It never fails, when people talk about camp - a smile spreads across their face and a little sparkle jumps to their eye. No matter the age, from eight to eighty, the joy is palpable.
At camp, the worries of the world melt away. We can simply be free and be ourselves.
It’s simple really, but there aren’t many places like it.
While the rest of the world offers conflicting demands and divisions camp offers community and the glow of a campfire.
While the rest of the world is overly serious and highly competitive camp offers silly songs and healthy relationships.
While the rest of the world offers high expectations and low compassion camp offers holy spaces and an invitation to serve others.
Lutherhill Ministries has sparked joy in campers of all ages since 1954. As we continue to thrive, we look with joy to the future of this critical ministry. In order to continue offering high-quality, transformational programs, we must add more functional facilities and update buildings that are no longer adequate. These projects will allow more campers to experience the joy of camp and also improve our long-term financial strength and sustainability. Opening our existing and new facilities to large groups throughout the year helps us shift the considerable expenses of maintaining camp off of our summer programs. With this strategic move, Lutherhill can fulfill our commitment to keep the cost of summer camp accessible for all.
A camp and fellowship space like ours can have the most ideal location, best leadership and staff, and highest quality programs, but if it doesn’t have the facilities it needs to attract and retain campers and guests, it is unlikely to survive, much less thrive. Put simply, the quality of our facilities is essential to Lutherhill’s future success and sustainability.
Over the years, Lutherhill has diligently cared for its facilities and periodically undertaken new projects to address specific needs. Ten years ago, the Board of Directors commissioned a thorough facilities review to provide the basis for developing a comprehensive master plan for the La Grange property. We then conducted a successful capital campaign entitled A Place for All People to raise funds for the highest-priority projects. Completed in 2010, these projects included the Broesche Family Center (providing sleep and living space for up to 12 people), six new camper cabins (each with space for 14 people), water and sewer infrastructure improvements, and the acquisition of 9.22 acres of adjoining property for future expansion. That same year, Carby Chapel was dedicated, providing a beautiful worship and gathering space for up to 150 people. Over the years, we have also added and/or improved an outdoor camping area, a challenge/high ropes course, RV loop, and multiple outdoor worship spaces.
In 2015, the Board authorized a study to assess the feasibility of undertaking the next projects called for in the master plan. At the same time, the master plan was updated to specify the most pressing facilities needs and how to address them.
Lutherhill’s F.E. Eilers Dining Hall dates back to the 1950s. Although the building is beloved and can continue to serve other uses with some updating, it is too small for large groups. Currently, campers have to eat in shifts, which is both inefficient and logistically problematic. The kitchen and serving areas are also undersized, which causes congestion and impacts Lutherhill’s commitment to hospitality. Last but not least, the location of the existing dining hall is not readily accessible (and, for some, inaccessible) to the Chapel and sleeping areas in our current campus layout.
Many large groups seeking a place to hold a retreat or program are not attracted to Lutherhill and choose other sites because our existing retreat spaces are too small, outdated, and not configured for adult guests. Our Retreat House has a maximum capacity of 6 people, and the Ark, an outdated building that has reached the end of its useful life, can accommodate only 18 guests in shared bedrooms. Due to inadequate retreat space for adults, Lutherhill is considerably underutilized during the non-summer months. This means missed opportunities to further our mission and to increase earned revenue. We urgently need retreat space configured for adult groups – facilities with private rooms, adult beds and updated bathrooms are industry standard.
Launch Fundraising Campaign
Dining Hall Prep: Break ground on replacement cabins
Break ground on new Dining Hall
Break ground on new Retreat Center
Complete Fundraising Campaign
Estimated Construction Cost
Dining Hall Committed
Retreat & Multipurpose Center
Multi-Purpose Room Committed
Village of 3 Cabins
Lutherhill Ministries…a ministry for all people of every generation to experience the Love of Christ in unique settings and new ways.
Hospitality – All are valued, cared for, and loved through their interactions with Lutherhill.
Love of Christ – We exemplify Christ’s Love and a desire for all to experience that Love.
Holy Space – We create opportunities for people to experience God’s presence in all things.
Community – We value relationship modeled around God’s Love and acceptance.