Outdoor Ministry

We are a church that is energized by lively engagement in our faith and life.

For many, outdoor ministry is a life-changing experience. In partnership with congregations, outdoor ministries strive to strengthen, support and lift up the body of Christ by encouraging spiritual growth in outdoor settings. There are 121 ELCA-affiliated camp, retreat and conference center sites in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Outdoor ministries offer a wide variety of programs that provide growth experiences for people of all ages, many of whom become leaders in the church and their communities. Youth, in particular, can benefit through camp, which helps growth in areas such as spirituality, self-confidence, independence, making friends, exploring and learning new activities.

Summer programs

Each summer, camps, retreats and conference centers provide experiences for people of all ages. Programs include youth camps, adult and family camps, trip and adventure camps, day camps, servant learning events and more. Through worship, study, games and activities, participants hear and see how active their faith can be by learning how to live and work together in an intentional Christian community.

Year-round programs

Most camps, retreats and conference centers provide special programs throughout the entire year. Whether it is through weekend retreats, outdoor schools, conference meetings or older adult programs, outdoor ministries strive to minister to the whole person. You can develop and host your own program, attend a sponsored event or just get away from the busyness of the world for a weekend. Outdoor ministry has a place for you.


Camp facilities are not just rustic cabins facilities are as varied as the setting. They might include summer cabins, retreats for youth and adults or high comfort conference centers for meetings. Whether its setting is near mountains, lakes, prairie, ocean or desert, outdoor ministry can provide you with a life-changing experience.

Search for a camp, retreat or conference center

To locate and contact outdoor ministries, camps, retreats and conference centers affiliated with the ELCA, click here.

Specific information about an outdoor ministry's programs, facilities, staff, American Camp Association (ACA) accreditation or job openings can be obtained by contacting the organization directly.

Our partners

Lutheran Outdoor Ministries is a professional organization for camp and retreat center leaders. To learn about membership, educational events, outdoor ministry curriculum, job openings and resources, visit www.lomnetwork.org.

Lutheran Outdoor Ministries

American Camp Association is a community of camp professionals who have joined together to share knowledge and experience and to ensure the quality of camp programs. Learn more at www.acacamps.org.

American Camp Association

For more information:

Contact ELCA churchwide staff who relate to outdoor ministry organizations by email or 800-638-3522. For group tax exemption information and procedures for affiliated organizations, go to the Legal resource page or call 800-638-3522.

Our Partners

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Outdoor Ministry

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