Camp Luther Expands Vision to Reach Community
Camp Luther of Nebraska sailed through some rough waters during the pandemic. An uncertain future loomed for the 55-year-old camp founded in Schuyler, Neb., as the recession gained steam. Fortunately, Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) helped them retain staff and continue the vision God laid out for their ministry expansion.
“LCEF has walked with us through the whole revisioning process,” said Bruce Wall, Camp Luther’s executive director. “And when the pandemic threatened the progress of our vision, the extension fund provided a temporary loan to sustain our staff.”
Camp Luther has since paid off that loan.
In addition to crisis funding, LCEF shepherded Wall and the camp’s leadership through Ministry Clarity, an LCEF service that helps Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod organizations discover God’s vision for their ministries. One thing became clear during the discovery phase: Camp Luther needed to update its 60-acre property.
The larger vision requires a new welcome center, updating and adding cabins, and a new bathroom/tornado shelter. The building projects are estimated to cost $1.5 million and without LCEF, the dream would still be in the planning stage. LCEF was able to offer a loan to launch the vision, and the welcome center will be completed soon.
Wall and his team uncovered another opportunity during the Ministry Clarity process: They want to use their new buildings to offer more than one meeting space at a time.
“We want to share Christ’s love with our neighbors by becoming a place they feel welcome to and we want to serve as many people as possible, Wall said.
The future of Camp Luther of Nebraska includes continuing current summer programs, retreats and special needs camps. In addition, Camp Luther added a summer day-camp by bussing in kids from the local community this year. They also plan to expand their outdoor education opportunity to the local public schools.
Clear skies are ahead for Camp Luther, thanks to their partnership with LCEF.
“It is our mission to make and renew disciples. I’m thankful for LCEF coming alongside us, and I am excited about the future ministry at Camp Luther,” Wall said.