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Harvest lessons at camp By Cindy Uken


Joe Zimmerly, a member of St. Andrew Lutheran Church, San Diego, and a counselor at Luther Glen, Frazier Park, Calif., visits a sheep at the camp’s farm. The sheep was named Martin, after Martin Luther.


S


ummer church camps are often known for signature events such as campfires, sing-alongs and swimming. But some camps are igniting


newfound appeal in outdoor ministry by expanding their roster of activities to include gardening and farming, bees and billy goats.


Children at a growing number of Lutheran


outdoor ministries across the country now have the opportunity to plant and harvest tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, peas, green beans and more. In many cases, they will get to eat the fruits of their labor when the vegetables are used in camp meals. At the root of these gardens is the focus on helping


feed poverty-stricken families in Appalachia, stocking shelves of homeless shelter pantries in California and teaching children about service to others throughout the country. “It’s been huge,” said Glen Egertson, co-executive


director of Lutheran Retreats, Camps and Conferences in Frazier Park, Calif. “We have stirred a new wave of interest in our ministry.” Staff at Luther Glen Camp, one of the


organization’s sites, were inspired to start their farm while attending an ELCA World Hunger leadership gathering. Luther Glen was in need of renewal and rejuvenation, and a sustainable farm and environmental education program on the food chain was the agreed-upon solution, Egertson said. They broke ground on the farm on the ELCA day


of service (“God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday) in 2015. “Bible studies and summer camp worship happen


Kimberly Haight, a member of Emanuel Lutheran Church, La Habra, Calif., collects eggs at Luther Glen. The camp typically collects fi ve dozen eggs per day between two coops. Eggs are sold, donated and eaten at camp.


inside the farm fence, meaning it’s not uncommon for a goat to walk into your Bible study and try to eat your Bible,” Egertson said.


MISSION & MINISTRY • LIVINGLUTHERAN.ORG 29


Photo: Courtesy of Luther Glen Camp


Photo: Courtesy of Luther Glen Camp


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