August 2020
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August 2020

A "Can-do" Staff Sponsorship Story

In early May, the Ewalu Board of Directors met for a special meeting to determine the plan for summer camp. With the continuing pandemic we were uncertain whether or not we would be able, or even allowed, to welcome campers to Ewalu in the summer of 2020.
After reviewing several different proposals and financial projections, and after much discussion and prayer together, we approved a modified summer camp plan: Start three weeks late, have no staff attend off-site VBS Day Camps, and make changes to camp practices to observe social distancing and other health guidelines.  With this decision, the Board made a commitment to pay the summer staff for the modified schedule, even if the camp has to shut down before the end of the season.
In June, I led a Bible study during staff training. My time with the counselors and coordinators affirmed the Board’s decision for me. We all understand the ministry that Ewalu provides to the youth and families who come to camp. What we often overlook is the ministry to the staff.
While there has been unquestionable grief that summer camp at Ewalu this summer is not like previous summers, the staff was deeply thankful to be able to be at Ewalu this summer. Personal growth, spiritual awakening, and lots of discernment happen at camp. Staff leave this place to become leaders in congregations, communities, and businesses, instilled with Christ-centered values.
I was inspired by the staff’s “can-do” attitude. They are determined to make it the best camp experience possible for each and every camper and for each other. So when we had the opportunity to sponsor a counselor for the summer, my family and I decided we would join in that “can-do” spirit. We agreed with our daughter Sara (2012-13 staffs) to co-sponsor a counselor together. When it came time to write the check, she decided to sponsor one completely on her own, in addition to the partial sponsorship my spouse and I gave to the camp.
I invite you to sponsor a counselor or coordinator this summer and join in the “can-do” attitude of the staff. Think about sponsoring someone for a week if the whole summer is beyond your means right now. Contact family and friends, or former staff that served alongside you and invite them to join you in sponsoring the summer staff. Your gift will reach far beyond the summer of 2020, I can promise that.
Pastor Kevin Jones
Summer staff 1983, 84, & 85

Help Sponsor a Summer Staff Member

The most impacted population at camp each year is the summer staff. In the five years between 2013 and 2018, one hundred sixty-three individuals served on summer staff at Camp Ewalu. Thirty-six (22%) of those former staff members have thus far been ordained, currently attend seminary, married someone who is ordained or attending seminary, or work for Lutheran Social Services. Young adults who work in camping ministry make up a large portion of those who go into ministry and serve their churches and communities in many other ways.

In late June, we began asking for help to support these young people through sponsorships. The cost of hiring a staff person for the summer is approximately $3,000 for the entire summer, or about $1,000 per month, $375 per week, or $55 per day. Churches and individual donors have fully sponsored 21 summer staff members as of today! We need 20 more members to be funded by the end of August when they return home to their churches and communities. 

If you have already funded a full or partial summer staff sponsorship, thank you! The summer staff are gracious for the support and excited to know that people stand behind the work they are doing this summer.

If you haven’t sponsored a summer staff member yet, there is still time. You can make a gift through PayPal on our webpage at Make sure to let us know that you wish to sponsor a summer staff member in the comments.

Thank you for helping us to impact the lives of these future church and community leaders who will continue to spread the Gospel message to a hurting world. Praying you feel God’s deep peace during this time.

New Sunday Night Worship for 2020

Recognizing the spiritual power of community worship, the summer staff at Ewalu worked together during staff training to find a safe way for campers to continue to do that this year. The result is a new worship replacing the traditional Sunday Night campfire. This worship is called Mega Worship because social distancing each camper requires a tremendous amount of space, and lots of amplification for the message to be heard.

At Mega Worship, campers are ushered into pre-marked seating places by their counselor. Campers are also reminded to stay ‘airplane arms’ away from everyone while at worship, meaning they can’t touch anyone else’s fingers when they both have their hands straight out and spin around in a circle.

The message each week at Mega Worship focuses on the summer camp theme “Generation to Generation.” It especially relates to how Christians have worshiped in different and unique ways over the years. The counselors share a skit highlighting many past Ewalu traditions as well as some that have continued for many years. The message of the skit is that camp might look different this year because of masks and extra safety practices, by the end of the week campers will still get to have fun and dwell and experience God’s love.

This message has proven true this summer at Ewalu. We’ve heard from a mini camper that Mega Worship was one of the most fun worships she’s ever been to even though masks were required the entire time.

Following the “Generation to Generation” theme, the counselors make a special point to include classic Ewalu campfire songs, Lutheran Hymns, and contemporary Christian music for campers to sing. Mega Worship has been a fun way to show campers and staff that there are many different ways to praise and worship God!

The View from Above & Other Nature Notes

A Note from EE Director, Maury Landt

At the time of the writing of this article, Camp Ewalu is early into week seven of our summer program. Our office staff, counselors, and leadership team have all been hard at work to make sure this summer is as safe as possible for everyone. While this has been the case every summer I have been here (this is my ninth summer here), it takes on added meaning as events unfold around us. The introduction of phrases such as “mitigation practices” and “social distancing” has added new layers of policies to our co-op course this year.

New to this year, we have been cleaning high touch areas on a per-group basis, as well as rotating equipment to ensure that surfaces are safe for the next program. To help with the costs of these added measures, Camp Ewalu has applied and received a grant from The Alliance Collaborative, a non-profit group made up of various outdoor adventure organizations. Through this, we have been able to also develop our mitigation policies regarding Covid-19. With these guidelines in place, we feel confident this summer and beyond that, we can continue to provide a safe, challenging, and rewarding experience for campers and other groups.

On a separate note, we have been instituting, since staff training, two compost bins to help alleviate the food waste that we generate during summer programming. Our cooks (myself included) and summer staff have been collecting food scraps after meals and brought them behind Cedar where we have our compost bins. We put together two tumblers that allow us to aerate food and compost as we add to it. Our plan now is to introduce this to campers as part of our KP (kitchen patrol, ask your counselor friends about it!) during next year’s camping season. We can teach how and why we do this.

While this summer has been a change, we have also had these unique opportunities to continue to challenge and educate those around us!
Thank you to our donors in 
May & June 2020!

Ann and Craig Adamson
Marcia Adix
Liz Albertson
Melissa and Patrick Alexander
Orville and Juan Alitz
Pr Keith and Pr Virginia Anderson Larson
Kara Backlund Clapp and Jason Clapp
Gary and Bev Bahls
Clark and Shiloy Baldwin
Kara and Drew Barker
Dr. Joy and Rev. Joel Becker
Jennifer Berge and Robert Morgan
Bethany Lutheran Church, Elkader
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Cedar Falls
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Lost Nation
Mark and June Birdnow
Jo Ann and William Bishop
Robert (Edwin) Bishop
Robert and Jeanne Blahnik
Harry and Elle Blobaum
Stephanie and Jay Boeding
David and Judy Brace
Roger and Janice Brown
Tatum and Jon Buse
Erin Bockoven-Troll and Pastor Bockoven
Ellen Cannon
Christ the King Lutheran Church, Iowa City
Lorna and Dennis Christeleit
Keith and Dawn Christensen
Robyn and Dan Clark-Bridges
Caitlyn Clougherty and Ryan Stack
Jen and Leo Clougherty
Ana and Brian Clymer
Ray Cooksley
Chuck and Barbara Corr
Kayla Corr
Anne Craig
Crowning Revelations, Houston, TX
John and Barb Dahlby
Rev. Susan Debner
Marjorie Deke
Rachael and Blake Dirksen
Pr Kristine and Jon Dohrmann
Merlyn Duffy
Irene and Paul Dymerski
Earlville United Parish Endowment Fund, Earlville
Henry and Carol Elwood
Emanuel Lutheran Church, Strawberry Point
Molly and Matt Engstrom
Robert and Linda Erlandson
First Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids
First Lutheran Church, Maquoketa
Lucille and David Fober
Kelley Foehrkolb
Kayla Fohrmeister
Kara Franke
Karen Franks
Kylee Frush Rohatgi
Kari and Todd Gehrke
Peggy Gerch
Robert Geuder
Katherine Gibson
Glenwood Lutheran Church, Decorah
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Decorah
Dale and Susan Goodman
Richard and Linnea Graen
Daniel and Allie Grainger
Lyle and Andrea Griner
Cassie and Charlie Gruman
Clark Gull Jr. and Lareen Gull
Rebecca Hamilton
Eric and Laura Hanson
Joan E Hazell
Tyler & Miranda Hoey
Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Dubuque
Jennifer R Horn-Frasier and Mike Frasier
Val and Russ Horner
Julie and Douglas Houston
Nancy Howland and Stephanie Teel
Richard and Sandy Hyman
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Independence
Kyle Jaeger
Jolene and Tim Jensen
Daryl and Mary Kay Johnson
Gary Johnson
Krista Johnson and Jason Aird
Pr Kevin and Amy Jones
Sara Jones
Romaine and Carol Kallenbach
Candace Kamper
Matthew and Julianna Kaschmitter
John and Kristen Kelly
Ruth Kittleson
Roger and Mary Knehans
Karla and Ted Koehler
Erin and Roger Koehn
Dverg and Karen Krantz
Marlene Kuhlmann
Neil and Cindy Landt
Tony and Julie Langasek
Pr. Amy and Pr. Matthew Larson
Zachary and Kristin Larson
Carolyn Laxson
Sara and Chris Legore
Pr Daniel and Aimee Lenth Hanson
Laura and Jonathan Lovseth
Lana Luhring-Bailey and Shawn Bailey
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Marion
Carrie and John Martin
Jason and Karin Martin-Hiner
Bruce and Grace Maurer
Rachel and Mark McConnell
Christine and Adam McCubbin
Edward and Janet McEvoy
Nicole and James (Andy) McRoberts
Meyer True Value Hardware, Strawberry Point
Sara and James Moninger
Margaret Monson
Garry and Delores Moose
John and Christina Moran
Kimberly and Curt Mueller
Jane Busch and Brett Mumford
Nazareth Lutheran Church, Cedar Falls
Millard Nelson
Wilbur Nielsen
Carrie and Jake Nimrod
Old West Paint Creek Lutheran Church, Waukon
Jack and Verna Orvis
Lana and Ervin Ott
Sarah and John Ottesen
Sarah and Todd Parsons
Carol Patterson
Peace Lutheran WELCA, Hopkinton
Marc and Anne Michelle Pedersen
Saraya and Chad Pederson
David and Jodylinn Peterson
Rebecca and Clayton Peterson
Mindy Potter
Susan and Mark Potvin
Pr Mark and Lesley Pries
Matt and Heidi Pries
Thomas and Carol Raithel
Victor and Dianne Rathje
Larry and Debra Richmond
Beth Riggleman
Pr Kristen and Charlie Rod
Amy and Joseph Roepke
Stephanie Roepke Schares and Eric Schares
Andrew and Carrie Roquet
Russell and Ann Roquet
Melody Rowe
Doug and Marcia Rueber
Rachel and Fiatala (Rob) Salamo
Rich and Linnae Scheffel
Randy Schmidt
Kayleen and Dustin Schott
Kara Schrader
Aaron and Allison Schutte
Katie and Branden Scott
Melinda and John Severson
Kim and Tyler Sherwood
Dan Simpson
Dennis and Amy Smith
Pr  Ron and Patricia Spears
St. John Lutheran Church, Farmersburg
St. John Lutheran Church, Sumner
St. John Lutheran Church - Crane Creek, Tripoli
St. John's Lutheran Church, Dubuque
St. John's Lutheran Church, Preston
St. John Lutheran WELCA, Arlington
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hampton
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Postville
St. Paul Lutheran WELCA, Volga
St. Paul's Lutheran Church & School, Waverly
St. Peter Lutheran Church, Garnavillo
St. Peter Lutheran WELCA, Garnavillo
St. Sebald Lutheran Church, Strawberry Point
Bill and Joyce Steffenson
Karen and Glen Steffenson
Daniel and Kimberly Stieler
Barb and Chris Thompson
Claire Thompson
Sarah Berg and Samuel Tia
Lindsay and Brock Toll
Trinity Lutheran Church, Burlington
Trinity Lutheran Church, New Hampton
Krista and Steve Vanden Brink
Dave and Brenda Versteeg
Nicole and Gary Vogt
Harry and Donna Walton
Marie and Ron Wegner
Tom and Dorothy Weyant
Rev. Mary Wiggins
Daniel and Denise Willems
Shelon and Brett Wilson
Jennifer and Kirby Winn
Marsha and Mark Witte
Sharla and David Wrage
Joan Wuest
Tim and Janet Wuest
Pr. Margaret and Dr. Mark Yackel-Juleen
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Waterloo
Zion Lutheran Church, Davenport
Zion Lutheran Church, Iowa City
Zion Lutheran Church, West Union
Zion Lutheran Church, Muscatine

Virtual Fall Festival & Quilt Auction Schedule Changed

Sat-Thurs Oct. 10-15

The Fall Festival & Quilt Auction will be held online this year; however, we have decided to delay the event three weeks to Saturday October 10th through Thursday October 15th to allow more time for donors to finish their quilts that may have been delayed due to COVID.  This will also give our staff more time to develop the online platform that will run the event.  
A recorded opening worship will be posted at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday October 10th and a thanksgiving and prayer devotion will be posted when bidding closes at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 15th.
Quilt viewing, bidding, and recorded worship service will take place on a secure online silent auction platform that is still being developed.  Watch Facebook and our website for more updates.

Quilt & Craft Donations Needed!

We are still looking for quilt and craft donations for this year's Virtual Fall Festival & Quilt Auction.

Please have donations delivered to Camp Ewalu by Friday, September 25 so we can enter them in the online auction.

All proceeds from this event support the year-round ministry at Camp Ewalu.

Fall Cabin Rentals Available

Come escape to Ewalu for a week or weekend! We have several cabins open this fall that are perfect for small group rentals.

Visit our website for more information and booking instructions.

Summer Staff Members 2020

Delaney Akiens
Marion, IA

Jared Almandinger
Marion, IA

Madelyn Barkema
Monticello, IA

Chloe Becker
Coralville, IA

Camryn Berg
Maquoketa, IA

Alex Campbell
Marion, IA

Maria Carr
La Crosse, WI

Theo Carr
La Crosse, WI

Sarah Collison
Rowley, IA

Tepary Cooley
Liberty, MO

Cori Dahlby Albright
Grinnell, IA

Michaela Dehli
Waukon, IA

Jurgen Dovre
Williamsburg, IA

Zachary Farner
Bloomington, IL

Tessa Fields
Lowden, IA

Natalie Fober
Denver, IA

Sarah Frantsen
Waverly, IA

Jacque Garza
Grayslake, IL

Carrie Harper
Coralville, IA

Riley Higgins
Marion, IA

Alyssa Hoey
Jesup, IA

Kristin Hoey
Jesup, IA

Kaya Hougen
Decorah, IA

Nicole Kiefer
Marble Rock, IA

Anna Lane
Williamsburg, IA

Mitchell Malven
Nashua, IA

Jared McLey
Waverly, IA

Zach Morgan
West Burlington, IA

Avery Powers
Cresco, IA

Sophie Reider
Marion, IA

Kelsey Shady
Mount Vernon, IA

Megan Stevenson
Story City, IA

Noah Tiegs
Coralville, IA

Andrew Timm
Jasper, IN

Emily Tull
Ryan, IA

Sawyer Vanden Brink
Decorah, IA

Hal Versteegh
Cedar Rapids, IA

Anneli Vorhies
Cedar Rapids, IA

Cassidy Ward
Manchester, IA

Mandy Williams
Marion, IA

Lydia Youngquist
Coralville, IA
A Visit from KWWL

In early July local news station KWWL visited Ewalu to see what summer camp looks like this summer with the added precautions. See for yourself what they had to say.

View KWWL Article Here

One of our wheelbarrows recently got a flat tire, leaving our already small fleet even smaller. We frequently use wheelbarrows for work projects around camp and for volunteer work weekends. Please consider helping us out by donating a new or used wheelbarrow!

Visit our wish list to see what else we are in need of at camp. Even if you can't donate yourself, any leads on potential donors are greatly appreciated!
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!
Interested in seeing what's new at Ewalu? Check us out on our Facebook page and Instagram page!
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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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Camp Ewalu · 37776 Alpha Ave · Strawberry Point, Iowa 52076 · USA

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