Mission and History

Mission Statement

“The mission of Lutheran Island Camp & Retreat Center is to support the ministry ofproclaiming and confessing Jesus Christby nourishing the spiritual growth of all those we serve, strengthening their service in Christ’s name.”

  

A History of Blessings, Hard Work, and God’s Love

 
 
 For thousands of years the Plains Indians and Woodland Indians claimed a 67-acre Island in the middle of a beautiful lake in what would become west-central Minnesota. Many great battles were fought in the area, the last of which happened in 1795 when 30 out of a party of 50 Ojibway Indians were killed by a superior number of Sioux Indians, thus the name Battle Lake came into being.

In the late 1860’s a returning Union soldier was deeded the island as a part of compensation for his service. Today the Island is the site of new battles and the home of new “soldiers of the cross”.

 
   
Bode In 1949, a local pastor, R.L. Bode, had the vision that “Bald Island”, the name it had through the 1930’s, would make a good children’s camp. Along with several other pastors, he convinced the Park Region Pastor’s Conference and later the Lakeland Conference to purchase the Island for $15,500 in 1949.1952 was the first year of camping. In those first years the camp operated for about 10 weeks each summer then closed down.  
   
 One of the first challenges that faced the founders of Lutheran Island Camp was how to get people safely on and off the island. A sandbar was present and the previous owners had built it up with some gravel and rocks in order to get cattle across. But high water and mud could make access a challenge   causeway
   
 Today Lutheran Island Camp operates year round and provides programs and services to over 6,000 people every year. Lutheran Island Camp and Retreat Center is located on a secluded 67 acres surrounded by East Battle Lake in west-central Minnesota. The camp is about ten miles west of the city of Henning and ten miles east of the city of Battle Lake, Minnesota. The Island is approximately 45 miles north of Alexandria and 30 miles east of Fergus Falls, both of which are on I-94.   
   
 The property is owned by the Minnesota North District of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, with the camp operations incorporated separately and receiving its funding through camper registration fees plus tax-deductible contributions from individuals, families, groups, and congregations.   
   
 Throughout its history Lutheran Island Camp has provided resources to the congregations and families it serves. In the 1970’s ministry teams traveled the upper Midwest sharing Bible studies, songs, and activities intended to strengthen the ministry of congregations. Today we do that through our Christ Serve Partnerships including Christ Serve Leadership Training, Christ Serve Servant events, and Christ Serve International.