Camp News

Our New Executive Director!

Kirk Warnke

Camp Okoboji is excited to announce that Kirk Warnke will the new Executive Director! Read the Press Release to learn more about him!

Camp Okoboji, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, is pleased to announce that Kirk Warnke has been hired to serve as its new Executive Director. Kirk will begin his duties on February 12, 2018, with official designation at the Camp Okoboji Annual Meeting to be held April 7, 2018 at Camp Okoboji. Kirk will be transitioning into the Executive Director position as Doug Kading will be retiring. Doug has served as the Executive Director for 30 years.

After a thorough hiring process conducted by the Executive Committee of Camp Okoboji’s Board of Directors, Kirk was identified as the successful candidate. The process resulted in a pool of 10 qualified candidates, three finalists were invited to Camp for formal interviews. With information from the formal interviews, the Executive Committee recommended Kirk to the Board of Directors as the new Executive Director. The Board of Directors unanimously approved the recommendation.

Mr. Warnke has previously served as Vice President at Heartland Bank in Somers, Iowa. He has been with Heartland Bank since August 2003. Prior experience includes opportunities to develop a history of management within the banking industry and in private enterprise as controller and CFO.

Mr. Warnke is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Pomeroy, Iowa. At Immanuel, he has served as President of the congregation, Board of Directors member, Elder, Finance Committee, Education Committee, Trustee, Sunday School teacher, Usher, Camp Okoboji delegate, and District Convention delegate. He has served on the Board of Directors at Camp Okoboji for 20 years and its Treasurer for 15 years. He is presently serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Iowa District West Endowment and Legacy Committee.

Kirk is married to Delaine. They have 3 grown children and 3 grandchildren. In his free time, Kirk enjoys golf and time with his family. He is excited to be named the next Executive Director and looks forward to meeting the challenges of continuing the growth, development and legacy of Camp Okoboji, and developing relationships throughout Iowa District West and its surrounding area that are and can be served by Camp Okoboji.

Please help us welcome Kirk and his family to Camp Okoboji. He would be very interested in discussing camp Okoboji with anyone. Feel free to contact him at:

Camp Okoboji
1531 Edgewood Drive
Milford, Iowa 51351-7306
(712) 337-3325 Office
(515) 408-5790 Cell

Summer Is Just Around The Corner! June Has Much To Do At Camp!

June is offering many events and programs to enjoy! Check'em Out!
Sunday Worship    Omelet Brunch    Day Camps    Kids Kamp    Paul's Bike Challenge   Technology Camp   JOY Camp    
Adventure Camp     Girl's Sports Camp    Minneboji Youth Camp     IDW Convention    LWML Convention
Check out the whole 2018 Program Schedule for July, August, and other events.

Camp Monthly Newsletter!

February 2018

Here's the buzz around Camp. 



Discover is up and running.  It was Dedicated May 28, 2017 (It was a beautiful day and event!). Campers and guests thoroughly enjoyed it this past summer. It is also available year-round for a variety of uses and events.
A Future Vision for the next Generation of Campers and Guests. The DISCOVER CAMPaign OKOBOJI goal was to replace the Hauck and Crafts buildings with a single facility called 'Discover'. The over-all goal of the campain was to raise $2,800,000. The campaign was unveiled at Camp Okoboji's Annual Meeting in April 2015. To date, the first $1,400,000 phase one goal has been raised and exceeded!  


Participation and gifts are still needed and appreciated! A few unexpected expenses and cost over-runs need to be covered. Gifts and pledges can be made payable to: DISCOVER CAMPaign OKOBOJI and sent to camp.

Congregations were asked to support the campaign along with individuals and families.  Several congregations stepped forward with 'pledges' ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 with nearly half of IDW Congregagations supporting Diascover. What a Blessing! 

Congregation 'Ambassadors' are church members willing to help Camp Okoboji share the campaign within their congregation.  If you are interested in serving, Ambassador information can be down-loaded or mailed.

Weekly Newsletter

June 4-10, 2017

Here is the Camp Okoboji newsletter for June 4-10, 2017. 

This issue has information about our new Day Camp Program, upcoming events on camp as well as around the Lakes area, and office hours for the camp office.


$$ Camp Scholarships Available $$

Many Ways To Send Your Child To Camp. . . For Less

Don't let funds prevent an awesome summer!  5 quick and easy ways to help reduce the cost of your childs camp experience. Contact the Camp Office or your Church Office for information on each of these sources  
1. IDW Scholarships for youth of district congregations: To apply, goto  click on "Resources"   Click on "Forms and Links"   Click on "Youth Event Financial Aid"  Download and complete.  2. Camp Auxiliary: Offers 6 full scholarships to Cubs Week. Deadline to apply is April 18.  3. Your Congregation: Many provide funds for members of their congregation  4. Camp Okoboji: Several donors give funds to help send kids to camp. 5. Minneboji Youth Camp: Contact Rev. Dave Otten at

Information Updates Needed!

In order to keep accurate contact information, we need your help.
Please e-mail us your key contact information, especially if it has changed over the last few years.  
Request:  Address, Phone, Cell, email  same for adult children that have moved or drop us a quick note.  Thanks!    

Youth Have Fun Learning More About Jesus at the Lake

The last three weeks of July 2016 were full of fun and learning about Jesus at Junior High Week, Concordia Cub Week, and Youth Week. In order to see some of the fun and learning the campers were able to experience, visit the following links (for photos) and (for videos).

Music Invitation for Sunday Worship!

Calling all choirs (Church / Schools) & Music Ministry Groups & Musical Talent!  Camp Okoboji has a strong tradition of Sunday Morning Worship Services. We want to further enhance our 2018 schedule by inviting special musical guests/choirs from across Iowa.  Join us for the day!  Sunday Morning Worship 9:45am  Consider a special presentation following worship. Enjoy the camp with a picnic lunch, swim, canoe, fish etc.  Worship Calendar: Basically runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Call if you have a specific date in mind.

New Lending Library Boxes at Camp Okoboji

After a few years of sitting on the to-do list, Camp Okoboji welcomes one its newest additions, Lending Libraries. A few years back, summer staff member, Sarah Rutt, brought an interesting idea to Executive Director, Doug Kading, and finally, this year, 2016, Youth Week took on the task of bringing this fun idea to life. Youth Week campers painted and filled small chests with various books including devotional and story books and placed them around the camp for everyone to enjoy. The Lending Library boxes are located in the Christian Life Center entry, Ginny DeWall Dining Hall, Refuge Chapel, Joppa Hall, Bethel Retreat Center, Public Laundry House, and Hauck. Feel free to take a book and leave a book; there are many good ones to choose from.

New Wood Duck Houses

Sixteen year old, Timothy Frostestad, has been working to become an Eagle Scout since he first joined the scouts. He is a junior in high school from Spirit Lake, Iowa. Frostestad, a member of Boy Scout Troop 152, stated, “I like being a scout because it teaches you many valuable skills one will need to know for their future such as: first aid, fire safety, lifesaving skills, swimming skills, and many more.” To earn his Eagle Scout ranking, he chose to build wood duck houses for Camp Okoboji because he enjoys wildlife and heard that camp needed some built. After gathering the proper supplies, tools, and safety equipment, he built the houses and hung them on the trees. He is happy that “Camp Okoboji gets to enjoy watching duck houses in action,” and he gets to teach others about wood ducks. Frostestad is excited to earn an Eagle Scout rank, and Camp Okoboji thanks him for his work and contribution to camp.

New Adventure Camp challenges boundaries

Adventure Camp will be welcoming 7th – 12th graders from across Iowa.

Attracting all scraped knees, underused bicycles, and general thrill-seeking kids, Adventure Camp brings something a little different to campers who want more than kickball during recreation. Biking, zip lining and archery will be some of the sports on this coming week’s agenda for the campers seeking to go beyond softball games.

“Archery in a Christian environment,” 

Camp Okoboji has also hosted a bike camp in the past, which returned as a component of Adventure Camp.

The camp is surrounded by the greater Okoboji bike trails and has personal watercraft like canoes available, which will be used by campers. A neighboring camp down the road has zip lining and wall climbing facilities, which they are allowing Okoboji campers to use. And the welcoming camp experience Okoboji LCMS is well known for fostering will also be present.

“There are also Bible study, music, campfire devotions, your ‘camp stuff’” 

Chapel Gets Stain Glass Windows

Four (4) Stain Glass windows were recently installed in the Refuge Chapel.  They were designed and created by Bogenrief Studios in Sutherland IA.  They are a moving and colorful addition to the Chapel and serve as visual reminders of our Faith and Salvation in Christ Jesus.  Several more windows await sponsors. Call the camp office to inquire.