New staff is excited about the future of island camp
By Chad Koenen
“There was a lot of prayer and trying to decide. I felt like it was something God wanted me to be involved in.”– Stacy Lung of taking over as the new executive director at Lutheran Island Camp
There is a good reason if it seems like there are more than a few new faces at Lutheran Island Camp—it’s because there are three new staff members at the East Battle Lake camp.
Stacy Lung, Andy Bode and Julia O’Laughlin have joined the staff this summer. They are replacing longtime staples at Lutheran Island Camp in camp director Ken Erlandson and maintenance director Marv Swyter.
Lung took over as the executive director of Lutheran Island Camp on Sept. 1. She will be working part-time in the position and is taking over for longtime director Ken Erlandson.
Already familiar with the camp through her work at Christ Serve Ranch, Lung was approached by board members about applying for the camp director job when Erlandson retired.
“There was a lot of prayer and trying to decide,” said Lung. “I felt like it was something God wanted me to be involved in.”
In addition to being the new executive director, Lung serves as adjunct faculty for Trinity International University and teaches chemistry, ecology and some general science courses for Kepler Education, an online Christian classic school. She has also served as an outdoor education coordinator for Christ Serve Ranch and has five children, ranging in age from 11-19-years-old, with her husband of 23 years. The family lives in Perham.
Bode began at Lutheran Island Camp in April and learned the ropes of Lutheran Island Camp through the busy summer months with Swyter.
Prior to coming to Lutheran Island Camp, Bode worked as a Transportation Generalist at the Minnesota Department of Transportation in Henning for 12 years. He lives on East Leaf Lake with his wife and two children, both of whom attend Henning School.
“It was brought up to me at church and I gave it a lot of thought,” said Bode. “There has been a connection with East Battle Lake and Lutheran Island Camp that made me feel like I could be of service here and be closer to home.”
Bode said things have been going good in his new position so far. He has enjoyed the opportunity to get outside and learn the ins and outs of the camp.
“It is going good. We have a lot of moving parts,” he said. “There is something new everyday.”
O’Laughlin graduated from Concordia University in Nebraska where she received a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and was in the pre-deaconess program. She did her internship at Camp Luther in Nebraska and previously worked at Camp Concordia in Michigan as the associate director and at Coalition for Life in St. Louis, Mo.
As the new program director, O’Laughlin is looking forward to connecting with those who come to the island to learn about God.
“I just love camp ministry. I think it is a great way to connect,” she said.
What was even more exciting for O’Laughlin was the fact Lutheran Island Camp was able to have campers last summer and spread the word of God with people from across the region.
The three new staffers said they were excited to join the family at Lutheran Island Camp and were looking forward to continuing their journey at the popular camp.