Bethesda Camp and Retreat Ministries

Equipping Christian leaders to create authentic Christian communities that reach out and draw everyone closer to Christ.

Bethesda Camp and Retreat Ministries is a network of four programs located throughout the United States. Together, they provide a Christ-centered experience for volunteers of all ages, beginning with high school-aged youth (including those who will be freshmen in fall) and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Each summer at Bethesda’s four camp locations, hundreds of youth and adult volunteers who come individually or on mission trips, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities join in worship, Bible study, fun and fellowship in God’s creation.

Each camp session functions as a Christian community, and while activities vary by location, each camp session focuses on the teachings of Jesus, spiritual growth and the development of meaningful friendships. Participants learn to care for each other, help peers strengthen their relationships with Jesus and gain a deeper understanding of their faith.

Bethesda Auxiliary, a nationwide 4,000-member volunteer organization, is providing scholarships for high school and college-aged camp volunteers needing financial assistance. Apply today for partial assistance by filling out an application and email it to the Bethesda Auxiliary President, Joyce SchultzApplications are due mid-May for the summer sessions.

Camp Matz (Wisconsin), SonRise (Indiana) and Camp Bethesda (Texas) are operated by Bethesda Lutheran Communities, while Bethesda Mountain Builders (Colorado) is operated in partnership with other Christian ministries.

The Bethesda Camp and Retreat Ministry is part of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Servant Event Program. For more information, visit: http://ServantEvents.LCMS.org.

Camp Matz, Watertown, Wis.

For more than 40 years, Bethesda has shared the love of Christ with generations of people with developmental disabilities and volunteer companions at Camp Matz, featuring a one-of-a-kind accessible tree house. 
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SonRise, Anderson, Ind.

SonRise volunteers and participants with developmental disabilities stay in a new, fully accessible camp facility that includes a state-of-the-art worship center and paved trails.
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Camp Bethesda, Tomball, Texas 

Grow closer to Jesus in the beautiful chapel, relax in the covered outdoor pavilion and enjoy the large swimming pool, set on 85 lush, Texas acres at the Kaiserhof Retreat Center.
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Bethesda Mountain Builders at Lutheran Valley Retreat, in Woodland Park Colo.

People with developmental disabilities and volunteer companions participate in Bible study, worship, fishing, horseback riding and hiking.
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Action Alert

Volunteer For CampAs of February 2013, there are still a number of participant, volunteer and donor opportunities available for the 2013 season.
View Volunteer Opportunities

Success Story

Using God's Gifts

Anna shares her thoughts before and during her visit to Camp Matz.
Read Her Full Story

© 2014 Bethesda Lutheran Communities
600 Hoffmann Drive, Watertown, WI 53094 Phone: 800-369-4636