Camp Lakeview began as an idea in the minds of just a few. As the Lutheran Lake development was undertaken in the mid-1950’s near Waymansville, some of those involved realized that this development had the potential to serve churches and children other than those who purchased lots on the new lake. The vision of a camping ministry took root.
In 1963, the South Central Lutheran Camp Association of Indiana, Inc. was established. This organization, doing business as “Camp Lakeview,” acquired 120 acres of property adjacent to Lutheran Lake in Bartholomew County, Indiana. Facilities were constructed and the first camping season was conducted in 1965. Camp Lakeview’s ministry had begun.
For over three decades, the camp steadily grew. But it was used solely as a children’s summer camp. In the mid-90’s, the camp’s leadership developed a plan to expand the summer youth camp and transform the facility into a year-round ministry for all ages. From 1997-2002, the “Pathways of Promise” capital campaign raised $1.1 million and the Lilly Endowment contributed an additional $600,000 to help the camp build a year-round dining hall, two retreat lodges, three additional camper cabins, a shelterhouse, horse barn, roadways, bathhouse expansion, Site Manager’s residence, and outdoor amphitheater.
In the years after the completion of the “Pathways of Promise” expansion, the popularity of the camp steadily grew to the point where we were turning away hundreds of campers each summer. To meet this need, and to provide opportunities for future growth, the camp’s leadership decided to develop an additional campsite on 70 acres of land just across Lake Rd.
Construction of the new “Lakeview Villages” site began in 2008 with the building of a 30-foot dam that would form a 10-acre lake (Lake Wehmeier). From 2009-2011, we constructed roadways, cabins, bathhouses, equipment sheds, and a devotional area — enough facilities to start running a summer program at the new site in 2011. Throughout 2011, the new Village Lodge was under construction. By the summer of 2012, the Village Lodge was completed and the fourth village cluster was completely operational. This gave the village camp a capacity of 80 campers per week and a beautiful year-round retreat facility. In the future, two additional villages can be easily added if the need arises.
To pay for the Lakeview Villages expansion project, the “Let the Children Come” capital campaign was launched in July 2009 and finally reached its $2.5 million goal in July 2012. All in all, over 1,250 households have given or pledged toward this effort.
While the amenities of the camp have changed through the years, the purpose of the camp has not changed. That purpose is to bring honor and glory to God by building positive relationships among participants and by drawing campers and guests into a closer relationship with God.
Past Camp Directors and other Fulltime, Year-Round Staff
Virgil Linkert (1965-1970)
Ken Wentland (1972-1973)
Mr. & Mrs. Walter Merklin (1974)
Mark Burbrink (1974-1996)
Tom Franke (1996-2013)
John Dobrinski (2001-present)
Matt Jung (2001-2007)
Tim Stair (2006-present)
David Vandercar (2010-present)
Matt Riley (2011-2013)
Danny Frastaci (2013-present)
Jason Bode (2014-present)