70 Years of Stories
For the last 70 years, your ongoing support has made the ministry of Lutheran Island Camp possible. On this page you'll find stories from those who have been deeply impacted by Lutheran Island Camp-an impact that is fostered by donors like you. Your financial gift guarantees that we are able to write 70 more years of stories!
Our goal for the end of 2022 was to reach $100,000 in donations. These donations go towards the cost of operating camp. We raised $112,000! Every dollar over $100,000 will go towards debt reduction! We have managed to reduce our debt by 85% in the last year and are looking forward to being debt free in 2023!
Lutheran Island Camp is a special place. I grew up in a Christian family, attended Lutheran elementary school and college, but for me camp was a special place where I really connected with God. I first attended Lutheran Island Camp in 1994. I loved camp so much I was sad when my mom came to pick me up and wanted to hide so that I could stay. I wanted to be just like my counselor and work at camp some day...
This summer my oldest had the privilege of going to camp for the first time by himself. Seeing him so excited to arrive on the island brought joy to my heart! I was also a little jealous as he got to stay on the island for a camper week while I returned home. When I picked him up on Friday he was sad and said, “I don’t want to leave. I have so many friends and I love camp.” Tears came to my eyes and I could only say, “I know buddy, I felt the same way when I was a camper.”
I haven’t kept track of how many times our son has asked in the past 6 weeks if he can go back to camp next summer. He’s even asked when he can be a counselor! In the words of his counselor, Evan, “This is clearly a special place when past staff members send their kids here.” Yes, Evan, Lutheran Island Camp is a special place.
As a child I never had the opportunity to attend camp even though I lived near Henning. Many years later I decided to apply for employment at the Island as an adult. As with most teachers I was in need of summer work. I spent five wonderful summers at LIC (1956-1960). I quit only when I was married...I always enjoyed walking to the two villages in the mornings to check cabins. By that time the campers would be at chapel and singing their hearts out. "O That the Lord would guide my ways" would roll out over the treetops and fill me with joy and peace as I enjoyed the beautiful environment and wild animals.
-Anita (Sauck) Peterson
My first full time job out of college was at LIC. Coming from a farm in Nebraska this was quite a step of faith. I remember praying a very earnest prayer as I crossed the causeway not knowing exactly what God had in store for me. To this day, that prayer and short drive across Battle Lake ended up being one of the most formative experiences in my ministry which has now spanned four decades. I am forever grateful that God used LIC to form this wandering soul into something he could use. I also have some unanswered questions STILL lingering from that time: Was Ken "Earl" Erlandson really a sasquatch? Was the "Lovers Rock" fruitful or just wishful thinking? Did the table songs like "Round the Table You Must Go" come from Jesus or the devil? We may never know!".
-Wesley "Bo" Baumeister
The distance between Spokane, WA and Lutheran Island Camp is 1231 miles…..ONE WAY! The round-trip mileage is 2462 miles. Paul and I have made this trip EVERY YEAR for the past 26 years. That’s a total of 64,012 road miles to get to camp! Why do we do this? That’s a difficult concept to explain to someone who has never experienced camp before and I’m sure that everyone who returns year after year has their own reasons. Here are some of our family’s reasons!
1. It’s tradition! Parts of Paul’s family has come to camp every year for the past 68 years!
2. To step one more time on the kissing rock to say a prayer and seal it with a kiss! You see, Paul and I got engaged on the kissing rock on July 4th, 1978. It’s a special place on the shores of a special place.
3. To grow in God and with God in His creation. Every year, at some point during my week at camp, I take a walk around the island. During that walk I ponder and pray for the ministry of Lutheran Island Camp.
4. To give witness at campfire to the lake community that surrounds camp. The homes and cabins across the water as well as the boats passing, by can hear the nightly songs of praise to our ONE TRUE GOD...
After reflecting, the question becomes not WHY DO WE DO THIS……but…..WHY WOULDN’T WE DO THIS?
I attended LIC as a camper from the earliest time that I could, and didn't miss a year. Then when I was a college student, I returned for a summer of working as a camp counselor. I cannot say enough about what what LIC did for me as a child. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a Christian home, but I have to say that without a doubt, I always felt closest to God when I was at camp. Loving God was cool at LIC and making friends with others who love God was a bonus. The end of the week was such a bittersweet time...it was so good to see my parents and saying goodbye to my new "best friends" was so hard. We always sang camp songs the entire way home!
-Jane Van Sickle
"As a child, I never went to camp. Lutheran Island Camp was my first experience at 48 years old. A group of us Ladies from Faith Community Lutheran in Zimmerman went to the Women's Retreat. We'd had a full day of discussion, singing, and fellowship and we headed for our cabin for some rest and relaxation. We got into our pjs and were sitting around talking--telling stories and laughing--having a great time! All of a sudden we heard a knock on our door. It was the counselor from the cabin next door. She asked if we could hold it down! It seemed we were keeping the little girls in the next cabin awake. Did that bring a laugh! We all thought it was poetic justice. We did try to hold the noise down though."
Being present with your family is a powerful thing. I have served as Pastor of the Week numerous times in the past, but I always did so as Senior Pastor of Zion. Since camp is only 45 minutes away, I never really stopped working. When I wasn’t fulfilling camp responsibilities, I was preparing sermons, planning bible studies, making calls, coordinating ministries, answering questions and replying to texts and emails. I set aside time to hang out with my family, but it was limited. This year, I only had camp responsibilities, which are minimal at Family Camp. This provided me an abundance of quality time with my family. No phone, no computer, no responsibilities. We played, we swam, we laughed and learned life lessons. We fought and forgave one another. We met wonderful families from all over the country. We even caught a giant dogfish!
-Pastor Guy Roberts
I guess I was there when the Island was "born". I remember Pastor Bode, and then Pastor Beck, coming to our house to talk about the Island. They also talked my father, Carl Von Ohlen, into becoming the business manager and treasurer for 20 years (until 1972). In 1953 I was a counselor when Rev Ansorge was the dean. I can still do his famous "bear hunt", which kids loved and would beg him to take them on a hunt at every meal. When I was a little girl, fishing around the Island with my grandfather, watching cows roaming about, I never dreamt of God's wonderful plan for it. It is a place where a person is so close to nature and God, which is rare in today's society; and you also understand what it means to be part of the family of God.