Camp Concordia has been around since 1957. Camping in the 1960s all the way through the 1980s was the summer thing to do. With the invention of the computer and its intersection with the internet, many camps have seen declines. Camp Concordia declined to the point that in 2004 one of the local banks called in the loan they carried and some tough times began. One man, who chooses to remain anonymous, wrote a check for $100,000 that year and saved the camp. Ten years later, after some initial rebuilding, there were enough changes that the children's and youth camps took off like wildfire. Growing from 125 campers to 541 - surpassing many of the record numbers from the 1960s and 70s.
This growth and improvement has taken place because of awesome summer ministry staff. Staff who choose to give up many other things for the summer in order that in the midst of their staff relationships, staff fun, great personal growth they have created a sanctuary with Jesus. A faith building time in which they themselves grow more than they could anticipate.
Great camp. Yes. But because of AWESOME staff. During the summer we often hear of groups of summer staff packing up on their weekend off and going to Lake Michigan together and then often that is followed by going to each other's churches together. At least one time per summer they all get treated to Charlie's Ice Cream - a great stand just north of Camp Concordia.
Since 2014, I (Craig "Doc" Oldenburg) have served alongside dozens of staff members. Each one much different than the other. Each valued by God. Each and awesome friend to the rest of the staff. Awesome camp. Awesome staff!