Board Nominations and Budget - Important Annual Meeting Information

The VLM Annual Meeting is less than 2 weeks away! 

Please review the 2018 Proposed Budget.

Those interested and feeling called to serve on the VLM Board of Directors can complete and return a Board Nominee Bio before Jan 31st. 

The full annual report will be available soon. 

As a reminder....

Join us on Saturday, February 3 for the Annual Meeting of the VLM corporation.  For all member congregations, this is your time to hear what is happening at your camps, approve the 2018 operating budget, and help us celebrate the completion of the "Tend and Nourish" Capital Campaign.  Your voice is needed!

The meeting will be held at United Lutheran in Proctor, 701 Third Avenue
Proctor, MN 55810.

Registration, coffee, and fellowship at 10:30 and the meeting begins at 11:00.  Lunch will follow the meeting.

Please RSVP to 218-666-5465 or

We look forward to seeing you!


"The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest". So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things." - Mark 6: 30-34

Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Fires. Social Inequality. Nuclear War. Watching the news it seems that catastrophes are simply the norm. With so much hurt and injustice in the world it is often easier to ignore what is happening and continue with my day rather than find the time and energy to empathize with people affected by difficult situations. Ignoring other peoples' pain is always going to be easier, but having true compassion for our neighbors is what gives us as the human race the strength and courage to keep living and have hope for the future. Compassion is what makes us human.

This fall my faith community, Jacobs Well, in Minneapolis is asking a lot of questions about compassion and our humanity. A realization we have come upon is this idea that if we numb the negative things in life we end up numbing the joyous things in life. Part of being human is cracking yourself open and being vulnerable so that you can experience both the highs and the lows around you to the fullest. When you are brave enough to witness the ugly parts of the world the beautiful parts seem that much more awe-inspiring. This is HARD and is never something that we can "achieve". Living this way is a choice that we have to fight for in this often negative and superficial society.

In the beginning of the "Jesus feeds the five thousand" story Jesus and the disciples are beat and are trying to find a spot to rest. They are at their breaking point, and Jesus breaks. He needs to rest, but when he sees the people "like sheep without a shepherd" his heart cracks and he chooses compassion. Crack yourself open, be vulnerable, let yourself give love so you are ready to receive it.  

Maia Dalager - VLM Alumni 12, 13, 14, 15

Book your next get away!

To live as people of God in this world, we need to get away and grow together, united as we learn and play in God's creation.  Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry invites you to get away to camp this spring!  Camp Hiawatha and Camp Vermilion offer meeting space, overnight accommodations, and food service, making camp a great place to hold your next youth group retreat, crafting getaway, church council meeting, book club conversation, fishing weekend, or family reunion. 

Click here to learn more about the facilities and rates available at Camp Hiawatha and Camp Vermilion. There are still open weeks and weekends in the calendar at both Camp Hiawatha and Camp Vermilion this year! Email the VLM office or call (218)-666-5465 to book your event or to receive more information.

VLM Annual Meeting February 3

Join us on Saturday, February 3 for the Annual Meeting of the VLM corporation.  For all member congregations, this is your time to hear what is happening at your camps, approve the 2018 operating budget, and help us celebrate the completion of the "Tend and Nourish" Capital Campaign.  Your voice is needed!

The meeting will be held at United Lutheran in Proctor, 701 Third Avenue
Proctor, MN 55810.

Registration, coffee, and fellowship at 10:30 and the meeting begins at 11:00.  Lunch will follow the meeting.

Please RSVP to 218-666-5465 or

We look forward to seeing you!


Posé: A pause or rest stop along the Voyageurs' portage trail. Usually about ½ mile apart. We invite you to take a pause in your day to reflect, ponder, and pray with us.  


"Walkin' by my side, I'm satisfied. King Jesus is all, my all in all." One of my favorite camp songs from this past summer, "King Jesus," offers this verse of hope to its singers, promising that with Jesus by our side, we need not worry about anything. Honestly, I find this verse hard to accept. As a student, athlete, and musician, I have always given my best efforts at all times - if asked, I would state this as one of my life mottos. Yet internally, I often get my best effort confused with an effort to be the best. Although my intentions initially appear harmless, a desire to do well eventually overshadows the meaning behind my actions; I turn into a competitor rather than simply a hard worker. And while this mindset sometimes contributes to an excitable and joyful accomplishment, the disappointment can be overwhelming when I fall short of a desired outcome. "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" do not seem to "satisfy" me into the future.

My counseling experience last summer with VLM put this struggle into a Christian perspective. I realized that it was my hard work that made a difference, not the accomplishments that resulted from it. It no longer mattered how many good races, musical performances, or school successes that I accumulated; instead, it was the skills learned from these experiences that counted. I simply had to work my hardest to positively impact my campers each week. I learned that this feeling became worth more to me than any medal or prize, even if I did not see the impact of my efforts beyond a particular week of camp.

As we approach the end of the semester, I try to think about being filled with Jesus' light shining through me. In turn, I also work to see His light shining through others. I often fall short of achieving this goal, yet I am hopeful to become increasingly satisfied by Jesus' works - and not my own. In this way, Jesus will "walk by my side" to make me "satisfied." King Jesus truly is my all in all.

Jackson Churchill 

Luther College

VLM Summer Staff 2017


Welcome, Steve!

Steve Hallie is joining our VLM team as the Site Director at Camp Hiawatha. Help us in welcoming Steve and his family! 

My wife Lisa and I are originally from Roseau, MN.  We have been married 18 years, and have been blessed with 3 beautiful kids: Genesis, Gabriel (Gabe), & Greyson.  After college, we lived and worked in the Twin Cities area for 10 years. 

We answered God’s calling for our family and moved up to the Grand Rapids area in 2009.  We now live in Coleraine and we’re thrilled to be deeply-rooted in this welcoming and beautiful community.  I love working on projects with my hands and getting to know others who share my love for Jesus and my love for these northern woods and waters.  I am excited to be working with the Camp Hiawatha team by providing ongoing care and by continuing to make this site operate soundly so it may be used to bless and enrich the lives of all of the guests that stay here in God’s great northwoods!

Camper Rejuves!

Jr. High Rejuve (grades 7-9) - February 23-24, 2018 at Camp Vermilion
Elementary Rejuve (grades 3-6)- March 2-3, 2018 - Camp Hiawatha
Elementary Rejuve (grades 3-6)- March 16-17, 2018 - Camp Vermilion


Camper Rejuves are a great way to get back to camp during the school year, or to check out camp for the upcoming summer!  You'll get your camp fix on this 23 hour overnight - games, campfire, songs, friends, learning, and of course, great camp food.

Cost: $50 per camper.  A $15 non-refundable deposit is due with your registration. Churches are welcome to register as a group, with a deposit to hold your spots. One adult leader is free with every 8 campers when coming with a church group.

When: Registration begins at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and the program ends following supper on Saturday (about 6:00 p.m.).  More information will be sent to all registered campers.

Space for these retreats is limited so we encourage you to register early.  

To register, please call the camp office at (218) 666-5465

or fill out and send a retreat registration form.


Paddle Building

Friday, January 26 to Sunday, January 28

at Camp Vermilion

Contact us if you would like to schedule a Paddle Building retreat for your group!

Come to Camp Vermilion and learn how to build your own canoe paddle! You'll select your pieces of wood, then glue and clamp your paddle together. Then you'll sand, sand, and sand some more until it's just the way you want it.

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All are welcome! Bring your spouse, friends, or family and spend a weekend in the northwoods, with a beautiful piece to take home at the end. Parent/child orgrandparent/grandchild participants can build a family heirloom together!

Depending on when participants are able to start on Friday, much of the work will be completed on Friday evening and Saturday.

Cost: $200/paddle ($250 if there are two participants working on a single paddle). A $50 non-refundable deposit is due with your registration.

Includes: All wood and tools needed, lodging, and Friday dinner through Sunday brunch.

Space is limited to 6 participants, so register today! To register, please call the camp office at (218) 666-5465 or fill out and send a retreat registration form.

YourStory Retreat

February 2-4

Camp Vermilion

"Changing My Story"


YourStory is an innovative four part retreat series. "Changing My Story" is session two of this series, however, it is okay if you did not attend session one. Please join us for this next session!

This session will explore when some familiar biblical characters faced challenges and adversity. How do I respond to tough situations? Who are the people that give me support in challenging times? How can I discern between symptoms and problems in challenges to recognize recurring patterns?

Lodging and programming located in Camp Vermilion's Voyageur Lodge. 

Housing is multiple occupancy.

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Registration fee: $150/person/weekend

Includes meals, lodging, and programming.


Contact VLM office at (218)-666-5465 with questions or to register over the phone.

Click here  to register online.



Posé: A pause or rest stop along the Voyageurs' portage trail. Usually about ½ mile apart. We invite you to take a pause in your day to reflect, ponder, and pray with us.  

This summer I spent a week at Camp Vermilion teaching pottery as one of the offered Journeys for campers.  As I prepared for the week, I thought about how I could wholeheartedly share my passion for this craft.  I worried about how to create a meaningful experience that would inspire children to learn.  While planning, I discovered that clay and pottery are brought up in the bible 34 times, most profoundly in our creation story: Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Gen 2:7)  

It is here we learn that it was from the soil that we were first made, the earth itself our oldest ancestor. "For even at its beginning the humble clay received God's art." - St. Irenaeus  

As adults, we often think of learning in terms of intellect, but forget knowledge acquired through engaging in activities that nurture our creative imagination.  As a child, I had learned how to be a servant in God's kingdom by planting a garden with my mom.  Patience was taught on a fishing boat, and gratitude for the meal that followed, from weekends on the lake with my dad.  When I brought out the wheel and muddied my hands to throw my first pot, campers immediately wanted to engage in the process.  While I had never found the perfect words or lessons to convey what pottery stirs up in my heart, the clay itself became the teacher. These campers, and their curiosity and eager spirits, reminded me that wisdom often comes from simply participating in the work.  

That physical act of work is mirrored in the verse from Genesis.   Here God is not some far away being directing our creation.  Instead God is the sculptor, active and up close, partaking in the creative process.  


Working with clay connects us to a practice that dates as far back as 20,000 BC.  As a vessel is formed from a lump of mud, it brings us into mindfulness that everything (from the food we eat, to the bowl that holds it) is of the earth.  As Robin Kimmerer writes, "It's not just land that is broken, but more importantly, our relationship to land."  For me, pottery helps restore our relationship to God's creation.  It reminds us of our kinship to the earth, and the abundance of God's gifts that flow from it.  

Jessica Holleque

VLM Alumni 09, 10

Come share your "Journey" with us this summer!

What is a Journey?

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We are inviting campers to "journey" with us this summer.  During our weeklong programs, we'll be setting aside time in which campers will have a chance to learn a new skill, spend time on a new activity, or express their creative side. We are calling these learning times Journeys, and they might include canoeing, drama, campfire cooking, music, theater, sports, or arts.  It is, in its simplest form, an extended time to spend on those activities (Grovers) that camper wanted more time to do.

A Journey is a 2 hour block of time for focused learning offered to our weeklong campers.  The age of the camper will determine how much time is spent participating in a Journey - 2 hours for Seekers, 4 hours for Trekkers, and 6 hours for Explorers.  

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The age of the campers in camp will determine how many blocks of time you, as a specialist/guest artist, will need to prepare.  You are welcome to spend the entire week with us as your schedule allows, but can also be at camp only on the days you will be teaching and sharing. 

If you are able to join us this summer, please contact Gretchen to schedule your week(s). Call 218-780-4116 or email

Summer Staff Application Available!

Consider a summer with VLM!

We are seeking people who are open to the Holy Spirit and who are willing to be used to bless and impact the lives of others.  A summer at camp can prove to be the hardest job you will ever have, but also one of the most rewarding.

As a VLM staff member, you will also have the opportunity to grow in your own faith, and you will be amazed at the things youwill learn and do - skills you can take with you wherever you go.  And the friendships that develop will last a lifetime! 

Being a part of Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry provides staff the opportunity to share their faith in meaningful ways. In this special environment, staff have been able to learn and share what it means to live in a Christian community and in the world as God's people.

If this sounds like something you want to be a part of this summer, then we invite you to apply.  Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled, but you are encouraged to return your application as soon as possible. 

Find your application and position descriptions online! We look forward to working with you this summer in sharing the Good News of Christ's saving love!

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Thank You for Giving to the Max!


On the 16th of November, we had an incredible Give to the Max Day! In just 24 hours, VLM met the $20,000 matching challenge, but also raised an additional $2,500 for the Watch them Flourish apeal for Voyageur Lodge construction. That means $42,500 to help support opportunities for Christ-centered spiritual growth, leadership development, and outreach in God's great northwoods! Thank you to all of you who do so much for Camp Hiawatha and Camp Vermilion!

New Canoes at Vermilion!


We have received a wonderful trailer and three canoes from Lutheran church of the Good Shepherd in Duluth.  These canoes have been used by the church and families along with the local boy scout troop.  

VLM thanks LCGS for this wonderful gifts that will get more kids safely into God's great northwoods!


If you have a gently used canoe or have other equipment that could be put to use at Camp Hiawatha or Camp Vermilion, please contact us at (218) 666-5465 or  



Posé: A pause or rest stop along the Voyageurs' portage trail. Usually about ½ mile apart. We invite you to take a pause in your day to reflect, ponder, and pray with us.  

"I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus". - 1Timothy 1:12-14

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Are you ready for turkey, stuffing, football games and Macy's parade balloons?  I know I am.  TV commercials have been priming me for Thanksgiving since before Halloween with the showcase of pumpkin pies, Swanson's chicken broth and Black Friday shopping.  With all of that, it can be easy to forget what the day is really all about - giving thanks.  

While Thanksgiving isn't necessarily a religious holiday, it may be considered a spiritual one as we are encouraged to live in gratitude on Thanksgiving.  And gratitude is the granddaddy of spiritual practices. Paul writes to Timothy in the passage above naming how grateful he is for the "grace of our Lord".  Paul was a downright mean guy.  His changed life and faith in God is a testament of how God's grace and mercy overflowed for him.  Paul has been changed by Christ and lives each day in gratitude for all that God has done for him.  

What are you grateful for?  How will you live out that gratitude this holiday season?  

Faithful travels everyone,

Pastor Lisa

*Reprinted from Knapsack 11/22/11

Merciful God, we thank you for your abundant grace that you give to us out of your love.  Bless us with open eyes and warm hearts to live in gratitude for the many blessings around us.  Amen. 

Celebration of Light and Music - Camp Hiawatha

Sunday, December 10, 2017 at Camp Hiawatha

2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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Join us for an afternoon of fellowship, holiday fare, winter activities, and celebrating the season of Advent. There is something for all ages as we gather in community to prepare our hearts for the coming Christ child. We invite you to participate in all or part of this day.

Activities for the day include sleigh rides, food demonstrations, crafts, cookie decorating, hymn sing, worship, and a festive holiday meal. It's a great event for all ages!

Cost: $5 per person for the afternoon activities ($15 family maximum)

Schedule of Events

2:00-4:30 - Sleigh rides, Ethnic food demonstrations and samples,cookie decorating, Advent crafts, conversation and fellowship
4:30 - Holiday Hymn sing
5:00 - Worship Service
6:00 - Festive Holiday Dinner

Meal: $10 for adults, $5 ages 6-11, free under 5 years.

Please RSVP by December 5 by contacting the main VLM office - email or 218-666-5465.

Cookie Bake - Dec. 2nd

Saturday, December 2

Camp Vermilion

9:00 am - 3:00 pm



Join us and get all of your holiday baking done in one day!   We'll provide the ingredients and recipes, you provide the labor of love.  Each participant will take home at least one dozen of everything we make. 

Cost: $75 per person, which covers lunch for one, devotions, and taking home cookies. Bringing another person from the same household? $10 for each additional person to cover lunch.

Space is limited! Contact the office to hold your spot, or complete the registration form.




Posé: A pause or rest stop along the Voyageurs' portage trail. Usually about ½ mile apart. We invite you to take a pause in your day to reflect, ponder, and pray with us.  


I have always loved stories. One of the ways my dad and I connected in my middle school years was through going to movies together and talking about the stories and characters. As an adult, I have embraced the identity that "story" is a big part of my life. Only then did I stop to think about my family heritage around story telling. My grandma was a traveling story teller who told farm and Norwegian folk stories to church and community groups all over the midwest. My dad is a story teller. And more recently, he has started working with others on telling their stories. I started paying attention to the author Donald Miller when he talked about how each person has amazing stories. Sometimes they just don't realize it yet. As I studied educational equity and leadership I learned about "hidden narratives" and the effort to create spaces where people who haven't had a chance to tell their story get the opportunity to reflect, craft, and document their own story.

When people ask you to tell about yourself when you are in a new group where do you start? How do you introduce yourself- do your first identify yourself with an occupation, vocation, family identity? "I am a nurse, and I have two kids." or "I volunteer at our church, and I have a big family." While these are often roles, which provide much identity to ourselves and those around us, they leave no opportunity to share our lives. Think about the following. "When was the last time you laughed, who were you with, and what were you doing?" "When you have a lot of your busy plate, what do you do/eat/read/etc. to relax? Where would you go to relax if you had an hour for yourself?" "What is one thing you learned in your family of origin that regularly comes up in your family or circle of influence now?"

In our family, we have a brief story time each night. It's something we have done since our kids were little to make eating together easier and intentional. We sit down at the table together, and one by one each person shares the "Best part of their Day." It's one of my favorite times in our family. As others occasionally join our family dinners, they are expected to join the dialogue, and each time I always learn something new. Through the best part of their day, I hear many things I wouldn't hear through the usual identity statements like, "I am a nurse, and I have two kids." Through this daily practice, I can tell my kids' friends, favorite parts of the school day, and the things that drive them crazy and make them laugh. 

In the upcoming YourStory retreats, we will do two main things. We will learn about some of the lesser known stories of some well know Bible characters. In the November retreat, we will learn about Jacob's life beyond the "big" stories. How did Jacob's family of origin shape his relationships with his wives and children? What is unique about Jacob's birth? Why does the Bible take time to tell us this? Then, we will have time to reflect on, craft, and record some of our stories. In upcoming sessions, we will explore, how do we go about trying to change our stories? You have a story that only you can tell. This week, ask someone, "What was the best part of your day?" And then, listen. You may be surprised by what you hear.  

Andy Mork

VLM Board Member