Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Conference

Fast & Furious Sessions, Workshops, and Conversation Gatherings


Fast & Furious #1 (Tuesday A.M.)

Bishop Brian Maas, Nebraska Synod, ELCA

I Came That They May Have Symbiosis: the Abundant Shared Life of Outdoor Ministries and Synods”

How is your relationship with your Synod staff and Synod functions?  Do you share abundantly?  Find out how abundant this shared life is in Nebraska and take something back to your synod.

The Rev. Brian Maas serves as Bishop of the Nebraska Synod, ELCA.  A graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University and Yale Divinity School with a certificate of studies from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Bishop Maas was ordained in 1992. He served three congregations: Emmanuel Lutheran, Tekamah, Nebraska; Immanuel Lutheran, Kansas City, Missouri; and First Lutheran Church, Lincoln, Nebraska. He was elected Bishop of the Nebraska Synod in June 2012. Bishop Maas and his family lives in Lincoln.



Linda Timmons, President and Chief Executive Officer, MOSAIC

A Life of Possibilities

As the recognized leader in services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Mosaic is committed to creating partnerships where people can live a full life in their community.  We can offer opportunities for new experiences, friendships and natural supports while we learn and grow together.

Linda Timmons’ career began in high school working on the Bethphage campus at Axtell, Neb. Through the years she has held numerous positions in several states within the organization. When Mosaic was formed in 2003, Linda was named Senior Vice President of Program Services. In 2006, she was named President and Chief Operating Officer. She became Mosaic’s President and Chief Executive Officer on July 1, 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and a Master of Arts from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.



Doug Haugen, Director, Men’s Ministry, ELCA

Men vs. Wild

Men and the outdoors.  Seems like it would be simple.  How can we get MEN away from the home and involved in our camping ministries?

Lutheran MEN IN MISSION is an evangelical Lutheran men’s ministry that strives to build men’s faith, relationships and ministry through the resources we publish, the events we produce and providing ongoing leadership development. We are working to strengthen men’s Christian faith, relationships, witness and service in their homes, congregation and communities.


Rev. Louise Johnson, President, Wartburg Seminary

Building Relationships with Seminaries

We know Outdoor Ministries plays a vital role in the life of Seminary students.  Let’s hear how seminaries can help our ministries and share how ministries can help our seminaries.

Louise has been President of Wartburg Theological Seminary since April 2015.  Johnson has served in various roles at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia since 2004, most recently as the Vice President for Mission Advancement, a position she has held since 2012. Prior to her time at LTSP, she served as the Associate Director of Admissions at Wartburg Theological Seminary from 1999 to 2004 and also as the pastor of Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Spragueville, Iowa from 2000 to 2004. Johnson received her Master of Divinity degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary (1999) and her Bachelor of Arts in German from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio (1991).



Molly Beck Dean Director, ELCA Youth Gathering

Connecting With the ELCA Youth Gathering

Join the conversation around possible connection points between LOM, individual outdoor ministries and the Gathering. We are looking for innovative ways to deepen this relationship and are open to all exciting, fun, creative ideas.

Molly Beck Dean has been the Director for the ELCA Youth Gathering since January 2015.  She anticipates lots of excitement from her friends at LOM for the 2018 Gathering in Houston.



Workshops (Wednesday Afternoon)

2017 LOM Curriculum

Mariel Spengler

WATER OF LIFE:  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” (Isaiah 43:2)

Come explore the 2017 LOM Curriculum.

Mariel “California Queen” Spengler, has spent many hours each year poring over Bible Study after Bible Study.  Come see the finished product for 2017 that she and her friends on the LOM Curriculum committee have provided.


Donor Search



Hospitality & Food Services

Adam Payson, MLOM Chef

Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Allergic to Nuts, Diabetic.

Food needs and food expectations has changed over the years.  It is time to step up to provide extreme hospitality in the Dining Hall.



Transgender Inclusion

Joni Stacey, PFLAG RD, Regional Director for the Central Region (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska



Risk Management

Morris Gold, Sobel/Brown Vice President

Risk Management is not a fun-sucker.  It can actually make camp fun!  Come hear how.

Morris Gold is Vice President of Sobel Insurance, a Brown & Brown Company. Morris has more than 26 years experience providing insurance and specializing in risk & crisis management for Camps, Conference Centers and YMCA’s.  He is a member of the American Camp Association (ACA) National Insurance Committee and has been a presenter at numerous ACA Conferences.



People and Money – Selecting software for success!

Heather Eggert, Associate Director, Lake Wapogasset Lutheran Bible Camp

Have you had it up to here with your Registration and Donor Software programs?  Join us for a roundtable discussion about the joys and challenges in managing information about two of our most valued resources:  people and money.  Our organization successfully implemented 2 new software systems this year, and we’d love to share any helpful hints we discovered along the way.  Our team will share the rationale for the new systems we chose, but won’t spend time focusing on specific software brands.  Come and share your stories.

Heather Eggert has spent what seems like centuries at Wapo in many different titles.  She is ready and willing to share her past twelve month experiences with software.



Fast and Furious #2 (Thursday A.M.)

Tangled Blue

Creative Worship & Partnering with your Local Artisans

There are many, many, many very talented people within miles of your outdoor ministry site.  Discover how to make contact and use these people for your many programs.

Aimee and Joel Pakan have been making beautiful music together for many years.



Russ Senti

How to Engage 60- 100 Congregations in Your Synod With a Greening Initiative

Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center In collaboration with the Northern Illinois Synod’s Green Team educated Property Committee’s from 100 congregations in the synod on how they could “Go Green”. Sixty of those 100 congregations received an energy audit at no cost to them. Come learn how to do ministry with your congregations that help them “Go Green”.




Rev. CeCee Mills

Colaboration with Diverse Audiences

The best hope at creating diversity in campers, camping experience, volunteers and/or camping staff is by building authentic relationships with diverse communities. Come learn of existing opportunities for collaboration.

Engaging, involving and investing in the gifts, interests and capacity of people of African descent in every aspect of the life of this church is the focus of African Descent Ministry in the ELCA. As part of our Ethnic Specific and Multicultural Ministries Team, we seek to strengthen the hands of the ELCA for building — with integrity — a multicultural church. As people of African descent, it is the gospel of Jesus Christ that gives us the faith and freedom to join with all of our sisters and brothers to boldly participate in God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in the name of Jesus Christ throughout the world.


Ian Hartfield

Connecting with Youth Ministry Networks

What can the Youth Ministry Network do for you?  What can you do for the Youth Ministry Network?  Let’s find out!

Ian Hartfield is the Regional Facilitator for Region 4 in the Youth Ministry Network. The ELCA Youth Ministry Network strengthens and empowers adult leaders of children, youth and family ministry in service to Christ.



Sam Collins

Connecting with Gap Year Service Programs

Are some of your summer staff looking to make a difference in the world after their wonderful summer experience?  Many Gap Year Service Programs are looking for these people.  Let’s find out how to merge these personnel resources with our ministries.

Prior to coming to LVC in May 2012 Sam was Executive Director of Miriam’s House in Washington, DC. He facilitated a merger with N Street Village, another organization that grew out of the ministry of Luther Place Memorial Church. He has also served as Executive Director of Vashon Youth and Family Services in Washington state, Back on Track in San Francisco and Boston Creative Action. A graduate of Tufts University, Sam has a history of working and volunteering with environmental and youth development groups.


Conversation Gatherings (Thursday Afternoon)

Best Thing Money Can Buy…????

Dave Holtz, Executive Director, Luther Crest Bible Camp

Invitation to Give comes in many forms in our industry: special events, donations, and especially summer camp.  One of the best forms of flattery is for your guests to give you money for what you provide!  Come to this workshop to explore how your organization must gain control over your camper fees so that mission and ministry can happen through evaluating the philosophy and process of “tiered pricing” for summer camp.



Leadership For Your Staff

Casey Fuerst, Director of Marketing, Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries

Leadership training should be an ongoing initiative in your organization. This conversation group will share effective and budget-friendly ideas and tools for making leadership a part of your organizations internal culture.



Being church…differently

Gretchen Bachman, Associate Director, Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry

How a camp partnered with a different type of church ministry in order to rethink their language and how to connect with the people they serve.  Hear about this unique partnership and the innovative program it sparked.



Questions, Concerns, Policies, and Procedures about Transgender Campers, Guests, and Staff

Anthony Briggs, Executive Director, Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center

Are your board and constituency prepared to be engaged? Are your staff trained and prepared? Are you educated and prepared? Join the conversation as we share and learn together.



Nontraditional Organizations

Dallas Shealy, Executive Director, South Carolina Lutheran Retreat Centers

Does your organization feel different because it doesn’t offer a summer “Bible Camp” experience?  Is your programming considered nontraditional?  Come discuss different programming opportunities in the Outdoor Ministry world.



Federal Labor Standards Act

Gerry Fritsh, Executive Director, Lutheran Lakeside Camp

A huge topic for the past few months.  How are you going to make changes in your payroll due to changes in the FLSA.  Important stuff, with discussion lead by a director who is “in the know.”