October 2022

Reach new heights at Enrichment Event

We're aiming high (literally) as we re-boot our popular Enrichment Events! Join us at Ewalu to hear from climber and humanitarian Jen Loeb, the first (and so far, only!) Iowa woman to complete the “7 Summits” by climbing the highest peak on every continent.

The event is from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at the Creation Center at Camp Ewalu's main site just west of Strawberry Point. The event is free, we’ll have afternoon refreshments, and guests are welcome! RSVP by calling 563-933-4700 or by emailing by Nov. 16. The "Cedar at 60" Enrichment Event series is sponsored by Jim Meehan of HJR Financial Group, Coralville. 

Want to be on our mailing list for upcoming Enrichment Events? Please email to be added to our list!

A native of Jesup, Iowa, Jen was an Ewalu camper and graduated from Warburg College. She’ll talk about how she trained to summit the world’s tallest mountains, including Mount Everest in 2016! Jen will bring her climbing gear and will have copies of her book, “Shots from the Heart,” to purchase and sign. Learn more about Jen through her website and Facebook page

Volunteer at camp this Saturday

It's not too late to take part in this weekend's Fall Work Day!
Join other volunteers on Saturday, Oct. 29, to help Ewalu get ready for the winter season. 

Projects include preparing the new A-frame bridge site for construction, splitting and hauling wood, erosion control on trails, ropes course repairs, and putting things away for the winter. We’ll have a variety of other projects for all ages and skill levels. Work as long as you want on Saturday, whether it's a half day or all day, and enjoy a nice fall day at camp.

FRIDAY NIGHT, Oct. 28: Come early for a grill-out in the evening and a campfire! Overnight lodging is also available for those staying to help out on Saturday; please RSVP for the meal and lodging by calling Diane at 563-933-4700 or by emailing

8:00 a.m. Arrival/Sign in
9:00 a.m. Work Projects
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Work Projects
4:00 p.m. Departure

Honoring the Hamletts

The morning of this year's Fall Festival & Quilt Auction, attendees gathered on the patio outside the Creation Center to honor Ewalu neighbors Matt and Jana Hamlett for giving countless hours and resources teaching equestrian skills and managing Ewalu’s summer Ranch Camp from 2007 to 2021. A special bench honoring their generosity has been placed on the Creation Center patio.

Matt and Jana asked if we would share the following thank-you note with the Ewalu community:

"We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone for honoring us with a beautifully inscribed bench at the camp. We felt both privileged and humbled at the same time being involved in such a rewarding horse program from its inception in 2007, to our final year in 2021. One of the greatest rewards was reaching children who had never been involved in a Christian program. For them to learn about God was amazing. Also, our therapeutic riding program for children with challenges has been so rewarding.

"Numerous wranglers and counselors who went the extra mile have helped make it an awesome experience for all the campers in both day camp and weeklong programs. Our main rule was "God comes first" in all of your actions, both how you treat each other and the horses! My niece, Halicia, was a wrangler and instructor from pretty much the beginning, filling in now and then even the final year. Several others, too, volunteered time from their "real profession" to come back and ride horses and help teach about God and horsemanship. We had also the privilege of having a gifted riding instructor, Ila, from California, to help us a few summers. They are great memories! Many times, our same camp mounts were still there year after year. At this time most are permanently retired, and some have passed. Many of our horses were "second-chance" horses from auctions or semi-retired old 4-H or ranch geldings that liked being loved on!

"The EWALU staff and board of directors (past and current) were greatly appreciated as both idea sounding boards and support. From near the beginning, the Blobaum, Davidson and Hyman families (amongst many others) gave us feedback and support with our small part of the camp's ministry. Shout out to Diane and Cassidy: With your awesome organizational skills and help through the years, you both made the Ewalu Horse Program possible. Gaffney Quarry made sure the arena had sand, and several veterinarians donated time to help teach the campers over the years, including Dr. Sears, Dr. Hamlett and Dr. Varner. Also a thank you to Lee Lenth for both helping build the tack shed and driving our Amish farrier home on occasion.

"Thanks again for the honor of letting us be a part of the team for a few years."

- Blessings, Matt and Jana Hamlett

Gatherings in Cedar Rapids

All Cedar Rapids-area friends of Ewalu are invited to a gathering to hear camp updates, renew Ewalu friendships and meet our new executive director, Pastor Frank Johnson. We'll also share exciting plans for the future!

All are invited to attend one of these 2 events in Cedar Rapids:

  • 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, at First Lutheran Church, 1000 Third Ave. SE, hosted by Dr. Randy & Marcia Hinrichs and Pr. Katie Lowe Lancaster (click here for the Facebook Event page)
  • 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, at the home of Tim and Janet Wuest, 2910 Glass Road NE (click here for the Facebook Event page)

Come and enjoy refreshments with fellow friends of Ewalu. Guests are welcome! RSVP with the Ewalu office at 563-933-4700 or

Cedar Lodge campaign update

Ewalu has launched a $2 million capital campaign to strengthen our ministry through the renovation of Cedar Lodge, the 60-year-old building at the main camp site. Cedar serves as the hub of most activity at camp.

The campaign aims to strengthen Ewalu’s ministry in four key areas:
  • Greater hospitality with ADA-accessible restrooms, increased gathering space, added air conditioning and technology upgrades. A new main entrance will welcome ALL to Cedar Lodge.
  • More efficient food service and dining experience by remodeling and expanding the commercial kitchen.
  • Enhanced living conditions for summer staff, including a new HVAC system and a remodel of lower-level shower areas, restrooms and summer staff break room.
  • Improved environmental stewardship by replacing the plumbing and electrical networks and installing a solar array.
Many friends of Ewalu received a campaign packet in the mail with details about the plans and a pledge card to return to camp. (If you did not receive a packet or would like another, please contact the camp office.) Executive Director Frank Johnson and the campaign co-chairs (Harry and Elle Blobaum of Waverly, IA, and Mark and Jill Davidson of Onalaska, WI) have been meeting with supporters and sharing details about the project plans. They are happy to answer any questions or arrange a personal meeting.
We are grateful for the many campaign gifts already given. You are encouraged to make a one-time donation or schedule monthly gifts using the giving card included in your packet or by going online to this link. Gifts and pledges can be made over a 3-year period. Please contact Frank Johnson or the campaign co-chairs if you would like to make a gift of stock, RMDs or other assets, or to create a family legacy gift.

The Ewalu Board of Directors has pledged to meet 10% of the $2 million goal. Plans are to break ground when 90% of the goal has been committed. Building plans, details about the renovation and a donation link can be found at the link below.


OCT. 28-29
Fall Work Day on Saturday, with a grill-out and campfire Friday night. Contact the camp office to RSVP! 

Cedar Rapids gathering, 3 to 4:30 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, 1000 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. Contact the camp office to RSVP!

NOV. 11-13

Lutheran Men in Mission "One Year to Live" men's retreat

Enrichment Event, 2 to 4 p.m. at Ewalu's Creation Center. Iowa climber Jen Loeb will present about climbing Mount Everest and achieving the "7 Summits." Contact the camp office to RSVP!

Cedar Rapids gathering, 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the home of Tim and Janet Wuest, 2910 Glass Rd NE, Cedar Rapids. Contact the camp office to RSVP!


We’re still working on the final tally with our expenses, but we can report another record year for the Ewalu Quilt Auction, with net proceeds totaling more than $51,000! We are so appreciative of our quilt and item donors, who gifted more than 300 wonderful items to our event this year. And we thank our bidders, who supported the ministry at Ewalu by purchasing all of those great hand-crafted items!

This year's People's Choice Awards:
◆ Live Auction Winner, Quilt No. 13, "The Road Home," donated by Mary Lou Billhorn of Readlyn.
◆ Live Auction Runner-up, Quilt No. 17, "Mineral Matrix," donated by Diane Schilling of Guttenberg.
◆ Live Auction 3rd place, Quilt No. 91, "Journeys," donated by Debbie M. Watson of Arlington.
◆ Online Auction People's Choice Winner, Quilt No. 331, "Pressed Flowers," donated by Jill Davidson of Onalaska, WI.

Click here to find the 2022 Quilt Auction Report. Generous bidders also donated 42 quilts this year to the Bremwood residential youth treatment center in Waverly, which we delivered last week to a very thankful staff. To take a survey about the 2022 Quilt Auction, click here.

Next year's Quilt Auction is tentatively set for Sept. 16, 2023 (returning to the third weekend in September). The deadline for donations of quilts and items will be Aug. 25. Dropping off your item(s) even earlier in the summer really does help us, if you're able to do so! 

Use an Action Team for Ewalu

Thrivent is a financial services organization with Lutheran roots. Those with Thrivent financial accounts can direct funds to Ewalu through Thrivent Action Teams or Thrivent Choice. Learn more at

Contact Steph at if you are eligible for a Thrivent Action Team grant that we could use for an upcoming event at camp.


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

Ewalu to host Lutheran Men in Mission retreat

Men of all ages are invited to make plans for the next “One Year to Live” men’s retreat, set for Nov. 11-13 at Ewalu Camp & Retreat Center.

This spiritual boot camp is an opportunity for men who yearn for real friendships and a closer relationship with Christ to band together to examine their life and priorities, and discover how God has equipped them to live. It is presented by Lutheran Men in Mission, in partnership with the Northeastern Iowa Synod and Camp Ewalu.

The retreat focuses on small group discussions and activities led by lay men who have attended previous OYTL retreats and rediscovered their own faith in Christ. Men who attend the 45-hour OYTL retreats leave with a new mission statement for life and a plan centered on how they would live their lives if they knew they had only one year to live.

This weekend retreat starts at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and ends at 3 p.m. Sunday. Standard registration is due by Nov. 2 for $200.

Click here for details and to register! 
Thank you to our donors from July to September!
Listed alphabetically, includes gifts to the general fund, Summer Bridge appeal and Cedar Lodge campaign
Marcia Adix
Pr. Liz Albertson Bell
Juan Jo Alitz
Jim and Barb Anderson
Richard and Barbara Anderson
Pr. Keith and Pr. Virginia Anderson Larson
Andrea and Paul Anhalt
Albert and Donna Ashbacher
Joann Aubrey
Kimbra Bader
Sue and Roger Bahe
Paul and Michelle Bahe
Cecil Bahls
Renee and Todd Barkema
Dennis and Doris Barnaal
Connie and Jon Behnken
Sarah and Jonathan Bengtson
Mayme Benson and Steve Johnson
Jennifer Berge and Robert Morgan
Bethany Lutheran Church, Elkader
Bethany Lutheran WELCA, Elkader
Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran WELCA, Lost Nation
Jeanette Bidne
Robert and Joy Biedermann
Robert Edwin Bishop
Roger Bjorgan
Ann Black and Joel Ziegelbein
Everett and Jean Blobaum
Harry and Elle Blobaum
Paul Blobaum
Jean Blockhus and Anthony Grover
Stephanie and Jay Boeding
Dolores Boehm
Marolyn Bostrom
John and Shirley Bothell
Connie and Edward Brinton
Lillian Bruvold
Amanda and Matthew Burns
Janet Butikofer
Charles and Jean Calhoun
Calmar Lutheran Church
Aaron and Kristin Cannon
Patrick Cannon
David and Brenda Carlson
Pr. Mark and Jennifer Carr
Tom and Karen Casavant
Sandy Caya
Christ the King Lutheran Church, Iowa City
Lorna and Dennis Christeleit
Keith Christensen and Dawn Deines-Christensen
Robyn and Dan Clark-Bridges
Kevin and Nancy Clefisch
Jennifer and Leo Clougherty
Richard and Joann Cole
Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque
Crowning Revelations, Grace Lamuye
Diann and George Curtis
John (Jack) and Barb Dahlby
Marvin and Annette Dahling
Andrea Dallenbach
Dan and Carrie Dauner
Caleb and Callie Davidson
Mark and Dr. Jill Davidson
Eric and Mary Ann Davidson
Kenneth and Helen Debner
Paul and Margaret Dettmann
Marcia and Leon Dibble
Kristi Dienst and Alan Allbee
Julie Diesch
Robert and Marva Doerring
Vicki Donhowe
Elaine Dove
Irene and Paul Dymerski
Elgin Lutheran WELCA
Richard and Carolyn Ellinghysen
Susan and M. Ellingsen
Kendra and Justin Elwood
Emanuel Lutheran Church, Strawberry Point
Darlene Esmoil
Mari and Shawn Eyestone
First Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids
First Lutheran Church, Maquoketa
First Lutheran Church, Cresco
First Presbyterian Church, Liberty, MO
Robert and Julie Fischer
Ruth E Fisher
Tim and Diane Fisk
Kathleen Flatoff
Jim Fliehler, The J & K Fliehler Trust and Kathy Fliehler
Blake Flores and Kaela Bemis
Lucille and David Fober
Kelley Foehrkolb
Melodie and Ronald Foelske
Arlene Foltz
Paul and Julie Frantsen
Cindy and Bob Freeze
John and Steph Fretham
Pr. Kevin and Marian Frey
Larry Friedlein
Frank and Eulyn Frostestad
Gerald and Marilyn Frye
Richard and Carol Gaard
Debra Gardner
Amy Gaskill
Katherine Gibson
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Iowa City
Pr. Jerome and Jane Godson
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Decorah
Pr. Daniel and Allie Grainger
Dorothy and Paul Gray
Larry J. and Jeanne Gregory
Karla and Patrick Grennan
Gary and Kristin Griffin
Dr. Randy and Jo Groth
Barron and Carol Gulliver
James and Julie Haage
Darlyce Hamann
Sandy and Robert Hanley
Marlene Hanson
Pr. Dennis and Dorothy Hanson
Albert and Trudy Hanson
Peter Hanson
Ross and Lucy Hardie
Samantha and David Hardy
Kevin and Wendy Helgerson
Shawna and Wade Helle
Amanda and Neil Heller
Dr. Randy and Marcia Hinrichs
James and Sandra Hoeg
Pr. Tyler and Miranda Hoey
Susan and Tom Hoey
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Dubuque
John Hoover
Hope Lutheran WELCA, Elkader
Margaret and David Horsfield
Juliana and Daniel Huiskamp
Lu Ann and John Hunt
Richard and Sandy Hyman
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Cresco
Immanuel Lutheran Endowment Memorial Fund, Cresco
Keith Jaben
Kyle Jaeger and Laura Mackey
Keith and Lori Johnson
Dr. Corinne (Cory) Johnson
Frank Johnson and Katherine Longtin-Johnson
Aaron and Lindsay Johnson
Donna and Dave Jonasen
Norman Jones
Bishop Kevin and Amy Jones
Je Jordahl
Romaine and Carol Kallenbach
Lisa and Jon Kammerer
Kristine and Pr. Jay Kamrath
Pr. Randall and Donna Kasch
Julianna and Matthew Kaschmitter
Carol Katsumes and Stephen Woods
Pr. Donald and Pr. Gloria Keiser Dovre
Abbi and Trapper Kienast
Deanna Kimmel
Elsie Kittleson
Dave and Lisa Kittleson
Ruth Kittleson
Dale Kittleson and Frances Garst-Kittleson
Eric and Allison Klein
Joseph and Joyce Klimesh
Sara Klosterboer and Brian Brandsmeier
Lyn and Bruce Knoke
Bea Koontz
Milton Kramer
Dennis and Holly Kruger
Marguerite and David Kruse
Lisa and Michael Kukral
Tempest and David Kuykendall
David and Julie Larson
Zachary and Kristin Larson
Oliver and Darlene Larson
Paul and Laurie Lata
Steven and Sherri Lauritsen
Carolyn Laxson
Jim and Deb Lechtenberg
Gary and Geraldine Lee
Karen Lee
Dale and Joan Lehmkuhl
Mark Lemke
Verna Lenth
Pr. Daniel and Aimee Lenth Hanson
Salley and John Light
Catherine Loney
Alma Long
Neal and Clara Ann Lovstuen
Dr. Lowell Luhman
Lana Luhring-Bailey and Shawn Bailey
Deborah Lutyen
Marguerite Vodicka Lybbert Memorial Endowment Fund
Diann Marten
Jason and Karin Martin-Hiner
Edward and Janet McEvoy
Sheri McKechnie
Margaret (Mardy) McNamee
Debbie Merrill and Michael Murray
Karen Michalec
Pamela Miller
Arthur Walter Moellering
John and Linda Mohr
Luther and Marilyn Mohr
Kevin and Julie Monson
Margaret Monson and John Freund
Anita Moon
Garry and Delores Moose
Kimberly and Curt Mueller
Michele Myrom
Nading's Service & Sporting Inc., Strawberry Point
Nazareth Lutheran Church, Cedar Falls
Mark and Denise Nelson
David and Orla Nelson
Mary Nicholas
Thomas and Joyce Niehaus
Mark and Donna Nielsen
Dale and Beverly Nielsen
Dona and Carey Noble
Margaret Nord and Paul Kaldjian
Gene and Jane Nuss
Gary and Deatra O'Dell
Ronald and Barbara O'Kones
Old West Paint Creek Lutheran Church, Waukon
Emma and Larry Olk
Orleans Lutheran WELCA, Cresco
Lana and Ervin Ott
Janice Ott
Jeanette and Richard L. Pagel
Carol Patterson and Lori Campbell
Peace Lutheran Church, Ryan
Mary Pearson
Alicia M Pease
Doris Pfister
Roy and Debra Prestsater
Patty Pritchard
Larry and Michelle Prohaska
Jodi and Todd Punke
Renee and Craig Rabe
Thomas and Carol Raithel
Luke and Lesley Rasmussen
Carol and Lyle Rasmussen
Victor and Dianne Rathje
Cheryl Read
Redeemer Lutheran Church, Waverly
Cheri and Jamie Reider
Ken Reimer
Janice Kay Robertson
Rick and Linda Rogness
Rebecca and Christopher Rothfuss
Ron and Ann Rowland
Connie Ruhser
Gina and Perry Russett
Cyndy (Ludeking) and Eric Ryan
Pr. Warren and Sonja Salveson
Niki Sanness
Dan and Carmen Schaefer
Lawrence and Ann Scheckel
Rich and Linnae Scheffel
Eunice and Roger Schladetzky
Joel and Susan Schlatter
Pr. Curtis and Dr. Jean Schneider
Evelyn Schultz
Brian and LaRae Schutte
Aaron and Allison Schutte
Angela Schwendinger
Jenny and Brent Schwickerath
Janice and Tom Segerstrom
Melanie and Jay Sigafoose
Dennis and Amy Smith
Pr. Neal and Nancy Solomonson
Ruth Sorenson
Pr. Ron Spears
Teresa Spohn
Springfield Lutheran WELCA, Calmar
St. John Buck Creek Lutheran Church, Sumner
St. John Lutheran Church, Farmersburg
St. John Lutheran WELCA, Arlington
St. John's American Lutheran Church, Guttenberg
St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Dubuque
St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Readlyn
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hampton
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Maynard
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Monona
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Postville
St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Volga
St. Peter and St. Paul Lutheran Church, Monticello
St. Peter Lutheran Church, Garnavillo
St. Peter Lutheran WELCA, Garnavillo
St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids
St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Hudson
Joyce and Bill Steffenson
Karen and Glen Steffenson
Deleva Stevenson
Daniel and Kimberly Stieler
Rhonda and Chris Storlie
John and Julie Strabala
William and Janet Striepe
Margaret Stubbs
Jana Swenson
Darryl and Shelly Syverson
Joseph and Kay Tempel
Joyce Thurn
Sarah Berg and Samuel Tia
Richard Tiegs
Billie Jo and Martin Timm
Jane Tornow
Lois and Pr. Larry Trachte
Bruce Trapp
Trinity Lutheran Church, Burlington
Ken Turnquist and Linda Tellberg
Krista and Steve VandenBrink
Dave and Brenda Versteeg
Aana Vigen
Steve and Niki Villhauer
Anabeth and David Voigts
Donna and Harry Walton
Amy Wehe and Simon Lucas
Allen and Marcia Weidler
Dr. Gilbert and Mary Wessel
West Clermont Lutheran WELCA
Arol Westervelt
Tom Weyant
Rev. Mary Wiggins
Pr. Karla Wildberger and Dean Boles
Heidi Wilker
John and Debra Williams
Audrey and Roger Wilms
Cheryl Wilms and Ron Versteegh
Lori and Tony Woodcock
Joan Wuest
Tim and Janet Wuest
Rev. Edgar and Verona Zelle
John and Vicki Zietlow
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Waterloo
Zion Lutheran Church, Muscatine
Zion Lutheran Church, West Union
Kathleen Zwanziger

THANK YOU for your generous support.

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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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