Outdoor Ministries

Your LRC Staff for
Outdoor Ministries

We have three purposes:

1. To offer stories and reports about ELCA camps and retreat centers care for  Earth.

2. To provide resources to foster a comprehensive approach to care for creation.
  • In the programs and activities for participants
  • In the treatment of your buildings and grounds as model for creation-care. 

3. To promote networking among the ELCA outdoor ministry sites.


Please send a story or report from your outdoor ministry location. We are looking for all green features such as programs for participants, actions for building and grounds, as well as conservation guidelines, food service, green cleaning, educational programs, worship resources, hands-on experiences, public witness/outreach, partnerships, and other environmental practices and commitments. Send to David Rhoads (Director of LRC) at drhoads@lstc.edu.
Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Center at Oregon, IL. See list of items already accomplished.
Bear Creek Camp in PA See a list of their Earthkeeping Practices
Agape Kure Beach Ministries in Fuquay-Varina, NC, Workshop at Woodlands Center with list of Earthkeeping features.
Camp Ewalu, Strawberry Point, IA. List of green actions, including geothermal energy.

Crossways Camping Ministries--Waypost on Mission Lake in Hatley, WI. See tyheir focus on "Sustainable Living" in program and practice.

Hallowood Retreat and Conference Center in Dickerson, MD. The center itself has been a green project from its beginning.
Camp Frederick in Rogers, OH. Care for the natural resources of the location.
Luther Crest Bible Camp in Alexandria, MN. Note the Extensive Environmental Education Program.


NEW Environmental Education Intensive & Group Challenge Initiatives Intensive: February 6-9, 2017

  • What: A training event that addresses the varied issues and interests of environmental educators and those involved with group challenge initiatives at outdoor ministry centers.
  • Where: Camp Agapé of Agapé + Kure Beach Ministries, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, near Raleigh NC. 50 minutes from Raleigh/Durham (RDU) airport.
  • Who: Environmental Educators, Program Staff, Adventure Staff,… anyone from your organization who could benefit.
  • Cost: Thanks to a generous grant from InFaith Community Foundation and our dear friends Knowles and Phyllis Parker your total cost is $50.00 per person for 3 nights lodging, linen service, 7 meals and breakfast to go on the 9th, snacks, and full program. It gets even better. The first 25 to register and attend will get $25.00 back upon arrival. That is right – this event could cost you only $25.00 for three full days. No shows loose the $50.00 deposit or if you sign-up after the first 25 it will cost you $50.00. Limited to 42 participants.
  • Program: Using local resource people to help you with skill development along with some inter-group sharing.
  • More details to come. For now – please save the date!
  • Download the Brochure


-- a checklist of actions you can take.

Principles of Environmental Education Statement. Develop your own eco-mission Statement

LRC Guidelines for Earthkeeping at ELCA-LOM sites. See this checklist for bringing care for creation into the programs, life, and mission of your LOM site.
Networking Contact List. Download ELCA-LOM Contact List. Please look at the list and tell us if the information for your LOM site is correct. Send corrections to Todd Garcia-Bish at leep@lutheryn.com.


Camps Care for Creation (The Lutheran, July 2014)  

You might be surprised at the many ways ELCA camps and outdoor ministries not only bring campers of all ages closer to creation but also help them care for God’s world. Here’s just a sampling of their efforts, thanks to Lutherans Restoring Creation, which helped gather these stories for The Lutheran magazine. [Read More]

Camp Mount Luther: A Commitment to Care for God's Creation

Camp Mount Luther in Mifflinburg, PA now has a standing committee that will be tasked with looking at environmental stewardship. Camp Mount Luther’s Board of Directors passed a resolution to establish the Care of Creation and Environmental Sustainability committee at their meeting April 29, 2014. The board has committed to the care for God’s creation and wanted to ensure that this important work was part of their normal governance of the camp.  [Read More]

Youth Volunteers Improve Energy Efficiency at Koinonia

How many young people does it take to screw in a light bulb? What sounds like the start to an overused joke was in fact a serious question last weekend when high school youth recruited by Metropolitan NewYork Synod's Environmental Stewardship Committee volunteered to help improve energy efficiency at Koinonia Camp. Led by Pastor John Flack of Christ, Floral Park, and Brandon Chenevert, staff member at Koinonia, the team of ten youth spent two days making simple improvements to the camp's facilities that will save both energy and money in the long term. [Read More]

NEW   Buried and Returned to the Forest

Lutheran Outdoor Ministries in Ohio (LOMO) has signed a contract with EcoEternity LLC to implement LakeSide EcoEternity Forest at LOMO’s Camp Luther. 
Should an individual choose to be buried in an EcoEternity Forest, their body is cremated, put into a biodegradable urn, and buried at the base of a chosen mature tree so that their body may be returned to the earth and assist in the growth of that tree. [Read More]

Waypost's Vision for Sustainable Living

In the fall of 2009, Waypost Camp in Hatley, Wisconsin adopted a vision to provide environmental education experiences to all ages. These experiences focus on developing caring and responsible stewards of nature, demonstrating environmentally sustainable practices, and being a place to explore, recreate, rejuvenate and connect with God’s creation and each other. 

Sara Damrow, Director of Waypost, described what happened next: “The staff, campers, congregational leaders, and other guests began to live out the vision – both inside and out.  It has been a true learning process – as we rearranged our traditional camp schedule, reviewed the priorities for programming, and put new ideas and practices into action.”  [Read More]

“Heat is Cheap; Air Conditioning is (Almost) Free” for Camp Ewalu (Strawberry Point, Iowa)

Before he retired as Director, Dale Goodman led Ewalu through a process of adding money-saving, environmental features to Ewalu.  Geothermal systems now heat and cool 6 buildings. 
These changes would not have been possible without a commitment to care for creation.  In Dale’s opinion, “We are a camp of the church; it is our responsibility – simply part of our mission - to be good stewards of the earth.”  [Read More]

Walking the Talk in a Straw Bale House

Josh Bow moved into a straw bale house in October when he became a full-time staff member at Camp Lutherlyn. “I’d always wondered what it would be like to live there,” Josh said of Lutherlyn’s Terra Dei Homestead. “It is such a cool concept and I’d known about it since I was a camper!”
  [Read More]

Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Hosts Environmental Educators
Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (NLOM) hosted the 2013 Environmental Education Intensive for Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. Educators from camps in Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Illinois gathered from Feb. 11-14 to share ideas, develop new programming, network, and worship. [Full Story]

Luther Crest Bible Camp: Grounded in Creation Stewardship
Luther Crest's environmental education program has been re-envisioned with respect to the camp’s mission statement, “We are called and committed to a Christ-centered ministry through Creation and Community.” The camp's "Grounded In" environmental stewardship program is divided into three focus areas: On Hallowed Ground, On Common Ground, and On Sustainable Ground. [Full Story]

Camp Garden Promises Healthier Meals, Giving and Learning Opportunities

Metigoshe Ministries, in the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota, offers year-round opportunities to connect with God though the wonders of nature – and this year campers and staff can get even closer to nature by digging in the ministry’s new garden. "Digging in the dirt offers fun and exciting ways to dig into scripture!  And it is amazing to watch all of the foods that youth will try (and like!) when they are involved in planting and harvesting the food," Executive Director Jon Halvorson said. [Full Story]

A Place to Connect with Christ, Others, and Creation (Camp Frederick, Ohio)
Twenty miles south of Youngstown, Ohio, Camp Frederick is a scenic center for spiritual renewal in the forests of northeast Ohio. The camp is implementing a plan to connect camp participants and visitors with creation.   [Full story]

Garbology -- Helping Serve Creation Through Faithful Patterns of Daily Living
(Holden Village, Washington State)
Holden Village is a singular community - reachable only by boat and bounded by the Glacier Peaks Wilderness area. "As special as this place is, it produces garbage just like any other community," Holden Village’s full-time garbologist said.  [Full story]

Earthkeeping Stories: Inspiring stories from ELCA camps gathered by Nancy Michaelis of the ELCA Hunger Education Program. 

Peter Bakken,
Nov 17, 2016, 12:16 PM
Peter Bakken,
May 16, 2012, 9:53 AM