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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.
For more information about our history read our camp history blog.