group study
jenny franzWhen Jenny Frantz, ’08, was named director of Camp Luther last summer, it was a call to something very familiar.

Since the age of 6, Frantz has spent nearly every family vacation at this camp along the shores of Lake Erie. Even today, her parents, sisters, and nephews continue to travel to northeast Ohio each summer to spend a week together at Camp Luther. Throughout college Frantz worked there as summer staff.  Now, it is a place she affectionately refers to as home.

“In many ways it feels like going home. My dad is a second-career pastor, so we moved a bit when I was a child. My parents also moved the year I graduated from college, so I don’t really have a childhood home to go to anymore. Camp has been my home,” she said.

She will begin her first full summer as director this year, hiring and training staff, promoting the week-long family camps that define Camp Luther, and developing programs. The part-time, year-round position runs concurrent with her now three-quarter time position as director of Youth and Family Ministry at Christ Lutheran Church, Columbus. She will continue to work fulltime for Christ nine months out of the year and serve a part-time call at Camp Luther, one of three camps of Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of Ohio (LOMO).

Camp Luther is the only one of the LOMO camps to shut down over the winter, allowing Frantz to continue her work at Christ. The families of Christ, in turn, see this as a chance to partner with LOMO. Several families joined Frantz at camp last summer and plan to return again this year.

“What is wonderful is that both Christ and LOMO have been able to see this as an opportunity for joint ministry,” said Frantz, who has worked to develop a youth and family team at Christ who will help lead the programs put in place there.

With this team, and a core group of volunteers who help ready Luther for the summer camping season, Frantz is able to fulfill her service in both locations.
It was at Camp Luther where Frantz first felt God’s call in her life. She eventually entered the Master of Arts in Lay Ministry program at Trinity in 2006, intent on preparing for a career in outdoor ministry. The Master of Arts, coupled with her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Capital University, seemed a perfect combination for developing outdoor programs for youth and families.

“The Biblical understanding and practical theology I gained at Trinity really helped to shape me both as a person and as an Associate in Ministry. The Master of Arts in Lay Ministry also gave me the opportunity to shape a degree around youth and family ministry, including an independent study on outdoor ministry,” said Frantz.
While still at Trinity in 2007, she went to work at Christ part time. After graduation, her part-time work with the youth of Christ turned into a full-time job as director of Youth and Family Ministry.

“At first I thought, ‘My call was to outdoor ministry, not congregational ministry!’ But I quickly realized that Christ Lutheran and youth ministry was indeed where God was calling me,” said Frantz.  “The past seven years have truly been a blessing and I can’t imagine being in ministry anywhere else.“

Frantz can now see how God was shaping her for this joint ministry opportunity with LOMO and Christ Lutheran. While working as director at Camp Luther is her “dream job,” the constant change of pace, varied ministry opportunities, and new challenges that come with being in both congregational and outdoor ministry settings sound even more exciting.