Camp Matz

Nestled in a beautiful, wooded area in Watertown, Wis., Camp Matz, Camp Matzestablished in 1969, has been a retreat site for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and youth groups from all over the country. These five-day, four-night Christian summer camps empower participants and volunteers through worship, prayer, Biblical role-playing and a variety of engaging activities in God’s creation.

Through the relationships built between people with developmental disabilities and youth companions, Camp Matz equips Christian leaders to create authentic Christian community that reaches out and draws everyone closer to Christ.

Camp Matz Program

Youth and adult volunteers, beginning with high school-aged youth (including those who will be freshmen in fall), receive training that covers important issues such as communication, etiquette, personal care and sensitivity to people who have developmental disabilities. Companions are paired, one-on-one, with people with developmental disabilities. Interns assist with relationship building and help provide personal care. Adult volunteers may also serve as cabin leaders, nurses and assist in the kitchen.


700 Hoffmann Dr., Watertown, WI 53094


Facilities include three climate-controlled cabins, a main lodge, two covered shelters, an outdoor chapel and a fire pit. Camp Matz features a one-of-a-kind, fully accessible tree house and paved walking trails.

About Camps

Eight summer camp sessions offer an experience for up to 240 people with developmental disabilities. More than 400 volunteers are required to provide companionship and program support during all eight sessions. Volunteer orientation  begins on Monday morning. Camp participants with intellectual and developmental disabilities arrive Tuesday morning. Camps conclude at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

To help sponsor a person with a disability or volunteer, click here.Camp Matz

2015 Summer Sessions


Volunteer Arrival

Participant Arrival

  June 8 to 13   June 8   June 9
  June 15 to 20   June 15   June 16
  June 22 to 27   June 22   June 23
  July 6 to 11   July 6   July 7
  July 13 to 18   July 13   July 14
  July 20 to 25   July 20   July 21
  July 27 to Aug. 1   July 27   July 28
  Aug. 3 to 8   Aug. 3   Aug. 4

Applications and Cost

The recommended volunteer donation is $150. Volunteers attending more than one session do not need to make a second donation.

Download: Volunteer application

The cost for a summer camp participant with a disability is $450. Openings fill fast, submit applications early.

Download: Application for participant with a developmental disability


My trip to Camp Matz was very memorable. Being able to help people with developmental disabilities makes me feel like I am taking part in God's plan to share the Good News. It has also helped me learn to be patient and know there are other people in the world who need assistance. I should not just worry about myself. The devotional meetings at Camp Matz helped me get closer to God and to think about the things God has blessed or helped me with. The chapel sessions involve the audience and I love the songs, like "Joy" and "The Butterfly Song." The activities are fun. The hay wagon rides and the campfire are my favorites. My experiences at Camp Matz over the past three years have been ones I won't forget. They have taught me things about God, about people with developmental disabilities and the world around me.

Eve Okine

Have you ever gone into something thinking: “I can’t do this!” That is exactly how I felt going into Camp Matz. I remember being afraid and not knowing what to think. Going by myself was different because most people go with church groups, but by the first night I didn’t feel alone anymore. I was partnered with Carol. She doesn’t speak which, at first, made me nervous. As I got to know Carol more, I realized I could tell how she was feeling through her actions. Some of her favorite things to do are listen to music and make crafts. On the last night a band came and I remember sitting there with Carol and seeing the smile on her face. Seeing her having a great time and enjoying music is something I will never take for granted. Going to Camp Matz was truly one of the best experiences ever. I would do this a million times over again.

Morgan Gromowski


Activities in the treehouse and singing and dancing on band night.


Camp Matz offers 20 ten-week summer internship positions. Eligible college students will have an opportunity to grow in their faith, understand their identity in Christ, sharpen leadership skills, and work and live in a Christian community with volunteers and people with developmental disabilities.

Bethesda interns are required to provide personal care for people with developmental disabilities, lead Bible studies and activities and encourage companions. Lead interns serve as directors and assistant directors. Interns are expected to attend a winter retreat during the first week of January and a two-week orientation after Memorial Day. The summer camp season consists of two weeks of orientation and eight weeks of camps.

Apply Today!


Katie Willman, 920-261-3050 ext. 3452 or email

Camp Matz

Camp Matz



© 2015 Bethesda Lutheran Communities
600 Hoffmann Drive, Watertown, WI 53094 Phone: 800-369-4636