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Camp Lutherwood Post News from Camp Lutherwood Oregon

Fall 2017 | Volume 5 | Issue 2

Building benches and relationships at Outdoor Chapel By Maddie Bernard, Communication & Marketing Coordinator Camp Lutherwood Oregon has a completely renovated Outdoor Chapel! Our worship space has a brand new handicap accessible trail, 14 large de-barked logs for seating and a fresh set of stairs. While the renovations of this sacred space are amazing, what happened behind the scenes makes this project even more special. Lutherwood Oregon partnered with Northwest Youth Corps, a service-learning non-profit organization based in Eugene, to do the renovations and construction necessary to update Outdoor Chapel. The organization aims to, “provide a challenging education and jobtraining experience that helps youth and young adults from diverse backgrounds develop the skills they need to lead full and productive lives.” In late June, a team of 16 young adults, led by Field Director Jeff Olsen, began working on the site.

“I think if there is a heart of Camp Lutherwood Oregon, it is Outdoor Chapel.” ~ Caitlin Elwood, Lutherwood Director of Resource Development

“I think the fact that we are both youth development organizations is really special,” Jeff said. “Lutherwood is taking young people out and has a specific focus in giving them a camp experience, but also digging deeper into their faith. While the members of Northwest Youth Corps get the opportunity to explore outdoor areas in PNW and are gaining valuable work experience.” These 16 members of Northwest Youth Corps worked hard for two weeks. They cleared a new trail, tilled the ground, de-barked all 14 logs, hauled and compacted



Last June, a crew from Northwest Youth Corps completed the renovations and construction of Outdoor Chapel. The update allows the chapel to be accessible to everyone.

gravel, and installed new seating in a log cabin style. They even carried 800-pound logs all the way across the

director of resource development. “I was a camper here,

bridge up to Outdoor Chapel!

and I remember going up there to worship every day.

They worked in the heat, wearing their uniform of jeans and long sleeve shirts for long hours every day, yet

It is involved in everyday life at camp and impacts so many people.”

always had smiles on their faces or a kind word to say to

However, a great deal of work for this project began

camp staff.

before Northwest Youth Corps even broke ground.

“I’ve never done a project like this before,” Northwest Youth Corp Member Raven said. “I like it though. It’s really hard work, but a lot of fun.” Thanks to their hard work Outdoor Chapel is accessible to everyone, and has the facilities to support all of the amazing experiences that occur there during daily camp worship.

Generous donors held dinners and events in their homes to fundraise for construction materials, and volunteers cut down trees for the new seating. “Our mission statement talks all about relationships,” Caitlin said. “Doing this project was a great way to include a variety of different people — from partnering with another non-profit, engaging donors and volunteers, and making Lutherwood Oregon a more

“I think if there is a heart of Camp Lutherwood Oregon,

accessible place. I think this whole project really speaks

it is Outdoor Chapel,” said Caitlin Elwood, Lutherwood’s

to what we are meant to do here.”

By the numbers... 16 members of Northwest Youth Corps completed the work. It took them 2 weeks. They de-barked all 14 logs in Outdoor Chapel. They carried additional 800-pound logs all the way across the bridge up to Outdoor Chapel.

Letter from the Director Dear Friends, Camp Lutherwood Oregon is in the sending and the receiving business, but saying goodbye to people and things is never easy. As we say goodbye to summer and slide into our fall retreat and event season, the Lutherwood Oregon staff has changed dramatically. Our summer staff ended their service August 14. They were another amazing group of young adults who gave their hearts to the campers and guests all summer long. We are grateful for all of their hard work and genuine care! At the end of August we said goodbye to Maddie Bernard and Kirsten Larsen, year-round staff members who have served so well and are now moving on to other adventures. We’re grateful for Kirsten’s and Maddie’s dedication to the ministry of Camp Lutherwood Oregon and will miss them very much. Meanwhile, we have welcomed new staff and are looking forward to forming the team to serve throughout this year. We welcome Charlotte Trent as the Summer Program Director, Rev. Sara G. Samuelson as the Outreach and Program Renewal Coordinator, and Brandie Mehlhorn as our Guest Services Host. As you read our fall newsletter, I encourage you to take notice of how much is happening at Camp Lutherwood Oregon. There is plenty going on and I don’t want you to miss any of it! Please be sure to come see us at camp and meet our staff. We look forward to serving you! Blessings to all of you,

Andrea Scofield Executive Director

Vision for the future continues University of Oregon project update

Can’t wait to get back to camp?!

Students from the University of Oregon present their research at Camp Lutherwood Oregon’s third spring work day. By Andrea Scofield, Executive Director What will Camp Lutherwood Oregon look like in 2020 or 2025? That seems like such a long way away and yet we all know that time flies when we are having fun! The

center. It will reveal potential customers, what those customers look for in selecting an offsite location to work with teams and build community, and the overall support for expansion at Camp Lutherwood Oregon.

Camp Lutherwood Oregon Board of Directors asks this

Additional study and information will guide the board

question regularly and we continue to make progress in

as it gathers more strategic information to determine

planning for future ministry at camp.

future building projects. We have heard from our

This past spring the Lutherwood Oregon board engaged the University of Oregon Consulting Group from the Lundquist College of Business to conduct a market

guests that there is a need for additional meeting areas, as well as different types of sleeping spaces with private bathrooms.

analysis regarding the retreat/lodge expansion project.

The board and staff continue to envision, plan

The group presented its findings at the June 3 work day.

and discern what our next steps will be in keeping

The second phase of the analysis will be presented to

Lutherwood Oregon available and accessible to all

camp’s board and advisory committee in December.

ages, all abilities and all faiths all year long. This is an

This study will give us a much broader understanding of what the market can bear in support of a new retreat page 2

exciting time and we will keep you informed each step

Visit to learn more about spring and fall retreats, and to view the camp schedule for summer 2018!

of the way.

Camp is open and all are welcome By Brandie Mehlhorn, Guest Services Host After we say goodbye to summer staff, Camp Lutherwood Oregon picks right back up for rental and retreat season, and camp is as busy as ever. Summer programming is an important aspect of this ministry, but rentals play a big role in year-round operations. We welcomed our first rental group of the season, New Life Bible Church’s Camp Heartbeat, the day after summer staff left in August. It was their first visit to Camp Lutherwood Oregon, and they brought more than 100 kids from Salem to spend a whole week on-site playing games, holding worship, and doing crafts. Most of the attendees and adults leaders spoke Russian, and they regularly sing and worship in both languages. Mothers and grandmothers prepared meals in the lodge, and all of the campers from elementary up to high school students enjoyed classic Russian dishes together. They embraced the spirit of hospitality we encourage at camp, and invited staff to join them for meals. Next, we hosted two weddings and did our best to make each one perfect for the special couple and their guests. Some of our rental groups, like Concordia University Wind Ensemble, return every year for annual events. Concordia’s finest young musicians and their leaders use our facilities to practice and spend time together. Dystopia Rising, a live action role playing group, uses the entire site to fight zombies for two days each month. Outdoor schools arrive in the fall and the spring, and we host a variety of retreats, trainings, and events throughout the winter months. Each group is unique and we love seeing who God brings into this place. At the end of the day, we hope all of our guests leave satisfied with their stay and eager to return. It’s a blessing to serve others through this place, and connect with new friends of camp in every season.

Volunteer Spotlight: Art Labahn By Caitlin Elwood, Director of Resource Development “Timmmmmmmber!” The sound of crashing trees echoed around camp on multiple occasions during the last year. Art Labahn, a

r e e t n u l o V p m a at C

member of Peace Lutheran Church in Philomath, took down a number of trees that posed a hazard or were needed to rebuild Outdoor Chapel. Art spent more than three decades falling trees professionally. His expertise is apparent in how gracefully even the tallest forest giants fall. Art’s grandson Blake, a fourth generation timber faller, assisted in the work alongside a handful of friends from Philomath. Art helped remove the sycamore tree that fell on the basketball court midsummer and supplied a new pole to replace one that took the brunt of the fall. He also installed new windows in Cascara and cleaned up another fallen tree over the creek! Art began volunteering at camp at the suggestion of his pastor, Camp Lutherwood Oregon board member Rev. Jeremy Lucke. Art said he likes volunteering at camp because it’s fun, and his wife Sandi said, “he always needs something to do and believes in the mission of camp.” We are so thankful for Art’s hard work and expertise!

Camp Lutherwood is only made possible by the generosity of volunteers and donors. If you are interested in volunteering at camp, please call or email the office at or 541-998-6444.

Earn service hours, spend time in fellowship, and experience a new side of Camp Lutherwood Oregon! Call 541-998-6444 for more information. page 3

Memories of Summer 2017 By the campers and staff of Camp Lutherwood Oregon

“My girls were sleeping out at the stargazing platform on a Thursday night and they had not quite all come together as a group yet. But, as we lay there and looked at the stars, we all started telling funny stories about ourselves and cracking up! Before we went to sleep, one of the girls said, ‘I feel like I am at a sleepover with all my best friends, and I don’t want to go to sleep!’ It was really awesome.” ~ Megan Holt, Counselor (Vancouver, Wash.)

“I made good friends. I liked swimming and singing. It is a whole lot of fun!” ~ Cailey, Camper “My most challenging camper made me a friendship bracelet and said that I was her favorite counselor. That was really rewarding.” ~ Jessica Norris, Counselor (Bend, Ore.) “It is SO much fun! My favorite thing about camp was the people, especially my counselor and cabin mates.” ~ Annikka, Camper “One of my favorite things about camp is having campers try to guess the staff’s ages. I have gotten guesses anywhere from 35 to 49 on a regular basis and being a 23-year-old, it cracks me up! Then, when you tell the campers your real age they are just in shock and disbelief. It’s hilarious! My favorite instance of this might be when a camper thought a staffer was in his 60s and he is actually 27!” ~ Skyler Waterman, Site Support (Eugene, Ore.)

“Camp Lutherwood is soooo awesome!” ~ Sophie, Camper

“I like to make friends with the girls in my cabin and it’s really fun!” ~ Lyra, Camper “We were all at campfire, and a visiting pastor was giving the message

“My favorite memory from the week was sleeping outside and making s’mores!” ~ Jocelyn, Camper

about the creation story at the beginning of the Bible. He was trying to tie it to another part of the Bible and said something like, ‘If you look

“I served as camp chaplain for the first time this year and it was my

later on in the Bible…,’ but before he could finish a camper screamed

first experience at a summer camp as well. My week here was filled

out, ‘Don’t spoil the Bible, I haven’t read it all yet!’ Everyone, including

with so much peace and joy. I loved hanging out with the staff and

the pastor, was cracking up!”

hearing their stories, as well as listening to the children and playing

~ Becca Louie, Media Intern (Vancouver, Wash.)

with them. I am a product of the Concordia system so I always heard about the joys and hard work of camp life, and now I understand

“My favorite thing about camp this week was cinnamon rolls for

it more fully. My time at camp was restful, rejuvenating, and a

breakfast! The pool is cool and you make lots of new friends!”

beautiful reminder of how the church has some great leaders in our

~ Sara, Camper

college age men and women. We simply need to mold and invest in them so they can take our church to new heights.” ~ Eric Kolonich, Trinity Lutheran Church (Oregon City, Ore.) “I like coming to camp because Camp Lutherwood is so different from any other camp and I love it!” ~ Eva, Camper “It is the most awesome camp I have ever been to! I love Camp Lutherwood! I made so many new friends, and had the best counselor ever!” ~ Adrianna, Camper “I like coming to Lutherwood to try new things.” ~ Will, Camper

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Send a Kid to Camp: Fir Lawn Lutheran’s lasting legacy By Caitlin Elwood, Director of Resource Development Some traditions are meant to last. Fir Lawn Lutheran Church in Sweet Home, Ore., has been raising money to send kids to Lutherwood Oregon for four summers. When the program began in 2013, the church had modest expectations. “We thought maybe we would send ten kids,” said Rev. Joe Medley, the pastor at Fir Lawn. That year the church provided scholarships for 13 campers. In total, Fir Lawn has funded over 130 camperships, and the community has no plans to slow down. Each spring the church hosts an auction fundraiser to send kids to camp. While Pastor Joe described the congregation as mostly “white haired and over 50,” he said members reach out to the community in and around Sweet Home to provide local kids with an opportunity to attend camp. Initially the church worked with the Boys and Girls Club

Pastor Joe Medley speaks at the annual, “Send a Kid to Camp” auction at his church in Sweet Home, OR.

and school counselors to find kids who might benefit from a week at camp. Now families and kids fill out an

“You can see God at camp by everything God has

fun and safe environment, and for those attending to be

online application and word of mouth ensures there is

made for us, like the grass or trees or the creek!” said

a kid, if only for one week.” She added that many of the

no shortage of interest. The church also provides camp

another camper.

kids come from challenging backgrounds, and camp is a

store money and a T-shirt for each camper, as well as

It is clear to the counselors and staff, as well as the

any gear needed.

place where they can “experience unconditional love.”

community in Sweet Home, that the campers grow in

Camper Seara expressed her gratitude for all of Fir

One week at Lutherwood Oregon has a tremendous

relationships with God, others, self and the natural world

Lawn’s generosity.

impact on the campers.

during their time at camp. They make new friends, learn

“Climbing the rock wall was one of my best memories

new skills, and grow in confidence and faith.

here. At first it seemed really intimidating because it

Patty Holk, a member at Fir Lawn who coordinates the

looked so high, but then getting to the top made me feel

auction and camp scholarships, said the program began

really good,” camper Ally said.

so “kids could have a chance to meet the Lord in a loving,

“I would want to say thank you to Pastor Joe because I’ve been coming here for six years,” she said. “And I love it.” If you or someone in your church is interested in bringing kids to camp, please contact Caitlin at

“We Dove In:” A look back at summer 2017

By Charlotte Trent, Program Director We dove into the pool. We splashed in the creek. We turned on the hose and filled up water balloons. We broke out the canoes and floated in God’s creation. Our theme for the summer was “Dive In” and we certainly did. Rafts, goggles, and stand up paddle boards were a part of our summer... but so was pouring water in each other’s glasses at lunch, and washing feet, and playing outside in the rain, and comforting a teary new friend. And I’m beginning to think those activities might have been more important. God calls us to “Dive In” not just into water games and newly explored bends of the creek, but into community with one another. As we recognized the moments where water found its way into our time at camp and acknowledged the ways it fuels our everyday living, we also noticed how the Spirit does the same. Like the water we drink and clean and play in, God as our living water is with us wherever we go and is a

part of our everyday living. As we are called to be in relationship with one another and the world around us, we engage with our Living Water — and our lives are changed because of it. It’s hard to believe, but those who were once packing their bags for camp, are now packing their backpacks and gearing up for a new school year. The green leaves at camp will soon change color, the air will get cool and crisp and we’ll be preparing to welcome donors and friends to our Harvest Festival. Change is as much a part of life as water is — and next summer we will be reflecting on how God is present in those changes. While summer 2018 seems unimaginable as autumn approaches, here at camp we are already dreaming up new adventures to share with next year’s campers. We are already at work planning and imagining what next summer might look like! While summer may be over, we at camp are still “Diving In” to planning another fabulous summer at Lutherwood — and we are looking forward to seeing you cross our bridge again.

Thank you for making Harvest Festival a success Thank you for supporting the 2017 Harvest Festival and Fundraiser! This year’s event raised nearly $70,000, and we are so thankful for the impact this will have for campers and guests throughout the year. Thank you to those who donated auction items, came to the event, gave at the event, volunteered, and participated in any other way. Stay tuned for details on next year’s event!

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Grants support year-round use of camp By Caitlin Elwood, Director of Resource Development Camp Lutherwood Oregon has received two exciting grants so far in 2017! We are happy to announce that The Gray Family Foundation and M.J Murdock Charitable Trust both awarded charitable grants to camp this year. The Gray Family Foundation awarded our site a $35,000 Camp Deferred Maintenance grant that will allow for much needed repairs to make sure the facilities are in safe and accessible condition for all.

With the passage of Oregon Measure 99 in 2017, every sixth grader will have the opportunity to attend outdoor school or have an outdoor education experience. Camp Lutherwood Oregon hopes to be a key site in the region to host schools, and the grant from the Gray Family Foundation will make that possible.

The Gray Family Foundation founder, John Gray, believed in maintaining outdoor school facilities to encourage kids to spend time outside. Camp Lutherwood Oregon hosts about seven outdoor schools each spring and hopes to increase that number in the coming years. With the passage of Oregon Measure 99 in 2017, every sixth grader will have the opportunity to attend outdoor

Outdoor School students eagerly listen to safety instructions for how to use the Lutherwood Climbing Tower.

school or have an outdoor education experience. Camp

Foundation for making this generous grant available to

The Director of Facilities and Operations is instrumental

Lutherwood Oregon hopes to be a key site in the region

improve the site and facilities at camp.

to camp becoming a year-round destination by making

to host schools, and the grant from the Gray Family Foundation will make that possible.

Camp Lutherwood Oregon also received a prestigious grant from M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust to hire a full-

The grant requires a match of $17,500, which can come

time Director of Facilities and Operations. The grant is

through financial gifts, in-kind gifts and volunteer

disbursed over three years in decreasing amounts each

hours. We appreciate John Gray and the Gray Family

year with the goal of being sustainable by the fourth year.

sure the site and facilities are safe and accessible for all guests. The ultimate goal for the grant is to improve the experience for all guests and increase usage of this place set apart. We are grateful to M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust for this amazing opportunity.

Sending and receiving: Year-round staffing changes By Maddie Bernard, Communication & Marketing Coordinator At the end of this summer, we said, “See you later,� to our Guest Services and Outreach Coordinator Kirsten Larsen, and our Communication and Marketing Coordinator Maddie Bernard. Both Kirsten and Maddie joined the Lutherwood year-round team in August 2016 after serving on summer staff for several years. Kirsten and Maddie are both off to new adventures, taking the lessons they learned at Camp Lutherwood Oregon with them. Kirsten has started a new job as the youth director at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Vancouver, Wash. Maddie got married in September, and is planning to teach English in Guatemala with her husband during the 2018 school year. Congrats to Kirsten and Maddie on their new journeys! The Lord be with you and bless you always, the Lord be with you and bless you all your days! We would also like to welcome back Rev. Sara GrossSamuelson and Charlotte Trent to the year-round staff. Pastor Sara will be doing outreach to various congregations, while Charlotte will write and plan new summer programing! page 6

From left: Caitlin Elwood, Charlotte Trent, Andrea Scofield and Brandie Mehlhorn.

Reflecting on Women’s Retreat 2017 By Andrea Scofield, Executive Director

rambunctious child in a laundromat and a critical

On July 28, about 40 women gathered at Camp

observer. It was a memorable way to deliver a message

Lutherwood Oregon to “Dive In” to the annual Women’s Retreat. We dove in to meeting new people and sharing our stories of faith. We made some amazing items that

about ‘looking for opportunities to love,’ and pondering what that could look like. It prompted a great discussion

play, and in the next moment I can

with my sister the following week that we could not have

be an adult, sharing with others and

will remind of us of our conversations, our experiences,

had otherwise.”

and our Creator God.

Another woman who attended the retreat said: “The

Rev. Lucille (CeCee) Mills from Charlotte, S. Carolina led

Women’s Retreat is such a blessing to me! It is an

the weekend’s activities. She shared stories of adversity

“In one moment I can be a kid and

growing in my faith.”

opportunity to escape all of the responsibilities at home. I got to go to camp as an adult! I climbed the rock wall,

staff offered assistance when needed and shared in the

enjoyed archery and playing in the swimming pool. In

weekend experience. We are so grateful to CeCee for

worship and in contemplation.

one moment I can be a kid and play, and in the next

sharing her time and space with us, and we are thankful

One of the attendees said: “CeCee was amazing. She

moment I can be an adult, sharing with others and

for everyone who came to the retreat.

growing in my faith.”

and faith, and most of all she shared her time with us. She made us laugh, made us cry, listened to us, and led us in

shared her perspective — her life experience being different from mine, yet resonating with similarities — and it was so genuine. She told a story about a

Mark your calendar for July 27-29, 2018 for

Our chef Ruby prepared delicious meals with lots of

another women’s retreat weekend. You will be

options to meet every dietary need, and our summer

glad you came!

How I completed my bachelor’s degree at Lutherwood By Becca Louie, Summer Media Intern During the summer of 2017, I completed my undergraduate career at Camp Lutherwood Oregon. I majored in Recreation Management at Central

brainstorm ideas for the weekly videos. During the summer I created five videos for the YouTube channel. My favorites were the Creative Arts Camp and Mini Camp videos.

Washington University, and I needed 480 credits by the

I also wrote one or two fun stories for the Lutherwood

end of the summer to finish up my degree.

Friday Post and sent the stories home with each camper.

In the 10 weeks of Camp Lutherwood Oregon’s summer program, I worked well over 500 hours. I applied to work as the media intern because I had taken marketing and branding classes throughout college and was

I learned how to use a variety of different software applications to create the newsletter and videos. Plus, I helped around camp where it was needed — whether that was helping with a cabin or washing dishes.

interested in learning more. I thought working at a

I received a lot of opportunities to be creative in this

position to your major. Any position at camp is a lot of

camp would be perfect for me because I have camp work

role. I had fun trying out new things with the social

work, but it is super rewarding getting the chance to

experience, I have been interested in photography for

media pages, like Instagram stories and Boomerangs.

impact the campers who cross that bridge each week.

many years and I love being outdoors.

My favorite thing was capturing memories and special

From June through August I helped create content and relate it to the theme of the summer program, “Dive In.” I also made the activities come alive through video storytelling for those at home. I took photos and video footage of daily activities, and shared the work I produced on Camp Lutherwood Oregon’s social media platforms and website. Each week I worked closely with Marketing and Communications Coordinator Maddie Bernard to

moments from campers and staff and sharing them. It was really awesome to hear the campers’ thoughts about what they were learning or participating in at camp that week.

Follow us on social media:


Education is very important to the staff at Camp Lutherwood Oregon. Camp offers plenty of opportunities to complete an internship and the staff will also work with you to make sure you are able to receive enough hours and opportunities to relate a

@LutherwoodOR /LutherwoodOregon

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Inside... Building Benches Outdoor Chapel has new seating and it’s accessible for all! page 1

Camp Memories Campers and staff reflect on an incredible summer. page 4

Sending Kids to Camp More than 130 kids have attended camp, thanks to the efforts of Fir Lawn Lutheran Church. page 5

2018 summer schedule Week 1: June 24 - 29

Week 5: July 22 - 27

Discovery Upward Bound, grades 7-9

Confirmation, grades 6-9

Discovery Jr. Outpost, grades 7-9 HS Night Adventure, grades 10-12

High School Outpost, grades 10-12 July 27 - 29 Women’s Retreat, all ages

Week 2: July 1 - 6

Week 6: July 29 - August 3

Summit, grades 10-12

Creative Arts, grades 7-12

Forest Retreat, ages 18+, July 4-6

Discovery Float Boat, grades 7-9

Week 3: July 8 - 13

Summit, grades 10-12

Leadership Camp, grades 10-12

Week 7: August 5 - 10

High School Trek, grades 10-12

Mini Camp, grades 1-3,

Discovery Splash, grades 7-9

Pioneer, grades 3-5

High School Outpost, grades 10-12

Explorer: On the Farm, grades 5-6

July 13 - 15

Week 8: August 10 - 12

Family Camp, all ages

Family Camp, all ages

Week 4: July 15 - 20 Mini Camp, grades 1-3, July 15-17 and July 11-13

All grades are based on the 2018-19 school year.

Pioneer, grades 3-5 Explorer: Night Owl, grades 5-6

Regis trati on opens Decem ber 1.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. ~ Ephesians 2:8 Register online at For more information, call (541) 998-6444 or email

Fall Post 2017  

A lot has happened at Camp Lutherwood Oregon this fall! Read all about our renovated Outdoor Chapel, learn how one church has sent more than...