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Staff Training

Summer Staff

Living Water Ministries’ summer staff think of themselves as community builders, leadership developers, faith formers, servant leaders, and world changers. While a huge part of their job is to care for the emotional, physical, and spiritual safety of your camper, they are also responsible for helping your camper learn and grow in a nurturing environment.

Our summer staff undergo an intensive two-week training period prior to the arrival of campers. During that time, they learn how to build community in their cabin groups and nurture your camper as they grow in faith. It’s also during this training period that staff undergoes background checks, drug screenings, CPR/first aid training, boundaries training, behavior management training, anti-racism training, and more. It’s not only our goal to keep your child safe but to also equip and empower the children in our care as members of a Christian community and as citizens of the world.

Preparing Your Child for Success


An informative tool on homesickness to review prior to sending your child to camp. Homesickness is a natural part of growing up and into an independent and self-confident person. Our staff know to expect this and are trained to walk campers through homesickness into an amazing week at camp.Download Homesickness-Prevention Strategies

Emailing Your Camper

Emailing your camper at Stony Lake is easy! Please be sure to include your camper’s full name in the subject line of your email.

Emails will be printed daily and screened by Living Water Ministries staff. We will make every effort to get emails to your camper in a timely manner.

Packing List

Download the Packing List for Stony Lake
When packing please note that

  • Personal pets are not permitted at camp
  • We reserve the right to limit access and use of any personal sporting equipment brought to camp
  • Electronic devices of any kind, unless medically necessary, are not allowed at camp and will be confiscated for the week of camp and returned at check-out. Living Water Ministries is not responsible for any electronic devices brought to camp.

Notification of Injury or Illness

Parents or Guardians will be promptly notified by the Health Officer in case of serious injury or of an illness that affects the camper’s participation in camp activities for more than one day.

Technology at Camp

A big part of the camp experience is its separateness from the rest of your child’s life. A week at camp is a chance to  discover our gifts, grow in faith, and be part of a new community. The communities we form at camp give us the chance to connect to others outside of the social pressures of the rest of our lives and form relationships based on God’s love. This is how lifelong relationships are formed, the bonds of which are stronger than most any that your child is likely to form at church or school.

Sending a cell phone, iPod, or game system with your child can short-circuit their camp experience. Please do not send these devices with your child.  Having one of these things means they are still connected to the rest of their lives in a way that will prevent them from being fully present with their fellow campers. While everyone else is growing together in Christian love, the camper with a cell phone is thinking about how to keep their Snap Chat streaks going. At camp, these pieces of technology are an anchor that will hold your child back from experiencing all that a week at Stony Lake has to offer.

Many parents/guardians don’t want to let their children be out of contact for a week. Rest assured that you can always contact our office to check on your child’s status or to send them email messages which we will print and deliver to them on your behalf.

Camper Drop off and Pick up

Camper check-in runs from 3:00-5:30 pm the first day of camp. All programs except Explorers end Friday at 3:00 pm with closing worship that begins at 2:00 pm.  Closing worship for Explorers is Wednesday at 2:00 pm and checkout is approximately at 2:30 pm.  Parents and guardians are invited and encouraged to arrive at camp to participate in closing worship.  We would love to have you! Click here for directions to Stony Lake

Camp Activity Highlights

Crate Stacking

This activity sounds simple but becomes a great challenge! Campers, in a climbing harness and on belay, build and climb a stack of milk crates. Cheered on by their peers campers may make it as high as 20 crates before the stack looses balance and the camper is safely lowered to the ground by trained and certified camp staff. This is a great activity and all camp programs are eligible for participation, the only requirement is a proper fit in the safety equipment.


Set on the beautiful shores of Stony Lake, it is no surprise that waterfront time is often a highlight of the camper experience.  Swimming, an inflatable iceberg, and paddleboards are available to campers. Beach activities, including nuke ’em, are popular too.  A variety of lifevests are available for camper use.

Lewis’ Petting Farm

Elementary campers will experience Lewis’ Petting Farm just down the road from camp! Overflowing with fun activities, Lewis’ is a beloved excursion for our young campers!

Faith Formation

Evening campfires, morning worship, and Bible study are an important part of our daily schedule and are a highlight for most campers. We intentionally center the content of these activities on campers and they have the opportunity to create and lead in a supportive and fun environment.

High Ropes at Stony Lake

Stony Lake has a 7 element high ropes course, including a zip-line. Our high ropes course is approximately 35 feet from the ground. Campers challenge themselves individually on each element while wearing required safety gear and remaining on belay. Trained and certified Stony Lake staff keep a very close and watchful eye to provide emergency “take down” procedures in the event of a frightened camper. 6-15 campers participate in this experience at a time for approximately 1-2 hours.  Only campers enrolled in our junior high (grades 6-8) and senior high (grades 8-12) programs are eligible to participate.

Flying Squirrel

The “Flying Squirrel” is an initiative where campers are harnessed safely on belay, while their teammates work together to pull the camper up as high as they can and as the camper is comfortable. Once up in the air, the camper pulls a cord to release the towrope and sets themself swinging over the bluff of Stony Lake.  This element encourages both team and trust building, self-confidence boosting, and is a lot of fun! All campers are eligible for participation with the only requirement being a proper fit in the safety equipment. Trained and certified Stony Lake staff are present to facilitate this activity.


Each day campers have choices for how to spend dedicated skillshop time. Feeling crafty? Maybe bracelet-making, tie-dye or rope-making sounds fun? Feeling active? Give the sling-shot range, archery, or crate stacking a try. Want to rest and maybe do a little reading? Our hammock villages are the perfect spot.  Skillshop time provides a great opportunity for campers to try new things or to find familiar things to do with new friends.  Following is a list of skillshop options.  Please note that weather, lifeguard availability, or other factors may impact skillshop choices.

Bracelet Making
Crate Stacking
Flying Squirrel
Gaga ball
Mural Painting
Rope Making
Sling Shot Course

Program Outcomes

Our programs are crafted so that every camper is offered the chance to accomplish the following:

  • Campers will name a time they gave or received God’s love (forgiveness, acceptance, patience) during the week of camp.
  • Campers will name a time when they served others during the week of camp.
  • Campers will name a time when they helped to lead others during the week of camp.
  • Campers will name a time when they felt nurtured by or connected to others during the week of camp.



Living Water Ministries is accredited by the American Camp Association. ACA’s accreditation standards focus on health, safety, and risk management, and are used as benchmarks by government entities. ACA accreditation provides public evidence of a camp’s commitment to the well-being of campers and staff.


Living Water Ministries is affiliated with the Southeast Michigan and the North/West Lower Michigan Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). LWM,  an outdoor camping ministry, exists as an expression of every ELCA congregation in the lower peninsula of Michigan. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region.


Living Water Ministries is a member of the Reconciling in Christ (RIC) community. The purpose of the RIC Program is to ensure the welcome, inclusion, celebration, and advocacy for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions; work for racial equity and commit to anti-racist work.