Moving Forward Past the Flames

By: Andrea Scofield, Executive Director

It has been an adventurous year. In January 2019, the Camp Lutherwood Association approved a capital building campaign for the next three years. The proposed buildings included one wing of the new retreat center off the Lodge, a bathhouse to accommodate the upper cabins, and a covered pavilion in the backfield for gathering out of inclement weather. We were all ready to launch our campaign, and then April 12, 2019 changed our course.

On Friday, April 12,  the main Lodge at Camp Lutherwood Oregon was destroyed in a fire. Everything in the building was lost, including the entire kitchen, laundry room, all program supplies, challenge course equipment, all helmets and ropes for the climbing tower, the tables and chairs, the piano, and the program office contents.

The lodge before the fire.

The Fire Inspector determined the fire to be electrical and originating in the program office, but the device was undeterminable. It was not due to the building’s electrical system, but something housed in the program office. No one was hurt in the fire, only the building was lost. For that we celebrate and give thanks!

We had two months prior to summer programs starting, and we had only a week or two to clean up and be prepared for outdoor school sessions to resume. We lost three weeks of outdoor school, but we completed the initial clean-up with the help of so many people. Our first annual work day was May 4 and we are so thankful for the many volunteers who helped us accomplish projects around the site.

Necessary inspections took place, and all of the temporary utilities (electrical and plumbing) were finished in that time so the septic system was back up and running and we could host groups again. This was a tremendous accomplishment and we are so grateful for all of the people that had a hand in making this happen. We completed the Outdoor School season and were ready by June 12th to welcome our summer staff.

An excavator taking down the chimney of the Lodge.

Between summer staff members and Operations and Program Director Charlotte Trent, summer programs went on without skipping a beat. Though we didn’t have a building to gather in, we did have a 40-by-85-foot tent and temporary kitchen and dishwashing facilities. It has been amazing to witness, and my heart is full of gratitude for so many things.

We have begun our $4.2 million capital campaign and over the next two to three years, Lutherwood will be managing a number of building projects. We will construct a new lodge and retreat center where the former lodge building sat. The lodge will hold the dining hall and the primary kitchen, and the retreat center will have 16 private rooms with bathrooms, plus three meeting rooms. The covered pavilion in the back field has morphed into a building that will house the temporary dining hall and secondary kitchen and be the primary recreation center. The upper cabins bathhouse will have toilets and showers. 

The order of constructing each building has shifted since the April 12  fire. We will be building the recreation center in the back field immediately in order to have a kitchen and dining room up to accommodate our year-round business. Outdoor schools will use the site March through May 2020. It is a tight timeline, but we are doing everything possible in order to meet it. 

Thank you to our amazing volunteers who helped out on our May 25, 2019 work day.

While the recreation center is being completed, we are working on the final plans for the bathhouse and the lodge and retreat center. We will keep everyone posted as we move forward on projects. 

This is an incredible opportunity for Lutherwood, and we will be involving everyone in fundraising efforts. We will be asking individuals, congregations, foundations and others to participate in our efforts, and together we will accomplish all of it. 

I am constantly reminded of the founding fathers and mothers who worked so tirelessly in the late 1950s and early 1960s to plan and build a Lutheran church camp. The mission of Camp Lutherwood Oregon remains the same: to offer generous hospitality to all of our guests, and to provide a space for people to discover caring and affirming relationships with God, self, others, and the outdoors. We are eager to continue this 60-year-old tradition well into the future. Thank you for coming along with us on this ride of a lifetime.

Year-round staff standing in the back field where a new building will be built.

Next Steps for our community: Summer has begun!

Next steps for our community:
up and running

After the devastating Lodge fire and three weeks of diligently finding solutions, we are over the moon with excitement that we were able to welcome Northwest Regional Outdoor School back to our site on May 6th. We have a 40 foot-by-85 foot tent serving as our indoor meeting space, a temporary kitchen trailer, dishwashing trailer and freezer and refrigerator trailers. 

Read The Register Guard’s article regarding our recovery efforts!

Next steps for our community: Work Day

Workday was a success! Thank you to everyone who attended and did such great work. Because of your help, our lawns are mowed, our garden is ready for planting, our tent lights are up, our trails are raked, our brand new dishes are washed, and so much more. We could not have gotten all of this done without you, and we cannot thank you enough! 

Were you unable to make it to this Workday? Join us on Saturday, May 25th, for our second Workday of the Spring! We look forward to seeing you there!

Next Steps for our community: AMazon Wish list

If you would like to donate goods to help us restore operations post fire, follow this link to our Amazon Wish List https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/V2SH48FMQEK5  

  If you would like to double support us, you can go to smile.amazon.com and select “Camp Lutherwood Association” as your charity of choice and .5% of your purchase will go directly to us once you start shopping. Thank you so much for your generosity!

Next Steps for our Community: Camp is still happening!

next steps for our community: Recovery steps

Friends of Lutherwood,

We are sad to share that a fire destroyed the main lodge at Camp Lutherwood Oregon on the night of Friday, April 12. Thankfully, no one was in the building at the time of the fire and all guests and staff are safe and without injury. 

The Lodge building has been declared a total loss, and the fire was deemed accidental and electrical in nature

We have rented a temporary kitchen and are finding a large, sturdy and comfortable temporary tent for an indoor meeting space so we can continue serving our guests as soon as possible. Our current goal is to have outdoor schools back on our site by next Sunday.  

We also have every intention of hosting our 2019 summer camp programs and are currently taking registrations and applications for staff positions now. 

We have had so many people generously reach out with prayers, kind words and donations for which we are so grateful. 

To help us restore operations as quickly as possible, a generous donor has offered to match every gift made in the next 30 days (Until Ma 16) up to $100,000. You can make a donation now at the link above

If you would like to volunteer we would love to have you at our work day this Saturday, May 4, from 9AM-3PM. We have tasks for all ages and abilities and lunch will be included. Please RSVP by contacting us at 541-998-6444 or office@lutherwoodoregon.org

Thank you for all of the support you have given us during this difficult time. We are so grateful, and we cannot wait to continue serving you at Camp Lutherwood Oregon. 

Sincerely,

The Camp Lutherwood Oregon Staff