Who We Are
What We Believe: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The ELCA confesses the Triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In our preaching and teaching, the ELCA trusts the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe. ELCA teaching or theology serves the proclamation and ministry of this faith. It does not have an answer for all questions, not even all religious questions. Teaching or theology prepares members to be witnesses in speech and in action of God’s rich mercy in Jesus Christ.
American Camp Association (ACA) Certified
All HopeWood Outdoors camps are accredited by the American Camp Association. ACA sets the industry standards for safely delivering quality camp programs. All staff complete a thorough application, screening, and training process which include background and fingerprint checks.
All Are Welcome
Striving for unity in Christ, your whole person is recognized, welcomed, and affirmed by HopeWood Outdoors. People of all abilities, friends within the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities, and neighbors of varying faith expressions represent the wideness of God’s creation. You are invited to fully experience nature and engage in programming that allows you to find comfort and confidence in the ways that you have been wonderfully made by our Creator. Your joy and pain, your highs and lows, your life and your life story are welcome here.
What’s the Meaning Behind HopeWood Outdoors?
We combined the concept of heartwood with a faith-filled word that is at the core of our belief in God — hope.
At the core of most trees lies the heartwood — dense, strong, and central to life. Its stability and support provide the architecture the more vulnerable parts of the tree need to grow upward and outward — to truly flourish.
Hope has a rich Biblical connection tied to God’s promises of love for all people and all of creation. And it’s a deeply human word, embodying the hope we have for belonging, connection, and joy. Hope is also at the core of environmental education and care for the earth — we experience, care for, and learn about nature with the hope that we can preserve it and pass it along to future generations.
The HopeWood Experience
Our hope in God’s promises of love, grace, and renewal for all people and all creation is the central pillar of the HopeWood experience.
- When we gather as a community centered on God’s grace, we are free to be our most vulnerable selves, to welcome others as they are, and to risk growing upward and outward together.
- When we are gathered as a community that is rooted in God’s love, we more clearly learn to see God’s image in both our neighbors and in nature, and to fully recognize our interdependence.
- When we gather as a community shaped by God’s promise of renewal, we experience the hope, joy and challenges of transformation and new life.
What’s the Meaning Behind Our New Logo?
The logo is built on a grid of concentric circles, with the key logo elements (cross, water, arch, tree) near the innermost sections, similar to how heartwood is found in the middle portion of a tree.
The cross symbolizes our enduring commitment to our Christian faith and reminds us of God’s deep love for all people and all of creation. It is the primary symbol for HopeWood Outdoors and will often use the accent color Sunshine Gold.
The Baptismal waters are a Biblical symbol of God’s promise of redemption, rebirth, and renewal. In our logo, the waves also symbolize the physical waters at our two locations. This is the primary symbol for HopeWood Shores and will often use the accent color Sky Blue.
The arch is an incomplete circle, reminiscent of the ways we gather together in semi-circles at camp and a reminder that there’s always room to welcome someone else. Standing on one end, it also looks like a rainbow, the Biblical symbol of God’s promise of grace, peace, and goodwill toward the earth and all living creatures on it. It is the primary symbol for HopeWood Connect and will often use the accent color Sunset Coral.
The Pine tree represents the forest, the place that is central to the HopeWood landscape as a place of spiritual growth, community connection, and environmental education. It is the primary symbol for HopeWood Pines and will often use the accent color Leaf Green.
The LOMO board of directors has unanimously voted to begin “doing business as” (DBA) HopeWood Outdoors, HopeWood Pines, HopeWood Shores, and HopeWood Connect. These new names will be additions to our current business names and will exist alongside the LOMO, Camp Luther, and LMC names. The current and DBA names will both be used in various contexts to continue our mission and vision as an organization.
To “do business as” HopeWood Outdoors means that we are adding an amendment to our business name that allows us to identify and market ourselves using the HopeWood names, but we will also legally retain our LOMO business names. This means that we are not officially changing our name or ending our use of the LOMO and camp names — instead, we are adding an additional set of names to our brand identity that will allow us to fully engage our vision for the future of our camp and programs.
No. Our curriculum and Christ-centered ministry from a Lutheran theological lens remains the same. Our summer camps and year-round programmed retreats will continue to incorporate faith practices including devotions, worship, music, discovery Bible studies, campfires, and small groups in intentional community.
The short answer — we believe this move will help us be more effective at achieving our mission, “bringing people together to experience Christ through natural settings and programs” and our mission, “connecting all people to faith and nature for a changing world.”
We believe our camps can be places where everyone is welcome to find a spiritual home, even if they don’t identify as Lutheran or any other religious denomination.
Because Christ has a space here, you have a space here, regardless of your faith practices or religious affiliation.
God’s love is boundless, unconditional, and endless. God’s love is for your and for me — all because of what Jesus has done for us.
For over 20 years the question has come up “Do we need to take the name Lutheran or Luther out of our names so all people know they are welcome?” Re-imagining the name of an organization is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. But after years of this question surfacing and a thorough discernment process, it became clear that in a world with declining religious and denominational affiliation, we needed to adjust our branding to more effectively achieve our mission and vision.
The LOMO staff and board of directors is partnering with a branding and marketing group with extensive experience in nonprofit, camp, and religious organization projects to work through the naming and branding process.
For the re-imagined naming process, the LOMO staff, board of directors, and marketing group discussed the mission and vision of LOMO and whether a new name was necessary. We reviewed names of camp organizations from around the country and camp names from across Ohio. Our marketing partner then generated and refined hundreds of keywords and phrases and curated a final list of naming options for our team to review. Finally, the board of directors reviewed the name recommendations and voted on a final set of names for approval.
Because of the rich history of LOMO, Camp Luther, and Lutheran Memorial Camp, we have plans to continue using these names in unique ways as part of our programming, locations, and ongoing branding. While our name is broadening and evolving, our mission and vision are staying the same and we hope our camper community will continue creating lifelong memories together. We have not changed the names — everyone is welcome to refer to the camps by their historic or additional names.
We believe this is an incredibly exciting time in the life of LOMO as we broaden and reimagine our name as HopeWood Outdoors. We continue to believe God is working through our programs to bring people together to experience Christ through natural settings and programs. We are in an ongoing discernment process to reimagine outdoor ministry in ways that are relevant to our changing world and diverse communities. “HopeWood” captures the essence of our emerging vision — grounded in God’s promises of love, grace, and renewal for all people and all creation, centered in community and awash in hope and joy!