Turtle Races Part 2!

I got more pictures and videos from Kristin from when Roots went into Longville last Wednesday! Here’s some you might want to check out!

13518038_10206654883512322_1358158006_o

13499701_10206654883272316_2012251588_o

13499935_10206654883312317_2106021486_o

13518123_10206654883192314_44572897_o

13523734_10206654883152313_1103195640_o

13509728_10206654866911907_1567807101_o

13493711_10206654868071936_611943590_o

13499868_10206654867831930_642745718_o

13499514_10206654867791929_1221793737_o

13499726_10206654867711927_1279153329_o

13517895_10206654867631925_1964951397_o

13499642_10206654867071911_850091192_o

Thanks for such a great week Roots!

7/2 Update: Thanks to Dani, we have a few more pictures to share with the roots!

IMG_1840

IMG_1848

IMG_1849

IMG_1850

IMG_1851

IMG_1853

IMG_1854

Fantastic Friday!

Fantastic Friday!

Fridays are interesting here at Luther Dell. The first thing the campers do is clean their cabins and check out. Depending on how well they cleaned throughout the week, this might mean an early morning for them or they may have gotten the last check out time possible. We then had a filling breakfast of biscuits and gravy bake and the campers regrouped for one last devotional with their cabins.

However, come 11:00, we have our closing Olympic ceremonies and this week, we were also able to celebrate with the 5 campers/staff who passed Jedi Academy throughout the week.

IMG_2321

IMG_2312

IMG_2311

IMG_2309

IMG_2306

After the Jedi Commissioning Ceremony, we held our closing Olympic ceremonies

IMG_2314

IMG_2315

IMG_2317

IMG_2318

IMG_2319

IMG_2320

The Winning team, the Black Polka-Dots, then got to throw a staff member of their choosing into the lake. They chose Kenny, the self-proclaimed Eternal Grand Master of the Luther Dell Jedi Order, to be thrown into the lake.

 IMG_2325

IMG_2326

IMG_2327

IMG_2329

After Kenny exited the lake, we went over to the Outdoor Chapel for one last chapel

IMG_2341

IMG_2344

IMG_2347

We then had to say our sad goodbyes to the campers before they left; it’s always tough to see them go

IMG_2353

IMG_2354

IMG_2355

IMG_2357

IMG_2358

IMG_2359

IMG_2360

IMG_2361

IMG_2368

IMG_2370

IMG_2371

IMG_2373

IMG_2375

IMG_2379

IMG_2389

Thursday: A Day to Remember

Wednesdays are a great day at Luther Dell because it is the most different day we have at camp during the week, since we have the Turtle Races and the emotional worship. However, Thursdays are one of the most memorable days.

First, there’s breakfast in bed where the counselors bring back breakfast sandwiches for the whole cabin! This lets all the campers sleep in until 9:30! After that, they pack in clean cabin and Bible study before going to worship.

BUT, worship looks very different. Instead of having the Luther Dell staff plan and lead worship, the high school program, Roots, do all the work of planning and leading chapel!

IMG_2100

IMG_2101

IMG_2103

IMG_2110

IMG_2117

IMG_2118

IMG_2126

IMG_2127

IMG_2130

IMG_2137

IMG_2141

IMG_2154

IMG_2164

IMG_2168

IMG_2181

After Chapel finished, we went up to Sunwall for lunch and after a quick break for a post-lunch nap, we got to have some free time!

Today was the first day we were able to open the beach, but we didn’t want to make all of camp lose half of their free time for the swim test, so we only opened up the shallow end for swimmers and allowed Paddle Boarders to paddle around the deep area of the swim area, so they could be directly supervised by a lifeguard.

IMG_2186

IMG_2190

IMG_2194

In the second half of free time, we got 60 campers to play a dodge ball game called Star Wars with us. The goal is to run through the course and grab the Death Star plans and return them to your base. You have 4 Jedi defending you with fun noodles and if you get hit by a dodge ball, you must join the Empire. The campers had a blast!

IMG_2197

IMG_2200

After playing Star Wars, it was time for noodle hockey, one of the most challenging games at Luther Dell. The victor from this would most likely win the Luther Dell Olympics for the week!

IMG_2213

IMG_2214.5

IMG_2214

IMG_2215

IMG_2216

IMG_2217

IMG_2242

After supper tonight, it was time for our second game of Might Mighty for the week and the campers loved it!

IMG_2255

IMG_2269

IMG_2272

IMG_2277

After Mighty Mighty, it was time for Holden’s Evening Prayer. For the most part, this was a worship that the campers were not super familiar with prior to this evening, but they seemed to enjoy it. There was even a break in the middle for me to give a quick homily

IMG_2293

IMG_2295

IMG_2297

IMG_2299

After worship, the campers got to go back with their cabins and hang out for one last evening!

Wednesday: Turtle Races, Emotional Worship, and Scrambled Eggs…Oh My

Today was a very interesting day. It started off like every other day at camp (Breakfast, Clean Cabin, Chapel, etc.) but as soon as it was time for lunch, things got interesting. Every Wednesday, the roots go into Longville to help volunteer at the Turtle Races, but with 28 Roots this week, it was slightly more logistically challenging to transport them all in. So Katie and I got to drive them in in two trips with the vehicles, and then also drove them back…so for a camp that is always doing things, it felt really weird driving for 4 hours in one day.

However, the campers didn’t seem to mind a road trip

One of the Roots Counselors, Kristin, caught some videos of the roots dancing in Longville, so I’ll hopefully make another post tomorrow or Friday to get those to you.

But, that’s a lot of words with very few pictures. So what else did we do today? We played a new Olympic event called Scrambled Eggs where we have 150 different items on the basketball court labeled with a color and a letter. Each team has to find all of their letters and then unscramble the message in order to win the game. Each team only can have 2 people searching for their items at a time and they must walk heel to toe in order to get to an item.

IMG_2036 IMG_2048 IMG_2050 IMG_2059 IMG_2063 IMG_2064 IMG_2067 IMG_2071 IMG_2073 IMG_2074 IMG_2083 IMG_2086 IMG_2087 IMG_2091

After dinner, our time-traveler dodge-ball game got rained out, so we ended up packing into Upper Sunwall to watch Inside Out.

image1

This was really fitting, because Wednesday night is our emotional worship, which is one of the strongest cabin bonding events of the week. It also is a great time for campers their counselors how thankful they are for each other. It’s an absolutely beautiful evening!

IMG_2092 IMG_2095 IMG_2096

Tuesday: A New Perspective On Camp

Hello, my name is Mike Pahl and this is my 7th summer working with middle school and high school students at Shepherd of the Valley. In all of those years, you would think that I would have been to Luther Dell, but this is my first time. I would love to share some of my observations from the perspective of an adult leader that is brand new to Luther Dell.

IMG_1979

The first thing that stands out to me is the counselors. I have had a chance to speak with the majority of them and they are really neat individuals. They are passionate about their faith. Many of them have been campers here in the past and found Luther Dell to be a place that really helped develop their faith and now they want to help kids grow in their faith.

IMG_1954

IMG_1957

I love how the cabins stick together throughout the day. The counselors eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner with their cabin and this provides the opportunity to build some strong bonds. When you couple this with one on ones that take place each morning it makes it possible for the kids and the counselors to really connect.

IMG_1962

IMG_1982

The second thing that I have noticed is how the environment and culture at Luther Dell makes it possible for the kids to be kids and to just be themselves. The fact that no one has a cell phone really helps with this. It allows the kids to be fully present in the activities and not worry about checking Snapchat or Instagram. The counselors do a great job of being themselves and the kids seem to follow their lead. Participating in worship on Tuesday night was a great example of this. There were a couple songs that involved dancing and if kids weren’t comfortable they would not have danced. The whole room was dancing and moving around the room as if they didn’t care what anyone thought! So much fun to watch!

IMG_1952

IMG_1985

IMG_1981

You can’t talk about camp without talking about camp games! The games at Luther Dell are an absolute blast. I have played a lot of games in my days hanging out with youth but many of the games here are brand new to me and they are an absolute blast. The kids absolutely love them and you can tell that they don’t really care who wins or loses because they are just having fun!

IMG_2002

IMG_1991

IMG_1960

IMG_2019

Last but not least, I wanted to share about the faith component. Throughout the day we have the opportunity to participate in different faith building activities. We start out the day with First Word. Students stay in their cabins until 8:15am and then come out to the “Circle Up” area. They can’t talk until one of the counselors shares a bible passage with the group. We pray throughout the day (before meals, during worship, in Bible studies). Each cabin does a Bible study in the morning. I have been impressed in the discussions that have taken place in each study that I have attended. We worship in the morning and evening. Right before bed, we have devotion time. On Tuesday evening, the guys got to do a very cool activity during their devotion time. All the male counselors sat up on the stage and the boys got to write down any questions that they had on any topic (we did weed out the super crazy questions for the sake of time). The questions asked of the “Man Panel” ranged from questions of faith, “Is it bad to doubt God?” to questions about girls, “How do I get a girlfriend and once I do, how do I keep her?”, to questions about life, “How has the death of a loved one affected you?”, to questions about our favorite games and movies.

IMG_1986

IMG_2001

IMG_1984

IMG_1982

IMG_1976

IMG_1971

[Pictured above is a Team Building Activity where the campers had to design a baptismal font using foundations of nature]

Based on everything I have seen and heard the first couple days at Luther Dell, I can understand why kids love Luther Dell so much!

IMG_1951

The Confirmation of Acacia Terzich

Tonight we got to celebrate a very important moment in Acacia (Casey) Terzich’s life as she was confirmed at Luther Dell. In the Lutheran Church, Confirmation is also known as the Reaffirmation of Baptism. Essentially, this is the student’s opportunity to affirm their faith and ask for God to reside in them, as their parents first did over a decade earlier when they were first baptized.

IMG_1928

Casey’s family moved a number of years ago and since then haven’t found a new home church. So in October, when many of her friends were being confirmed, Casey wasn’t able to join them.

IMG_1941

Because Luther Dell has been such a big influence on Casey’s faith and she still considers SOTV to be her home church, it made sense then to try to let her be confirmed at Luther Dell this summer.

IMG_1931

We are so thankful that Casey was able to celebrate this wonderful moment in her life with us here at Luther Dell! Congratulations Casey!

IMG_1946

Monday Sunny day

*Notice, we got a report that a spam message saying “Don’t close this page” popped up from someone accessing the blog. We believe this has been resolved, but if this issue occurs, please call us at our office line 218-566-2329

After such an intensely hot first day at camp, today was absolutely beautiful! We started out the day with some rock, paper, scissors games before breakfast to get our blood pumping!

IMG_1697

IMG_1700

After breakfast and cabin cleanup, we were able to have some fun praising God at chapel!

IMG_1707

IMG_1705

IMG_1715

IMG_1713

One of the greatest things about Luther Dell is the quality time every camper is able to have with their counselor!

IMG_1727

Since Luther Dell is a place to grow, we also put a lot of importance on growing as a community within your cabin. That’s why every day we do fun team building activities to help strengthen that bond!

IMG_1738 IMG_1756 IMG_1744 IMG_1743

After Team building, we got to have a wonderful homemade lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup to give us energy for the afternoon. Because the wind was so strong yesterday, we ended up cancelling the swim tests s we got two hours of free time instead of just one! That gave us a chance to play some great games like Dodgeball gauntlet, Gaga, start a basketball tournament, and begin Jedi Academy (a course in which campers are tested to determine if they may have what it takes to become a Jedi).

IMG_1777

IMG_1808

IMG_1797

IMG_1793

IMG_1787

IMG_1810

After free time, we began the 5th annual Luther Dell Olympics. Our first day was dedicated to creating team names, flags, cheers, and then was wrapped up with speed Pictionary.

IMG_1829

IMG_1825

IMG_1822

IMG_1820

IMG_1818

IMG_1816

IMG_1813

After Olympics finished, we got to have Parmesan chicken for supper and the played one of the all time best camp games, Mighty Mighty.

IMG_1879

IMG_1867

IMG_1866

IMG_1865

IMG_1863

IMG_1848

We got to end the night before worship with a beautiful sunset

IMG_1882

IMG_1901

WE got to end our night with a very special worship, but you’ll see more about that in the next blog because it is special enough to get it’s own!

Sunday with SOTV: The Dawn of a New Summer

After two long weeks of staff training, we were more than excited for our first full week of campers to show up! However, unbeknownst to the counselors, SOTV brought nearly 90 campers with them this week.

Let’s just say, it took them a while to get off the bus 🙂

IMG_1611

IMG_1613

IMG_1616

After the bus arrived, we got to check in all of our campers in using our new check-in software…it didn’t quite go as smoothly as hoped, but we eventually got all of the campers through with only a couple hic-ups. The worst part was it took a couple hours longer than usual, but we’ll continue to experiment as the summer moves forward and maybe try an Ethernet cable to connect with the software instead of the wifi, so hopefully for future weeks and summers we can speed up the process!

New things are great, but it is tough having your trial run with so many campers…

That being said, the SOTV crew was so flexible, and all around courteous as we continued to make adjustments to the schedule, and as we ran into technical difficulties. #alwaysrefresh We are so thankful for all of the amazing campers this week!

Frustrations may have run a little high today too, because the temperature was so high; the floor of our dining center was wet from the condensation. However, as the severe storms passed about 30 miles south of us, we got to enjoy our dinner and then play quad-medic as the region cooled off after the storms passed.

IMG_1638

IMG_1640

IMG_1642

IMG_1651

But after playing games for a while, some campers were just tuckered out

IMG_1644

So they just enjoyed each other’s company instead

IMG_1647

IMG_1650

IMG_1646

After the game, we got to have some canteen time as we learned how to operate our new software in Canteen too (have we mentioned how thankful we are for the flexibility of our campers this week?!)

IMG_1664

IMG_1665

IMG_1685

IMG_1688

IMG_1686

We then got to enjoy our first skit of the summer while watching an absolutely beautiful sunset!

IMG_1684

IMG_1659

IMG_1661

IMG_1681

And as a classic group of guys, the night was capped off by some post worship cereal eating. For as crazy as the first day was, it’s sure great to be back!

IMG_1692

Youthway Week!

Even though we weren’t able to have a full week of campers come up this week, we are so glad that Youthway was able to bring up 8 kids to hang out with us, do some work projects with us, and play a lot of games throughout the week.

They arrived on Sunday, just in time for supper and a game of Medic. However, that was quickly trumped by the beautiful campfire worship we got to enjoy with the only beautiful sunset of the week (it rained for most of the week while they were here).

IMG_1460 IMG_1451

After worship finished, it was time for a quick devotional and then off to bed.

The next day, Youthway got up early to start helping with work projects around camp; their first mission, to fill in the holes in the road with dirt so it will be a smoother drive. They also transported firewood, collected sticks that fell during the storms, and even helped do dishes back in the kitchen!

image 1

image2

image4

image5

image6

image7

We are so thankful for all the help that Youthway was able to provide for us!

We are also so glad they could come so we could play games with them, instead of only sitting through our sessions on boring technical and legal things. So instead of sitting around a table for an hour, we got to do some team building activities with them and play some dodgeball games.

IMG_1463

IMG_1466

IMG_1518

IMG_1519

IMG_1520

We tried playing a new Olympic game yesterday, and have figured out a few kinks to work out, but it should hopefully be a great one for the summer!

Thanks for such a great few days Youthway!

Staff Transitions

The hardest part of every staff training is saying goodbye to last summer. Each year, our staff is phenomenal in so many unique and different ways, it really is impossible to compare one summer to the next. However, that being said, it’s even harder to say goodbye to the people who were up here for the summer who are not returning. Below you will find the names of the staff who left after last summer:

Photo May 31, 09 43 59

Dave Peet

After 8 years as site director, Dave has stepped down as Luther Dell’s site director. This summer he is working with an organization called Camp Noah, which provides disaster relief around the United States. AS much as Dave is going to miss camp, he will enjoy having a little more time to listen to Podcasts.

Dave

Caitlin

After two summers at Luther Dell, Caitlin has taken the summer off for an internship at Allianz Insurance Company

12792133_10153535590869372_2713130260897495309_o

Kenny

After one summer at Luther Dell, Kenny is staying closer to home this summer, however, he will hopefully come up to help us out when we’re shorthanded and in need of more counselors.

11064270_10204897311378139_684746918932959100_n

Beth

Beth/Canteencelor/Elizadeathany is working at her home church, Bethesda, as an interim Youth Director for the summer. She will be back to Luther Dell this summer, but this time as a Church Staff!

11391742_979683038728855_1686329082079805715_n

EmJ

EmJ is taking a summer course in Organic Chemestry at St. Olaf College this summer, so she will not be returning after one summer at camp.

Carly

After a 6 month internship down in LaCrosse, WI, Carly has officially gotten a job as a Child Life Specialist at Children’s Hospital in MN. While we’re sad to see her go after 3 summers at Luther Dell, we’re so excited to see he live into her vocation there.

13221344_10107649936782300_5098413472428674435_o

Erin

After Two summers working in the kitchen, Erin has decided to stay closer to school and has an internship lined up at a ropes course in Eau Claire for the summer. We’ll miss her friendship and leadership, but it takes a lot of energy to work in the kitchen and we’re so thankful to have her experience in there the past few summers!

13161913_10207645713554873_3848452714544173569_o

Emily

After three summers at Luther Dell and one summer at Trinity, Emily decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail with her boyfriend, Jake. The trail is over two-thousand miles, so we are praying for safe travels and a lack of injury for them. No matter what happens, it’ll be quite the adventure for them.

13427734_10206767189242080_8749001839041646475_n

Stacey

After one summer of working at camp (and more volunteering) Stacey is not coming back because she has a full time position at General Mills! Among other things she’s learned there, the official name for the marshmallows in Lucky Charms are Marbits…who knew?

12238454_10205186289087303_7198319166205746385_o

Valentine

After spending this spring on a mission trip in Mexico, Valentine is staying closer to her family this summer so she will not be returning to camp. We are thankful for her help in the kitchen last summer!

11539605_10155749931170717_8062508628075847949_n

Brock

After being one of the best maintenance goons in recent memory, we’re sad to say that Brock got an internship at SMC using some big machinery for his degree at St. Cloud Tech. We’ll miss his effectiveness and productivity…but will anyone miss being hit by his cannon in dodge-ball?

13323752_959519984165617_4525600727012643311_o

Zach

After two summers on staff, Zach couldn’t quite swing a third summer as he is working two jobs in St. Cloud while prepping for student teaching this fall. We’ll miss having him as a maintenance goon, but we’re excited to see how he does teaching this fall!

12615529_1054247927959163_8226982064570161062_o

Devin

After 3 summers on staff, Devin finally hung up his counselor’s hat and put on a set of scrubs. After graduating from Bethel University this spring, Devin is currently studying for his nursing boards and hopefully once he passes those, he’ll be able to come up to camp some more and visit!

img_3062-850x567

A huge thank you to all of these amazing, wonderful staff, for their years of service to Luther Dell, the camp, and most of all the campers! You will be greatly missed!

Staff Training

Staff Training

We are so excited for campers to finally get up to Luther Dell! Photo Jun 04, 10 20 46Most of the staff has been here for almost two weeks already, but a few of the returning staff have been here for almost 3 weeks! This place is awesome, but it’s really empty without any campers around!

If you’ve ever wondered what happens at staff training, here’s a quick rundown of everything we cover over the two weeks! Just like how Jesus grew closer to his disciples over meals, so does our staff! Eating lunch together was the very first thing we did as a staff as we began to grow our community. After lunch, the new staff got a tour around camp from Katie, Alexa, Evan, and Wes the Pirate.

Photo Jun 04, 12 55 26 Photo Jun 04, 14 42 08 (1)

As we got going, we’ve done a million other things around camp!

We cleaned the cabins

Photo May 30, 23 04 53

We played a bunch of games, from Eliminator to Dodgeball, and even had a great game of Thunder in there too!

IMG_1430

And there’s even been some times to just take some goofy pictures as we’re been hanging out too!

IMG_1426

Staff training isn’t all fun and games. We have some long training sessions where we talk about really important stuff, and we’re so thankful for Heather and Noah from LWLBC to come up and work through that with us. We also struggled because we only had one cook for the first half of staff training. However, since we have a competitive staff, that problem was quickly remedied by a challenge for the staff to create adventurous meals. One group created their own Chipotle style restaurant, one mad a unique meal (hot-dogs wrapped in spaghetti, stuffed with cheese, bacon, and jalapenos) but the winning group created a time machine and took us back to the time of the dinosaurs for our meal.

Photo Jun 09, 18 07 05

But at the end of the day, we’re still able to come together as a staff for some quality bonding while watching The Sandlot at the first annual Luther Dell Drive-In Movie!

IMG_1446 IMG_1449

It’s been a great staff training so far, but we can’t wait for the campers to come!