELS,undoubtedlyhavebeenablessingtothecollegeandtothe
SynodandtotheChristianChurchatlargeevenifnoquantitativenumberscanbefound.
TherearehoweverareaswhichthesummercampsoftheELScouldexploretoenhancetheir
outreachprograms.

AreasforOutreach.
The
2014AmericanCamperReport
showsthatcampingparticipationintheUnitedStates
hasremainedsteady,atleastforthelastcoupleofyears.In2010,39.9million,or14.1percent
ofthepopulationspenttimecamping.186In2013,40.1millionAmericanscamped,aslightdrop
inpercentagewhencomparedtototalpopulation,at14%.187Overall,campingisanactivity
thatisremainingsteadyintheunitedStates,andfromtheauthorsperspective,Christianyouth
campingevenseemstobeslowlyontheriseagain.188 Assuch,thereareafewareasfor
expansionandpotentialoutreachworthconsidering.

TheColemanCompany,Inc.andtheOutdoorFoundation,
2012AmericanCamperReport
,1,
http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/pdf/research.camping.2012.pdf
187

TheColemanCompany,Inc.andtheOutdoorFoundation,
2014AmericanCamperReport
,1,
http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/pdf/research.camping.2014.pdf
188

AttendanceatCampLorRayhitalowrightbeforeandduringtherecession,buthasbeenclimbingagain
foraboutthelastfiveyears.
186

80

Glamping
Thenewzipline,sewerlines,newbathhouse,andfamilycabinsthatCampLorRayhas
begunimplementingorhasplanstoimplementinthefuturearenotwithoutwarrant.Anew
trendhasbeennotedincamping,(onethattheRev.Hinckley,andanyofthemuscular
Christianityvariety,wouldverylikelydespise),thatmanycampersprefermoremodern
amenities.The
2012AmericanCamperReport
hadthistosay:
Whileconventionaltentsandbarebonesbivysarestillavailabletotraditionalcampers,
manycampsitesareevolvingtomoremoderntastes,providingsuchamenitiesasindoor
bathrooms,washersanddriersandfreeWiFi.Othershavegoneastepfurtherby
offeringheatedpools,waterslides,ziplines,golfcartsandacalendarfullofactivities.
KOACampgroundsprovidesdeluxecabinrentalswithflatscreenTVsandair
conditioningforcustomerswhowanttoexperiencetheoutdoorswithallthe
conveniencesofhome.Thetrendinthisglamorouscampinghasevenearneditsown
name,glamping,189

Perhapsmoreaccurately,thisisnotreallyanewtrendbutacategoryofcampingthat
finallynowhasitsownterm.Certainlytherearemanywhostillpreferthetraditionalcamping
experienceoflimitedamenitiesandluxuryandarusticexperiencehoweverromanticizedthe
experiencemightbe.Campswhichowntheirownpropertywouldbeinapositiontotake
advantageofglamping,providedofcoursethesenewadditionsandimprovementsfitwithin
thescaleandbudgetofacamp,oratleastfitwithinaplanofexpansionforthecamp.
Projectionswillbeneededandfiguresanalyzedonthepossibilitiesofsupportingthenewcostly
infrastructure.PhysicalimprovementstocampscouldleadhowevertotheChurchtoreachnew
people,particularlytheuppermiddleclass.

189

TheColemanCompany,Inc.andtheOutdoorFoundation,
2012AmericanCampReport,
1.

81

EarlyChildhood
AsecondareaofoutreachfortheChurchtoreachoutthroughcampsisthrough
implementingprogramsforyoungerchildren.MartinLutherCollegeandtheWisconsin
EvangelicalLutheranSynodclaimthattheyareinthemidstofanearlychildhoodeducation
boom.In2012,enrollmentinWELSpreschoolsnumbered10,725,upover40%fromtenyears
prior.In2002,ChristianDaySchoolsoutnumberedpreschools,butin2012thatnumberwas
dramaticallyreversed.Therewereover400preschoolsintheWELSin2012,evenasChristian
DaySchoolsasawholeweredeclininginnumber.190
Sincethe1960s,daycampsandspecialtycampshavebeenontherise.Oneofthese
specialtycampsisashortercampgearedtowardspreschoolandkindergartenagecampers.
Whilethenumberdoesntreflectsummercampsspecifically,50%ofallcamperstaketheirfirst
campingtripbeforetheyare7,andonly1%arelikelytotaketheirfirstcampingtripafter18.191
Itisalsounlikelyforsomeonetobeintroducedtocampingafterage10.36%ofHispanicshad
theirfirstcampingexperienceaftertheageof10,comparedtoonly21%ofCaucasians.
Short,onenightortwonightlongscheduledcampsarearelativelynewoptionfor
parentslookingtospendtimewiththeirchildren.CampLorRaybeganaKinderCampin
2010bythesuggestionandunderthedirectionoftheauthorofthisthesis.Thiscampwasalso
combinedwithanew1stthrough3rdgradecamp.Theresultsweremodestintermsofnumbers,
buttheresponsewasoverwhelminglypositive.TheKinderCampwasandisstructuredsothata
parentattendswiththeirchild(ren),engaginginactivitiesintheoutdoorswiththem,and

190

LettheLittleChildrenCome,(NewUlm,MN:MartinLutherCollege,2012),3,
http://mlcwels.edu/letthechildrencome/materials/letthechildrencomecasebook
191

TheColemanCompany,Inc.andtheOutdoorFoundation,
2012AmericanCampReport
,50&54.

82

studyingScripturerightalongsidethemfortwoofthreeBiblelessons.ThethirdBiblelessonis
gearedspecificallyforparents.ThesidebysideBiblestudyissomethinguniquethatmost
daycaresareunabletoprovide,andthegoalisforittobeasmuchofateachingmomentforthe
parentsasitisalearningmomentforthechildren.Parentsdonotusuallyattendforchildrenin
1stthrough3rdgrade,andsincethecamprunsoveronlytwonights,homesicknesshasnotbeen
anymoreofanissuethanatothercamps.BothcampsengagechildrenwiththeScriptureata
youngageinalessformalenvironment.Nowinitssixthyear,theretentionratehasbeennearly
100%forcampersreturningtocampinoldersessions.
Hispanics
AthirdareaforpotentialoutreachistopeopleofHispanicbackground.Hispanicsarethe
secondlargestethnicgroupinAmericatocamp.Oftheapproximately40millionAmericans
whocamp,8%areHispanic,while77%areCaucasian,and6%areAsian/PacificIslander,and
just4%areAfricanAmericans.192 The
AmericanCamperReport
notedin2012thatHispanics
wereanimportantdemographictowatch.Itfoundthat23%ofHispaniccampersages18and
overtriedcampingforthefirsttimein2011.Bycomparison,only2%ofnonHispanicscamped
forthefirsttimein2011.ThenumberoffirsttimeHispaniccampersisexpectedtogrowto
55%by2020!193
Animportantstatisticforcamporganizationstryingtoreachoutandexpandtheirreachis
whereandhowchildrenareintroducedtocamping.Whilesummercampsinfluenceahuge
portionofAmericanyouth,summercampitselfisnotwheremostchildrenbegintheircamping
experiences.The
AmericanCamperReport
hasfoundthatamere1%ofall
192

193

TheColemanCompany,Inc.andtheOutdoorFoundation,
2014AmericanCampReport
,7.
TheColemanCompany,Inc.andtheOutdoorFoundation,
2012AmericanCampReport
,2.

83

Caucasian/nonHispanicpeople18+wereintroducedtocampingbysummercamps.Thatmeans
thevastmajorityfirstexperiencedcampingintheoutdoorsinsomeotherway.ForHispanics,
0%ofchildrenwereintroducedtocampingfirstbysummercamps.Rather,bothHispanicsand
Caucasians18+reportedthattheywereintroducedtocampingbytheirfathers:35%for
Hispanicsand45%forCaucasians/nonHispanics,respectively.Friendswerethesecondhighest
introducerforbothgroups.ThethirdhighestintroducertocampingforHispanicshoweverwere
churchesorreligiousorganizations,at10%.Comparatively,thethirdhighestfor
Caucasians/nonHispanicswastheBoyScoutsat12%.Churcheswerereportedtointroduce
only4%ofCaucasianstocamping.
ThesenumberssuggestapossiblemethodofoutreachtoHispanics.Summercamps
themselveslikeCampLorRaywouldnotbeinapositiontointroduceHispanicchildrento
camping,butlocalchurchescould.UsingacampfacilitylikeCampLorRay,churchescould
schedulesimpleretreatsforgettingtoknowHispanics,connectingwiththem,introducingthem
tocamping,andmostimportantly,introducingthemtotheirSavior.Aretreatsuchasthiswould
reflectcertainculturalvaluesofHispanics.The
ACR
reportedthatwhenHispanicswereasked
whatcampingmeanttothem,theyweremorelikelytorespondwithwordslikeparty,cabin,
family,andkids,orsocialterms,ratherthantermsreflectingactivitiesortheenvironment.
ThereportconfirmsthatHispaniccampersaresocial,usingcampingasanopportunityto
connectwithfriends,familyandextendedfamily.ThisissupportedbyMandalaResearchsUS
TravelersReport,whichfindsthatHispanicsusuallytravelwithmorepeoplethan
nonHispanics.194

194

Ibid.,2.

84

PracticalApplications&SuggestionsforPlanningandOrganizingaCamp.
RobertMoldstadwrotein1970,Theorganization(planning)ofachurchsponsored
campoutislikeascaffoldbywhichtoreachthepurpose(s)thecampexperienceisintendedto
achieve.Thesimplestscaffoldthatdoesthejobbestshouldbethemostpractical.195
Unfortunately,requirementsfromdifferentstatesonyouthprogramsoftenmakessuch
organizationanythingbutsimple.Thefollowingsectionhighlightsjustafewprogramming
suggestions,whichhavebeenlearnedovertimebyvariouscamps.Indeed,Moldstadalsosaid
organizationmustbeanongoingprocess.196
Oneimportantcautionforanycampisthehiringprocess.Moststateshavedifferent
definitionsofwhatdefinesacampandsoeachstatewillalsohavedifferentrequirementsasto
thelevelofbackgroundchecksandDepartmentofHumanServiceformsthateachstaffmember
willneedtofillout.Forinstance,theStateofMichigandefinesacampasanorganizedevent
havingover10childrenformorethan5days.Ifotherstatesaresimilar,thenallcampsinthe
ELSwouldfallunderthisdefinition,andthustherequirementsofthestate.MaureenKelly
notedtheimportanceofanorganizedsystemofhiringforCamp4Star.Sheacknowledgedthat
atonepoint,thecamphadaproblemwithapredatoryperson.Thebestthing,Kellysaid,is
thatyoudonthaveasystembasedonapersonality,butbasedonastructure.197
Astrongorganizationalstructure,onewhicheveryoneknowsandfollows,isimportant
foranycamp.Differentstructuresmayworkbetterfordifferentcamps.AtCampOlympic

RobertMoldstad,WhatMakesaWellOrganizedChurchSponsoredCampOut?1970,1,

Boardfor
EducationandYouthLutheranYouthAssociation19361970.Coll.s.720.EvangelicalLutheranSynod,Bethany
LutheranTheologicalSeminary.
196

Ibid.
197

MaureenKelly,emailmessagetotheauthor,January29,2015.
195

85

Lutherhaven,Pittengerstatedthatinhisopinion,itisimportantforapastornevertobethe
director.Then,thepastorisseenasthelawofthecamp,morethanaministerofthegospel.198
ForCampLorRay(andeventheotherELSCamps),itistheexactopposite.Itisrequiredfor
thesuperintendentanddirectorstobepastorsorteachers,fortheyarethespiritualheadofthe
campprogram.ThedifferenceisatCampLutherhavenisthatthereisreallyonlyonechurch
involved,andsothecampistiedintimatelywiththecongregation.Itisimportantinthat
instancethatcampersseetheirpastorinthesamerolehefillseveryotherweek.
Regardingspiritualprogramorganization,campswelcomingbothELSandWELS
campers,suchasCampLorRaycouldpotentiallybenefitfromorganizingthereligiousprogram
similarlyto
Camp4Star
withpastorsfromeachsynodtakingturnsplanninganddirectingthe
camp.Acommentwasmadeoncetotheauthortobecarefulnottoincludetoomanyunique
thingsfromtheELSliturgy/hymnalatCampLorRayforfearthattheunfamiliaritymightmake
someWELSpeopleuncomfortable.Perhapsthesamecanandshouldbesaidinreverse.Indeed,
overtheyearsasWELSpastorsbecamemoreprevalentinexercisingauthorityovertheLorRay
youthcamp,thenumberofELSyouthdropped.Whilethetwosynodsareinfellowship,eachis
uniqueandeachissimplymostfamiliarwithreachingouttotheirownyouth.Nomatterthe
numberorratioofELStoWELScampersorleaders,careshouldbetakentonotisolateone
group.Thisrequiresthatallleaderstaketimetounderstandsomeoftheparticularitiesofeach
synod,especiallyinworshippractices.Ofcourse,thisisevenmoretrueifacampplanstodo
vigorousoutreachtotheunchurched.Caremustbetakentofullyunderstandeachpersonwhois
beinginvitedtothecamp.

198

TonyPittenger,interviewbytheauthor,December,2014.

86

OnefinalsuggestionisthattheELSBoardforYouthOutreachwouldallowtheLutheran
YouthAssociationtotakeamoredirectroleincamping.Ithasalreadybeenpointedouthow
LYA/YPAseemedtobeacompletesupportnetworkforyouthworkintheSynod.Fromgrade
schooltoseminary,theoldermembersofLYAencouragedyoungermembers.Highschoolers
encouragedgradeschoolchildrentoattendcamps.Highschoolersencouragedotherhighschool
studentstogototheannualLYAConvention.Collegestudentsencouragedhighschoolersto
enrollatBethanyLutheranCollege.Seminarystudentsencouragedcollegestudentstoattend
BethanyLutheranTheologicalSeminary.
AtatimewhenenrollmentislowatBethanyLutheranCollege,awayforcollege
studentstoencouragehighschoolyouthtoconsiderenrollingattheCollegewouldbeapositive
change.ThiswouldhaveapositiveeffectontheSeminaryaswell.Outofthe14studentsthat
theauthorhasattendedSeminarywiththepastthreeyears,lessthanhalfwouldbeconsidered
comingfromatraditionalELSbackground,andevenwithallthenontraditionalstudentsthatdo
finishtheprogram,therearenotenoughpastoralcandidatestocovervacancies.Itwouldseem
thatanopportunityisbeingmissedtoencourageyoungELSmentoconsidertheministry.
The
YPA/LYAQuarterly
wasthemainvehicleforpromotingthevariousarmsofyouth
workintheSynod,withhighschool,college,andseminarystudentsaseditorsandwriters.Not
onlydidtheyencourageattendanceatcamps,theconvention,thecollege,andtheseminary,but
theyhighlightedthemissionworkthatYoungPeoplesSocietiesweredoinginvariouspartsof
thecountry.Infact,the
YPA/LYAQuarterly
functionedverysimilarlytohowablogfunctions
today.IwouldsuggestthatinsteadofrevivingaphysicalprintissueoftheQuarterly,theBoard
forYouthOutreachshouldconsidercreatingawebsiteforallyouthworkintheSynod,witha

87

blogcoveringvarioustopicsrangingfromcampstoconventions,tomissionworkandLYA
business,toevenhistoricalpostsandbasicScripturaldevotions.Thewritersandeditors,asin
theformerdaysofYPA/LYA,shouldbechosenfromamongthemembersofLYA.
Whilesomehighschoolstudentsseemcontenttocarrylittleresponsibility,manyinfact
longformoreresponsibilityintheirChurchandSynod.IfLYAweretoagainbetreatedasa
partoftheSynodwithactualresponsibilities,thiswouldbeagreatopportunitytotrainupfuture
leadersinthechurchandtoactuallygivetheyouthavoiceintheworkoftheSynod.Inaddition
towritingpostsforanLYAwebsite,youthcouldhelpplanthenextLYAconvention,determine
wheretheirLYAmissionofferingsaregoing,whatmissionandserviceprojectstheycouldfocus
on,andmanyotherthings.VariouscommitteesofstudentscouldbeformedattheLYA
Conventionforthesepurposes,andwiththecurrentformatoftheconventioncenteredaround
topicalsessions,schedulingshouldberelativelyeasy.Perhapsonesessioncouldbedevotedto
variousprojects/committees,withyouthsigningupforthoseprojectstheyaremostinterestedin.
Forthosenotinterestedinvolunteeringtheirservices,theycouldchosetoattendaregulartopical
session.Ifyouthchairmenareelected,muchoftheworkoffindingqualifiedcandidatescould
bedonebeforehandusingonlineforms.Pastormentorscouldbechosentocorrespondwith
thesecommitteeheads,orevenentirecommittees,workingwiththemtowritequalitydevotions,
tofindworthymissionprojects,toplanthenextconvention,etc.
ViewingLYAasacompletenetworkofyouthworkintheSynod,ratherthanasmerely
oneyearlyconvention,couldhaveahugeimpactonsummercamps,onyouthworkintheSynod
asawhole,andontheentireSynod.

88

Conclusion:TheDistinctNatureofELSSummerCamps.

ThedistinctnatureofELSSummerCampscanbesummedupbystatingthatthereisa
continuitythatexistsamongallthecamps.Notonlyaremanyofthecampprograms,schedules,
andactivitiessimilarfromcamptocamp,butthereligiousprogramsareconsistentaswell.
Therehasalwaysbeenaninterestinkeepingthesummercampprogramstiedtothechurch,to
haveareapastorsdothereligiousinstruction,andtokeeptheworshiplifeofthecampsimilaror
thesametothatwhichhappensonSundaymorningsinlocalcongregations.From1844andthe
veryfirstserviceundertheoaks,tothemanyservicesundertheoakseachsummertodayatthe
variouscamps,whilethereasonformeetingoutsideisverydifferent,thepurposehasremained
thesame:ThatGodthroughHisWordwouldcausetheyouthandadultsateachplacetogrowin
Histruth.Neverhastherebeenagoaltoreenacttheworshipoftheearlypioneersforromantic
reasonsortocreatesomecertainexperienceoffaith.Instead,thegoalhassimplybeenthatof
ChristsprayerforHisdisciples:SanctifythembyYourtruth.Yourwordistruth(John17:17,
NKJV).
ThebenefitsofthesummercampprogramoftheELSarehardtoquantify,butitisnot
difficulttoseethattheoutcomeshavebeenoverwhelminglypositive.ThecampsoftheSynod,
althoughallofthemhavegonethroughperiodsoftroublefromadministrationandleadership
changes,facilitydifficulties,internalconflicts,andevencontroversiesareinvaluableresources
fortheyouthoftheELS.Allareasofthechurchsworkareimportant,andsummercampsare

89

ofcourseonlyonearea,butasRobertMoldstadstated,camping,properlyused,canbean
effectivemeansofdoingpartofthechurchswork.199

199

RobertMoldstad,
IntroductiontoChurchCampingintheLocalCongregation,
5.

90

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PowerPoint.,n.d.

BoardforEducation&YouthMinutes&Correspond.1987_.Coll.s.700.EvangelicalLutheran
Synod,BethanyLutheranTheologicalSeminary.

BoardforEducationandYouthLutheranYouthAssociation19361970.Coll.s.720.
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CampLorRayELS/WELSdiscussion,minutesofthemeetingwhichwasheldatEmmanuel
FirstEvangelicalLutheranChurch,Lansing,MI,June3,2002,revisedJuly2002.

CampLorRayHistory,CampLorRay,n.d.,accessedJanuary2015,
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Carmichael,Scott,TheEarlyHistoryoftheLutheranPioneerProgram,SeniorHistoryPaper
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91

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EvangelicalLutheranSynod,
DoctrineoftheChurch
,Adopted1980,
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Ferguson,NancyandBurch,Jennifer,ReligiousCamps:CommonRootsandNewSprouts,
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Hinckley,GeorgeW.,
RoughingitwithBoys:ActualExperienceofBoysatSummerandWinter
CampsintheMaineWoods
,NewYork,NY:AssociationPress,1913.

HistoryofOlympicLutherhavenCamponWildcatLake,in
OurSaviorsLutheranChurch
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,Clarkston,WA:OurSaviorsLutheranChurch,RevisedAugust28,
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Huebner,John,AFreshLookatScouting,paperpresentedattheEvergladesConference,

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WELSSouthAtlanticDistrict,Sept.1819,1990,
http://www.wlsessays.net/files/HuebnerScouting.pdf.

Koren,Elisabeth,
DiaryofElisabethKoren
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LYAQuarterly
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Meyer,Leroy,BriefHistoryofSt.TimothyLutheranChurch,Lombard,IL,
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LorRayCampAssociation.

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19681972
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Nicol,Lee,
CampLorRay:20YearsofGrace
,TwinLake,MI:LorRayCampAssociation,
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StarsintheWilderness,
ForwardinChrist
,Vol.88,
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94

Paris,Leslie,
ChildrensNature:TheRiseoftheAmericanSummerCamp,
NewYork,NY:New
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Peters,Clarence,
DevelopmentsoftheYouthProgramsoftheLutheranChurchesinAmerica,
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19311957,Mankato,MN:NorwegianSynodoftheAmericanEvangelicalLutheran
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,19582014,Mankato,MN:Evangelical
LutheranSynod.

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2012AmericanCamperReport
,
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,
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vanSlyck,AbigailA.,
AManufacturedWilderness:SummerCampsandtheShapingof
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95

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ThesesontheChurchandMinistry
,Adopted1969,
http://www.wels.net/aboutwels/doctrinalstatements/churchandministry.

Ylvisaker,S.C.,
GraceforGrace:BriefHistoryoftheEvangelicalLutheranSynod
,Christian
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96

ListofInterviews:

Abrahamson,Nate
Adrian,Fred
Brenner,Michael
Bruss,Kathy
Cronk,Marie
DeGarmeaux,Rebecca
Faugstad,Peter
Gullixson,Ted
Heyn,Peter
Keeler,Charles
Kelly,Maureen
Kuster,Theodore
Kuster,Thomas
Meyer,Marvin
Moldstad,Don
Moldstad,John,Jr.
Moldstad,Matthew
Nolte,Kenneth
Olsen,James
Pittenger,Tony
Ring,Robert
Ruiz,Daniel
Schmidt,Andrew
Schmidt,Greg
Schneider,Paul
Teigen,Erling
Thompson,David
Tweit,Bernt
Willitz,Joel

97

AppendixA.YPA/LYAConventions
1. 1951Nicollet,MN,July2122
TheFirstTableoftheLaw
2. 1952Princeton,MN,July1213
HowCanTheYoungPeoplesAssociationBest
CelebrateOurCentennialin1953
3. 1953Waterville,IA,August89YoungPeoplesPrivilegesandResponsibilitiesin
ChurchWork
4. 1954Thompson,IA,July31August1PurposeandFormationofSynods
5. 1955EauClaire,WI,Sept911WhatCanWeDoForOurLocalY.PSocieties?and
WhyGotoSchool?
6. 1956Belleview,MN,Sept1416manytopics,includingTheYoungChristianandHis
Entertainment,TheYoungChristiansandHisLifesWork,andGettingAcquainted
withBethanyCollege(FirstreferenceasLYA)
7. 1957Madison,WI,Sept1315
8. 1958AlbertLea,MN,Sept1214
9. 1959Mankato,MN,Sept1820Asformeandmyhouse,wewillservetheLord
10. 1960Minneapolis,MN,Sept1618
11. 1961Luverne,MN,Sept1517
12. 1962JerichoSaudeRedeemer,LawlerandNewHampton,IA,Sept1416Continuein
MyWord,John8:31
13. 1963Madison,WI,Sept1963ForwardwithChristinDoctrineandLife
14. 1964Mankato,MN,Aug2830GodMadeMe
15. 1965Norseland,MN,Aug2022ChristHathRedeemedUs
16. 1966Princeton,MN,Aug1921GodSanctifiesMe.
17. 1967BethanyCollege,Mankato,MN,Aug1820OurLutheranHeritage(Word
Along,GraceAlone,FaithAlone)
18. 1968BethanyCollege,Mankato,MN,Aug1618Keep...thosewhomthouhastgiven
me(John17:11)
19. 1969Madison,WI,Sept1214OurWorldToday
20. 1970CampCourage,Annandale,MN
1971NoconventionheldBoardencouragedvariouscircuitstoholdyouthrallies
21. 1972WisconsinDells,WI(Madison,WI)GoandTell
1973Noconventionheld
1974Notreported
1975Noconventionheld
22. 1976EauClaire,WI,Oct1517,Topic:FreedominChrist
1977Noconventionheld
23. 1978Bloomington,MN,Oct2729,Topic:TheHolySpirit
1979noconventionheld

98

24. 1980Mankato,MN,Aug13,Topic:HistorybehindandcontentoftheAugsburg
Confession
1981noconventionheld
1982noconventionheld
25. 1983Minneapolis,Sept1618,Topic:Christianrelationships
26. 1984BethanyLutheranCollege,Aug35
27. 1985Montello,WI,Oct1113
28. 1986Minneapolis,MN
29. 1987Dupont,WAatEvergreenLutheranHS,July31Aug2Shoutfromthe
Mountaintops
30. 1988Mankato,MN,Aug57,LivinginHarmony
31. 1989PlannedforTwinLake,MIatCampLorRayheldinsteadinWisconsinDells,
Aug46.LastingTreasures
32. 1990PlannedagainforCampLorRay.Instead,itwasheldatBethanyLutheran
College,SavedtoServe
33. 1991FruitlandPark,FLThatYouMayKnowHim
34. 1992Waukesha,WI,July30Aug2NothingBeyondForgiveness
35. 1993RapidCity,SD,July29Aug1,FaithofOurFathers
36. 1994Tacoma,WA,July2831,AMightyFortressisOurGod
37. 1995BethanyLutheranCollege,July,OneThingNeedful
38. 1996BowlingGreen,OH,July2528,ACitySetonaHill
39. 1997Orlando,FL,July2427,ChildrenoftheHeavenlyFather
40. 1998,ColoradoSprings,CO,July2326,MorethanConquerors
41. 1999BethanyLutheranCollege,July29Aug1LiftUpYourHeads
42. 2000MarvinM.SchwanRetreatCenter,Spooner,WI,July2730,FortheBibleTells
MeSo
43. 2001KlamathFalls,OR,July2629,Lord,KeepUsSteadfastinThyWord
44. 2002RapidCity,SD,July2528,BuiltontheRock
45. 2003BethanyLutheranCollege,July2427,ForAlltheSaints
46. 2004WinterPark,FL,July29Aug1,AsForMeandMyHouse,WeWillServethe
Lord
47. 2005Boston,MA,July3831,ImButaStrangerHere,HeavenisMyHome
48. 2006SaltLakeCity,UT,July2730,LetUsEverWalkWithJesus
49. 2007BethanyLutheranCollege,July2629,CeaselessPraise
50. 2008Seguin,TX,July2427,FriendsForever
51. 2009CampBerachah,Covington,WA,July2226,TheTreesoftheLordareForever
Green
52. 2010VirginiaBeach,VA,July29Aug1,SemperinNavi
53. 2011BethanyLutheranCollege,July2831,HereIStand

99

54. 2012Cincinnati,OH,July2629,FromBeginningtoEnd:YouAreMin.
55. 2013WinterPark,FL,July2528,YouaretheSaltoftheEarth
56. 2014Missoula,MT,July2427,IWillLiftUpMyEyestotheHills
57. 2015BethanyLutheranCollege,July2326,Delivered

AppendixB.ELSCampDates,Locations,Directors,andThemes

LakeShetekCamp

Year Location

Ownership

Director(s)

SynodYouthBoard/
1952 LakeShetek,Currie,MN OfficialSynodCamp

BibleStudyThemeor
Topic

AbookoftheBible&the
historyoftheNorwegian
Rev.JohnA.Moldstad
Synod

SynodYouthBoard/
2 1953 LakeShetek,Currie,MN OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.JohnA.Moldstad

3 1954 LakeShetek,Currie,MN

Southwestern
MinnesotaSouth
Dakotacircuit

Rev.T.N.Teigen

4 1955 LakeShetek,Currie,MN

Southwestern
MinnesotaSouth
Dakotacircuit

Rev.ArthurSchultz

5 1956 LakeShetek,Currie,MN

Southwestern
MinnesotaSouth
Dakotacircuit

Rev.ArthurSchultz

Year

Location

Ownership

Director(s)

BibleStudyThemeor
Topic

1 1955

LutherIsland,Lengby,
MN

Northern
MinnesotaNorth
Dakotacircuit

Rev.JohnA.Moldstad

IslandLakeCamp

ClearLakeCamp
Year

1 1955

Location

Ownership

Director(s)

BibleStudyThemeor
Topic

RegularBaptistCamp,
ClearLake,IA

Southern
MinnesotaNorthern
IowaCircuit

100

RegularBaptistCamp,
ClearLake,IA

Southern
MinnesotaNorthern
IowaCircuit

3 1957

RegularBaptistCamp,
ClearLake,IA

Southern
MinnesotaNorthern
IowaCircuit

4 1958

RegularBaptistCamp,
ClearLake,IA

Southern
MinnesotaNorthern
IowaCircuit

5 1959

RegularBaptistCamp,
ClearLake,IA

Southern
MinnesotaNorthern
IowaCircuit

6 1960

RegularBaptistCamp,
ClearLake,IA SouthernCircuitNo.4

Director(s)

BibleStudyThemeor
Topic

1 1952

PigeonLakeCamp, EauClaire,Wisconsin
Drummond,WI
Circuit Rev.RaymondBranstad

2 1953

PigeonLakeCamp, EauClaire,Wisconsin
Drummond,WI
Circuit Rev.RaymondBranstad

3 1954

PigeonLakeCamp, EauClaire,Wisconsin
Drummond,WI
Circuit Rev.RaymondBranstad

4 1955

PigeonLakeCamp, EauClaire,Wisconsin
Drummond,WI
Circuit Rev.RaymondBranstad

5 1956

PigeonLakeCamp, EauClaire,Wisconsin
Drummond,WI
Circuit Rev.RaymondBranstad

6 1957

PigeonLakeCamp, EauClaire,Wisconsin
Drummond,WI
Circuit Rev.RaymondBranstad

7 1958

PigeonLakeCamp, EauClaire,Wisconsin
Drummond,WI
Circuit Rev.RaymondBranstad

8 1959

NorwayPointCamp,St.
CroixStatePark, EauClaire,Wisconsin
Hinckley,MN
Circuit Rev.RaymondBranstad

ThePsalms

2 1956

CampIndianhead/CampIndianheadSouth/CampIndianhead,WI
Year

Location

Ownership

9 1960

SquawPoint,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

10 1961

SquawPoint,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

101

11 1962

SquawPoint,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

SquawPoint,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

Biblestudythemes:
YouthandtheChurch
andFiveParables.
Devotionthemes:Your
DestinyUnderGodand
Anchorsthathold.

CampIndianhead
becomesCamp
IndianheadNorthand
CampIndianheadSouth.
Northwouldcontinueto
beheldatSquawPoint.
Southwouldreturntoa
newlocationin
Wisconsin:aYMCA
campnearBlackRiver SynodYouthBoard/
13 1964
Falls,WI OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.A.V.Kuster

14 1965

SynodYouthBoard/
BlackRiverFalls,WI OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.A.V.Kuster

15 1966

SynodYouthBoard/
BlackRiverFalls,WI OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.W.Petersen&
Rev.AlfMerseth

16 1967

SynodYouthBoard/
BlackRiverFalls,WI OfficialSynodCamp

WilhelmPeterson&
A.V.Kuster

LifeofMartinLuther

17 1968

SynodYouthBoard/
BlackRiverFalls,WI OfficialSynodCamp

18 1969

CampCroix(WELS
ownedcamp)near SynodYouthBoard/
Spooner,WI OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.GeorgeOrvick&
Rev.WilhelmPetersen

19 1970

SynodYouthBoard/
OfficialSynodCamp

20 1971

SynodYouthBoard/
OfficialSynodCamp

21 1972

SynodYouthBoard/
OfficialSynodCamp

22 1973

WisconsinCircuit

23 1974

WisconsinCircuit

24 1975

WisconsinCircuit

25 1976

WisconsinCircuit

26 1977

WisconsinCircuit

12 1963

102

27 1978

WisconsinCircuit

28 1979

WisconsinCircuit

29 1980

WisconsinCircuit

30 1981

WisconsinCircuit

31 1982

WisconsinCircuit

32 1983

WisconsinCircuit

33 1984

WisconsinCircuit

34 1985

WisconsinCircuit

35 1986

WisconsinCircuit

36 1987

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.MattLuttman

37 1988

WisconsinCircuit

38 1989

WisconsinCircuit

39 1990

WisconsinCircuit

40 1991

WisconsinCircuit

41 1992

WisconsinCircuit

42 1993

WisconsinCircuit

43 1994

WisconsinCircuit

44 1995

WisconsinCircuit

45 1996

WisconsinCircuit

46 1997

WisconsinCircuit

47 1998

WisconsinCircuit

48 1999

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

49 2000

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

50 2001

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

51 2002

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

52 2003

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

53 2004

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

54 2005

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

55 2006

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

56 2007

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

57 2008

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

58 2009

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

PineLakeCamp,
59 2010 Waupaca,WI(startyear?)

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

Prayer

103

60 2011

PineLakeCamp,
Waupaca,WI

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

61 2012

PineLakeCamp,
Waupaca,WI

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

Baptism(year?)

62 2013

PineLakeCamp,
Waupaca,WI

WisconsinCircuit

Rev.BerntTweit

"IAm"Statementsof
Jesus(year?)

HumanLieDetector
Training:IdentifytheLies
oftheWorldbyStanding
Rev.BerntTweit
onGod'sTruth.

63 2014

PineLakeCamp,
Waupaca,WI

WisconsinCircuit

64 2015

PineLakeCamp,
Waupaca,WI

WisconsinCircuit Rev.NateAbrahamson

"ThroughHisEyes"

Ownership

Director(s)

BibleStudyThemeor
Topic

1 1964

SquawPoint,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.N.Madson

2 1965

SquawPoint,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.N.Madson

3 1966

SquawPoint,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.CarlWosje

4 1967

SquawPoint,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.CarlWosje

5 1968

SquawPoint,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.CarlWosje

6 1969

SquawPoint,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.ErlingTeigen

7 1970

SquawPoint,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

8 1971

SquawPoint,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

9 1972

SquawPoint,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

10 1973

SquawPoint,Hillman,
MN

NorthernMinnesota
Circuit

11 1974

SquawPoint,Hillman,
MN

NorthernMinnesota
Circuit

12 1975

SquawPoint,Hillman,
MN

NorthernMinnesota
Circuit

CampIndianheadNorth/CampIndianhead,MN
Year

Location

104

13 1976

SquawPoint,Hillman,
MN

NorthernMinnesota
Circuit

14 1977

NorthernMinnesota
Circuit

15 1978

NorthernMinnesota
Circuit

16 1979

CampOmega,Waterville,
MN

NorthernMinnesota
Circuit

17 1980

CampOmega,Waterville,
MN

NorthernMinnesota
Circuit

18 1981

SynodYouthBoard/
Iowa OfficialSynodCamp

19 1982

SynodYouthBoard/
Iowa OfficialSynodCamp

SynodYouthBoard/
20 1983 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

SynodYouthBoard/
21 1984 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

SynodYouthBoard/
22 1985 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

SynodYouthBoard/
23 1986 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.RobertFehr

SynodYouthBoard/
24 1987 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.Harvey
Abrahamson

SynodYouthBoard/
25 1988 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

SynodYouthBoard/
26 1989 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

SynodYouthBoard/
27 1990 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

SynodYouthBoard/
28 1991 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

SynodYouthBoard/
29 1992 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

SynodYouthBoard/
30 1993 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

SynodYouthBoard/
31 1994 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

SynodYouthBoard/
32 1995 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

105

SynodYouthBoard/
33 1996 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

SynodYouthBoard/
34 1997 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

SynodYouthBoard/
35 1998 CampJIM,Brainerd,MN OfficialSynodCamp

36 1999

ThunderBay,Hillman, SynodYouthBoard/
MN OfficialSynodCamp

37 2000

SchwanRetreatCenter, SynodYouthBoard/
Trego,WI OfficialSynodCamp

38 2001

SchwanRetreatCenter, SynodYouthBoard/
Trego,WI OfficialSynodCamp

39 2002

SchwanRetreatCenter, SynodYouthBoard/
Trego,WI OfficialSynodCamp

40 2003

SchwanRetreatCenter, SynodYouthBoard/
Trego,WI OfficialSynodCamp

"Psalms:theLittleBible"

SchwanRetreatCenter, SynodYouthBoard/
Trego,WI OfficialSynodCamp

PlantingYourFeetIn
Scripture(whenSatanis
tryingtomakeyoufollow

thecrowd)

SchwanRetreatCenter, SynodYouthBoard/
Trego,WI OfficialSynodCamp

ConnectingManto
NatureandHisMaker
(1starticlestudyand
comparisontoevolution
andpantheism)

43 2006

SchwanRetreatCenter, SynodYouthBoard/
Trego,WI OfficialSynodCamp

GloryBetoGodthe
SonConfessingChristin
aHostileWorld(2nd

articlestudy)

44 2007

SynodYouthBoard/
LutherIslandCamp OfficialSynodCamp

Come,HolyGhost,God
andLord(3rdarticle

study)

45 2008

SynodYouthBoard/
LutherIslandCamp OfficialSynodCamp

TheBibleItAloneIs
theWordofGod

46 2009

SynodYouthBoard/
LutherIslandCamp OfficialSynodCamp

MeetingGodinLiturgy
(WhyWeDoWhatWe
DoinWorshipServices)

47 2010

SynodYouthBoard/
LutherIslandCamp OfficialSynodCamp

AskwithBoldnessand
Confidence:Learning
fromourLord'sPrayer

41 2004

42 2005

106

48 2011

SynodYouthBoard/
LutherIslandCamp OfficialSynodCamp

49 2012

SynodYouthBoard/
LutherIslandCamp OfficialSynodCamp

50 2013

SynodYouthBoard/
LutherIslandCamp OfficialSynodCamp

51 2014

SynodYouthBoard/
LutherIslandCamp OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.DavidThompson

52 2015

SynodYouthBoard/
LutherIslandCamp OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.ShawnStafford

SouthernMinnesotaNorthernIowaCircuitCamp
Location

Ownership

Director(s)

BibleStudyThemeor
Topic

Iowa

Southern
MinnesotaNorthern
IowaCircuit

Iowa

Southern
MinnesotaNorthern
IowaCircuit

Location

Ownership

Director/
Superintendent

BibleStudyThemeor
Topic

1 1962

HerrickLake,Lombard,
IL LakeMichiganCircuit

Rev.RobertMoldstad

2 1963

HerrickLake,Lombard,
IL LakeMichiganCircuit

Rev.RobertMoldstad

3 1964

HerrickLake,Lombard,
IL LakeMichiganCircuit

Rev.RobertMoldstad

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI(LorRayCamp
Associationformedon
May22,1965Firstyouth
campheldonproperty
July1117,eventhough
thepropertywouldnotbe
purchaseduntillaterthat SynodYouthBoard/
4 1965
fall.) OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.RobertMoldstad

Year

1 1974

2 1975

CampLorRay
Year

107

5 1966

CampLorRay,Twin SynodYouthBoard/
Lake,MI OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.RobertMoldstad

6 1967

CampLorRay,Twin SynodYouthBoard/
Lake,MI OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.RobertMoldstad

7 1968

CampLorRay,Twin SynodYouthBoard/
Lake,MI OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.RobertMoldstad

8 1969

CampLorRay,Twin SynodYouthBoard/
Lake,MI OfficialSynodCamp

Rev.RobertMoldstad

9 1970

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.RobertMoldstad

10 1971

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.RobertMoldstad

11 1972

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.RobertMoldstad

12 1973

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

13 1974

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

14 1975

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

15 1976

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

16 1977

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

17 1978

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

18 1979

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

19 1980

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

20 1981

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

21 1982

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

22 1983

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

23 1984

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.FredAdrian
(WELS)

24 1985

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.FredAdrian
(WELS)

108

25 1986

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.FredAdrian
(WELS)

26 1987

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.FredAdrian
(WELS)

27 1988

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.FredAdrian
(WELS)

28 1989

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.FredAdrian
(WELS)

29 1990

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.MichaelKrenz

30 1991

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.MichaelKrenz

31 1992

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.MichaelKrenz

32 1993

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.MichaelKrenz

33 1994

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.MichaelKrenz

34 1995

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.MichaelKrenz

35 1996

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.MichaelKrenz

36 1997

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.FredAdrian
(WELS)

CosmicCreatorWeek

37 1998

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.FredAdrian
(WELS)

38 1999

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.FredAdrian
(WELS)

39 2000

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.FredAdrian
(WELS)

40 2001

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

Rev.FredAdrian
(WELS)

41 2002

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

42 2003

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

NPHVBSmaterials

2004

(NoCampHeld)

43 2005

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association Mr.KenNolte(WELS)

"HeartsonFire"

109

44 2006

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association Mr.KenNolte(WELS)

"HeartsonFire"

45 2007

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association Mr.KenNolte(WELS)

"HeartsonFire"

46 2008

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association Mr.KenNolte(WELS)

FriendsForeverin
Christ

47 2009

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association Mr.KenNolte(WELS)

FunintheSon

48 2010

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Rooted(God'sWordis
Association Mr.KenNolte(WELS)
Truth)

49 2011

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Radiant(Justification&
Association Mr.KenNolte(WELS)
Vocation)

50 2012

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association Mr.KenNolte(WELS)

IHaveSeenThy
Salvation(Meansof
Grace)

51 2013

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association Mr.KenNolte(WELS)

CreatorofHeavenand
Earth(1stArticleofthe
Creed)

52 2014

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

JesusOnly(2ndArticle
LorRayCamp
oftheCreed&Theology
Association Mr.KenNolte(WELS)
oftheCross)

CampLorRay,Twin
Lake,MI

LorRayCamp
Association

SeminarianJeffrey
Hendrix

WeNowImploreGod
theHolyGhost(3rd
ArticleoftheCreed)

Director(s)

BibleStudyThemeor
Topic

ParklandLutheran Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Church
Morrow

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

53 2015

Camp4Star
Year
1 1959

2 1960

3 1961

4 1962

Location

Ownership

110

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

7 1965 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

8 1966 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

9 1967 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

10 1968 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

11 1969 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

12 1970 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

13 1971 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

14 1972 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

15 1973 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

16 1974 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

17 1975 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

18 1976 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

5 1963

6 1964

111

19 1977 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

20 1978 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

21 1979 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

22 1980 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

23 1981 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof Mr.WillisLloyd"Tex"
Churches
Morrow

24 1982 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

RobertMerriman
(years?)

25 1983 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches RonaldStennes(years?)

26 1984 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

Rev.SteveSoukup
(years?)

27 1985 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches RonaldO'Neill(years?)

28 1986 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

Mr.WulfWerner

29 1987 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof BoardofDirectors(start
Churches
dateunknown)

30 1988 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

31 1989 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

32 1990 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

112

33 1991 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

34 1992 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

35 1993 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

36 1994 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

37 1995 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

38 1996 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

39 1997 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

40 1998 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

41 1999 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

42 2000 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

43 2001 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

44 2002 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

45 2003 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

46 2004 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

113

47 2005 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

48 2006 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

49 2007 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

50 2008 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

51 2009 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

52 2010 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

53 2011 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

54 2012 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

55 2013 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

JesusIsOurTreasure/
TeDeum

56 2014 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

57 2015 MillersylvaniaStatePark

Camp4Star
Associationof
Churches

BoardofDirectors

Location

Ownership

Director(s)

BibleStudyThemeor
Topic

CampLutherhaven,Camp
foundedbyLCMS&
1955
ALCchurches

CampOlympicLutherhaven
Year

114

1 1971

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

2 1972

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

3 1973

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

4 1974

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

5 1975

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

6 1976

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

7 1977

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

13 1983

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

14 1984

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

15 1985

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

16 1986

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

17 1987

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

18 1988

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

19 1989

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

20 1990

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

8 1978
9 1979
10 1980
11 1981
12 1982

115

21 1991

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

22 1992

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

23 1993

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

BillFulton

24 1994

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

BillFulton

25 1995

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

BillFulton

NPHVBSmaterials

26 1996

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

PastorTonyPittenger

NPHVBSmaterials

27 1997

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

PastorTonyPittenger

NPHVBSmaterials

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

PastorTonyPittenger

NPHVBSmaterials

CampLutherhaven

PastorTony
BethanyLutheran Pittenger/TeacherRyan
Church
Rathje

NPHVBSmaterials

30 2000

CampLutherhaven

PastorTony
BethanyLutheran Pittenger/TeacherRyan
Church
Rathje

NPHVBSmaterials

31 2001

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

BobRinehart

NPHVBSmaterials

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

BobRinehart

NPHVBSmaterials

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

AlanNesseth/Connie
Lovelace

NPHVBSmaterials

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

AlanNesseth/Connie
Lovelace

NPHVBSmaterials

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

AlanNesseth/Connie
Lovelace

NPHVBSmaterials

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

AlanNesseth/Connie
Lovelace

NPHVBSmaterials

37 2007

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

AlanNesseth/Connie
Lovelace

NPHVBSmaterials

38 2008

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

AlanNesseth/Connie
Lovelace

NPHVBSmaterials

39 2009

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

AlanNesseth/Connie
Lovelace

NPHVBSmaterials

28 1998

29 1999

32 2002
33 2003
34 2004
35 2005
36 2006

116

40 2010

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

AlanNesseth/Connie
Lovelace

NPHVBSmaterials

41 2011

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

AlanNesseth/Connie
Lovelace

NPHVBSmaterials

42 2012

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

AlanNesseth/Connie
Lovelace

NPHVBSmaterials

43 2013

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

AlanNesseth/Connie
Lovelace

NPHVBSmaterials

44 2014

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

AlanNesseth/Connie
Lovelace

NPHVBSmaterials

45 2015

CampLutherhaven

BethanyLutheran
Church

AlanNesseth/Kristin
Neiland

NPHVBSmaterials

Director(s)

BibleStudyThemeor
Topic

LakePlacidCamp/ELSFloridaCircuitCamp
Year

Location

Ownership

1 1991

LakePlacid

PastorsCharlesKeeler,
JonathanMadson,Ken
Mellon,andJoelWillitz
FloridaCircuit
(years?)

2 1992

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

3 1993

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

4 1994

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

5 1995

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

6 1996

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

7 1997

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

8 1998

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

9 1999

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

10 2000

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

11 2001

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

12 2002

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

13 2003

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

14 2004

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

15 2005

LakePlacid

FloridaCircuit

16 2006

???

FloridaCircuit

17 2014

OrlandoCityPark

FloridaCircuit

18 2015

FloridaCircuit

117

TexasCircuitCamp

Year

Location

Ownership

Director(s)

BibleStudyThemeor
Topic

1 2002

TexasCircuit