The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will be announcing the opening of another outdoor ministry site later this week, in central Maine. “This is the most excited I have been in all of my years of involvement in outdoor ministry.” Mark D. Burkhardt Director for ELCA Outdoor Ministry said earlier this week. “Not only will people be able to experience the beauty that Maine has to offer, but we expect that people from all around the United States will come and experience this place.”
The new camp is called Camp Wobegone (pronounced “woe-be-gone”) — the name is inspired by the popular fictional town created by radio personality and storyteller Garrison Keillor. “I think this is a wonderful idea” Keillor said about the camp. “The people of Lake Wobegon have always enjoyed the outdoors. At first we were wondering why the Lutheran Church chose to open the camp in Maine instead of Minnesota. We were informed that there was a smudge on the paperwork and the clerk thought it was an ME instead of a MN…..Mistakes happen.”
Camp Wobegone is located on a beautiful lake in central Maine. “We have found a place in central Maine that we really think is going to work. Out of the 35,000 square miles of Maine, including the 3,500 miles of tidal coastline we believe this site is going to have a large draw for people.
It is easily accessible to all of Maine’s major cities as well as a number of airports. When people come to Camp Woebegone they can enjoy the fellowship and the spiritual component of the camp and from there they will have an opportunity to explore the rock-bound coast of Maine which include lighthouses, beaches, fishing villages, and thousands of offshore islands, including the Isles of Shoals, which straddle the New Hampshire border.” Burkhart said.
Camp Wobegone has its first director Adam Eveson. Adam is a young energetic native New Englander ready to take on the challenge of starting a camp. “Back home in Vermont, we pratically lived outdoors. I would like to thank my pastor at New Life Lutheran Church for telling me about this opportunity. I am thankful to be able to serve God in this way and I know we will have lots of successes.” When asked about his camping experiences he told us “I was a counselor at Camp Calumet for a number of years and in college I studied business as well as outdoor education.”
The ELCA has appointed eight members to the board of directors. They will oversee the set-up of the camp and make sure things are running properly and in good Lutheran Order.