2023 Summer Camp Series
Lutherhaven's new director has served the camp
On March 1, after a search led by a national search firm, Rebecca Smith was officially hired as executive director of Lutherhaven Ministries, which operates Camp Lutherhaven on Lake Coeur d'Alene, Shoshone Mountain Retreat and Ranch on the Coeur d'Alene River and McPherson Meadows on Tepee Creek in Idaho.
Rebecca has served at Lutherhaven since 1994 and had been serving as interim executive director since August 2022, when former executive director Bob Baker retired after 29 years.
"We have a strong team lined up for the summer and are still seeking several more staff members and volunteers to join the summer team, with some positions available through the fall," said Rebecca.
"For the 65 staff members, we seek people with a loving, growing relationship with Jesus Christ, a willingness to work hard and remain flexible, and a joyful spirit for working alongside youth," she said.
Staff arrive on June 14 for two weeks of training. Camps run through mid-August.
"Registrations are on target for an expected 1,500 campers," said Rebecca, "This will be a big year for the Idaho Servant Adventures camp in the Silver Valley, with 750 campers coming from youth groups in churches around the U.S. We have offered this camp for more than 20 years.
"These campers come to repair and transform homes, lives and communities as they paint houses, plant gardens, chop wood, repair fences and do more to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus," she added.
Registration for Idaho Servant Adventures, family camps, summer camps, day camps and staff applications and information is at lutherhaven.com.
"Through the camps, all ages can make memories, have a blast and grow in faith," Rebecca said.
Camp Lutherhaven, located on the west shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene offers eight weeks of camps in a traditional summer camp setting with waterfront fun, mini golf, archery, devotionals, all-camp games, worship and ropes courses.
Shoshone Creek Retreat and Ranch, located on the edge of the Bitterroot Mountains on the on the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River, provides opportunities for youth and families to experieince horseback riding, day hikes, fly fishing, huckleberry picking, river floating, worship and campfires.
Twenty miles upriver and off the grid on Tepee Creek is McPherson Homestead, a wilderness retreat with a furnished off-grid cabin with the amenities of home and solar power.
"Lutherhaven's 2023 summer theme is 'Big Table,' which is about how we all are welcome into God's family and about God's lavish love," said Rebecca.
"For us, Lutherhaven Ministries is about getting people into creation, building community and encountering Jesus," she added. "We are always hopeful that camp experiences will carry over into churches.
"About a quarter to a half of campers connect with churches, but for some it's the only place they will hear about Jesus in today's world," she said. "Parents send kids to learn and grow.
"Our summer theme, Big Table, is the heart of camp, where campers of all ages come just as they are, and we welcome them to share in the goodness of community and experience God's unconditional love that exists for everyone," she said.
Rebecca began as summer staff and continued up to her present position, impressed by Lutherhaven Ministries mission and vision to "serve others and serve the world."
In her early years, she attended a Lutheran church in Seattle and came to Lutherhaven to be a camp counselor while studying outdoor recreation at Washington State University. She graduated in 1997.
"I'm one of few people using my major," commented Rebecca, who has served in different roles at the camp over the years."
For information, call 208-667-3459 or visit lutherhaven.com.