Written by Mark Slocum, Director of Camping and Spiritual Formation
It is with mixed emotions and a heavy heart that I share the departure of Chip and Laura Hutler from our Wesley Woods UMC Camp.
Laura has been offered an opportunity of a lifetime and as Chip begins to explore retirement and his next steps, they have chosen to accept this new opportunity and follow where they are being called next. My emotions range from sad that they are leaving, so glad that they have been called by God to follow the next path on their journey. Chip and Laura plan to make their move early in May.
In the time that Chip has been at Wesley Woods, he has raised the standards of camp and created a deep caring and loving atmosphere for our campers and staff. Chip has been an incredible mentor not only to camp people but to all he is in contact with. Chip has shared and encouraged us not to settle for a “Well it’s camp” attitude and always strives to elevate the facilities, staff, and volunteers.
Eric Scheve, Site Director at Lake Okoboji said, “While I am saddened to know Chip and Laura are moving on from Wesley Woods, I am blessed for the time we got to call each other co-workers and friends. Through all the good times, rough times, and all of 2020, Chip was dedicated to making Wesley Woods a place where guests and campers can connect with Christ. Chip has been a wonderful colleague, an amazing mentor, and a good friend. I wish Chip and Laura nothing but the best as they transition onto their next adventure.”
Shannon Bardole-Foley, Camp Registrar and Development Assistant said, “Chip has been a joy to work with. He has challenged me and supported me.”
Laura has remade the horse program into one of the strongest in the state. She has unified the equine team. Laura has shared her unique approach to working with the horses so that the team is not only the humans supporting the horse barn but the horses too are treated as equals providing a deeper and more meaningful experience. Laura’s vision for the horse program includes teaching mental health counselors to include horses in therapy. This approach is being well received and the results have been amazing. We greatly appreciate Laura’s passion for the barn, the people and the Lord’s desire to comfort those who struggle.
We will miss their dedication to Wesley Woods, their team, and the youth served at camp.
Please join me in wishing Chip and Laura Happy Trails. Well-wishes can be sent to Chip at [email protected]
and Laura at [email protected]