Faithfully Forward Campaign

Dear Friends,

Some 40 years ago, with the dream that a summer youth camp would be developed, George and Irene Holling gave the Lutheran church’s Nebraska Synod 320 acres of rolling hills near Ashland, NE. The Hollings wished to memorialize their daughter, Carol Joy, who had died in a tragic accident at the very young age of 18. It was the family’s dream that kids could come to this special place and learn of God’s amazing love for them. The Hollings stipulation that “youth must be camping on the property within five years,” was, most certainly, an invitation to the church to step out in faith with them. 

The five-year requirement was met (just in the nick of time) and, since then, countless more leaps of faith have moved this life-changing ministry forward. 

The results of the faithful development of Carol Joy Holling Camp can be seen in the lives that have been touched and forever changed through this very special place set apart. In addition to the friendships begun and relationships built, people who have come to CJH as campers, staffers, volunteers and guests now serve in and live out their baptismal callings in communities all around the world. We give thanks for God’s faithfulness and for the growth that has been experienced. What started with just 356 campers that first summer has grown to the point where, today, 1700 campers and nearly 20,000 retreat guests who enjoy all that CJH has to offer annually.

Further evidence of people having stepped out in faith can be seen in the changing landscape of Carol Joy Holling Camp. Over the last 40 years, visionary projects have brought major improvements to the property as each step forward resulted in the ability to serve more people in even stronger ways. Included among those improvements are:

  • Crystal Springs Lake
  • Holling House
  • Tipi Village
  • Springs Cabins
  • Circle R/Sjogren Center
  • Swimming Pool
  • Office Building
  • Swanson Center
  • High Ropes Courses
  • Angels Gulch Western Town

Now, as is detailed in these pages, exciting new opportunities to build on the Holling’s dream and to strengthen this vital camping and retreat ministry lie ahead. It is our prayer that you will accept our invitation to partner with us as, with God’s help, we step out and move…Faithfully Forward!