Youth Camp Transportation looks different this year
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March 2024 Newsletter

March 2024 Newsletter
How about Kickball on a frozen lake? Dads Weekend campers loved it

To Snow or Not to Snow?

That was the question – every weekend this winter!

Did you catch yourself wondering when winter would arrive? Or if winter might ever arrive? We staff asked that just about every retreat weekend! And yet, you need to hear about the impact that happened. God was not bound by limited snow. We read in 1 Corinthians 2:9. “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’” Unlimited is our God – here’s what we heard:

  • One youth retreater said, “He helped me to be more humble and put people before myself. He helped me with prayer.”
  • One church leader said, “I saw God work through my students… they spent more time praying together and digging into the Word than ever before.”
  • We know of 315 campers who made some kind of spiritual commitment at a retreat this winter.
Throwing large, sharp objects – hard to replicate at home!

We don’t normally do THAT here in the winter!

Our God is unlimited, and also creative. During a staff gathering this week, missionaries commented how they were surprised how much impact came out of our “close to snow-less” winter – something camp’s not experienced in possibly decades:

  • We heard accounts of youth staying up uncommonly late in their cabins having spiritual conversations with youth leaders! (They weren’t as tired – possibly because they hadn’t run up the tube hill steps 28 times!)
  • Fort Staff stretched traditional limits and created new fun like Lake Kickball (pictured above) and Winter Octaball.
  • There was more of a stillness around camp (Be still and know I am God – Psalm 46:10).
Leaders invest in students at retreats

60% Already!

With that winter recap, we thank you for praying for and supporting the Lord’s work here. As we ramp up for what may be one of our biggest summers ever, we praise God to have over 60% of our leaders hired. Volunteer applications are flowing in. We’ve watched the trajectories of hundreds of HS and college-age followers of Christ change significantly because they committed all or part of a summer serving at camp.

What about your family? Are your summer plans made? Would you consider joining us for a youth or family event? There’s one promise we offer that is 99.9% accurate – you won’t see snow. There is one reliable story of July snow we’ve heard locally from decades ago, but you don’t need to hear more about that!

  • Fort Future Update
    • The one of a kind Under the Stars Banquet is Saturday, May 11th, in Saukville, WI. Limited Tickets available here for this very unique event!
    • We are pleased to share that the Fort Future Campaign has reached 81% of the goal. Thanks for giving and praying.
    • Summer Staff & Volunteer Housing – moving ahead for summer use!
  • Summer Theme – the Scripture and theme are selected. More coming soon
Coming soon…follow the leader at Step Up Camp!

Your summer adventure awaits!

Like the students (above) running to their next Fort memory, there’s lots waiting for you and your family this summer!

Grace and peace be yours in abundance (from 1 Peter 1:2) on this blessed Easter Weekend!


Craig Holmquist
Ministry Partnerships

PS: You may be wondering why my face is on this email. Scroll down to read about Laura Borkenhagen.

Guiding Every Step

Four years ago, God called Laura Borkenhagen to serve as Fort’s Marketing and Communications Manager. It started out part-time working remote from home in Wauwatosa because they thought moving “wasn’t in the cards”. But soon after, He further called Billy to serve in his role as the Campus Architect and their whole family did something they never imagined they would do; relocate to Rhinelander as supported and sent missionaries.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” 

Laura’s formal role as the Marketing and Communications manager was a clear step on course with her desire to serve Christ with the gifts He has given her both personally and professionally. Her impact to that end at Fort has been huge! 

But now, He’s made it clear that there is a next step for her on that course. The Borkenhagens have discerned that Laura should step down from her formal role in the marketing department. Amid increasing demands from all directions, this re-calibration will allow them to combat busyness in this season, support each other, and abide in Christ. This will enable Laura to focus on her family, supporting Billy in his roles, continue to build a homeschool community in Rhinelander, and engage with the Fort body in various ways, including the all-inspiring Jr. Rangers (summer programming for the growing number of staff kids learning and serving around camp together)!

Billy’s role remains unchanged, and the entire family is eager for another great summer of ministry opportunities engaging with campers, summer staff and volunteers, and cooking Lumberjack Breakfast! We are grateful to have this Missionary Staff Family serving at Fort! 

Andrew Carlson, who Laura has worked alongside and mentored, is stepping into a greater role in the Marketing Department at Fort. If you have any questions, contact Tom Shaw.