Virginia - Western Maryland Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(14 July 2021)
New Camping Ministry Page
Well, this might seem somewhat obvious because you are here, but let's say it for the record: We launched this page dedicated to camping (or, as it is more frequently called today, outdoor) ministry in early June 2021, and you've found it! The WV-WMD Synod is a constituent synod to two camps and maintains a relationship with a third and the National Lutheran Association of Scouting. To learn more about Camp Agapé, Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center, and Camp Luther scroll down through this page. Further down the page, you will find information on Lutheran Scouting.
Caroline Furnace's summer camp registration is open. Click here for information on summer camp and for on-line registration.
Established in 1957, Caroline Furnace provides year-round retreat center services and eight weeks of summer camp. Caroline Furnace's primary facility is located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in Fort Valley, VA. Enumerating everything Caroline Furnace offers on this page would be difficult. Explore the surprising options at CarolineFurnace.org.
Caroline Furnace is a constituent camp of the WV-WMD
Synod, i.e., there is a formal relationship, and the
WV-WMD Synod has seats on the Caroline Furnace Board of
Directors. This relationship has its roots in pre-ELCA
days. The Eastern Pandhandle of the WV-WMD Synod was part
of the Virginia Synod of the LCA. When the CNLC proposed
that those congregations be part of the newly forming
WV-WMD Synod (called "West Virginia Synod" at the time),
the Eastern Panhandle congregations asked that their
historic support of Caroline Furnace (their church camp)
be continue in the new synod. Part of that support is
maintaining financial support for Caroline Furnace in the
Camp Luther has met for seventy-five years at Camp
Caesar, the Webster County 4H camp. For many decades, the
Camp Luther has operated for one week in June with an all
volunteer counselor, teaching, and program staff, at its
high point serving over 400 campers grades 3-12, divided
into junior, intermediate, and senior camps. Learn more by
Camp Luther is a constituent camp of the WV-WMD Synod. The relationship has its roots in the West Virginia Synod of the ULCA.
Camp Agapé, a Lutheran camp located in Pennsylvania just
over the line from West Virginia's Northern Panhandle, is
announcing its upcoming camping opportunities as well as
recruitment for staff positions.
Canp Agapé has historic ties to the some of the
congregtions of the Northern Pandhandle. WV-WMD was not
included as a constituent synod when dedistricting took
place at the formation of the ELCA. Nevertheless, the
WV-WMD is happy to share information about Agapé's
Camp Melanchthon operated from the late '90s into the
late '00s. It provided a camping ministry to
collegiate-age young adults during the Christmas recess.
Throughout its history, it met in Garrett County, MD,
moving between Herrington Manor and New Germany State
Parks. At its largest, nearly twenty collegians attended
the largest year. It's educational ministry, the hallmark
of the camp, centered on a different book each year,
including Bonhoeffer's Life Together, Ralph C.
Wood's The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the
Kingdom in Middle-Earth, and Karen Armstrong's A
History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism,
Christianity and Islam. Worship, common meals,
recreation (including rather cut-throat games of Scrabble)
and continually burning fire were all part of the camp.
Camp Melanchthon ceased operations when shifts in the
economy, society in general, and WVU's football fortunes,
changed the collegiate culture surrounding Christmas
recess. Camp Melanchthon was a constituent camp of the
WV-WMD Synod. For more information, contact +Riegel.
The National Lutheran
Association on Scouting. describes itself as "a
resource for youth and adults who wish to know more about
the religious emblems program, endorsed by the Lutheran
Churches for members of Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts
USA, American Heritage Girls, 4H and Camp Fire USA." It
also coordinates Lutheran chaplaincy services during
The NLAS Facebook
page featuring news of particular interest to Lutheran
scouts and leaders.
The Rev. Rick Egtvedt, pastor of Shepherd of the Hills
Lutheran Church, McHenry, MD, serves as the Standing Chair
of Chaplaincy. He is also the NLAS Lead Chaplain.
The Rev. Rick Egtvedt recruits chaplains for the Boy Scout Jamboree held every few years at the Bechtel Summit Reserve. COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of that Jamboree, but there is already talk of future Jamborees. So, drop Egtvedt a line regardless if you want to learn more.
West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, ℅ St. Paul Lutheran Church, 309 Baldwin Street, Morgantown, WV 26505
304-363-4030 + Porter@WV-WMD.org