April 2020
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April 2020

God is with us all the time! (Click to View)

Slowing Down and Staying Connected 

Lately, I’ve realized that I pretty regularly follow social distancing guidelines. Monday through Friday has always been spent with my fellow office staff, and they continue to be that way. My weekends used to be filled with hosting and/or seeing friends. Since neither of those things can happen right now, my weekends have changed. But even though I still spend my weekdays with the same people, my day to day work has changed. We’ve been trying to figure out what we can do to help those who aren’t used to living like camp staff. The people who have more to entertain than themselves and their cat. Those who aren’t able to work during this time. Those who nothing but time on their hands.

So what does that look like? Well, the most visible thing we’ve been doing to stay connected is daily video posts on our Facebook and Instagram pages. We try to mix it up a little each day. Sometimes we post songs, sometimes tours, sometimes crafts or other activities. (View all the new videos HERE) If nothing else, we can give you something to do for at least five minutes of your day.

Personally, I’ve been trying to dedicate more time and effort to relationships – or at least a different kind of effort since I can’t just go out and see my friends every week. So I’ve been doing this in a few different ways, and some are more long term than others.

One night last week, I got out all of my old cards from campers, SOS (Strengths Others See) books, notes from past summers, etc. I read through them all while playing some worship music in the background. As I did this, I naturally cried at all of the happy memories that were brought up, but I also prayed for each person that wrote whatever I was reading. I reflected on those individual relationships and how much those people mean to me. I also thought about some people I haven’t talked to in maybe a couple of years and decided to reach out to them and catch up a little.

Another thing I’ve been doing has me spending a lot of time in The Bible App (the YouVersion one). Depending on the day, I use this one app in a variety of ways. There’s always a verse of the day. I can highlight verses I want to come back to. Create verse images. Add notes. Read plans. The options are endless. This app is also a bit of a social media platform, so I’ve added all of my friends. I can see what plans they’re doing or what they’re highlighting. My favorite, though, is that I can go through and read plans with them. Each plan varies in length but has a devotional and at least one related verse for each day of the plan. If you choose to complete one with a friend, there’s also a section where you can each write your commentary and have a discussion. I liked this long before social distancing, but it’s become even more important to me since then.

So ultimately what I’m saying is pick something that makes you happy to work on and dedicate at least a little time each day to that thing. Whether it’s deeply meaningful or simply learning a new talent, do something to keep you sane in this wild time. When we could easily be consumed by fear and anxiety about the unknown, find at least one thing to keep you grounded. Build yourself and others up. Find a piece of camp you can bring home. Stay positive. We’ll get through this together.

Ashley Gulrud
Ewalu Assistant Program Director

Check in with the Ewalu Bees! (Click to View) 

Support Ewalu Campers and Programing

“I climbed a mountain today,” confessed Seth Orr to his small group last summer.  As an Uplifted camper, Seth and his group had the opportunity to participate in the group wall, a fifteen-foot wall on Ewalu’s challenge course. Each member of the group must scale the wall, a feat only possible if they work together. Encouragement from his new peers helped Seth overcome the physical and mental challenges this activity provides. Later that night, Seth confessed to his new friends at camp,

“Today was the first time in a long time I felt like I belonged. I climbed a mountain today!”

The impact of Ewalu's ministry is not possible alone. Just as Seth needed his group's help, we need your help to continue providing powerful experiences for all children that come to camp. You donations to camperships help us keep camp affordable.

Seth’s story shares an important message in this time of uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 virus. At Camp Ewalu, we need to stay connected and lean on each other as the Body of Christ.

Paul tells us in Philippians 2, “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” Let’s support each other through these trying times.

Each spring every donation to our Campership Appeal goes directly to our campers and the subsidy we’re able to provide them. We planned on doing the same this year, but the impacts of COVID-19 are already being felt at Camp Ewalu. This spring any donations will go toward the general ministry at Ewalu. We will still honor our promise to provide subsidy to every camper. No child will ever be denied attendance at camp for financial reasons. This will allow us more flexibility to financially support all aspects of Ewalu’s ministry in this uncertain time.  

I hope you’ll join me in making a donation to Camp Ewalu. You can help us ensure that children and adults can encounter “mountain top” experiences and God’s love and Grace for many years to come at Ewalu. Follow this link to make a gift online. 

Thank you for your prayers and support in this trying time. We will face this challenge together by leaning on each other as the Body of Christ.

Your Servant in Christ,
Clark Baldwin
Executive Director
A Note from EE Director, Maury Landt

Have you heard it yet? For some of you, it may have been a sudden realization as you’ve woken up in the morning. Other people may have slowly been waking up to steady chirps and tweets. Or maybe you’ve seen large V-formations in the sky. It’s that time of year, the birds are back.

Not that they’ve been completely gone. The wintertime gives us the beautiful colors of the cardinal and blue jays against the backdrop of snow. Other birds such as juncos, red-tailed hawks, and sparrows will remain as well. Most of Iowa’s winter birds will rely on seeds and other foraging to stay alive. It’s important to keep our bird feeders stocked. A common variety of seeds will feed most of your typical birds (avoid milo as an ingredient as it’s an unappealing filler to birds).

As you restock your seed to put in feeders now will be a good time to clean them out. Bird feeders that sit for too long can become breeding grounds for diseases. A very light bleach solution will work just fine.

Now that our feeders are cleaned, now is the time to up the variety of food options. Insect-eating birds will be coming back near the start of April so suet should be on the menu. Have thistle for finches. As always, black sunflower seeds are a must all year round. Most songbirds will push around for sunflower seeds and leave the other parts of the mix for later. If you want to give them a treat, apples and oranges are a must.

Towards the end of April, you can start to see hummingbirds. At the gatehouse on camp, my wife (Ally) and I had a hummingbird feeder that was frequented by two ruby-throated hummingbirds. Be sure to clean out the feeder regularly (once a week when it’s hot out) to prevent mold buildup.

Now that we are being asked to stay indoors for the foreseeable future, it’s important to bring some of the outdoors to us. 

Maintaining clean and full bird feeders ensure that you will have an endless stream of visitors to your home. 

See how many you can identify or make it educational for kids who are also at home. Together, even from home, we can make a welcoming place for birds around us. Even if they do wake us up in the morning.

A great resource you can check out is Celebrate Urban Birds from Cornell University. They have extensive information and activities that you can use to learn more about birds.

Thank you to our donors in 
January and February 2020!

Liz Albertson
American Lutheran Church, Jesup
Pr Keith and Pr Virginia Anderson Larson
Clark and Shiloy Baldwin
Bethany Lutheran Church, Elkader
Stephanie and Jay Boeding
Patrick Cannon
Canoe Ridge Lutheran Church, Decorah
Christ the King Lutheran Church, Iowa City
Keith and Dawn Christensen
Robyn and Dan Clark-Bridges
Leo and Jen Clougherty
Crowning Revelations
Caleb and Callie Davidson
Paul and Margaret Dettmann
Emanuel Lutheran Church, Strawberry Point
Faith Lutheran Church, Andover
First Lutheran Church, Conroy
Faith Lutheran Church, Marion
First Lutheran Church, Maquoketa
Kelley Foehrkolb
Paul and Julie Frantsen
Wayne and Lois Garms
Good Shepherd Lutheran WELCA, Decorah
Daniel and Allie Grainger
Matt and Jana Hamlett
Tyler and Miranda Hoey
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Dubuque
Hope Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids
Ken and Lucille Hubbard
Deb and Don Huck
John and Lu Ann Hunt
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Independence
Kyle Jaeger
Edna Kamper
Ruth Kittleson
David and Sharon Lapka
Pr. Amy and Pr. Matthew Larson
Zachary and Kristin Larson
Carolyn Laxson
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Marion
Madison Luth Ch - Ridgeway Parish, Ridgeway
Sarah and Jim Meehan
Debra Merrill
Carol and Craig Miller
Nazareth Lutheran Church, Coulter
NEIA Synod WELCA, Decorah
Sarah and John Ottesen
Peace Lutheran Church - Ridgeway Parish, Ridgeway
Clyde and Barb Peterson
Luke and Lesley Rasmussen
Lyle and Carol Rasmussen
Victor and Dianne Rathje
Shirleen and Mike Reinhardt
Tim Ressler
Aaron and Allison Schutte
St. John Lutheran Church, Farmersburg
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hampton
St. Stephen's Lutheran Church
St. Timothy Lutheran Church
Daniel and Kimberly Stieler
John and Karen Tjostem
Pr Larry and Lois Trachte
Trinity Lutheran Church, Burlington
Trinity Lutheran Church, Hawkeye
Trinity Lutheran Church, Waterloo
Rev. Mary Wiggins
Cheryl Wilms and Ron Versteegh
Roger and Audrey Wilms
Pr. Margaret and Dr. Mark Yackel-Juleen
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Waterloo
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (Jubilee), Independence
Zion Lutheran Church, West Union


COVID-19 Update

We are taking steps to offer you support in this time of uncertainty surrounding the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic. This includes staying up to date with and following the recommendations of the Iowa Department of Health, The CDC, and the American Camping Association (ACA).

We will also be postponing or canceling all spring events through April 30th and will be contacting those groups that are impacted by this action.

Summer Camp at Ewalu will go on as planned at this time, with enhanced sanitation and health screenings for check-in. We are waiting and watching this situation unfold while listening to the recommendations from our governing bodies.

If it is best to cancel summer camp for the safety of our guests and their families, all parents and guardians will be notified directly. Additionally, we will post to Facebook and our website these changes.

We will offer full refunds for summer camp, but we ask that you consider donating the deposit back to Ewalu to help sustain our ministry in this difficult time.

Click HERE to learn more

Additional updates will be provided on our Facebook page and website as the situation changes.  

Fall Festival & Quilt Auction Donations

Quilters and crafters, are you stuck at home and looking for a project that will make a difference?

Consider making an item for our Fall Festival & Quilt Auction this year. All proceeds from this event go toward sustaining the ministry at Camp Ewalu. The Fall Festival & Quilt Auction will be held on September 19th this year.

Click HERE for event and item donation information
Grandparent Camp
June 17-19 or July 5-7

Join us for this brand new program for grandparents and grandchildren! Make memories as you grow in faith and enjoy fun camp activities together. Stay in the comfort of the Stone Center and join with other families in Bible study, games, campfire, and other activities, all led by your counselors. You’ll also shuttle to Ewalu’s main site for swimming at the pool, visiting the farm, and the opportunity to participate in activities with other campers on-site.

All ages are welcome, but the program is designed for grandchildren ages four through twelve years old. There is a limit of four people per room.

Click HERE to learn more

Summer Camp Theme

This year's summer camp theme is Lutheran Outdoor Ministries' "From Generation to Generation." Bible studies will focus on how the enduring love instilled in the promise to Abraham and Sarah continues through Old Testament characters, to Jesus, to the early church, and on to campers today!

Theme Verse: For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:5)

Family Camp
June 26-28 or July 10-12

Your whole extended family is invited to Ewalu for a wonderful 3-day weekend! Come stay in comfy cabins or pitch your tent in our beautiful family campground. You’ll enjoy classic campfires, Bible studies, games and quality time together. Take this opportunity to hike, swim, grill, or just relax in the outdoors with other families and the Ewalu staff. Activities for kids and adults are offered throughout the weekend, as well as less structured family time.  Family Camp is your chance to step away from the schedule and experience outdoor ministry as a family.

All types and sizes of families are welcome. (Register soon for your first choice of housing options.)

Click HERE to learn more
Wish List
Safety is a priority for Ewalu counselors and campers go on canoe trips to the Turkey River. Many of our life jackets will need to be replaced this summer to maximize safety. Please consider purchasing a US Coast Guard approved life jacket from our amazon wish list for $11!

Visit our wish list to see if you can help us out; even if you can't donate yourself, any leads on potential donors are greatly appreciated!

We're Still Hiring the 2020 Summer Staff

Are you or someone you know looking for a fun and meaningful way to spend your summer? Consider a youth ministry position on our 2020 Ewalu Summer Staff.
View the job description and apply online at
For more information contact Program Director, Dana Isaacson.

Phone: 563-933-4700
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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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