LWBC Historical Highlights
Mr. Twist, administrator of Riverside Bible Camp, visited Antigo and met Raymond Campbell. Riverside Bible Camp, near Waupaca, Wisconsin, hosted the first Bible Camp of our fellowship, supported by individuals in the Midwest.
Raymond Campbell initiated the annual rental of Riverside Bible Camp until 1972. As camp registrations increased and more children from various backgrounds began attending, this outreach grew into three weeks of summer camp.
The continued increase in camper registration and shortage of available rental weeks at Riverside resulted in an awareness among a number of couples for the need of a family Bible camp in the Midwest, owned and operated by the fellowship. Although no formal planning meeting took place, it was agreed to explore the feasibility of finding a camp facility or building site for purchase. One possibility was lake frontage in northern Wisconsin; another option was the Chicago/Kenosha area. Erwin Lotz, a strong supporter of a Bible camp, offered his property in Westby, WI as a suitable location. The Lotz property was chosen. Three weeks passed, and a first inspection of the proposed site was made. At that time it was agreed to inform others of the availability of the Lotz property and to encourage them to visit the site. As a result, several meetings were arranged to take place at Westby during the following months.
In early spring a decision was made to proceed. A group of brethren were appointed to form a corporation to purchase and operate the camp. In May the camp was incorporated, and the property, consisting of approximately 75 acres, was purchased from Erwin and Belva Lotz. Selecting a name for the camp was challenging. Although not on a waterfront, many springs are located on the property, and it was decided to choose the name "Living Waters Bible Camp" with the thought of incorporating the numerous Bible passages referring to "living water." A board of nine trustees became officially responsible for the camp work. Board members were Raymond Campbell, Ron Felten, Vic Coffman, Bert Habel, Erwin Lotz, Otto Kaiser, Don Kersemeier, Theo Habel and Sam Tissot. Many others worked together on weekends to help build the camp. Families were housed in camper trailers and tents.The first dormitory was constructed and was also used as a kitchen and dining area.
Construction began on an all purpose building/chapel and a second dormitory. (Riverside Camp was still being rented.) Kitchen equipment, including stainless steel cupboards, a dishwasher & dishes, were made available at no charge from the Madison University Hospital of Madison, WI.
Ron Felten became the part-time Administrator. Living Waters Bible Camp purchased an additional 20 acres of land. This increased the camp property to a total of 95 acres.
The decision was made to have five weeks of camp - two at Riverside and three at LWBC. The all-purpose building/chapel and second dormitory were completed. Construction began on two 16' x 24' cabins.
On July 4, a severe windstorm hit the camp destroying the temporary tent facilities.Construction of a kitchen/dining room facility began as a result of this storm.
The kitchen/dining room was completed.
The outdoor basketball court was completed.
Construction of the administration office began.
The administration office was completed.
Three 12' x 16' staff cabins were constructed.
The bell tower was constructed.
Construction began on the washroom/laundry facility.
Three additional 12' x 16' staff cabins were built.
The washroom/laundry facility was now usable although incomplete.
The recreation/activity center was constructed.
Ed & Muriel Van Ryn came to LWBC in the capacity of caretakers.
The caretaker home was constructed.
The washroom/laundry facility was completed.
The east side of the campground underwent a major landscaping project.
An area was developed for softball, soccer and field hockey.
A food storage area and walk-in refrigerator were added to the kitchen facilities.
The red barn was re-roofed and remodeled for storage purposes.
We purchased a Jacobson 6’ out-front lawn mower.
Construction of the nature center began.
A new footbridge was constructed with concrete footings.
The nature center building was completed.
Construction on the shop/maintenance building began.
The shop/maintenance building was completed.
Ed and Muriel Van Ryn retired and Adie and Dorothy Knautz replaced them as caretaker and kitchen manager.
A softball diamond was constructed on the east end of the campgrounds.
Construction on the cook's cabin began.
The cooks cabin was completed.
Two bedrooms were added to the office building as lodging for the camp directors; one of the existing rooms in the office was remodeled for a first aid room.
A 1983 Ford F150 1/2 ton pick-up truck was donated.
A major remodeling project took place in the recreation/activity building. A new roof and windows were added and skylights were removed.
The west end was remodeled for crafts.
A 16' x 24' area was added for sports storage on the east end.
The playground/recreational equipment was purchased and assembled.
The sports addition for equipment storage was completed.
A gravel parking lot was constructed.
Camp promotions to the Midwest assemblies were initiated.
Roger Grebe became the interim Administrator
The installation of terralok walkways began.
Ceramic tiling in bathrooms was installed.
The installation of terralok walkways was completed.
Outdoor lighting of volleyball and basketball courts was installed.
The administration building was remodeled as a means of enlarging the camp store.
A picnic area was developed west of the nature center.
The foundation for the classroom addition to the all-purpose building/chapel was set.
The Erwin Lotz residence and an additional 21 acres were purchased, increasing total camp acreage to 116.
Dennis Siler became the full-time Administrator.
The classroom addition was completed.
Initiated building changes to improve energy efficiency for use year round.
Soccer goals were constructed.
An IBM 286 computer was purchased.
A Strategic Planning Committee was initiated.
An obstacle course was built.
New highway signs were installed.
Construction of the Group Initiatives course began.
Adie and Dorothy Knautz resigned.
A new 486/33 computer was donated.
One of the volleyball courts was converted from grass to sand.
A 1989 1 ton 4x4 Ford F350 diesel truck and 9' plow were purchased.
A sand spreader was purchased.
Phil Frasier became caretaker and Joanna Frasier became kitchen manager.
Insulated all purpose building/chapel and installed thermal windows.
Tubing hill lanes with liners were added and lights installed.
The ceiling of the recreation building was dry walled and insulated.
The creation display in the nature center was renovated.
A cold and hot beverage center was installed in the dining room.
The 1956 Case tractor was traded in towards a 1970 Massey 180 diesel tractor with a front-end loader.
A Kubota, diesel powered mower was purchased.
An upgraded 286 computer was donated for the kitchen records.
Phases 1 and 2 of the fish-rearing pond were installed.
Concrete and culverts were installed at the creek bed.
The parking lot was expanded to 185’ x 54’.
Installed gas stove, 2 gas hot water heaters and a combination gas dryer/washer in kitchen.
Two portable gas grills were purchased.
Two Toro industrial trim mowers were purchased.
One 5000W, portable generator was purchased.
A gas-ceiling furnace was installed in the shop/maintenance building.
A gas dryer was installed in the washroom.
Chris Sanner was added as Program/Nature Director
Ruth Habel - interim Kitchen Manager
The outdoor chapel was restored.
The addition to the dining room was started which included a conference room, 26’ to the dining room, a store and snack bar, a storage area, and two bathrooms.
A 20’ x 30’ tent was added for a discovery (hands-on) center.
The Ridge-top Adventure Course construction began.
Converted one of the director’s sleeping areas to office for Chris Sanner.
Decision was made to standardize all buildings with same green exterior.
A new logo was adopted, underwriting “Remember your Creator. . .” Ecc. 12:1
Phil & Joanna Frasier left and Peter and Patti Rau became new caretakers.
Remodeled the Administrator’s house with siding, windows & bathroom.
Archery program was added.
New dishwasher for kitchen was added.
Air hockey table was purchased for recreation building.
Computer was purchased for Program Director.
The dining area of new addition was completed enough to be usable.
The obstacle course was removed.
The Ridge-top Adventure Course was completed.
A new tent was purchased for the Discovery Center.
Pam Thomas came to camp as food service manager
Store addition was made usable—worked on remainder of addition
Added two 9’ x 16’ Adirondack buildings
New computer purchased for the office.
An outdoor sound system and video projector were also purchased.
Purchased a used MF50 front-end loader.
Developed a new trail on the south hillside.
Added power to the red barn, nature storage and tube hill.
Added a hand rope alongside the tube hill.
Converted Chris’ old office back to a sleeping area.
Shelves in the gray barn were added
New 10 x 12 walk-in freezer was added
New pantry food storage area was completed.
Sold Schofield Property in Wausau
Emergency fund was set up
Developed rock room for the theme
Underground power lines re-laid in the valley at camp
Purchased a new van and trailer
Fire on March 18 which destroyed the dining/kitchen/meeting building
Temp kitchen, moved to laundry room
Temp dining moved to tent by the bathroom
Temp food service tent, freezer, refrigerator and storage were all set up
Started new dining room building in July and used for Winterama at end of December
Climbing tower was built in May
Tim Hadley came on staff as a Program Assistant
Furnaces were added to the 2 main dorms and the chapel
Updated shelving in the craft room
Reroofed chapel, recreation building, and 3 small cabins
The water line rerouted from the main well to the dining room and office
Bathroom addition to cooks cabin started
Added new parking area – 165’ x 40’.
Purchased two washers and a dryer for laundry room in bathhouse.
Purchased used 3 pt. wood splitter.
Purchased Kato light 25W PTO Alternator.
Pug utility vehicle was donated.
1990 Club car Golf Cart was donated.
Reroofed bathhouse and 3 small cabins.
Purchased a new Laptop for the Administrator
Two 1990 Club car Golf Carts were purchased
New septic field at the Administrator’s home
Kitchen renovated in the Administrator’s home
Leah Schneider came on staff as our first program intern
The Lodge (kitchen/dining/chapel) building was completed
Cooks Cabin bathroom was framed in
Office renovated with donated partitions
Built two new hay wagons
Separation of administrators barn into storage for camp