Spring 2013 Bridges to be built

Spring 2013 Bridges

Spring 2013 Special Projects

An effort to update, improve, and provide new features at Lutheran Island Camp and Christ Serve Ranch.

Several of the projects listed below have had funds donated to them and others are available for full sponsorship.  Donors are encouraged to donate the full amount or a partial amount. Congregations, organizations, Sunday Schools, families and individuals are all welcome to participate.  You may use this form to send your gift: click here.

Fishing Pier

Our plan is to build a fishing and observation pier onto the lake utilizing a series of ramps, decks, docks and a pontoon.

This new system will provide easy access for people in wheelchairs, for young children, and for the elderly. We are very excited about using East Mason Lake as it is a natural environment lake and thus does not have much development or boat traffic. It is also well protected from wind.  It should provide a wonderful environment for people to have positive experiences on and near the water.

The total cost is about $6,500.  Thanks to  the Otter Tail Lions Club, Arvig Enterprises, the Rolfes Family, St Cloud area Thrivent Chapter and other donors we only need about  $2,000 more to get it done this spring.

Camera System

There are many wonderful and exciting things to see at Christ Serve Ranch. We are putting in a camera system that will allow people from around the world to connect to our website and watch the horses, the deer, beaver, turkeys, or any number of other activities. The total cost for the initial system will be about $1,000 with additional cameras costing about $150 each. Thanks to the generous memorial for Melvin Hughes and a gift from Pastor Dennis McManus and others, we need about $500 more for the initial system and several cameras. Once that is installed, we’ll be adding additional cameras. There is also an ongoing cost of about $50 per month for internet connectivity.


Campers are already excited about the idea that they might be able to sleep in authentic tipis this summer. We need to buy 2 of them to provide housing for both boys and girls. Each tipi will be 22 feet across and will house up to 13 people. The tipi will cost about $2,500 and the site preparation and base for each will be about $1,000. So the total for each tipi will be $3,500. 

Tack Shed

The Horse Outreach Program has been growing at Christ Serve Ranch. We now have 30 plus horses and have programs 7 days a week and all summer long. A Tack Shed will provide a safe, secure location for the thousands of dollars worth of tack, helmets, and supplies that we need for the programs we have. The design we have is for a 30 foot by 10 foot building with 8 foot walls.  The cost for materials is $6,320.  The labor will be provided by volunteers. Thanks to Thrivent Financial, we have the first $1,000 donated.

Mountain Bikes

Just imagine this. A group of 20 youth, ages 12-14, disembarks from a bus to enjoy a couple of days at an environmental learning center. After checking in and doing some brief orientation, the youth take a short hike to where they are fitted with gear.

The group arrives at a bevy of all terrain bikes. Each selects a bike that fits them and then they head off.

Within minutes  the group  arrives at their first learning station. It may be a hollowed out tree that woodpeckers have been working on or it may be an exhibit of the types of housing used by Native people in the area over the centuries.

Participants will be using horses and mountain bikes to trek around the 275 acres of the Creation-Science Environmental Learning Center. We have the horses. We need 15-20 bikes  at a cost of about $400 each. Total will be $6,000-$8,000.  We will also need about 25 helmets at a cost of $50 each. Total cost $1,250. Total project cost is $7,250.

Voyageur Canoe

One of the best ways to teach teamwork and have fun at the same time is with a Voyageur Canoe or Dragon Boat that can carry up to 20 people. These canoes would have an impact on generations to come of campers and would be used in our leadership programs, family events, and group offerings.  Total cost is about $20,000 for two canoes.

Gooseneck Trailer

With the addition of Christ Serve Ranch we need to be able to move equipment from the Island to the Ranch and back. This trailer would also help us haul hay, provide a platform for special events like the Quilt Auction, and allow us to cut down on delivery costs of lumber and other supplies. Cost is $7,000 for a 32 foot trailer.

New Waterfront system

It is long past time to update our waterfront. Last year we were forced to remove virtually all of the old dock system as it was beginning to be unsafe. We need to put in nearly 200 feet of new dock, safety equipment, lifeguard stands, benches, and boat bumpers. This new dock system will define our beach and provide safe access for boats, canoes, kayaks, and our pontoon. Total cost will be $18,000.  This is a priority project.

Skid steer Loader

This winter has really demonstrated the need for a skid steer loader at Christ Serve Ranch. We rented one and discovered that it was what we need to clean out snow, move hay bales, keep trails open, and other winter tasks. The summer will add tasks such as driving post holes, trail work, keeping up roads, work on the trees, and much more. The skid steer would also provide a great additional tool at Lutheran Island Camp including work at the waterfront, in the forested areas, construction, and cutting wood.  A good used one will cost $15,000 to $25,000 with the attachments that we need.

Concept Only

Observation Tower

We plan to build at least one observation tower this spring. The tower will include a cabin on poles that will house up to 12 campers. It will allow the campers to stay overnight and use night vision glasses to observe activity during the night as well as observe the heavens. The total cost is expected to be approximately $10,000-$18,000. This figure will be updated soon.

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