Just off the shores of West Lake Okoboji lies over 100 beautiful acres of camp, conference and retreat opportunities in the heart of the Iowa Great Lakes Vacationland!  Since 1915, the ministry at Okoboji has changed hearts and lives! All camping events encourage campers to learn, play, experience God's love in the outdoors, grow in faith in a safe atmosphere, and to reach their personal best!  Campers and Guests enjoy wonderful food service, air-conditioned/heated facilities, cutting edge programming, the opportunity to grow in faith & leadership, and warm Christian hospitality from trained staff.

HISTORY

In 1915, the very first camp meeting was held on the grounds of Okoboji United Methodist Camp. This first camp meeting surpassed all expectations and eventually grew into the year-round camping and retreat ministry we enjoy today. Lake Okoboji United Methodist Camp has a rich history of touching many lives and continues to be a part of people's faith journeys.

History Highlights:

  • Camp property was recommended for purchase in 1915 by a commission from the Sheldon District of the United Methodist Church. The purchase price was $15,000. At the time of purchase, the site was less than one mile from the popular West Okoboji Station of the Rock Island Railroad, and two and a half miles directly west of Spirit Lake.

  • Okoboji's first building was the Tabernacle, constructed in 1915 as a gathering area for the very popular Northwest Iowa Camp meeting that eventually became the Northwest Iowa Bible Conference. On September 30, 1926 the Tabernacle was demolished by a tornado. In 1927, a new brick building was constructed in the same site at a cost of $8,000, just in time for that year's camp meeting.

  • In 2012, prior to being taken down, a decomissioning service was held for the Tabernacle building to celebrate its nearly 100 years of existance serving groups, families and campers.

  • Construction dates of Okoboji's existing facilities include:
    • Epworth Hall - 1928
    • Classrooms Dormitory - 1947
    • Prospect Lodge - 1955
    • Memorial Guest Lodge - 1956
    • Grantham & Wittstruck Cabins - 1963
    • Baskerville Dining hall - 1975
    • New Hope Retreat Center - 1996
    • Baskerville Dining Hall Addition - 2011/2012

  • In 1991, The Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church purchased 94 acres of farm land adjacent to the existing camp. This farmland, known as the South Campus, has been developed for camping and retreat ministries.
CAMPS

Okoboji camping events provide children, youth, young adults and families with an opportunity to learn, play, experience God's love in the outdoors, grow in faith in a safe atmosphere, and to reach their personal best! The activities and opportunities that campers experience at camp will stick with them for the rest of their lives! Camp provides the acceptance and support of a Christian community and positive relationships with caring adult leaders. At Okoboji, Christ is shared in song, word, worship and example. We provide an unforgettable summer experience, where campers can discover and explore exciting activities in a carefully supervised, Christian environment. Lives are changed forever!

Okoboji offers day camp, one, two, three, and five night camping events for ages 4-adult. Camp activities include high & low ropes challenge course, crafts, wagon rides through our rolling prairie, off road go-karts, water sliding, mountain boarding, Bible Study, archery, campfires, sand volleyball, 9-hole disc golf course, basketball, and group games in the green grass of our park-like setting. Swim & relax in the cool, clear water of Iowa's most popular lake! Travel to theme parks and many of the area's hottest attractions.

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RETREATS

As well as being a great camp, Lake Okoboji United Methodist Camp is also a four seasons retreat center! Guests enjoy wonderful food service, air-conditioned/heated facilities, group programming opportunities and warm Christian hospitality. Whether it's a large group function, a family reunion, or just a quiet weekend at the lakes, we offer comfortable accommodations at affordable rates, year-round!

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MISSION STATEMENT

To provide sacred space where Jesus Christ transforms lives, persons grow in Christian discipleship and leaders are developed to empower their local churches in the world; and to facilitate this mission through Christian hospitality.

21413 154th Street Place • Spirit Lake, IA 51360 • Toll Free: 866.856.9862 • E-Mail Us!
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