History
Camp Phillip--Aerial view

By God's grace we've come a long way since 1968!


Camp Phillip historyIn 1968 the Metzger family donated 17.5 acres of land to the Milwaukee Federation of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod Churches in memory of their brother Phillip.  This property, to be used for children's camping, was located on the Upper White River Millpond, four miles outside of Wautoma, Wisconsin.

Five years later an additional 120 acres were purchased for $14,000 to make up what has become known as Camp Phillip.

Camp Phillip Dining hall constructionConstruction on the first building--the Shelter building (now the Dining hall) which provided restrooms and an open air shelter--continued through the winter so the building was ready for the 1975 camping season.

A caretaker's house was built in 1980 so that someone could care for the grounds all year long.

For years a camp program that had been begun in 1956 for Milwaukee area WELS 3rd-9th graders was looking for a permanent home.  This program made use of several locations:  Camp Lutherdale near Elkhorn, Wisconsin; Camp Willerup near Cambridge, Wisconsin; and a former White Sox training camp on the shores of Lake Winnebago outside of Brotherstown, Wisconsin.  In 1983 this program moved for its final time to Camp Phillip.

Camp Phillip Dining hall in early yearsThe great amount of potential for outdoor ministry led the Camp committee to call a full-time Camp director to replace the caretaker in 1983.

Over the years more buildings were added to accommodate the growing ministry.  The shop class at Wisconsin Lutheran High School in Milwaukee built eight of the cabins that were then brought to camp in pieces and assembled by volunteers on site.

In 1989 a Program director was called, the second full-time person.  This was the first year that summer staff were hired--a program assistant and a lifeguard.  A low ropes course was also built.

An additional 40 acres adjoining camp were purchased in 1991 and a high ropes course was built on the property the following year.

In 1994 we began offering rock climbing trips to Devil's Lake State Park.

Family Fest--Artesian WELSFamily Fest was organized as a celebration of camp's 20 years of ministry in 1995.  A stage in the campfire area was completed minutes before the first band for Family Fest did their sound check.  A cassette tape of songs written and sung by camp staff was also professionally recorded.

In 1996 three year-round staff positions were added:  a Food service director, an Administrative assistant and a second Program director.  Camp Phillip was also incorporated.

The first annual meeting of Camp Phillip Inc was held on June 20th, 1998.

The sixth year-round staff position was added in 2000--a Staff assistant.

Camp Phillip--Comfort station constructionBuilders for Christ have helped us with many projects over the years:  a structure over the existing outdoor stage, four conestoga wagons and a Dining hall addition.  Board member Don Radke's building crew constructed the Administration building, duplex and additions to two Wisco cabins.

In 2002 sixteen pull-through campsites with electrical and water and a dumpstation were added to the campgrounds area.  A new Comfort station was also begun.

The brand new Congregational day camp program traveled to seven congregations during the summer of 2004.  A Thrivent grant of $50,000 was received to expand the program to two congregations per week and to provide more training for youth and congregational volunteers.

Current Camp Phillip staff
Pastor Tom Klusmeyer, Camp director since 1983
Colleen Zahn, Staff assistant from 2000-2006; Administrative assistant since 2007
Matthew Bown, Program director since 2002
Nathan Klusmeyer, Food service director from 2007-2008; Maintenance director since 2008; Maintenance/Food service director since 2011.

Past Camp Phillip staff
Joel Hansen from 2008-2015
Aaron Wakeman, Development director from 2006-2011
Cora Wakeman, Staff assistant from 2006-2011
Christi Payne, Food service director from 2008-2011
Ahnsharee Klusmeyer, Office assistant from 2007-2008
Dan Teuteberg, Program director from 2005-2007
Sy Vanissaveth, Day camp coordinator from 2005-2007
Jamie Teuteberg, Office assistant from 2006-2007
Isa Breihan, Food service director from 1995-2006
Megan Kubasta, Administrative assistant from 1995-2006
Jason Wiechmann, Program director from 1996-2005
Kelly Dobberpuhl, Program director from 2000-2002
Suzy Eldred, Program director from 1999-2000
Jenni Klas, Program director from 1997-1999
Trina Bufe, Program director from 1996-1997
Steve Huhn, Program director from 1992-1995
Cliff Schmoldt, Program director from 1989-1992
Mel and LaVerne Koss, Camp caretakers from 1980-1983