2024 Work Day!

By Chad Hershberger

Another Camp Mount Luther Work Day is coming up soon and it has me thinking a bit about the history of this tradition.

The first Camp Mount Luther work day was held May 20, 1989. Following my first summer as counselor at Camp Mount Luther I attended my first work day just two years later in 1991. A bunch of my staff friends and I rolled up our sleeves and set to clearing the brush along the roadway coming into camp. Our goal was to get the brush pushed back so the sun could melt more snow and ice off the road in the wintertime.

What sticks with me, however, is not the brush cutting so much as the fun. As we worked, we laughed and recalled old stories and enjoyed each other’s company. Judging from the pictures from that day, we had a good time—one of us even ended up in the dumpster!

While we were fooling around, others were working hard: a new addition was put on Maple East Staff Ark so that a family could live there in the summer and two new Adirondack shelters were built near Pine Village. We accomplished a lot that day!

Work Days have, of course, changed over their 35 year history. Following the introduction of the Adopt-A-Cabin program, congregational sponsors have used Work Day to clean their adopted cabin. Some years we’ve tackled bigger projects, too. For instance, when Evergreen was built, we spent one Work Day mulching and beautifying the surrounding area. Back in those days, Lutheran Brotherhood would sponsor the day, providing lunch and t-shirts.

I’m particularly excited about (what I hope will be) a new tradition kicking off this year. In an effort to get more people involved in Work Day, a few of our alumni staff have been working hard to craft an Alumni Work Weekend to bookend and include Work Day. They plan to work on various projects around camp but also spend some time in community: worshiping, eating, reminiscing, playing, and giving back to a place that means so much to them. This event captures the spirit of what made my first Work Day experience so memorable: not just labor in service to a place I love, but meaningful time in a community of loving, Christ-like, fun people.

On Saturday, the alumni staff invite you to come to camp, to bring your old clothes, to roll up your sleeves, and to help get camp ready for the next generation of campers. We have a large list of projects we’d like to tackle and we need your help! We also encourage Adopt-a-Cabin sponsors to come up and clean their cabins in preparation for this summer’s season.

This year marks 35 years of Work Days and I’m confident this will be one of the best we’ve had yet.

So come to camp, get to work, and create memories that last!!

This year’s Work Day is May 18, 9am to 1pm.
If you want to have lunch with us, RSVP here by May 13, 2024.
If you are alumni staff and want to come for the weekend, reach out to us at cml@campmountluther.org!