East Battle Lake camp to host anniversary celebration

Photo by Chad Koenen
Lutheran Island Camp’s quilt auction returned to an in-person option after being moved online in each of the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proceeds from the auction benefit Lutheran Island Camp, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this weekend. 

By Stella Strong


As people, certain numbers call for a celebration. From double digits to the first years as an adult to quarter of a century birthdays/anniversaries, certain numbers are recognized as milestones. And why shouldn’t they be? After all, what’s more exciting than turning 50? Turning 70! 

On Saturday, Aug. 13, the Lutheran Island Camp (LIC) will celebrate its 70th anniversary as an outdoor ministry.

Despite hosting thousands of campers a year, the LIC began as what one would describe as rather humble origins, largely thanks to a man by the name of Reverend R.L. Bode. 

As the story goes, local pastor R.L. Bode had a vision that “Bald Island” would become a summer camp for youth. After working hard to convince several other pastors, they eventually gathered the funds to purchase the area in 1949. After various construction projects, the camp opened up in 1952.

“At that time there were 10 cabins, five in each of two villages,” said Director Stacy Lung. 

In those days, the camp was only open for about 10 weeks a summer and closed throughout the winter and fall.

“Today, LIC operates year round on a 67 acre island, and provides programs for participants of all ages,” said Lung. 

Wedged right between Henning and Battle Lake, they now host about 6,000 campers yearly. They also host other events such as their annual LIC quilt auction that took place earlier this August.

Come join them as the camp celebrates its 70th anniversary on Saturday. The day will begin at 1 p.m. with a lunch and a variety of camp activities, including the beach area which will be open to the public. Jesse the Juggler will take the stage for a special performance at 3 p.m. 

This event is the perfect place for both campers from decades ago and campers from the recent summers to come together and celebrate the place that gave them such fun memories. 

For more information about Lutheran Island Camp, visit www.islandcamp.org.