HISTORY OF CROSSWAYS
The three camps of Crossways Camping Ministries at their current locations began in the 1940s. Separate Lutheran groups owned each of the camps. Imago Dei Village in Clintonville, WI was owned by the former American Lutheran Church; Pine Lake Camp in Waupaca, WI was owned by the United Lutheran Church (which eventually became a part of the old Lutheran Church in America); Waypost Camp in Hatley, WI was owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Waypost Camp is the oldest continuously-operating site. Originally called Central Wisconsin Lutheran Bible Camp, it opened in 1942 due to the supply and demand of camping facilities for its member churches during World War II. In 1963, it became known as Waypost on Mission Lake when it merged with Imago Dei Village as part of the Wisconsin Association of Bible Camps of the American Lutheran Church. The association's name was changed to Imago Dei Ministries in 1975.
Pine Lake Camp was purchased in 1947 by a group of churches that had rented facilities for camp at Green Lake since 1929. It was known as Pine Lake Bible Camp and was a part of the Wisconsin/Upper Michigan Synod of the Lutheran Church in America. It shared leadership with Fortune Lake Bible Camp in Upper Michigan for many years and was operated through the synod office in Milwaukee until 1982.
In 1991, the Pine Lake Bible Camp Association and Imago Dei Ministries merged into one single camp corporation called Crossways Lutheran Camping Ministries and became a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 1992, Crossways Lutheran Camping Ministries entered into a capital fund appeal to greatly expand its camp facilities. Land expansion and construction—including buildings standing today—was granted to all three camps after the appeal.
In 2000 the Administrative Office, which had been located at Imago Dei Village, relocated to its current home base in Appleton, WI. They were stationed in the same building as the East Central Synod of Wisconsin until October 2015 when they relocated to their new home base location in Zion Lutheran Church in Appleton, WI.
Today, Crossways Lutheran Camping Ministries is an association of nearly 190 congregations, most of which are a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and is governed by an elected Board of Directors.
A mixture of full-time and part-time staff keep the ministry of Crossways Camping Ministries moving forward throughout the entire year with programs and facilities for people of all ages. Crossways hires approximately 50 young adults during the summer camping season and is blessed with many volunteers from the surrounding areas who assist with camp workdays, construction projects, property projects, providing leadership in programming, and participating on various boards and committees.
All three camps became ACA-Accredited in the fall of 2017.