What is Camp LuWiSoMo’s Mission and Core Values?
Camp LuWiSoMo is dedicated to providing faith-growing opportunities, in a Christ- centered outdoor ministry setting, for people of all ages to refresh the whole person through the blessings of people, facilities, and God’s Word.
All employees and volunteers at Camp LuWiSoMo agree to work to uphold the following Core Values in their interaction with other staff members, volunteers, and guests.
- We are Christian in our behavior, beliefs, motivations, and attitudes.
- We are Servants in both our management style and our focus on others.
- We are Stewards of the resources God gives us.
- We are passionate about our mission, while remaining humble about ourselves.
- We demonstrate mutual respect.
- We strive for clear and timely communication.
- We build a positive team and family spirit.
- We don’t take ourselves too seriously; we have fun.
- We create remarkable experiences that inspire and refresh people.
- We glorify and give thanks to God in all we do.
What is Camp LuWiSoMo’s program focus?
Camp LuWiSoMo has two main focuses for its summer camp program. The first and foremost is to educate and excite campers about their faith walk. We do this through daily morning devotions, daily Chapels, daily Bible Studies, and campfire devotions. Most counselors also do evening devotions in their cabins at night. There is also a focus on incoporating God and Scripture into the majority of our daily activities.
Our second focus is on educating campers and exposing them to a variety of activities they would not normally have a chance to try outside of a camp setting. During each activity campers learn the basics, have a chance to practice, and then apply the new skill to some sort of challenge or game. Some of the activities a camper may participate in, depending on age, include animals facts & identification, arts & crafts, sports and games, archery, astronomy, boating, compass skills, cryptography, fishing, GPS, horse riding, knot tying, low ropes team building, Morse code, orienteering, service projects, tree identification, woodworking, rocketry, working with disabilities, and camping/survival skills. Each year new activities are added to keep the campers growing in their knowledge base.
What is the camp director’s background?
The current camp director and President is Matt Kohler. He started at Camp LuWiSoMo in 2002 as a camp counselor for three years, served as a summer program director in 2009 and 2012-13. He has been a full time staff member since 2013 in various roles such as Senior Counselor and Vice President. He assumed the role of President in May of 2016.
Matt brings a passion for camp and ministry. Before working at Camp LuWiSoMo, Matt taught 9 years of middle school with a focus on math and social studies. During that time he was active in leading youth groups at his local Lutheran church and holding a weekly Bible study in his classroom. Prior to his teaching, Matt was very active in leading the youth at his home church. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UW-Oshkosh for teaching and a master’s degree from Marian University for technology. Currently he is attending Concordia University and taking classes on the Old Testament, New Testament, Theology, Doctrine, and Lutheran Confessions. He will complete that education early next year.
What training do counselors receive, and how old are they?
Counselors are between 18 and 23 years old.
The counselors receive a variety of training for both safety and program during a 10 day training period. Safety is one of our biggest focuses at Camp LuWiSoMo. Counselors are trained in emergency procedures for missing campers, waterfront emergencies, and severe weather. All staff also receive certification in CPR, AED, and First Aid for adults and youth. A course in recognizing and reporting child abuse is required in addition to appropriate behavior management. All staff need to clear a background check as well.
Counselors are trained in the activities they are leading as well as in the Chapels and Bible Studies. Any staff leading high risk activities such as horseback riding and archery also have specific licenses to instruct in those areas.
What are the desired qualities in camp staff?
First and foremost we look for staff who have a desire to share the Good News with others and enjoy working with children. We also look for staff who exhibit good judgment, high moral standards, a focus on safety, and a passion for outdoor ministry.
Where do campers come from?
The majority of our campers come from the southern half of Wisconsin with a large number coming from the Milwaukee area, Reedsburg, and Delavan. We also get campers from northern Wisconsin and a few from Minnesota. Some campers have even come from other countries as far as Turkey and South Africa. No matter where campers come from, they are always welcome here with open arms!
How does the camp handle special dietary needs?
Dietary needs are reported to the kitchen and our food service provides special meals for allergies or dietary preferences (such as vegan or vegetarian).
How are behavioral and disciplinary problems handled?
At camp we address behavioral and discipline problems as outlined in the book of Matthew, chapter 14, verses 15-16. 15“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ “
Our counselors are instructed to meet with the camper one-on-one in a public area or within view of others and address the concern with them. It is stressed that counselors explain why the rule that was broken was put in place so that the camper understands the situation Depending on the severity, the first time is just a warning and to help the camper make better decisions. If discipline problems continue, the Program Director will talk with the camper and counselor. If discipline problems continue, or are severe, a call home is made by the Summer Camp Director.
How is transportation arranged?
Transportation is available from designated locations in Hales Corners, Menomonee Falls, and Fond du Lac. Transportation fees are listed below. If you are outside of these pick-up areas and have a large group of campers coming in the same week, please give us a call and we will help arrange transportation for your group as well. All rides are chaperoned by LuWiSoMo staff. Ride times may vary slightly from week to week; you will be contacted with exact times by our staff about two weeks prior to the start of your camp week. Rides may be provided with a 15-passenger van, bus, or staff vehicle, depending on the number of requested rides each week. Sunday night dinners are included in the price, but only breakfast will be provided on Friday. A bag lunch is available for Friday afternoon lunch for $6.50.
Approximate times are:
Sunday Pick Up:
- Hales Corners (Hales Corners Lutheran Church, 12300 W Janesville Rd, Hales Corners, WI 53130): 1:45pm ($30)
- Menomonee Falls (Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, W196N9525 Crossview Way Menomonee Falls, WI 53051): 2:30 pm ($25)
- Fond du Lac (Hope Lutheran Church, 260 Vincent St, Fond du Lac, WI 54935): 3:45pm ($15)
Friday Drop Off:
- Fond du Lac (Hope Lutheran Church, 260 Vincent St, Fond du Lac, WI 54935): 12:30 pm ($15)
- Menomonee Falls (Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, W196N9525 Crossview Way Menomonee Falls, WI 53051): 1:30 pm ($25)
- Hales Corners(Hales Corners Lutheran Church, 12300 W Janesville Rd, Hales Corners, WI 53130): 2:15 pm ($30)
How long are camp sessions?
Camp sessions are five nights. Registration is from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sunday nights with pick-up between 10:30 am and 11:00 am on Friday after a 10:00 am closing program.
How many campers attend each session?
The average number of campers varies each week between 40 and 70.
What is the campers-to-counselor ratio?
LuWiSoMo provides a minimum of one counselor for every ten campers between the ages of 7 and 18. For campers 6 years and younger, LuWiSoMo provides a minimum of one counselor for every 4 campers. Most cabins will also have a C.I.T. (Counselor-in-Training) who will stay with the cabin group. C.I.T.s are trained high school students who are learning to be counselors.
What does a typical day look like?
Monday – Thursday
6:30am Wake Up
7:00am Cabin Cleanup
7:45am Morning Devotion
8:45am Flag Raising/Travel Time
9:00am Activity Period 1
10:00am Activity Period 2
11:45am Travel/Overflow Time
12:45pm FOB (rest period)
1:30pm Activity Period 3
3:00pm Activity Period 4
4:15pm Bible Study
5:00pm Flag Lowering
6:00pm SIT/COD Game
6:30pm All Camp Game
8:45pm Bed Prep/Evening Devotions
9:15pm Lights Out
9:15pm Astronomy (Wednesday or Thursday)
What are camper and staff annual retention rates?
We have an average of just over 50% retention rate, which has steadily increased each of the past 5 years. According to the ACA (American Camping Association), 50% is a good rate for campers. In 2016, 62% of our counselors returned. Numbers look similar for 2017. According to the ACA, 40-60% of staff returning is a good rate.
What if my child needs medical care?
Each year we have a Camp Health Supervisor that is able to provide care for the children and distribute any needed medications. All staff are also trained in CPR, AED, and First Aid. Staff are also required to carry a basic first aid kit along with any rescue inhalers and Epipens that their campers may need. Each year our health care plan is also reviewed by a local doctor who is on call for any emergencies.
What is the food like?
Balanced meals are prepared each day by our vendor, Minute Meals, in order to give our campers the necessary energy to get through each day of activities. A salad bar is provided at all lunches. Campers are seated with their cabin groups in our air-conditioned dining hall to experience a break from the hot summer weather.
Can I send a care package?
Care packages are great! Campers love receiving care packages as well as letters and emails. Care packages and letters can be sent to W5421 Aspen Road, Wild Rose, WI 54984. Packages, letters, and emails are distributed as they are received at each meal. Emails can be sent to [email protected] Our staff also enjoy letters, emails, and packages of appreciation as well. They help encourage our staff to keep up their energy each week to provide the best experience possible for each camper over a long and tiring summer.