Mission Fest

2019 Ortoha Youth Camp Begins This Sunday!

The week we’ve been waiting for all year has finally arrived! High schoolers will be kicking off the youth camp season at Ortoha this coming Sunday, July 21st. Check out the full 2019 camp schedule below, in addition to details about Mission Fest Sunday, and the staff who will be serving our high school campers this year.

2019 Camp Schedule:

  • High School Week

    • Sun. July 21 - Fri. July 26

    • Registration opens on Sunday at 3 pm, camp starts at 5 pm

    • Camp ends at 1 pm on Friday

  • Grade School Week

    • Sun. July 28 - Thur. Aug. 1

    • Registration opens on Sunday at 3 pm, camp starts at 5 pm

    • Camp ends at 3 pm on Thursday

  • Middle School Week

    • Sun. Aug. 4 - Thur. Aug 8

    • Registration opens on Sunday at 3 pm, camp starts at 5 pm

    • Camp ends at 3 pm on Thursday

Mission Fest Sunday & Potluck

Your are invited! Please join us for church in the Gazebo building at Camp Ortoha on Sunday, July 28th at 11 am. This is a cherished annual tradition, as well as an excellent opportunity to worship God surrounded by His beautiful creation. Our speaker will be Clark Kraemer, and his message is titled "Living Life with Your Hands Open." Our world-famous potluck will follow the service. Feel free to stay as long as you like and take advantage of the close proximity to Lost Lake, Strawberry Mountain, and the Big Trees. Mark your calendars - we look forward to seeing you there!

Meet the High School Week Staff:

  • Cooks: Amy Schertlin & Rev. Alan Visser

    • This is an incredible father/daughter duo who have come together for yet another year of service and delicious flavors!

    • Amy is an Ortoha alumni and her father acted as a speaker at camp on many occasions. They have traveled a long way to be here, but they’re enthusiasm for the Ortoha experience, and their mastery in the kitchen is sure to bless our campers greatly!

  • Speakers: Rev. Steve Nickodemus & Rev. Tim Winterstein

    • Both pastors have been speakers at Ortoha before and they’re dedicated to the good work God is doing through the ministry of Camp Ortoha. We’re so thankful to have them!


Mission Fest Sunday & High School Week

Immanuel Lutheran Church's annual Mission Festival was held Sunday, July 30 with an outdoor celebration service in the Gazebo and attended by many locals and former residents, members, campers and staff members. Deacon Paul Schuldheisz led the service and our speaker was Rev. Dr. Harald Schoubye of Winnipeg, Canada. Worshipers were treated to an interesting and entertaining PowerPoint presentation as he explained his work in seminary education in South Africa, Ethiopia, Ukraine and India. He and his wife, Cynthia, will be returning to Ukraine this September. The Schoubyes will be back to Ortoha to lead Bible Study during Middle School week. 

The well-attended service was followed by the potluck, which lived up to its reputation. If we were light on anything this year, it may have been chocolate, but the desserts were amazing and it looks like it has been an outstanding year for the berry family of fruits! Friends near and far enjoyed catching up on the "news," going for a swim and picking those plentiful huckleberries.

Eightteen kids registered for High School Camp week which began with ice breakers and swimming at the lake. Jim and Kim Helleson are back this year (with young assistants, grandchildren Jimmie and Luci), lots of great lessons and plenty of shenanigans too! Connie Kuhlmann and Jayne Bowes have some fun crafts planned. Cooks Amy and her dad, Alan are putting out quite the spread at every meal. Oh, doesn't it make you wish you could go to camp?

Announcing This Year's Theme!

Grade School Week starts on July 24th! 

A new theme for camp is picked each year so there is a central message for campers to latch onto and bring home. It also creates cohesion between the various study lessons and even between the different age groups. 

We're very excited to announce that this year's theme will be "Promises Fulfilled." The kids will be discovering some of the Old Testament prophecies about The Messiah and how each was later fulfilled in Jesus in the New Testament. By examining how each promise was fulfilled we get a better glimpse at Jesus' characteristics, as well as the faithfulness of God. This is a great message for any age, full of hope and love! 


Mark your calendar for Mission Fest! 

Another big announcement to make is with regards to Mission Fest Sunday. We just got word that Pastor Winston Wilson from Makah Lutheran Church in Neah Bay will not be able to make the journey, but he has asked his friends and equally amazing speakers, Dennis & Cheri Watson, from Our Savior in Tacoma to take his place. We are very excited to meet Dennis & Cheri and learn about their involvement with the Lutheran Indian Ministries' mission and projects on the coast. Pastor Dan Kunkel is of course already pulling together all the other details for the service and is very excited to see you up there!  

Mission Fest Sunday is July 31 and the service will begin at 11 a.m. with our infamous community potluck to follow. We hope to see you there! 

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call Billi: 509-485-3352.

Grade School Week Has Begun!

The 2015 season of Camp Ortoha is off to a wonderful start! With a few last-minute registrations trailing in, we had a total of 24 grade schoolers at the start of camp yesterday evening. The Ortoha counselors greeted each new camper as they arrived and helped get their belongings to their assigned cabin. The kids had a great time getting to know each other during the traditional "ice breaker" games. They also had the thrill of listening to some thunder nearby. The camp got a heavy dose of rain as the evening got underway, but we always welcome that; it helps keep the dust down and makes the whole area smell incredible.

Many thanks to all those who traveled far and wide to attend the Mission Fest Sunday service yesterday morning! It was very moving to see the joy that Camp Ortoha has brought to so many generations. We were honored to have alumni campers from every decade in attendance. We also thank all those who contributed to the delicious potluck lunch that followed the service. As always, it was a feast! 

Please remember to return to this page as the weeks progress for more updates about how our campers are doing. We will try to provide information as it becomes available. 

Camp Starts Tomorrow!

The time has finally arrived! The Grade School week of camp  starts tomorrow! 

Many hours have logged preparing for the kick-off of camp this year. After all, we have a LOT to celebrate; we are celebrating 70 years of fun, building friendships and having fellowship in the great outdoors! We hope that you'll join us tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. to attend our Mission Fest Sunday service, followed by a potluck lunch. (And if you have come in years past, you know it is a feast worthy of the drive!) 

We are so thankful to be celebaring such a long and rich camp history. We are even more honored and thrilled that so many newcomers will be enjoying the Camp Ortoha experience this year! With the help of a few articles (one even published in the Wenathcee World!) and plenty of word-of-mouth efforts, we were able to spread the message far and wide about just how great the camping experience is at Ortoha.

Tucked away in the Okanogan National Forest, and located within walking distance from Lost Lake, Ortoha provides a lovely setting where kids can enjoy recreation, games, swimming, crafts, singing around the campfire, devotions, delicious meals and study time. The dedicated staff work hard to create a welcoming and caring environment where each child feels included. 

With the use of our newly designed website, we will be able to keep parents more in the know this year during the camp week. We hope to post updates about the theme, the speakers, and how much fun the kids are having as the weeks progress. So be sure to come back to our website often and visit the "News" button for new info! 

We look forward to seeing all those who will attend Mission Fest tomorrow, and we wish all the campers and their parents a wonderful drive through the beautiful north central Washington region. 

Registration is open!

The Camp Ortoha planning board has been working hard to get the word out that camp registration is open. In addition to local radio announcements, we have been posting regular updates to our Facebook page and using all kinds of outlets provided by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod to spread the word. 

Brian Bowes, who has over 25 years of experience as the Camp Ortoha Director under his belt, is returning to lead our campers this summer after a two-year sabbatical. He is thrilled to rejoin the mission of providing young people with a Christ-centered opportunity for fun, fellowship and spiritual growth. 

Our staff of counselors have already undergone their first few sessions of training and they are eager to help steward the campers later this summer. Our camp cook has fine-tuned the menu after receiving helpful suggestions from our supporters through Facebook. Our planning board is now gathering all the food ingredients we will need for three weeks of camp this year. 

We will be celebrating our 70th year of operating this summer! For such a big occasion, we have planned out a very exciting Mission Fest Sunday church service to celebrate, which will focus both on the past; all the lovely care, dedication and hard work that has driven camp all these years, as well as the future and what might be to come. We hope you will join us on Sunday, July 26th at 11:00 a.m. at the camp gazebo for the service. A potluck lunch and an afternoon of sunshine (not to mention lake time at the nearby Lost Lake) is to follow. Grade School camp will officially start at 5:00 p.m. that evening. 

See you then!