April 9, 2021
Dear Camp Luther Family,
I hope that this letter finds you and your family safe and healthy. The year 2020 was a challenging one for all of us, and we have been sustained by the grace of God and the promise that he is with us in the good times and in the hard times. We are grateful that we are into 2021 and there is hope on the horizon thanks to the vaccines that many adults are receiving!
I write to share difficult and sad news for our camp year 2021. The Camp Caesar Board of Directors has met and made the difficult decision not to hold overnight, residential camps through the middle of July due to the ongoing uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that we will not be able to hold a traditional week of Camp Luther during the third week of June. My heart aches for our campers who were looking forward to the possibility of coming to camp, especially our Senior Seniors in the classes of 2020 and 2021.
Our camp has been blessed to have a 75-year relationship with Camp Caesar, and this facility has become synonymous with our program. When you turn onto Route 20, you know that you are almost home. Our relationship with Camp Caesar means that we must abide by and support the decisions of their leadership, as we did in the harrowing moments of the flood of 2016. Their hearts ache with ours, and they are anxiously waiting for the day they can welcome all of us back to Webster County.
In the meantime, the deans and I have met and we are working to put together a “one day camp” to be held at Camp Caesar during the third week of June for eligible campers who live on the territory of our synod. Our hope is that we can once again offer virtual content to campers who live at a greater distance from the camp. We will keep you informed of this event in the weeks to come.
Our entire leadership team thanks you for your support and prayers throughout the pandemic. We will need you more than ever to keep “IT” alive for future generations of campers when we are able to safely offer a week of Camp Luther again. We eagerly look forward to the day we can gather together on the hillsides for a full week of Camp Luther. We are humbled and grateful once more for our Camp Luther family far and wide and join you in prayer for this ministry in the months and years ahead.
Pastor Jason Felici
Camp Luther is a unique setting that fosters the development of young people for service to Christ and His church. It is literally a life-changing place, where spiritual, emotional, and physical growth have no limits. We encounter God through our worship, prayer, cabin devotions, music, crafts, recreation, and our special relationships with each other.
The members of the camp staff are all volunteers who give unselfishly of their time, energy, and talents because they care so much for our young people and this ministry. Most take valuable vacation time and many travel hundreds of miles. Because most of them return to camp year after year to serve, they have a combined experience of hundreds of years as counselors, teachers, deans, and office staff.
Our educational programs are an extension of your congregation’s ministry, plus some important added dimensions. Bible stories are brought to life. Confirmation instruction is provided. Current world issues, as well as the tough questions, challenges, and concerns faced by all young people, are discussed and addressed from a Christian viewpoint.
Care of God’s beautiful creation is emphasized. There is instruction inside and outside the classroom, with hikes and “creek stomps” led by the nature teacher being among the most popular educational activities. Besides Christian instruction, there are various other educational opportunities provided, such as music, drama, and crafts. Campers who wish to exercise their writing skills may elect to be a member of the staff of the camp newspaper, The Camp Luther Beacon.
A wide variety of sports and games is available at camp, including swimming, volleyball, soccer, basketball, badminton, softball, kickball, 4-square, archery, shuffleboard, scooter hockey, fishing, and boating. There are skits, scavenger hunts, talent shows, relays, and tie-dying. There is ample free time for these activities during the afternoon, while the evening hours are filled with organized events in each of the three programs. There are pizza parties and an all-camp picnic. And there is plenty of time to “hang out” with friends.
The friendships that are created at Camp Luther are lifelong, and among the strongest bonds that can be found among people anywhere on earth. Just ask any repeat camper or staff member, for whom spending a week at camp is among the absolute highlights of the year. And it’s not only the making of new friends, but also the reuniting with old friends that makes camp week so special.
Camp Luther is divided into three programs:
- Junior, for those who have completed grades 3 – 5
- Intermediate, for those who have completed grades 6 – 8
- and Senior, for those who have completed grades 9 – 12.
In each program there is a counselor for every 8 – 10 campers.
Camp Luther is set in beautiful natural surroundings at an altitude of over 2,400 feet in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. Picturesque woodlands surround the main camp, and rhododendron, laurel, and wildflowers abound. There is a breathtaking lake within walking distance, and a beautiful creek cascades through the camp.
Camp facilities include heated cabins with hot and cold running water, showers, electric lights, and beds. The centrally located dining hall has a modern kitchen and an experienced staff. The camp has a large swimming pool, several athletic fields, volleyball and basketball courts, and a wide variety of athletic equipment for both team and individual use.