After the Oregon wildfire season of 2020, Camp Lutherwood Oregon faced an additional set of questions regarding accessibility to outdoor experiences. Many children and families in surrounding areas had experienced significant loss, trauma and displacement during the record-breaking wildfire season. In response, camp leaders assessed their role in providing healing for impacted communities.
In partnership with a long-term recovery group that formed in response to the wildfires, Camp Lutherwood Oregon developed an overnight camp program for middle school youth affected by the fires. The curriculum was based on Camp Noah, a day camp for elementary-aged campers created by Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota. The pilot program successfully connected 17 kids with mental health services, understanding peers, and resiliency skills. Twelve months of careful tweaking and conversation with trauma-informed care professionals followed, and Camp Lutherwood Oregon will launch Compass this summer. The one-of-a-kind, weeklong camp is designed for youth and teens to share their emotions, connect with one another, and strengthen their sense of safety.