February 2022

Welcome to The Rhythm, the bi-monthly newsletter from Ewalu Camp & Retreat Center! No matter what your connection to camp is -- camper parent, supporter, former staff member, church staff, volunteer or retreat attendee -- we are YOUR camp, and we hope you enjoy seeing what's going on at Ewalu. You can manage your subscription preferences at the bottom of this email. We'd love to see you at camp sometime this year! 
You can save $40 per camper by registering early for weeklong summer programs! The deadline is Feb. 28. Click here to learn all about our programs and find the best fit for your family. 

Farewell & welcome at Ewalu

We welcome Pastor Frank Johnson as our new executive director at Ewalu! He takes the reins following the retirement of Pastor Clark Baldwin, who has guided Camp Ewalu through growth and into a strong financial position in his 10 years as executive director. Clark and his wife, Shiloy, who had served as the camp's bookkeeper, have relocated to Rochester, Minnesota, and plan to spend more time with family, including grandchildren in Minnesota and Oregon.

Most recently the executive director of Red Willow Ministries in eastern North Dakota, Frank also served several years in parish ministry in northern Minnesota. He and his wife, Kate, have two children, Natalie and Elias, and are expecting a baby boy in February.

Click here to read more about Clark's accomplishments at Ewalu, and read more about Frank and his family below. 

A special virtual worship service of farewell and welcome was celebrated online Jan. 22 to mark the transition, featuring several familiar faces, music, and messages from our two Iowa synod bishops. The video is available to watch anytime on the Ewalu Facebook page and on our YouTube channel

Meet Frank Johnson, new executive director

ABOUT ME: My family includes my wife, Kate, who is also an ELCA pastor; Natalie (7), who is a second-grader at Starmont Elementary; Elias (3), who is enjoying time at home; and we are expecting a baby boy this month! I am an avid outdoorsman, and I am very much into hiking, mountain biking, trail running, and fishing. I love adventure races, which involve wilderness navigation and a variety of multi-sport activities. When the weather is colder, I tend to head indoors and spend my free time playing games with the family. I also play chess competitively when I have the time. I have achieved the title of National Master and I am a former state champion of Minnesota. One life goal that Kate and I have is to visit all the National Parks together. We have done 13 of 63 so far.

MY BACKGROUND: I grew up attending camp at Wapo (Lake Wapogasset Bible Camp) in Amery, Wisconsin. This was the camp for my home congregation, Valley of Peace, in Golden Valley, Minnesota. After my freshman year in college, I joined friends on a service trip through an organization that would become Idaho Servant Adventures out of Shoshone Base Camp in northern Idaho. I loved the camp feeling so much that I applied the following summer to work as a counselor at Lutherhaven Ministries (ID), the parent organization, on Lake Coeur d'Alene. I worked as a camp counselor in 2006 then returned in 2008 as an Offsite Trip Leader. Over the years, I have led several youth groups back to Idaho Servant Adventures.

In 2011, I was ordained and called to pastor Grace-Red River Lutheran Parish in Hallock, Minnesota. I became involved with Pathways Lutheran Outdoor Ministry, serving on the Program and Visioning committees. In 2020, I became executive director of Red Willow Ministries, a camping ministry in eastern North Dakota. 

MY ROLE AT EWALU: My main job is to assure that the foundation is there so that camp can happen safely, securely, and sustainably. I look forward to all the ways we will grow together into the mission of connecting the word of God with the world of God. This year, I am committed to getting to know people--to collect stories and traditions--to learn precisely how EWALU has been a blessing to generations of campers.

WHAT'S AHEAD: There are a lot of exciting things in the works at EWALU already--a new A-Frame Bridge; new and revitalized partnerships with congregations and outside groups; and major renovations to Cedar Lodge and a Capital Campaign to make it happen. But what I'm looking forward to most of all is to become submerged in this ministry--to see my children become camp kids, to see campers forge new, lifelong friendships and deepen their faith, and to see counselors grow into leaders. Then, most exciting of all, is discovering piece by piece what God is going to do next with this ministry!

The Johnson family: Kate, Elias, Natalie, and Frank. They are expecting a baby boy to join their family any day!

Johnson family fun facts

  • Hiked the full 300-mile Superior Hiking Trail in 2019
  • Has completed 12 triathlons and 7 adventure races.
  • Took four language classes at once in college while completing a Classics minor
  • Loves all things craft-related, especially crochet
  • Owned a coffee shop in Minnesota, and her favorite drink is a cortado
  • Loves watching the kids play in and experience the natural world around them
  • Can rap along to almost every word on disc 1 of the "Hamilton" soundtrack
  • Taught a “how to” painting class for kids and adults when she was 5.
  • Enjoys creating worlds on Minecraft
  • Loves playing with dinosaurs, cars, and his princess castle
  • Enjoys skiing and dancing
  • Was a pumpkin for Halloween

New staff members

Over the past few months, we've welcomed some new folks to Ewalu's full-time staff. Get to know them below!

Ross Hardie,
finance director

Ross joined the staff this fall.
ABOUT ME: We live in Dubuque, as my wife, Lucy, finishes her final year in the MDiv program at Wartburg Seminary, and our son, Samuel, started preschool.

MY BACKGROUND: Ewalu becomes my third camp to call home. My previous camp experience includes four summers as a member of the Sugar Creek summer staff during my college years, and more recently three years full time at Luther Park in Chetek, Wisconsin. In between my stints at camps, I worked as an accountant for a dairy cooperative.

MY ROLE AT EWALU: I hope that my time here at Ewalu consists of an impact in helping the camp move forward in its mission, and to streamline some processes behind the scenes in order to provide a good experience for our camper families and retreat guests on the business side of camp operations. I look forward to meeting the people who help make this place a special place apart in God’s Kingdom and hearing what camp means to them.  

Ashley Gulrud,
interim program director

Ashley is a familiar face at Ewalu but has a new role!
ABOUT ME: I grew up in Decorah, but I currently live at camp with my cat, Woman. I don’t have internet at home, so I spend a lot of time trying to get better at guitar. I also enjoy collecting Calico Critter families. I am an EMT student at Hawkeye Community College.

MY BACKGROUND: I spent seven summers at Ewalu as a camper beginning in Mini Camp. I worked two summers (2017-18) as a counselor. I also spent the spring and fall of 2018 teaching outdoor education at Lutherhaven in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. That winter, I became the Program Management Intern at Ewalu and have worked my way up to Program Director. My favorite parts of working in outdoor ministry are the sense of community and shared passion for the work among staff.

MY ROLE AT EWALU: Right now, my main tasks are hiring summer staff, visiting churches, and preparing for summer. Generally, I oversee the programming that happens for campers of all ages. I am looking forward to continuing in what we already do well while implementing some positive changes. I am looking at how we train staff to better equip them to go through a whole summer of working with campers. I am most looking forward to May 30, when the whole staff gather for the first time

Steph Boeding,
marketing and communications director

Steph started in January, and works most days remotely from her home in Waverly. 
ABOUT ME: My family includes my husband, Jay, who is a senior gift planner at Wartburg College, and our two boys: Xavier, 14 (ninth-grader) and Leo, 10 (fourth-grader). I love gardening, baking, board games and playing tennis when the weather allows. 

MY BACKGROUND: I worked several years in the newspaper industry as a copy editor at the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Des Moines Register. We moved our family from Ankeny to Waverly in 2014, and I worked in the Marketing & Communication Office at Wartburg with many projects related to fundraising, alumni relationships, and social media. I have always worked with organizations that I care about, and Ewalu is no different! I was a summer staffer for three summers (1996-98) while I was a college student at Wartburg, and I was on the Ewalu board of directors for two terms recently. 

MY ROLE AT EWALU: I am passionate about good communication, and there are so many great tools to stay connected with campers, parents, camp alumni, and donors. I'll be working with social media, emails (like this one!), mailings and our website to keep you informed about what's happening at Ewalu and help you know how to get involved with the ministry here. I'm also responsible for marketing our programs and retreat space and planning big events like our annual Quilt Auction in September. I also will be helping promote our upcoming capital campaign to renovate Cedar Lodge. 


Monday, Feb. 28
First discount deadline for early summer camp registration

Saturday, March 19
Annual Meeting 

Monday, April 18
Second discount deadline for early summer camp registration

Saturday, May 7
Spring Volunteer Work Weekend

Monday, May 30
Summer staff training begins

Sunday, June 5
Donor Dinner

Sunday, June 12
First week of summer camp


Our 60-year anniversary and all-camp reunion over Labor Day weekend was a huge success! Thanks to all who celebrated with a worship service, meals, campfires and camp activities. Check out the photos below, and reconnect with other summer staff alumni on Facebook in the Official Ewalu Alumni group.
Future Staff

Online camp store

Longing for a reminder of camp before the summer season gets started? Check out our camp store online! We have apparel, water bottles, stocking hats, 60th-anniversary ornaments, and more. Click here to visit the online store. 


"Carolina Lily," donated by St. John's Lutheran Church in Nashua, won Best in Show at our Fall Festival & Quilt Auction in September. It sold for $3,000! Thank you to all of our quilt donors and auction bidders. The 2021 hybrid Quilt Auction raised a record $47,000 after expenses, which is a huge support to our year-round ministry at Ewalu.
Save the date for the 2022 Quilt Auction: Saturday, Sept. 17.


Interested in seeing what's new at Ewalu? Check us out on our Facebook page and Instagram page!


Camps like Ewalu are always in need of a few extra kitchen supplies, maintenance tools, or even vehicles for transporting canoes and campers in the summer. Check out Ewalu's wish list online to see if you can help us out; any leads on potential donors are greatly appreciated! 

Our top priority is one or two minivans. If you have one to donate or know about a good deal, please give us a call at 563-933-4700. 
Thank you to our donors in November & December 2021!
Listed alphabetically
Sean and Kimberly Abbas
Beverly Ager
Krista Johnson and Jason Aird
Liz Albertson
Rosetta Anderson

Kimbra Bader
Sue and Roger Bahe
Gary and Bev Bahls
Lana Luhring-Bailey and Shawn Bailey
Dr. Joy and Rev. Joel Becker
Bethany Lutheran Church
Bethesda Lutheran Church
Bethlehem Evan Luth WELCA  (Lost Nation)
Jake and Judy Bickford
Darlene Biedermann
Robert and Joy Biedermann
Donald and Janet Biermann
Justin and Meghan Birdnow
Thomas Bley
Paul Blobaum
Stephanie and Jay Boeding
Dolores Boehm
William and Elaine Brown
Michelle and Steven Bruce
Burr Oak Lutheran WELCA
Janet Butikofer

Frank and Ann Cacich
Amy and Peter Calhoun
Calmar Lutheran Church
Aaron and Kristin Cannon
Canoe Ridge Lutheran WELCA
David and Brenda Carlson
Tom and Karen Casavant
Chancy Lutheran Church
Diane Chicos
Christ the King Lutheran Church
Lorna and Dennis Christeleit
Keith and Dawn Christensen
Citizens State Bank c/o Abbie Thompson
Robyn and Dan Clark-Bridges
Kevin and Nancy Clefisch
Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque
Chuck and Barbara Corr
Larry and Barb Croghan
Crowning Revelations, Grace Lamuye

John and Barb Dahlby
Kathi and Raymond Daniel
Mike and Pamela Dau
Mark and Dr Jill Davidson
Donal Boie Estate
Elaine Dove
Amelia and Jeremy Driscoll

Earlville United Parish Endowment Fund
East Clermont Lutheran WELCA
Edwin Begalske Estate
Elgin Lutheran Church
Kendra Elwood
Robert and Linda Erlandson

Faith Lutheran Church
Faith Lutheran WELCA  (Andover)
First Lutheran Church
First Lutheran WELCA (Cresco)
First Lutheran WELCA (Decorah)
First Lutheran WELCA (Maquoketa)
Tim and Diane Fisk
Lucille and David Fober
Kelley Foehrkolb
Kathy and Marvin Folkerts
Arlyn and Lois Fossum
Ron and Sheri Foster
Kara Franke
Rachel Frantsen
Pr. Kevin Frey
Pr. Susan and Norman Friedrich
Frank and Eulyn Frostestad

Pr. Kenneth and Barbara Gamb
Carlene and Loren Gardner
Audrey Garetson
Dale Kittleson and Frances Garst-Kittleson
Israel and Janet Garza
Mike and Cindy Gibbs
Katherine Gibson
Dale and Susan Goodman
Richard and Linnea Graen
Pr. Daniel and Allie Grainger
Larry J. and Jeanne Gregory
Doug and Jana Grimm
Larry and Diane Grimstad
Dr Randy and Jo Groth

James and Julie Haage
Heather and Bryan Hafner
Beth and Ryan Hageman
Dean and LaRue Hagen
Sandy and Robert Hanley
Ross and Lucy Hardie
Chryss and Mike Hartman
Hauge Lutheran WELCA
Kathy Hay and Robert Joachim
Erhart Hehr
Randy Helgerson
Kevin and Wendy Helgerson
Paul and Lucille Hereid
Hesper Lutheran WELCA
Darrel and Marlene Hicks
Tyler Hoey and Miranda Fober Hoey
Susan and Tom Hoey
Gerald and Marlene Hollander
Carol and Gene Holtz
Madelyn and Mark Holtzclaw
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Hope Lutheran WELCA
Nancy Jones Hovland and Mike Hovland
Lucille Hubbard
T. Daniel and Gail K. Husmann
Richard and Sandy Hyman

Immanuel Lutheran Church Endowment Fund
Kyle and Laura (Mackey) Jaeger
Keith and Lori Johnson
Mayme Benson and Steve Johnson
Gerald N. and Linda Johnson
Bishop Rev. Kevin and Amy Jones

Nancy and William Kalkbrenner
Edna Kamper
Matthew and Julianna Kaschmitter
Ruth Kittleson
Eric and Allison Klein
Kendall and Evelyn Knospe
Lori and David Krueger
Dennis and Holly Kruger
Alan W. Kruger, DDS PC and Mary Ellen Hartman

Pr. Keith and Pr. Virginia Anderson Larson
Zachary and Kristin Larson
Pr. Amy and Pr. Matthew Larson
Reginald and Jerilyn Laursen
Carolyn Laxson
Joanne Laxson
Gary and Geraldine Lee
Kirk Lehmann
Mark and Karen Lehmann
Ronald and Norma Leibold
Mark Lemke
Susan Linner
Doris Lompe
Jim and Martha Ludeking
Barbara Lueder
Deborah Lutyen

John and Mary Manson
Marguerite Vodicka Lybbert Memorial Endowment Fund
Shirley Marmann
Jason and Karin Martin-Hiner
Mary and Dr. Greg Maxwell
Doug McKechnie
Archie and Heidi McNeil
June Mehlhaus
Cheryl Melchert
Debbie Merrill and Michael Murray
Lindsey Meyer
Terry and Nancy Miller
Linda and Richard Moeller
James and Sheryl Moeller
Margaret Monson
Emma Jean Moore
Alan and Colleen Moritz

Leota Nacke
Nazareth Lutheran Church
Harland Nelson
John Nelson
Ramona and Cy Nelson
Matthew and Kenza Nelson
Katy R. and Marc Niehus
Dona and Carey Noble
Marissa and Scott Nordschow
Norway Lutheran Church

Ronald and Barbara O'Kones
Jeff and Heidi Olinger
Tom and Dixie Olmstead
David and Ricki Olson
Karin and D.B. Olson
Orleans Lutheran Church - Ridgeway Parish
Lana and Ervin Ott
Sarah and John Ottesen

Joyce Pagel
Richard L. and Jeanette Pagel
Peace Lutheran Church
Peace Lutheran WELCA (W. Burlington)
Bradley and Lori Phillips
Connie and Arlyn Picken
Marilyn Pinkley
Roy and Debra Prestsater
Pr. Mark and Lesley Pries
Matt and Heidi Pries

Victor and Dianne Rathje
Douglas Reck
Pr. Lin and Walter Reichstadter
Richard and Annita Rettig
Richard and Shirley Retz
Keith and Suzanne Rich
Michael Roepke
Richard and Barbara Roepke
Paul and Darlys Rogers
Jan Rosauer
Kay and Dean Rueber
Connie Ruhser
Gina and Perry Russett
Dean Ryerson

Salem Lutheran Church
Pr. Warren and Sonja Salveson
Richard and Teresa Sass
William and Kathy Scharnhorst
Rich and Linnae Scheffel
Marietta Schemmels
Anna Mae Schlatter
Joel and Susan Schlatter
Karen Schmidt
Wayne and Linda Schroeder
Steve L. Schuchmann
Evelyn Schultz
Marvin and Helen Schumacher
Jamie and Heather Schurbon
Aaron and Allison Schutte
Jim and JoAnne Schwarz
Cary (Carolyn) Scott
Bob and Sadie Sersland
Allan and Mary Smith
Dennis and Amy Smith
Pr. David Solberg
Pr. Ron and Patricia Spears
Sharon Spears-Albright
Craig and Jeanette Spilde
Greg and Jan Spragle
Springfield Lutheran Church (Decorah)
Springfield Lutheran WELCA
St. James Lutheran Church (Johnston)
St. John Buck Creek Lutheran Church
St. John Lutheran Church
St. John Lutheran NALC - Vilmar WELCA
St. John Lutheran WELCA (Arlington)
St. John Lutheran WELCA (Bellevue)
St. John Lutheran WELCA (Nashua)
St. John Lutheran WELCA (Sumner)
St. John's Lutheran Church
St. John's Lutheran Church - Rock Twp.
St. John's Lutheran of Rock Township WELCA
St. Matthew Lutheran Church
St. Paul Lutheran Church
St. Paul Lutheran WELCA (Guttenberg)
St. Paul Lutheran WELCA (Hampton)
St. Paul Lutheran WELCA (Maynard)
St. Paul Lutheran WELCA (Volga)
St. Paul's Lutheran Church
St. Paul's Lutheran Church & School (Waverly)
St. Peter Lutheran Church WELCA (Greene)
St. Peter Lutheran Church
St. Sebald Lutheran WELCA
St. Timothy Lutheran Church
Bill and Joyce Steffenson
Daniel and Kimberly Stieler
Gerhard O. Strohmer
Margaret Stubbs
Larry and Eleanor Stumme
Dawn Svenson and Josh Holland
Swales Precast Inc., Roger & Alane Swales

Pr. William and Marilyn Thalacker
Ron and Jane Thein
Abbie and Nick Thompson
Jeremy and Trista Thompson
George and Bonnie Tobiason
Jane Tornow
Trinity Lutheran Church 
Trinity Lutheran WELCA (Hawkeye)
Trinity Lutheran WELCA (N.Hampton)
Richard and Margaret Twait

Mark and Rhonda Vaughan
Dave and Brenda Versteeg
David and Anabeth Voigts

Katie and Paul Wade
Roger and Alice Wagner
Janell and Richard Wampler
Ruth Warmanen
Washington Prairie Lutheran Church
LeAnn Watson
Shirley and Kenneth Wellnitz
West Clermont Lutheran WELCA
David and Vicki Westendorf
Arol Westervelt
Pr. Bill and Sally White
Sarah and Shane Wicks
Rev. Mary Wiggins
John and Debra Williams
Audrey and Roger Wilms
Cheryl Wilms and Ron Versteegh
Cathy Winch
Don and Nancy Wolfe
Lilly Womeldorf
Joan Wuest
Tim and Janet Wuest

Carol and Carl Zander
Rev. Edgar and Verona Zelle
Burkard and Marina Zellner
Dave and Kay Zepeski
Nathan and Meredith Zietlow
John and Vicki Zietlow
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
Zion Lutheran Church

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Our contact information/mailing address is:
Ewalu Camp & Retreat Center
37776 Alpha Avenue
Strawberry Point, IA 52076
Phone: 563-933-4700

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