Pathways History

PATHWAYS was incorporated as a Minnesota 501( c )( 3 ) corporation in 1969 with the intent of coordinating the programs for camps in Northwestern Minnesota. The name “Pathways” was chosen because it represents how the Bible Camping ministry builds pathways to God, to self, to others and to nature.

PATHWAYS is composed of an association of nearly 100 member congregations from the Northwest Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The volunteer Board of Directors is elected by delegates from the corporate congregations. The Board hires an Executive Director. Pathways owns and operates two campsites: Minne-Wa-Kan, Cass Lake, Minnesota; Lake of the Woods, Baudette, Minnesota; and leases and operates Camp Emmaus, Menahga, Minnesota.

CAMP MINNE-WA-KAN was purchased in July, 1944 for $18,000. In the Ojibwe language, Minne-Wa-Kan means “Spirit over the waters.” The 23-acre site is located near Cass Lake on Lake Andrusia. In 1977, the camp merged with Pathways. Pathways’ succeeding corporation was formed and Camp Minne-Wa-Kan retained its name. Year round retreat ministry began in 1980, using the then newly completed Dining Hall / Retreat Center.

LAKE OF THE WOODS BIBLE CAMP was started in 1933 by a group of local pastors. The 72-acre site, located near Baudette, is situated on the Rainy River, which is the border between Canada and Minnesota. Pathways began programming for Lake of the Woods in 1978. In 1985, the camp merged with Pathways to better serve the congregations in the area.

CAMP EMMAUS became a dream as Dr. Frederick Schiotz saw Lake Morgan, near Menahga, Minnesota, in 1933. He believed the eighty acre tract of land surrounding the lake would make an excellent Bible Camp site. Purchased for $1,650.00, the camp was dedicated in September, 1934.

Bethlehem, Ulen and Trinity, Moorhead were the two congregations which shared the initial responsibility of the Bible Camp. Retreat ministry began during the 1976-77 season. Trinity became the sole owner in 1958, and the camp has since grown to include 347 acres of pine forest.