History of LOM

A Brief History of Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (the organization).

The Lutheran Church in America and American Lutheran Church merge to create the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). This merger brings Lutheran camps across the country together, and includes 2.5 executive staff in the churchwide offices.

The Association of Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Professionals (ALOMP) is formed as a professional organization focused on training, supporting, and developing professionalism for those working in Outdoor Ministries. It also provided a way for professionals to elect their representatives to the ELCA Outdoor Ministry Advisory Committee.

ELCA Outdoor Ministries produces a summer camp curriculum.

ELCA Outdoor Ministries begins the International Camp Counselor Program.

The fall conference saw ALOMP nearly voted out of existence since it seemed to be purposeless.

1994 (a busy year!)
Jerry Olstad steps down as Director of ELCA Outdoor Ministries; Mark Burkhardt assumes this position.

Outdoor Ministries loses one executive staff position in the churchwide office due to cutbacks.

Strategic planning process begins for camping network.

The Outdoor Ministry Advisory Committee makes ALOMP responsible for its own fall conference.

Conversations begin regarding proposals to be offered to ALOMP to begin providing services to members if more cutbacks at the ELCA churchwide offices are made.

The Co-Executive Director of the Division for Congregational Ministries speaks at fall conference, encouraging the association to prepare to take more responsibility for our welfare as future support from churchwide resources is not guaranteed.

ALOMP offers its first “school” educational event; it has an Administration focus - School/LTE history

ELCA Outdoor Ministries returns to 2.5 executive staff in the churchwide office.

Continuing conversations about how ALOMP and the network can become more self-sufficient and less dependent on the ELCA lead to the proposal of forming a new entity. This new organization would be incorporated as a 501(c)3 and eventually move toward the ability to provide those services currently provided by the ELCA Outdoor Ministries staff in the churchwide office.

Participants at the annual ELCA Outdoor Ministries conference vote to form a new organization, adopt a working set of Policies and Procedures, and begin transitioning from the ELCA Outdoor Advisory Committee to its own Board of Directors. Duane Hanson and Ralph Yernberg are elected the first Co-Presidents of Lutheran Outdoor Ministries.

Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (LOM) continues to work with ELCA Outdoor Ministries staff. LOM seeks to define, develop, and grow its existence and offerings to ELCA camps and outdoor ministry organizations. The organization is largely dependent on volunteers to make things happen as there are no funds to hire staff or consultants.

The name of the ALOMP Schools are changed to Leadership Training Events - Program and Administrative.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America eliminates Outdoor Ministries staff and program at the churchwide office.


LOM plans and executes the first LOM Annual Conference.

LOM signs contracts with two independent contractors to assist the organization with administrative functions. The LOM Administrator (Wayne Harrison) assists with maintaining the member’s database, conference registration, and other administrative duties; the LOM Events Coordinator (Jon Skogen)assists the Annual LOM Conference planning committee, with the administrative aspects of the annual conference, as well as working with the Education Committee to plan the Leadership Training Events and work with logistics and administration of these events.

The first LOM curriculum is published.

The LOM Board moves to contract with one person (Jon Skogen) to fulfill the duties of the LOM Administrator and LOM Events Coordinator.

The LOM Board moves to contract a bookkeeper. Susan Troutman fills that role. Randy Youngquist-Thurow takes over as events coordinator.

The LOM Board moves to contract a webmaster to handle web duties. Chad Hershberger fills that role and begins in November. Susan Troutman concludes her service as bookkeeper and Aurice Worley is contracted to fill that position.

Don Johnson is hired as LOM's first executive director, beginning on August 17.