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This month we want to tell you more about “Bringing Inner-City Children to Camp”, a program of Lutheran Valley Retreat in Colorado, recipients of a $25,000 grant from Lutheran Women in Mission (LWM) in the 2021–2023 biennium.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). Lutheran Valley Retreat (LVR) shares God’s grace and glory through His creation in a year-round retreat facility surrounded by Pike National Forest in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. LVR hosts adult and family retreats, as well as summer camps for youth.

Each summer, the camp serves nearly one thousand campers, ages eight to seventeen. Approximately half of these campers are teenagers coming from states across the country to serve in various projects to maintain the facilities of LVR. The remainder of the summer campers come primarily from Colorado, including Denver and Colorado Springs.

Research shows that camp transforms the lives of young people in many ways. Taking a break from regular routines, responsibilities, technology and cell phones allows young people to truly be themselves. Campers at LVR have an opportunity to enjoy and explore nature, develop lifelong friendships and cultivate meaningful relationships with adults who become mentors.

Each day, campers play in God’s creation with activities like archery, rock climbing, fishing and crafts. They experience God’s Word through daily devotions, create and watch skits based on the Bible, learn praise songs and worship around a campfire. Through these fun activities, the Gospel is shared, showing God’s love to all His children.

The average cost of summer camp is $400 per camper. LVR has been blessed with generous donors to provide scholarships for children each year; however, not everyone is aware of this option. There are families in the Denver area that are unable to fully finance camp or provide transportation to LVR for their children. LVR will work with Lutheran churches in Denver over the next two summers to arrange registration and transportation for multicultural children of all socio-economic levels to attend summer camp. With this grant, LVR hopes to offer fifty full-scholarships to campers from inner-city Denver, using the remainder of the grant to provide transportation.

Lutheran Women in Mission (LWM) is the official women’s auxiliary of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Since 1942, LWM has focused on affirming each woman’s relationship with Christ, encouraging and equipping women to live out their Christian lives in active mission ministries and by supporting global missions. For more information on each month’s mission focus, visit Saint John’s Lutheran Women in Mission (Mission Guild) meets the first Tuesday of each month at 10:30 AM in Room 301. All ladies of the congregation are invited to attend.