When Helping Hurts

According to Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert's book, "When Helping Hurts," the numbers of

Americans who have gone on short term missions trip were: 120,000 (1989), 450,000 (1998), 1,000,000 (2003) and 2,200,000 (2006).  "Americans spent $1.6 billion on short-term missions in 2006 alone."  The authors look at the results of this ground swell of short term missions trips and ask the question, "Are we really helping people?" Unfortunately, many times the answer is "no".  In fact many well-intentioned mission trips are a misuse of resources and can create an unhealthy dependence for native people. 

Each March, Living Waters leads a group of missions minded people join the Living Waters Mexico Missions trip.  At the start of the trip each member is given the book "When Helping Hurts."  Together, as a team, they read and discuss the book to ensure their efforts are effective in helping the native ministry in Juarez, Mexico.  For the past twelve years we have partnered in ministry with Amigo En Cristo to reach the lost in the desperate community of Juarez.  We desire to support the exciting ministry there.  By doing this Living Waters provides the training necessary to make sure short term missions are effective. 

We are looking for hard working individuals who would like a taste of the harsh reality of ministry in a third world country.  God will surely challenge and grow you on this special trip committed to serving Him.

The deadline for registering for the Mexico Missions Trip is fast approaching!  If you are planning on attending this life changing short term mission trip, please register today.  To find out more,visit the website




On The Road For AWANA Programs

Does your church host an AWANA program?  Are your children involved in an AWANA program? 

If so, then you need to have Living Waters as a guest speaker for your program!

This Winter and Spring, Dennis Siler will be on the road visiting AWANA programs to share a council time lesson and to tell boys and girls about the summer camp program at Living Waters Bible Camp. Many churches request him to come every year!  One AWANA Commander told us the kids look forward to when Living Waters visits their church because "Dennis is always energetic and engaging with the kids."  Dennis, or another staff member, is able to bring a topic or present a topic of your choice.  If you would like, Dennis can also bring an animal from our investigation center to help illustrate a creation message.

The program would conclude with a short presentation for camp including a video (if time allows) and summer camp brochures.

If you would like to request Dennis to come to your AWANA program call the office 608-634-4373 or email Dennis at




In The Begining God...

Living Waters Bible Camp's vision is to be a premier Christian resource for leadership development

and creation experience in the Midwest.  We use God's creation to train people for service.  Perhaps you've been to camp for one of our Creation Conferences or you've experienced one of the many summer nature programs.  If you have, you know how we love to point out the awe and wonder behind God's creation.  Jesus used creation to explain the Kingdom of heaven and God uses His creation to draw us nearer to Him. 

Two creation resources that Living Waters often draws from are Answer In Genesis (AIG) and Creation Today.  We have partnered with their team members once again for our upcoming Coulee Region Creation Conference.  This event is in coordination with multiple churches and ministries for the purpose of providing top notch creation training.

Join us as we welcome Eric Hovind from Creation Today and Tim Chaffey from AIG.  They will be sharing insights on Creation Science as well as first hand experiences with two major creation events on the horizon.  Eric Hovind is working on the Genesis 3D movie, a first class visual depiction of the Genesis account.  The movie is scheduled to be released later this year!  Tim Chaffey will be telling us about the new Ark Encounter being built by AIG.  This is a life size model of the Ark and Tim is the head curator for the museum project!

If you or your church are interested in finding out more, please visit the website.

We hope to see you at this unique collaboration between creation ministries, to provide learning, worship and resources.



Living Waters...Re-treat You Right!

For many of you who come to camp during the summer or to one of our Living Waters hosted events throughout the year (Winter Recharge, Creation Conferences, Ladies Retreat etc.) you may have wondered what goes on at camp the rest of the year. "The Current" sat down with our Guest Groups Manager, Andrew Jackson, to talk about our ministry among the wide variety of Guest Groups we serve each year.

Q: Explain Living Waters' guest group philosophy?

A:Guest Groups provide our staff and volunteers a unique opportunity to fulfill the mission of Living Waters. We partner with all our groups to design a retreat experience through which the gospel can be heard, and young and old can be challenged to serve each other while enjoying activities in God’s glorious creation. Beginning with the initial face-to-face or telephone conversations, we seek to understand the goals and objectives that a group has for their retreat, and then, along with the group leaders, we build a retreat to meet those goals and objectives. A school group may be looking for a retreat that will challenge their students towards unity, or a local church may be looking for a family retreat to encourage deeper relationship; knowing these goals, we are able to propose teaching sessions, programs and activities. This personal touch is why groups choose Living Waters and why most groups return year after year.

Q: Why do you like hosting groups?

A: My goal in hosting a group is to connect with the group leader and to serve him/her in a way that allows them to enjoy the retreat just as much as their group. In my communication prior to a retreat, I endeavor to answer questions, and finalize details that might be causing stress. And then, while the group is here at camp, I try to be available to answer questions, and solve problems, so that the group leader can focus on their ministry to the group.

Q: Why do groups choose Living Waters for their retreat?

A: The feedback that I receive from groups points to the service their group receives while they are here at camp. Whether it is the cleanliness and beauty of camp, the great food, the fun activities, the great Biblical teaching; all areas of camp are dedicated to serving each group. Also Living Waters offers services that other camps can't offer.  We provide everything from creation programs to leading worship.  In fact some of the groups even utilize Dave or Dennis as session speakers.  This allows us to provide purposeful teaching and training throughout the entire retreat experience Living Waters.

Q: What does a retreat experience do for a group?

A: This question goes back to the goals that a group has in coming to camp. A youth retreat that comes to camp in February will have a more relaxed time of relationship building, while they dive into God’s word and enjoy our winter activities. A youth retreat that comes to camp in August, may have the same goals of spiritual growth and deeper relationships but they will spend their time on the TAC course, or canoeing on the Kickapoo. Developing a retreat based on goals allows for each group's experience to be unique.

Q: How does someone start a retreat for their group?

A: If you are interested in planning a retreat for your school or church, here are a few things to think about:
  • The Audience – Who is the retreat geared towards – youth, adults, families?
  • The Purpose of the retreat – What are the goals and objectives that you are hoping to accomplish through the retreat?
  • The Dates – The “when” is sometimes the most difficult part of planning a retreat. 
  • The Help – Planning a retreat and running a retreat requires people. Who are these people and what are their roles? Communicating with these people is key! 
  • The Schedule – What will the retreat look like? How will the retreat accomplish the goals and objectives?
To find out more about booking a retreat at Living Waters Bible Camp, please visit our website or contact Andrew at



Did Hard Things!

Two weeks ago, 67 fathers and sons gathered in the valley for a time of worship, training and
adventure.  Our theme was "Do Hard Things", and speaker Dr. Lee Hildebrand challenged the men, young and old, to live a life of purity for our Lord Jesus Christ.  In today's world that is not easy to do!  We must do hard things and make hard choices.

The hard things were not limited to the sessions.  Each father/son team built and decorated their own wooden tool box as a symbol of the hard work to be done in our lives.  Tubing, cross country skiing, group games and a broomball tournament furthered the challenge.

It was a fantastic time between fathers and sons as they studied God's Word, experienced adventures in His creation and shared quality time together.

Here is what a few Fathers had to say:
"Great place, great programs, great crew, great mission!"
"True to God's Word."
"Well organized, on schedule, fun filled, challenging, blessing..."
"Bonding with my sons."
"It's a well balanced program of hearing God's word, teaching, father son time, activities and fellowship."

Here are some highlights from the sons:
"Connecting with my dad."
Living Waters is "the best camp out there!"
"I like spending time with my dad."

We were blessed to see the Dads and Sons at camp together.  Click here to see some of the photos.



Living Waters Videos

Thanks to the creative help of some wonderful Summer Staff, Living Waters has a new promotional video! Living Waters Bible Camp is not your typical run-of-the-mill camp. A family that chooses Living Waters as their "home camp" is looking for quality Biblical training.

These three promotional videos highlight the unique attributes that distinguish Living Waters from other camps.

Please take a moment to review each of the videos.  But don't stop there!  Think of at least two people you could share these videos with that might be interested to find out more about Living Waters.

Show the videos to a coworker, send it in an email or share it on Social Media.  Please help us get the word out about Living Waters programs and help us share the truth of God's Word with new campers!

About Living Waters Bible Camp

Summer 2016 Promotional Video 
Foundation Camp Promotional Video



Volunteer Training Dates

At Living Waters Bible Camp we foster a culture of missions minded work by providing a platform for service.  If you would like serve the Lord in mission work as a volunteer in our summer camp programs you will need to attend one of these training sessions for essential training.

This year, for your convenience, we are offering 3 options for receiving your training!  You can choose one of the locations or dates that work best for you!

February 27 @ Lombard 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.  A Living Waters ministry update meeting will be provided the next day.
April 9 @ Wausau 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.  A Living Waters ministry update meeting will be provided the next da
June 4 @ Living Waters Bible Camp

Please choose one date that you can attend to receive your necessary training for Summer volunteer opportunities.

Go to the website for more details.



Winter Recharge 2015

For most of November and December there was little sign of winter.  Apparently the weather was just waiting for Winter Recharge to start!  Camp started on Sunday afternoon and the snow came on Monday morning...Monday afternoon...Monday night and Tuesday morning!  It was a perfect storm.

We had 63 energized teen campers worshiping God and learning about God's plan for purity in their lives.  It was a great week of training, fellowship and fun! Here is what a few campers had to say about their experience.

"This is a perfect place for someone to grow in their relationship with God, or to start one with Him."

"It opened my eyes."

"I learned a lot and had fun while learning it."

"The messages really hit home for me and I learned a lot."

"Great sessions, great campers, activities and food!"

"The teaching was top-notch.  I really learned a lot and would recommend it to everyone I know."

"God was really trying to tell me that no matter what the sin is, I'm not alone in it and I'm also forgiven."

Thank you for all you who prayed, volunteered and financially contributed to make this event possible!



New Year Gift

Welcome to 2016!

At Living Waters we are very excited about what 2016 holds for the lives of the campers who will attend camp this year.  We believe that God has big plans for His ministry at camp and we want you to be a part of what God is doing.  There are a few projects underway that can't get done without your partnership.  Would you consider participating in any of these projects?

Bathhouse Upgrade: Warm showers will lead to clean campers!  And who doesn't want good smelling campers?  A gift of $20 ($2,000 total needed) will provide 1,000 HOT showers through new on-demand water heaters in the bathhouse. 

Silverware: With more campers coming to camp we need more silverware to feed them!  A gift of $50 ($1,500 total needed) will supply the need forks, spoons and knives for ten campers.

Dorm Improvements: A new tiled floor is being installed in the Menomonie and Oneida (and eventually Chippewa and Kickapoo).  A gift of $100 ($5,500 total needed) will afford the installation of tiles to make the floors look better, easier to clean and safer for slippery feet.  This project also includes new windows, doors, lighting and remodeling the walls and ceiling

Send A Child To Camp:  Each year we sponsor dozens of campers who otherwise could not afford to come to camp.  We need about $10,000 a year for our Scholarship program. With a gift of just $175 ($10,000 total needed) you can help send a child or family to camp.  The Scholarship fund supplies critically needed funds to help underprivileged children and families to enjoy the benefits of camp.

Highway Directional Sign:  Dozens of new guests drive right by camp because they can't find Reo Avenue.  After years of applications the state of Wisconsin has given approval for a new lighted sign on highway 27!  We already have one donor who has pledged a matching gift of $1,000 towards the new sign.  With a gift of just $250 ($7,000 needed), we hope to build a new lighted road sign to ensure our guest do not miss the road to camp!

We are so appreciative to all our donors and volunteer which make this ministry possible.  Thank you so much for all you do! We at Living Waters are honored to serve with you!



Dorms Going Green?

In October, Chris Sutton, Dan Melcher Sr. and Tim Dehnart began moving mountains. Mountains of

sheetrock and lumber, that is. One of the oldest dorm buildings at camp, Menomonee/Oneida, is finally getting a well-deserved remodel. It all started with a complete gutting; even a small divider wall got removed from both dorm rooms. The old wall paneling, trim, tiles, windows and lighting are all history. The 70’s décor is gone! And good thing too. The building’s old windows were poorly insulated, wasting costly propane and electricity. The old fluorescent light fixtures have also been replaced with a more energy efficient option. The floor will be re-tiled, making it easier to clean than the old one, which was badly cracked and chipped. 

In place of the old paneling, beautiful new boards have been put up on the walls in a wainscoting-type fashion, giving the dorm a nice rustic, yet modern feel. The top portion of the walls has been painted a calm, peaceful green color that fits perfectly with the rest of the remodeling theme. It’s been said that the new look gives the dorm a “nice, warm, cabin-ey feeling.” And it really does. The room looks so much more inviting already, and it’s not even finished yet. The dorms are expected to be finished completely by Christmas; just in time for Winter Recharge!

The Chippewa/Kickapoo dorm building is also scheduled for remodeling, although it may not get its
facelift until the fall or winter of 2016, since it will be in-use quite frequently throughout next year.
Caring for our facilities and keeping them up-to-date with energy-saving features is part of our core values of care for equipment. Looks aren’t everything, but it is important to take care of the things God’s provided; to be responsible with the resources and money He gives us to keep His ministry going. “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19