Monday, November 12, 2012

Trailblazer Weekend at Lutheran Hills

The final Trailblazer Weekend of 2012 took place at Lutheran Hills November 9-11.  Although the numbers were small, the youth from Bethlehem / Indianapolis, Christ / Louisville, and Christ / Jasper had a great time.

The weather on this weekend was beautiful, and that allowed for a variety of indoor and outdoor activiites.

A special thanks to the LOMIK summer staff members (Claire Tangman, John Mundroff, Haley Johnson, & Samantha Roberts) who assisted with programmng this weekend. 

Our 2012 program schedule has drawn to a close.  Our camp locations are staying busy with several family and church group events during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.  Look for good things to come in 2013!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Indianapolis Youth Coalition at Lutheran Hills

The Indianapolis Youth Coalition held their second annual middle school retreat weekend at Lutheran Hills on November 2-4.  Approximately 70 youth and 20 adult chaperones took part in the two night event. The weather may not have been perfect, but the attendees had a wonderful weekend of fun, fellowship and spiritual growth.

The fallen leaves add to the senic view along the path to the lower cabins

Participating churches included: Christ / Zionsville, Bethel / Noblesville, St. Paul / Seymour, St. Thomas / Bloomington, and Resurrection / Indianapolis.

The youth were provided with times of study, reflection, live music, and lots of fun and games.  Wick Hall provided shelter from the rain and a gathering places for the weekend events.

Adult facilitators included Karl Teskey, Joe Rudy, Craig Swendson, Julie Peralta and Pastor Steve Wood among others.

Between the raindrops there was even time for a little Gaga Ball!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The First Annual Holiday Cookie Bake at Lutherwald

It was time for a little something new this fall at Camp Lutherwald.  So that was why we started the Great Holiday Cookie Bake.

Participants gathered early on Saturday morning to mix, measure, and bake their way to bags full of cookies and cookie dough to take home.

I can personally tell you that my favorite is (was) the Chocolate chips, but the bakers also made Oatmeal, Snicker Doodles, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Pinwheels,Chocolate Crinkles, and Pecan Bars.

Special thanks go out to Sue Dowling for the organization of this event, Susan Groeling for leading devotions, Cindy Houser for helping set up and Sue Bernard for helping to prepare.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lutherwald's Fall News

There has hardly been a quiet minute at Lutherwald since summer camp ended.  The Kempski Center, Hanes Lodge, and the cabins have all been heavily used as we transitioned from summer to fall.

The 2012 summer staff was barely off the property when the retreat season entered full swing.  Lutherwald has hosted several family reunions, multiple church groups, two public school outdoor education programs, knitting and sewing groups, the LaGrange County Chamber, the LOMIK Board of Directors and others.  It is a real blessing to see the facilities at our camps being used and enjoyed by so many diverse groups.  The community, many families, and churches are all discovering what a special place we provide for retreating, reflection, education, spiritual growth and fun!

During the summer with the help of volunteers and our High School Servant Camp several large projects were completed at Camp Lutherwald.  The fall has provided a perfect time to view the success.  The shore line restoration and stabilization project in front of the Kempski Center has really "taken root".  Over 110 feet of shore was planted with native Indiana sedges and water plants.  The plants were rooted in special coconut fiber rolls that lined the waterfront before being back filled and seeded. This project, approved by the Indiana Dept. Natural Resources, should protect our shoreline and buildings for years to come.

This fall we also removed an old cabin from our waterfront as we get ready to improve that area in the future.  The "Jerusalem" cabin which served us for many years as staff housing was moved from the property.  The picture below shows the site where Jerusalem stood between the chapel and the Kempski Center.

In recent weeks much of the summer equipment has been removed and stored for the winter.  The docks are out, the water trampoline cleaned and stored, the zip line serviced, and the bathhouse winterized.  Summer may be a fading memory, but winter fun at Lutherwald is coming fast!

Lutherwald is so fortunate to have Don and Sue Bernard with us as Camp Managers for another year.  Please contact Don with your requests for information and reservations.
Don can be reached on his cell at 260-466-7722 or at Camp Lutherwald 260-562-2102

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall at Lutheran Hills

After a long period of inactivity on this site, we are going to try to keep you updated on the events, happenings, and staff working with Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Indiana-Kentucky.

It has just been over two months since the last of our summer staff left the sites and returned to work and school.  While it may seem like that would be a quiet time at camp, I can assure you that our three camps have been anything but quiet! 

The Deckard's said their final good-byes to us on September seventh and since that time Lutheran Hills has been buzzing with a flurry of activity.  The Board, Property Committee, staff and volunteers have spent many days at the camp evaluating facilities and equipment as we prepare for the future at this site.

Samantha Roberts (Interim Camp Manager) and her husband Adam moved into the Lutheran Hills property on September 8, 2012.  Sam can be reached by email at or by phone at Lutheran Hills 812-988-2519.

During the following weeks, clean up and renovation projects were started at the barn, the shop, and in Shedron basement.  Those projects along with keeping the grass mowed, buildings clean, and equipment functioning gave all of us a real sense of appreciation for the work the Deckard's provided for the last 22 years.

All through August and September work proceeded on the new sewage treatment project at the camp.  Huge pieces of equipment brought in and buried two 6,000 gallon tanks and over 1400 feet of pipe.  Eight mounds were constructed in a field along Bear Creek Road to treat the effluent.  As of today, October 16, the new "Presby" system is fully operational and Lutheran Hill's septic issues should be solved for many years.
Here is a picture of the mounds under construction in late August.

Finally, a limited tree harvest on 40 of our 720 acres is currently underway.  Weather permitting this project should wrap up within the week.  The proceeds will provide some funding for the $160,000 Presby project.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Nappanee Big Bell

As many of you know, St John's Lutheran in Nappanee closed their church in July after over 100 years in operation.  The congregation voted to give their church building and parsonage to LOMIK.  Both of those buildings are now for sale and part of the proceeds will be used to establish a lasting legacy to the ministry of St. John's  at Camp Lutherwald.

On September 12, 2011 the bell was removed from the church in Nappanee and will be given a permanent home at Lutherwald.

Bob Bosserman led the assembled group in prayer before the bell was removed.
Yes, that's Lutherwald's own Don Bernard entering the belfry to assist with the removal.

Larry Garber, the master planner of this project, guides the bell through the access hole in the tower.

The wheel and frame had to be removed in the belfry to allow the bell to be lowered through the opening.

Don operated the chain driven hoist device from the top that lowered the 36", 1000 lb. bell to the ground.
Louie Bolenbacher, a member of St. John's since 1955 poses for a picture with the bell.

A pontoon trailer was backed into the church entry in order to remove the bell from the church. 
 Once the bell was outside the church, it was lifted off the trailer by using a large tree branch to anchor the lifting device. 

Church ladies then assisted in lowering the bell onto Larry's truck for transport to Lutherwald after a good sandblasting!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A bit of nostalgia from Lutherwald

In the 1980's and early 90's all youth camps at Lutherwald were closed with the staff singing a special song to the campers at the their time of departure.  Somehow over the years that tradition was abandoned and words to the song were lost and forgotten.  Thanks to Chris Miller (past counselor from Lagrange, IN) the words were found and are printed below.

If anyone knows the author of this song or has a recording of the tune please let us know.

(verse 1)
My friends we'll think of you daily,
because we care and know it's true.
We've shared a lot together
and now it's rare that we'll see you.
But we want you to know that God loves you,
And we love you too,
And even if we're hardly ever near we'll be talking to him about you.
We'll be prayin for you every morning,
As we start our day with the Lord.
We'll be prayin that you're walking with Jesus
And abiding in his word
(verse 2)
You see, this Jesus of Nazareth,
means everything to us
He's taken our lives and He's freed our souls
And He's calmed those angry seas.
(verse 3)
We don't know when we'll see you again,
a month, a year, or maybe more.
But if your heart belongs to the Savior,
then we'll see you in the sky if not before.
Author Unknown