History Of Luther Park

History of Luther Park Bible Camp

A TIME LINE

1932 The Luther Park Association was formed. First Board of Directors was elected.

1933 Luther Park’s first week of campers was held. The registration fee was $3 for a week.

Forty tents housed 116 campers. The Dining Hall was built. The Camp Board consisted of 9 men. They handled all scheduling.

1934 The “auditorium” – now the Chapel – was built. A “logging bee” was held. Cabins were built by Luther Leagues of the Rice Lake Circuit.

1946 The Luther Park Bell was retired by the Soo Line and given to camp.  The Rice Lake Circuit, Eau Claire Circuit and the Mondovi Circuit formed Luther Park Bible Camp, Inc.

1959 Mr. Richard Kahl, a teacher from Rice Lake was hired as camp manager.

1960 The first retreat house, now called Covenant Center, was built.

1964 Was the first year for an all summer staff.

1965 Frank Brocker became the first year-round Director, he also served the Dovre Lutheran parish in rural Chetek.

1966 Luther Woods, then called Outpost, was purchased. Covenant Center was winterized.

1971 Al Dungan, the first full-time year-round director was hired.

1975 John Walledom became the third Luther Park Director. The Enrichment Appeal made possible: A new dining hall; A remodeled chapel; A swimming pool; and a second retreat center called Shalom.

1979 Jim Wehn, the first year-round properties manager was hired.

1983 An A-frame retreat facility was built at Luther Woods.

1984 11 wooded acres across the road from the main site were purchased.

1986 A 74-acre farm adjacent to Luther Park was purchased. It provided a third retreat center and growth in summer programs.

1986 Sherm Toufar was called as the fourth Director. Mary Toufar was hired as the first year-round director of program ministry.

1990 The Annual Fund was started and the Way Club was updated in order to encourage individuals to support the ongoing ministry annually.

1991 The First Annual Antiques and Collectibles Auction was held. A master plan for the future site and program at Luther Park was developed. Trailblazers “a day at camp” program was started.

1992 The Sixtieth Anniversary Appeal was kicked off to begin fund raising that would provide:  Eight new winterized duplex cabins and A Welcome Center.

1993 Construction of the new duplex cabins was begun. Four cabins were built by volunteers. The other four were completed by contractor.

1994 Cabin construction was completed. Fund raising continued. Welcome Center construction was begun. 

Traveling Day Camps to serve congregations became a regular part of the camp program.

1996 Year-round programming was born. Adult ministries sponsored two adult day camps and a travel ministry to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Youth retreats called

RECHARGES were started.

1997 The Welcome Center construction began again. Junior High Recharges grew to include Senior High.

1998 The Welcome Center was opened for business. David Dobbs became the second full-time properties manager.

1999 Camper numbers show dramatic growth.

2002 The biggest summer ever at Luther Park! Camper numbers top 1350 in resident programs after a four year climb.

2004 Annual fund experiences the biggest year ever for support of camp programs.

2005 Luther Park / Luther Woods “Land Sale” is kicked off for debt reduction.

2009 Rev. Craig Corbin named Interim Executive Director

2011 Jon Schack became the Site Director

2013 Keith Newman was called as the Executive Ministry Director.