Having been a lifetime visitor to camp, I know the role that Lutherdale can play in the lives of those who come. While camp initially saw its purpose as a camp for youth to grow in their faith, it was not long until the power of a retreat away from the normal routine was discovered as beneficial to families and adults too. I can remember camping with a church group of families in upper field as we surrounded the bonfire and shared songs and stories of faith. Diversity is important at camp. Lutherdale is a place where a variety of people can participate and grow deeper into the awareness of God’s love for them and all of creation. Lutherdale Lodge is a another step in this direction by providing a multi-use space to be used for people of all ages in the center of camp. This building helps us to be forward thinking in our role as a camp for all ages. Will you join me in participating in this appeal to Share the Adventure? ~ Rev. Tim Hansen, Campaign Chair
Camp truly is a ministry for all ages. We know and trust that God is alive and at work through the many activities at camp—Bible studies, games, worship, and more—no matter what age the participants are. While programs for youth will always be a priority at Lutherdale, we recognize that adults are also in need of meaningful faith formation opportunities. It is our goal to be able to offer high-quality programs and opportunities through our 50 Forward ministry for adults in their third chapter of life that will allow them to connect with others, experience new places and things, and explore how God is at work in their lives. As Dr. Rollie Martinson shared at a recent Lutherdale 50 Forward Retreat, “Dear friends from across the generations, elderhood is a good time—let’s enjoy it, and let’s celebrate it.” In order to effectively welcome adults to camp for these meaningful opportunities, we need to be able to provide a comfortable and accessible camp experience. The heart behind our Share the Adventure capital appeal is to meet these comfort and accessibility needs in order to open new ministry that will sustain Lutherdale for the next generation. This will be accomplished through the main project of the campaign—the construction of an adult-friendly lodge. This new lodge will offer hotel-style accommodations and large group meeting space in close proximity to the dining hall and the center of camp. Through the campaign, we will also be addressing site-accessibility issues, making it easier for adults to get around our beautiful campus. Please consider helping us Share the Adventure with all people in all seasons of the year, so that more adults not only relive old camp memories but also experience new ones.
Excitement is building as more and more people learn about the Share the Adventure campaign! An outdoor sign explaining the plans of the campaign has been placed on the future building site of Lutherdale Lodge. This sign alone is attracting a lot of great questions and interest from the thousands of people that visit camp throughout the summer. In addition, our online campaign video tells a great story of the needs we are meeting through Share the Adventure. We continue to receive a great response to our campaign efforts. To date we have received over $1,630,000 in gifts and pledges towards our $2.9 million Phase 1 goal. This is great progress! We still have a long way to go to accomplish our goal, so we will continue to invite more and more people to Share the Adventure in the coming days and months.
Lutherdale is indebted to countless individuals who have gone above and beyond to support the mission of providing Life Changing Adventure throughout the years. One such person was Mae Herman. Mae was a legacy leader; legacy leaders are pro-active, and Mae was definitely a pro at being active. After time spent in Papa New Guinea as a missionary, she became a district representative for Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL), one of the first women to enter into a typically male-dominated field. Through her position with AAL, she was able to positively influence many individuals and local organizations. Lutherdale was certainly one of them. When this ministry was facing significant financial issues in the 1980’s, she was the driving force behind what has become Lutherdale’s largest fundraiser of the year; the Lutherdale Quilt Fest. She worked to get matching funds from AAL chapters and to recruit AAL volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the Quilt Fest a success. 30 years later, the Quilt Fest has now raised a cumulative total of over $1,000,000 to support Lutherdale’s ongoing ministry.
To honor and remember Mae’s legacy at Lutherdale and in the local community, Mae’s family has pledged a gift that will name the Welcome Center of Lutherdale Lodge in her memory. This gift is a blessing to the campaign, and will allow for Mae’s legacy to continue to be at work in years to come.
Generous gifts and pledges towards the Share the Adventure Campaign have accumulated to almost $1.5 million. This is wonderful progress! We are so thankful for those who have supported the campaign in this initial phase. The campaign has been blessed by individual pledges of $500,000, $300,000, and $100,000, as well as several pledges in the range of $25,000-$75,000. We have also received many smaller gifts and pledges. Through these leadership gifts, our campaign is off to our wonderful start as we seek to open new ministry at Lutherdale.