Melissa serves as Program Consultant for Lutherwood. She’s a lifelong camper, staff member, and supporter of camp. Meet her this summer as she leads sessions and activities at Friends & Family Camp 1 (July 1-3)!

“There are good leaders and bad leaders.

There are leaders who are worthy of following and leaders who are only concerned with power and control. In this campaign season, it is nearly impossible to avoid the news reports, blogs, social media posts and general conversation around leadership. In the coming year this country will be asked to decide what we want in our next leader.

If you asked me today to follow the lead of any presidential candidate and be his or her imitator, I would be immediately hesitant. No, thank you.

Camp Lutherwood Oregon’s summer theme, “Follow the Leader,” in the midst of a presidential election is a beautiful juxtaposition as we focus on Jesus as The Leader. No empty promises. No tearing down of others. No fear. Jesus is a leader worth following.

This summer we will focus on the stories of Jesus and explore how the disciples must have felt as they walked and talked with Jesus during his days on earth. We will be challenged to be imitators of God and live lives of love as our theme verse, Ephesians 5:1-2 instructs.

This is a huge calling for all of our campers, staff and guests this summer. But being an imitator of God and living a life of love is only possible in community. Any individual cannot fulfill these commands in isolation. One thing that makes camp life so special is that everything happens in community.

The rhythm of camp offers opportunities to live the ways of God without the distractions and demands of daily life at home. To all who cross the bridge, the gift of camp is an intentional space and time to practice Following The Leader together.

The daily themes this summer are Feed, Forgive, Love, Serve and Pray, all of which offer tangible ways that we can practice imitating Jesus in our daily lives at camp and at home. Campers of all ages will explore these themes not only as examples of what Jesus did, but with an added challenge to discover how they can “go and do likewise.”

When I think of Jesus as my leader, I have a deep sense of confidence that I am following one who has my best interests at heart. I see Jesus as the leader who challenges and has high expectations for his followers. But he is also a leader who guides, supports, loves and offers grace at every turn. I breathe a sigh of relief that no matter the leaders that cross my path in this earthly life, my Leader is most definitely worth following.”

Melissa Shults serves as Program Consultant for Camp Lutherwood Oregon.

She’ll be leading sessions and activities at Family Camp 1 (July 1-3)! Spend the weekend leading, following, and having lots of fun — register now!


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