This past Saturday I attended the Luther Park Bible Camp Annual Meeting in Chetek. It was the my first annual meeting as a Luther Park Board Member and it has been a great experience so far. The camp is growing, the bills are paid, and we are looking to the future with a capital campaign on the horizon to help bring them camp into the future and expand our programming.
Speaking of expanding programming, we have been blessed to send our confirmation students to Luther Park for camp every summer. It is one of my requirements for confirmation and I was super happy when I came to Trinity that it had been a requirement for some time. Camp can provide an experience that we cannot duplicate and I see it as one of the most important experiences we can give our youth. Again, this is nothing new to most of you. I wouldn’t be your pastor without my experience at Bible Camp as a youth and then as a counselor.
Of course, for almost a decade we have had Luther Park come to Trinity to lead our Vacation Bible School which has been an amazing experience. When I was the annual meeting I ran into a counselor who had stayed in the past with Pat Rettke and asked about how she was doing. One of my pastoral colleagues led VBS at Trinity as a Luther Park counselor and even though she is now in Northern Minnesota in her first call still asks about Connie Lystrom, whom she stayed with. Not only have we been impacted by Luther Park, Luther Park has been impacted by us.
But, like many of our churches, we are underutilizing Luther Park. We see it as just a place where we send our middle school youth. But they have amazing programs for kids of all ages and even adults! Last year we had a youth go to the special MADD camp week which focuses on music and she absolutely loved it! We had a fourth grader who came for a week when I was there with our confirmation students and his mom and dad were already asking about when we are going this year. Luther Park has a lot of amazing programs that just aren’t using like we could.
Camp is an amazing experience and it helps in building a foundation of faith. Most of the time I hear that people don’t want to send their child to camp because of cost. Yet, there isn’t much thought to cut a check for a sports camp for something that their child might not really use after high school. Bible camp gives a foundation of faith that will last a lifetime and impact youth in ways we can’t possibly imagine. When I was looking for a faith experience seven years after I was at Bible Camp, it was Bible Camp that I thought of and sought out.
Cost should never be a factor in sending a child to camp. Trinity has committed to helping reduce the cost of camp. Luther Park is committed to help any child that wants to go to camp to be able to come, regardless of financial situation. The money is out there. We will help you and make sure your child gets this amazing experience. You just have to be willing to give your child an incredible faith experience.
The week that I will be at camp with our youth will be July 10th-15th. During that time there are programs for kids from 1st grade through high school. You can register by either grabbing a brochure in the Narthex or going online at www.lutherpark.org
Give you child an amazing faith experience. Send them to Luther Park Bible Camp, where faith is nurtured through holy play!