Sky Ranch Spotlight


In 1974 when I was only 7 years old I experienced outdoor ministry for the very first time at Camp Lutherlyn in Western Pennsylvania. Little did I know at the time that outdoor ministry would become an integral part of my formation as a person and as a disciple of Jesus. Annually through my junior and senior high years I attended Camp Luther in West Virginia. Also during that time and into college I went on countless church retreats in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It’s definitely safe to say that outdoor ministry greatly influenced my decision to attend seminary and become a pastor.

Since becoming a pastor, I’ve lead groups of all ages on outdoor ministry experiences all across the country. I have found that getting people out of their normal context into a safe place of genuine community to be integral in building deep, lasting relationships and opening the doors for formative conversation. This has been my experience at Sky Ranch.  Here are a few things that have made my time there unique:

  1. You can’t beat the location. Sky Ranch is situated high up in the Rocky Mountains where moose and bears and hummingbirds make their homes. The days are amazing and bright while the night skys are spectacular. You can’t help feel close to God when you’re here.
  2. The Sky Ranch staff consists of people who take faith in God seriously while not taking themselves too seriously. They are playful, fun, authentic people who bring the stories of scripture to life in a way that connects deeply with our human journey. The staff is very well trained and capable of providing every camper with a life-giving experience.
  3. The summer camp curriculum is rich, deep and flows beautifully from one day to the next. I have never before experienced campers engaging the daily curriculum so passionately that their questions each day actually tee up the next day’s conversation. Sky Ranch’s curriculum exhibits biblical and theological precision in a way that promotes open and free exchange of ideas.
  4. Everything the camp does supports the missional work of the church. The camp forms disciples of Jesus and sends them down the mountain to be the heart, hands and feet of Jesus in the world. The partnership between Sky Ranch and our congregation is strong and lasting. The Sky Ranch staff genuinely cares about serving our congregational mission by helping to grow and form our people.
  5. I don’t have to beg people to go to Sky Ranch. We require that our 6th Grade confirmands attend Sky Ranch summer camp as part of our confirmation ministry. We find that we don’t have to require attendance beyond that because the kids line up to go back. My son begs me to go to camp each year (he’s an 8th grader) and is already talking about working there when he’s in college. Very cool!

Well, I could go on and on about what I believe makes Sky Ranch such a unique and special place but I guess the best thing I could say is simply, “Come and see.” I promise that once you get Sky Ranch in your blood, you too will be hooked for life. I thank God that we have a place like Sky Ranch where we’re free to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, slow down, silence our souls, listen and experience God’s voice through nature, scripture, music and friends, and be equipped and enriched to return back into our world as renewed children of God bringing love and abiding hope to all. God bless you in your life journey and God bless Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp.

God loves you and I do too!

Pastor Doug Hill
Abiding Hope Church
Littleton, Colorado

Each month we will highlight a story from a camper, staff, adult sponsor volunteer or guest on their experience at Sky Ranch. 

Past Sky Ranch Spotlights

Joe and Luke Rein

Haley Plucheck

Dave Kiel

Robin Lutjohann

Katharine Ritzi

Ben Fulton

Meagan Murphy

Kaari Von Bernuth

Doug Hill

Caitlin Almer