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  • Writer's pictureDani Hatfield

The Difference A Week At Camp Makes

In a typical summer, more than 1,500 young people come to Carol Joy Holling Camp. They come to make memories, create new stories to share with their loved ones back home, challenge themselves, and make friends. Their families send them to encourage and support their faith development and to inspire life-long memories.

For more than 40 years, Carol Joy Holling Camp has provided camping experiences for young people. We are called to provide a place for campers to develop their own faith, to practice friendship in new ways, and to stir in themselves a desire to do good for the sake of others.

Tens of thousands of campers have come for a good time and left with a stronger sense of themselves and a closer relationship with God. It’s a big deal – this call to partner with families and churches to raise Christian leaders.

“It’s an amazing thing to witness,” Korey Breutzmann, Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (NLOM) Director of Programs shared. “Most of the time, the campers don’t recognize the transformation they are experiencing, but the parents and church leaders sure do.”

This transformation shows up in different ways for each camper but is often most obvious in how they treat others. Parents tell stories of how their child came home and offered to help with the dishes. Pastors talk about how the young people that go to camp are more likely to get and stay involved at church. Teachers are grateful for the kindness that campers show

to other students.

“The world may not know why, but we understand that it’s the impact of their week at camp and experiencing God’s love in a way that will live in their hearts forever,” Breutzmann said.

“Carol Joy Holling Camp is an extraordinary place of love and acceptance,” NLOM Executive

Director, Jason Gerdes added. “It is our responsibility to make sure that campers and families have every opportunity to have this experience.”

That’s why the NLOM staff and Board of Directors are reimagining the TrailHead site, home to the youngest campers at Carol Joy Holling Camp. The TrailHead: Shaping Faithful Leaders campaign will fund a new building at the TrailHead site with accommodating and accessible housing, bathrooms, and dining area. The campaign also includes endowments for seminary scholarships and camp fees.

Learn more at

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