We are looking for hospitable, team-oriented people hoping to make an impact on their community.
Head Cook for Camp Vermilion (Cook,MN) - to provide amazing and creative year-round meals to youth and families. Job description
Site Director for Camp Vermilion (Cook, MN) to manage safe property and efficient facilities. Job description
Director of Marketing and Communications (Duluth, MN) to spread the word about the wonderful opportunities in God’s great northwoods. Job description
Resumes accepted until March 15th.
Please contact Gretchen@VLMcamps.org 218-780-4116
Summer and Seasonal positions also available. Please contact us now to start your new calling in God’s great northwoods!
“Do not be afraid. Do not be silent. Keep on speaking.” Acts 18:9
Some people are comfortable with public speaking. Some people are comfortable raising their beliefs in the face of injustice or topics with high stakes. Some people come by this naturally. Others must work through anxiety and fear to even think about doing these things. I fall into the this category. As a tried and true introvert, it is not unusual to believe that I tend to be reserved in most situations. I am not often a person who will offer up my own thoughts in discussions.
As a generally soft spoken person, I rarely raise my voice in everyday life. When I speak in front of a group of people, I have to be more intentional with the volume of my voice. This was no different, if not more apparent, the first summer I worked at camp. I constantly struggled with self-doubt that made it extremely difficult to think about leading in front of my peers, let alone campers.
They say comparison is the thief of joy; I would also offer that it is the thief of growth. As I watched others lead and put themselves out there, I never thought I’d be able to do that, not at camp, not ever. Yet, I did. The community I was surrounded with lifted me up and supported me through the doubts I had at the time and still have on occasion today. They were not silent in their support. They constantly encouraged me to speak up, to let myself be heard. When we stop comparing ourselves to others and act, we not only gain opportunities to grow through experiences outside of our comfort zone, but also find joy in the journey.
There are people in our lives, our state, our country, and our world who are facing struggles of varying degrees. There are people who cannot fight for what they believe in because of cultural norms and governing laws. We are called to keep on speaking, to fight the silence and fear that seems evermore present and natural in our society. We are to be a part of the community that fights for what we believe in, even when afraid. It is a scary time for many we know and many we don’t. In the face of the unknown and a generally dissonant society, we must not be silent. We must speak on fearlessly.
Amanda Randall, VLM Summer Staff 2016, 2017
The privilege to change our world by investing ourselves in the lives of children is the best way to spend a summer.
We are seeking college-aged adults to be part of our summer community. Not only will you impact the life of our campers, but you'll also gain skills in leadership, problem solving, small group development, worship planning, and more. You'll also grow in your own faith as you dig into what it means to Weave JOY. And all of this as you enjoy the beauty of God's great northwoods!
In addition to counselors, we are also seeking kitchen staff (head cooks and assistants), waterfront directors, health care managers, canteen managers, maintenance assistants and leadership staff.
If you, or someone you know, is interested in learning more, go to our Summer Employment page. You can also find the application there.
A "spring training" for generous communities!
Join us for one of five events to learn how to sign up for and use Thrivent Action Team dollars. Action Teams are a great way to support camp, your congregation, or other event happening in your community. These trainings will give you the basics and you'll leave with a completed Action Team application for an event of your choice.
Are you passionate about passing on a skill or sharing your knowledge with campers? We would love to have you join us as a Journey Leader this summer! Spend 2, 4, or 6 hours with a group of campers as you engage them in a new activity or skill. Past Journeys have included pottery, weaving, knitting, wilderness survival, canoeing, music/song writing, painting, photography, and baking.
Learn more by contacting Gretchen.
"As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your
hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:12-17
At some point in middle school, I decided I wanted a cool Bible, not just the plain old black one they gave us when we moved up to the third grade Sunday School room. I found something that I considered the height of sophistication at the time - faux leather, bright teal blue, dark brown trim, magnetic flip clasp with asymmetrical flower detail. This Bible has followed me through all but my first two summers as a camper at VLM, and continued to be my trusty sidekick when I joined the summer staff in 2014. It is now full to bursting with little notes, scraps of birchbark, various worship outlines, activity sheets, and the other bits and pieces of life you collect during your time in God's Great Northwoods.
As I flip through the pages, trying to avoid spilling the contents all over my lap, I muse over folded notes I can no longer read (Messengers and Interceptors? Maybe?), wonder why exactly I decided to mark a particular page, and smile at kind words from old friends. And I always find myself back at the same place, words highlighted, page marked with a fun-size Butterfinger wrapper.
I was first introduced to this verse as a LOST camper, wrapping up a two-week session that I did not want to let go of. I was wrapped snugly in the joy and love that camp provides, and the prospect of going back out into the "real world" was decidedly unpleasant. This is a common and unfortunate side effect of coming to camp - it's just too good to leave! Being surrounded by an intentional community of faith, kindness, and joy is powerful, and it is something you don't find very often in day-to-day life. I have held campers as they wept on the last day of a session (and done a fair bit of weeping myself), because leaving that safe and happy bubble can be disheartening and, honestly, a little bit scary. It is upsetting to leave because we know that when we go back to our everyday lives, even though we may carry a bit of that camp sunshine around with us for a few weeks, we almost always fall back into our old routines, and that shine fades away.
Hearing this verse in worship that LOST session, I was jolted out of my moping. THIS IS IT! Ages ago, someone had put into words all the things I loved about the camp community and was now telling me to GO OUT! KEEP DOING AND BEING THOSE THINGS! Love people! Be thankful! Sing! Praise God! You can do this ALWAYS, not just when you are outside and wearing three days' worth of sunscreen, sweat, dirt, and bug spray.
Even though I knew objectively that I could do all these things outside of camp, this was the first time I had really internalized that fact - felt it. I think we all know we can do these things - choose kindness, forgive freely, love wildly, etc. - every day, every situation, but sometimes we just need a little reminder. That's why I keep coming back to this passage. It helps me refresh, re-center, and re-focus my energies.
As a counselor, I started using this verse as a benediction if I was leading worship. I wanted to give my campers the same tool I had been given, the same recipe for life inside and outside those intentional, caring, safe communities like camp that we so crave. So now, before I sign off, I invite you, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, to choose to clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, patience, and above all, love. Choose to bear with one another; choose to forgive each other. Choose to let the peace of Christ rule in you; choose to let the word of Christ dwell in you. Choose to be thankful! Choose to sing psalms! And whatever you do, in word or deed, choose to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
VLM Summer Staff 2014
Voyageurs Canoe Country
Receive $200 off per trip when you sign up and send a deposit by December 31, 2018.
Summer Camp Early, Early Bird Deadline
Save on the cost of camp by registering by February 15, 2019.
But don't wait! Make sure the week you want isn't full; register today
Camp Hiawatha and Camp Vermilion offer summer programs for all ages! Giving the gift of camp this season will give that special person in your life not only something to look forward to, but also an experience that will create lasting memories!
Camp gift certificates can also be used for one of our year-round programs or even towards the cost of renting our facilities for a family, work, church, or friend gathering.
Consider the gift of camp this year!
Contact the main VLM office to set up your gift - VLM@VLMcamps.org or 218-666-5465.
"After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!"" (Revelation 7:9-10, NRSV)
The congregation I currently serve has a long history with Camp Vermilion. We've sent campers there for years upon years. We take care of the Priest House and spring and fall work days. Daughters and sons of our congregation have been on staff over the years. But we also send kids to Camp Hiawatha when it fits better for the families. Each summer VLM Staff run our Daycamp in Proctor, serving over 50 kids a day! Two daughters of our congregation each had their weddings at Camp Hiawatha recently. Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry is an important part of our ministry at United Lutheran Church of Proctor.
Personally, I have been to a lot of Bible Camps and Retreat Centers over the years. When I was growing up, my home congregation sent us to Luther Dell Bible Camp outside of Remer, MN. When I was in college, I spent four summers working on summer staff at Luther Dell. One of those summers, our camp was folded into the Lake Wapogasset Lutheran Bible Camp family, so I got to spend a few weeks as a counselor at Wapo. In college, I also visited a few other Bible camps in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Right after college I moved to Texas. Our church was a member of Cross Trails Ministry. I vividly remember a vulture circling above me at Camp Chrysalis one day when I had a nosebleed. For a while I lived in Idaho, working in the church. We sent our youth to Luther Heights Bible Camp, high up in the Sawtooth Mountains. Later in life, I lived in South Carolina. While there, I went to retreats and confirmation camps at Lutheridge, a camp just outside of Ashville NC. I also visited Camp Kinard in the Midlands of South Carolina for a seminary retreat. If I thought about it longer, I'm sure I could come up with a few more camps I've visited over the years. Every camp has its own strengths and traditions.
Revelation 7 reminds me that God's people come from all over the place - Northern Minnesota and the Hill Country of Texas and the Rocky Mountains and the ocean coastlands. Truly, God's people are so varied and numerous that no one could count them all. Revelation 7 also reminds me that God's people are not all the same - they speak different languages and have different traditions and some of them even don't do the hand motions to camp songs the same way I do! This variation is something to thank God for, even when we prefer our camp over another one.
The one thing that is the same at every camp is this: we worship God Almighty and Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Often times when I'm singing at a campfire or lakeside worship, I imagine what worship is like at other camps. I think about how youth and leaders around the country (and around the world) are praising God with loud voices. They might not be dressed in white robes like it says in Revelation, and they don't wave palm branches. But they are waving their hands, and they are dressed in camp clothes that are adorned with crosses and Bible verses. Our camps help us practice for that great, unending worship around God's throne. One day, you and I and all our campers and all of God's people will join together to sing our praises. That's a campfire not to be missed!
Peter R. Kowitz
Pastor of United Lutheran Church of Proctor
You don't have to wait any longer to sign up for summer camp at Camp Hiawatha or Camp Vermilion...or both!
We have been busy putting together some initial plans for the summer of 2019, and we can't wait to have you join us.
The summer brochures are in the mail, but you can also find everything you need to know on our summer camp webpage.
We are excited for our 38th year of Hockey Camp, to see our Canoe Camp program continue to grow, to see Discoverer and Venturer campers become Seekers, and to bring back a Family Camp program to Camp Vermilion. It's going to be the best summer yet, and we hope you will join us!
Already know when you want to come to camp? Go straight to our online registration page and get ready to be part of a community that laughs, sings, worships, explores faith, plays, and prays together!
We are seeking young adults who are looking to be part of something different, who want to
challenge themselves to step out of their comfort zone, and who want to invest their time, energy, and love into a community that offers what our world needs!
Did you know that working as a summer staff member at camp can help to hone your leadership, public speaking, critical thinking, and communication skills? And you just might learn to play the guitar, cook over a fire, or paddle board in the process!
Interested in learning more? Check out our summer employment page! Here you can read about being a summer staff member and download an application. Still have questions? Contact Aaron or Brett to talk about what a summer at camp could look like for you!
PS Did we mention that we can turn your summer at camp into an internship? Brett and Aaron would welcome the chance to talk with you about this!
Summer Theme 2019
Jesus calls us to follow him. Our lives are made more complete when we respond to this call and strive to follow the example Jesus set. But living out this call takes more than simply a relationship with Jesus; it requires a relationship with others, too. To live a faith-filled life, we need Jesus, Others, and ourselves (You). Woven together these three are stronger and supportive, like braided rope. When one of these strands is off, life can fray and faith can be weaker. But by Weaving JOY, we can see how each strand impacts the other and enables us to move from "going to church" to "being the church" in our communities and world. We look forward to exploring Jesus, Others, and You this summer, and sending campers home with a new sense of how to weave together these key strands of our faith journey.
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much" Luke 16:10
There are many definitions of trust; it can be a reliance on the integrity, strength, or ability of a person, or a confident expectation of something or someone.
Trust can be hard at times, whether it is trusting that you are doing something right, or trusting that someone will be there to catch you when you fall. And building trust with each other is a whole other topic - everyone tends to have a different time scale of when they rely on or have enough confidence in you to share something with you.
Every week at in the summer, you can witness this as you see campers come and go and watch how relationships build trust. Some campers don't need a lot of time to trust someone, while other campers take until almost the last day to open up and rely on their cabin mates or counselor.
One example that I saw this past summer was when a group of seekers were learning to paddle board on the lake. Most of them had never paddle boarded before, but they trusted the staff and the PFD's that they had on, if they fell in they would be saved. One camper in particular could not find his balance and would keep falling in and then would need help getting back on the board. Instead of screaming for help he would simply say "I'm in a pickle". A staff member would help him back on the board, and when he would fall back in would again say "I'm in a pickle". He didn't give up and continued to be confident in the fact that there was someone there to help him.
God's trust is an absolute trust that can't be broken. I think you could associate the saying "I'm in a pickle" as a call out to God to show that you have trust in God. Think about who you trust, the trust you have in God, and perhaps think about a saying you can use when you are calling out to God, or that trusted person when you are "in a pickle".
Camp Hiawatha Hospitality Coordinator
You know that Camp Hiawatha and Camp Vermilion are available for retreats and meetings, but did you also know we could host your next family gathering, specifically over the holidays? The Bakk House at Camp Vermilion and the Retreat Center at Camp Hiawatha provide an ideal setting for a holiday celebration. With a kitchen, plenty of tables, living room/gathering space, sleeping rooms, and outside winter activity options, it has all the things your house offers with the bonus of not having to clean before your guests arrive! Consider using one of these spaces for a day, an overnight, or even a few nights.
Contact Bobbi to inquire about available dates and costs.
We said thank you and farewell to Tavis Reiderer at the end of October. Tavis has been the Camp Vermilion Site Director since February of 2017, and brought a passion for camp and a constant smile to this position.
Tavis loved to solve problems; if something wasn't working, he was relentless in figuring out a solution. He helped us get many of the final tasks completed on Voyageur Lodge, and took great pride in knowing how things worked in that building. His enthusiasm for camp, working with volunteers, and strengthening Vermilion's connection to the Cook community was evident throughout his time with us.
In addition to being Vermilion's Site Director, Tavis is also the owner of The Crescent, a restaurant not far from camp, and a frequent choice of both summer and year-round staff. His decision to leave Camp Vermilion was not an easy one, but one he feels is necessary to give The Crescent the time and energy needed to keep it a successful business for the community. And though he will no longer be on staff, we look forward to seeing around the area as well as volunteering at camp!
Join us October 26-28 for a weekend of sewing!We'll cook and clean while you create.
This retreat is ideal for quilters who need some focused time to start or finish a project, who are interested in connecting with others who share a passion for sewing, or simply need a weekend away in a beautiful setting! Of course we would love to have you join us for the whole weekend, but this retreat also provides the chance to join us for the day as well. (Or, if you live close enough, come to sew and eat, but perhaps go home to sleep in your own bed!)
Cost is $30/person per day, which include two meals, snacks, irons, a cutting table, and space to sew. Overnight costs: $30 for multiple occupancy in Voyageur Lodge ($75 for single occupancy).
Not a quilter? Bring your knitting, crocheting, needle point, scrap booking, or any other craft you wish.
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." -1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
Community - It's one of those words we use a lot around camp all year long, but especially in the summer. We use it to cover a variety of groups and contexts from a cabin of summer campers, to a group of cabins (or village), to a broader context that includes groups of volunteers, member congregations, and friends of VLM who extend beyond those parameters. Community covers a lot and is used a lot. The downfall of overuse, often times, can be that we forget the power of the word and how it is really defined. So consider this a "community" refresher. Let's start with a few of the most common definitions of community:
a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
a group of people living together in one place practicing common ownership.
a particular area or place considered together with its inhabitants.
the people of a district or country considered collectively in the context of social values and responsibilities.
denoting a worker or resource designed to serve the people of a particular area.
a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
a similarity or identity.
joint ownership or liability.
a group of interdependent organisms of different species growing or living together in a specified habitat.
As I review these definitions and pair them with the above verse from 1 Peter, I am reminded of how important and impactful our time in and our identity as a community at VLM truly is. Community at VLM can be seen in a variety of ways:
a cabin of fifth and sixth grade Trekkers spend a week living, growing and fellowshipping in a common place while building their identity as friends, campers, a chosen people who belong to God;
on a portage trail where a canoe country group works towards a common goal to complete their route to reach the next campsite, warm meal and fellowship time around the fire;
our summer staff, a group of interdependent people from different backgrounds, spend weeks living together, training in our summer program, develop a common goal and identity in the midst of their responsibilities as a part of the royal priesthood of all believers;
VLM board members and volunteers who give their time and energies to Camp Hiawatha and Camp Vermilion engaging their sense of identity and "ownership" of these places that hold deep meaning and a sense of belonging.
All of these instances and more show a fuller, deeper meaning of community.
Through the VLM community, in all its forms, we are drawn into this group of people belonging to God, called into fellowship, a royal priesthood, that spreads far and wide through many years past, present, and into the future. How good it is to be in community, connected to one another and God through these special places and this unique ministry in God's great Northwoods.
Camp Vermilion Program Director
Thanks to some dedicated and hard working volunteers, a lot of updates have happened at Camp Hiawatha since our summer programs ended.
The Log Lodge, which is almost 100 years old, got some new logs, new window frames, and new screens. We are so thankful for these updates that will allow us to use this building for generations to come!
Those staying in Lindberg Dorm will notice a drastic improvement to the building. A new cement was poured last spring in front of the building, and this fall a covered walk way was built. Not only will this keep the snow from landing right in front of the doors, it will also provide shade from the sun during the long summer days. Sitting in front of Lindberg enjoying the view of Deer Lake just got much more enjoyable!
The final project was new racks for our canoes and paddle boards. In a more sheltered location, our canoes will be protected from high winds, and we have a set location for storing our paddle boards when not in use.