The camp is surrounded by the waters of Big Wood Lake near Grantsburg, Wisconsin, located just an hour and a half from the twin cities. A wide variety of hardwoods and pines enhance the beautiful lakeside setting. Sunsets on the lake are spectacular. Forty-five acres of woods adjacent to the camp provide for times of solitude and an opportunity to appreciate God’s creation.
Luther Point Bible Camp is a nonprofit corporation comprised of an Association of 76 congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Northwest Wisconsin and Northeast Minnesota.
“Luther Point’s purpose is to extend the mission of Christ’s church, serving all member congregations by enriching the Christian faith and life of each person who uses the camp and its programs through fostering learning, worship and fellowship opportunities, and through building relationships with God, others and creation. To fulfill this purpose we will provide meaningful, Bible-based programs, nutritious food, a committed staff and comfortable, healthy accommodations. We encourage all groups and individuals which use this camp and its programs to experience the joys and struggles of life in a growing friendship with Christ and God’s creation.”
Luther Point Bible Camp History
The Vision of a Bible Camp began in the 1930′s with a dream by two men, Pastor Arvid Larson, Zion Lutheran Church, Trade Lake, Wisconsin, and Mr. Ed Dahlberg, the owner of the land which is now Luther Point. Lutheran congregations of the ELCA, UELC, and Augustana Synod were among the charter member congregations. The articles of incorporation for the Lutheran Bible Camp Association (Luther Point Bible Camp) were signed in July of 1946.
Construction of the first cabins began in October of 1947 and the first campers attended in July, 1949. Luther Lodge, originally the faculty cabin, which now serves as a year round retreat center accommodating up to twenty people, was built in 1951. In 1956 the chapel was built and Zion Lutheran Church of Trade Lake donated their pipe organ to be placed in it. The acreage owned by the camp expanded when Ed Dahlberg donated forty acres of woods across County Road M.
In the early years counselors were strictly on a volunteer basis and the program took place only in the summer months. Bob and Erna Berthelsen from Albert Lea, Minnesota, were the camp managers for several summers. In 1970, the first paid counselors were hired. In 1975, the first year round director, Gary Loktu, was hired and the director’s residence was built. The following year Gary Loktu passed away during heart surgery.
In 1977 Rev. Chip Salzgeber was hired as the second camp director. Under his leadership, programs expanded to include group retreating and canoe trips. Also in 1977 the camp dining hall (now known as the Gary Loktu Retreat Center) was winterized. The center has over night accommodations for up to forty people. Salzgeber resigned in 1979 and in 1980 Rev. Ted Berkland was called to serve as director.
Some significant improvements were made to the facilities in 1983-84 including a new septic system and an addition to the Gary Loktu Center (which included bathroom and shower facilities, kitchen storage and a walk in refrigerator/freezer). The ministry also expanded in the number of staff hired and programs offered during the eleven years that Berkland served as director. He retired in October of 1991, and in May of 1992, Rev. Craig Corbin became Executive Director.
A volunteer Board of Directors, elected from the camp’s constituency at the annual meeting, provides direction and supervision of the ministry, and hires the Executive Director. The camp has seven other year round staff and hires approximately 45 summer staff, primarily college age adults.
Luther Point’s summer program includes day, half week, and week long sessions for children in grades 1-12 as well as a special week for families. The camp can accommodate up to 140 campers each week and offers week long canoe trips on the Namekagon and St. Croix Rivers for junior and senior high youth. Retreat groups use the camp on weekends during the eight weeks of Bible Camp Sessions. During the fall, winter, and spring the camp hosts retreat groups during the weekends and weekdays. Luther Point opens its doors to community groups and family gatherings, as well as retreaters from any church denomination.
Our Vision: Forming Faith, Pointing To Christ
Our Mission is to encourage Christian faith through learning, worship, discipleship, and fellowship opportunities and to build a relationship with God, others and creation.