July 25 – 30, 2021
Camp Nawakwa’s Upper Camp

Congregations are invited to identify young leaders in grades 8-12, who display gifts for leadership and who might like to strengthen those gifts in service to God and others, and to recommend them for our annual synod Leadership Training Camp (LT Camp). Participants attend at NO COST, thanks to generous financial support from Gordon Lamb, Chris & Missy Grant, Michael & Sarah Williams, and a number of other camp alums. Participants will experience a variety of interactive learning opportunities, designed to help them celebrate and enhance their leadership gifts, challenging them to harness those gifts in service to their families, congregations, communities, and the world.

The foundation for this curriculum comes from Mark 10, where Jesus reminds the disciples that He has come to serve others, thereby shifting the cultural leadership dynamic from one of power, to one of humility and service. Young leaders will come away with more confidence, practical experience in planning and leading small groups, and a network of peers and adult leaders who are there to support them as they continue to discern God’s call to them in their personal and vocational lives. Not exclusively a camp for young leaders discerning a call to ministry, this week is designed to help equip the participant for a life of discipleship, with an emphasis on Christ-like servant leadership.

The week includes a balance of faithful conversation, fun, fellowship, powerful worship, and a healthy mix of play and faith formation. To register, download the LT Registration Form:

2021 LT Camp Application

Mail it to:
LT Camp
Office for Faith Formation & Youth Ministry
900 S. Arlington Ave, Room 220B
Harrisburg, PA 17109

2019 Alumni

Registration Now OPEN

The “Jesus Is…” Project

Each year, LT’s, Alums and Counselors are asked to name who Jesus is, for them. They are invited to come up with an answer that speaks to them, and to write it on their body like a temporary tattoo, to be a visual reminder of who Jesus is in the midst of their daily lives. The idea came from New Orleans residents, who following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, moved back to their city in the wake of the flooding. When asked “why return to a city that could flood again,” they responded with a photo series that had them write their responses on their bodies, then be photographed. The series hangs at the Superdome.  Powerful, passionate, and haunting all at once. I was moved to wonder if our youth could capture that same passion for our Lord? They always do! These are some of those images.

LT Camp 2019: Retrospect

Over 60 youth and staff gathered for our 2019 LT Camp, the final week of July at Camp Nawakwa. This year’s camp featured a return of sunshine, which doesn’t seem like much, but at a camp that relies heavily on outdoor interactive learning, 4-5 days of sun sure beats the 5-6 days of rain we experienced in 2018. Yep, this camp celebrates a variety of “learning styles,” to account for young people who are more kinesthetic, auditory, creative or introspective, and we try to cater our teaching methods to account for the variety of leaders who gather for this experience.

In addition, we made some curriculum changes, and added things like “The Big Question,” sessions that allowed for conversation around bigger questions of faith and life, like “Why are you a Lutheran?” We also examined ways to pray outside the traditional conversation with God in the privacy of your own room, car or cabin. As always, youth had a chance to problem-solve with their peers, and were challenged to use creative thinking and leadership to help them grow emotionally and spiritually. When congregations follow the invitation to send young people who are already exhibiting strong leadership quaalities, they tend to flourish in this setting, since we create opportunities for them to gain confidence in themselves and to deepen their relationship with God and one another.

Our Alumni Class was the largest in over 10 years, making it difficult for our staff to narrow the field of Counselors for the 2020 camp, but ensuring that the church in this synod and beyond will have confident young leaders, equipped and ready to serve faithfully for years to come!