In 1922 the Iowa District Sunday School Committee first suggested the idea of forming a Bible Camp at Lake Okoboji. The Okoboji location, established in 1924, traces it beginnings back to the Danish United Evangelical Lutheran Church. A training camp for Sunday school teachers was the first official camp experience that was held at Okoboji with over 40 teachers attending for the week and 500 people attending on Sunday. Housing was handled in nearby cottages, tents and even cars.
Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp is located on West Lake Okoboji in the Miller’s Bay area, Milford, IA and with the many changes and improvements that have occurred over the years that location can now house over 300 guests nightly.
Ingham Lake Bible Camp was established in 1951 and is located along the shores of Ingham Lake, east of Wallingford, Iowa. The beginnings of the camp are noted by warranty deeds to the Estherville Circuit Bible Camp Association by Edgar Iverson and Percy Herum dated 1948. Sylvester Berge was the founder and first Manager of the camp. Chapel construction began in 1948 and in 1949 the first buildings, a boy’s cabin and the dining hall, were erected by volunteer labor. Campers began to use the facility in 1951.
A working relationship between Ingham and Okoboji began in 1983 and the Articles of Incorporation joining the two camps followed. The camps are owned by Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camps, Incorporated, with members of the corporation being Lutheran Churches from the midwest and beyond. IOLBC is a faith-based ministry and is blessed by the financial gifts of many caring individuals and groups that wish to partner in support of ministry.
In January of 1997 Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camps began a covenant with Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp, Story City, Iowa. That covenant has allowed the locations to increase their ministry efforts and to reach larger numbers of youth, adults, and families through the unity that the covenant provided. Summer camp for people of all ages; Spring and Fall Recharge Weekends; Youth Ministry support programs for local congregations; Day Camps and Traveling Teams are just a few of the dynamic programs which make Ingham and Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camps valued resources to the congregations they serve and the people of Iowa and surrounding states.
The mission statement, “To know Jesus Christ and make Christ known to all,” keeps Christ as the focus in all that we do. Each camp is able to offer unique opportunities of worship, relationships, and the nurturing of faith. Each year thousands of individuals and families depend on this ministry to provide fresh opportunities for them to grow in their faith.