Why Summer Camp?
Ewalu programs are relational. The vast majority of youth, according to Ewalu evaluations and recent camp studies, will grow in lifelong faith and confidence, experience a truly uplifting Christian community, enjoy outdoor adventures, make new friends, and go home more comfortable with themselves and able to better connect with other people.
Ewalu’s unique villages and offsite adventure trips help your child experience world-class relational ministry. The Ewalu site is intentionally accessible yet “decentralized.” This means our programs are set up better for the small group ministry style that helps kids to connect and feel more personally appreciated. Camp Ewalu has wonderful facilities including a huge swimming pool, high ropes course, team-building games, 10+ miles of trails, 2+ miles of riverfront, 10+ farm animals, plenty of indoor meeting spaces, over 50 campfire rings, a dozen worship sites, hands-on environmental education tools, and much more.
The camp experience is also important because it is participatory. At Ewalu, children and youth practice leadership skills, grow in healthy self-confidence, learn more about God and community, and build empathy and compassion for others in the rhythm of Christian life. Campers also enjoy creative “unstructured” time together in community, and often are given the ability to choose what the group does next or even how they do it. These measures are
evidenced by recent studies of Lutheran camps like Ewalu (see the Effective Camp Research Project) as well as yearly evaluations from Ewalu campers and their parents.
Camp is different from home. Being away from home (for adults too!) is shown to be freeing for kids to get away from the normal expectations of old friend groups and daily surroundings. They can try being who they want to be and experience new leadership roles and skills. Campers at Ewalu explore new things daily guided by energetic, well-trained, caring, and super fun summer staff. They experience a natural environment unplugged from screens – for more than a couple hours a time. Lodging can be in tents, teepees, covered wagons, classic bunkhouses, modern cabins, lodges, or if weather permits even outside under the stars. Kids will benefit from even more face-to-face conversations than in a typical school day. They enjoy trying out new skills in a safe place, sing and talk around a campfire every night – and form memories of the type of adventures together only possible in this awesome setting.
Ewalu is a safe space. Our facility and programs are fully ACA-accredited. The ministry of Ewalu consistently meets or exceeds hundreds of rigorous national standards every year for safety, training, facilities, documentation, program quality, and staff certifications by the American Camping Association.
Ewalu is faith-centered. We believe God is good – and that we are saved by grace through faith, not as the result of works (Ephesians 2:8). This faith produces good works in how we live out our vocation daily. Camp works so well because, as our mission statement proclaims: In the rhythm of Christian life, Ewalu serves as a “place apart” to connect the Word of God to the world of God. Through a faithful, imperfect, loving and supportive community, campers each summer can experience God’s loving presence, come to know Jesus better, and grow in their understanding of the Bible in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.