Retreat Center Remodel

October ’15 Update :: Thanks, God!

$151,000 Murdock Grant Tops Off Pinecrest Project

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Lutherhaven – a “Camp that Changes the World” – receives millionth dollar from MJ Murdock Charitable Trust

Phase II :: Third floor “Raise the Roof” moves indoors

Just $50,000 remains to be raised for paved pathways, outdoor lighting, seating areas, and landscaping around the historic Lutherhaven Bell Tower!

This year Lutherhaven Ministries was one of four Bible camps in the Northwest named a “Camp that Changes the World” by Chicago’s Center for Faith and Service.

Hand-in-hand with that honor, the seventy year-old Christian camp and retreat ministry on Lake Coeur d’Alene was just awarded a $151,000 grant by the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust to complete the camp’s Pinecrest Lodge Retreat Center remodel.

The Murdock grant represents the millionth dollar the camp has received from the Vancouver, Washington foundation in the past twelve years.

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 The $650,000 Pinecrest project includes

  • 18 “retreat-style” rooms with individual bathrooms
  • Multi-purpose accommodations, easily flipped from youth to families to adults
  • Built-in cleaning ease: hard surfaces, area rugs, and high-end furnishings
  • Amenities for older adults, persons with disabilities, and the mobility challenged


It all started when the 1970’s Camp Lutherhaven summer staff, back for a once-in-forever reunion, asked, “Why’d you stick us in this dump?”
They were talking about Pinecrest Lodge Retreat Center in the center of camp, which they’d requested for their reunion: “We wanna be in the lodge on camp that was brand new when we were at Lutherhaven 40 years ago!”

But a four decade stream of kids, teens, adults and families left the “RC” plain old worn out. Carpet was threadbare; lighting was dim; and the dark paneling was fresh out of the 70’s. Toilets, sinks and showers — four each — poorly met the needs of up to 60 guests, and accessibility for the mobility-impaired was non-existent.
So … these reunioning camp counselors passed the hat, collected $2,000, and launched the remodel of Lutherhaven’s old Pinecrest Lodge.

original rc


Prominently located at the top of camp overlooking Lake Coeur d’Alene, Pinecrest Lodge was constructed during the winter and spring of 1945-46, says a little essay on Lutherhaven’s history, by “a logger and four stalwart young men,” just in time for the camp’s dedication in May, 1946.

The original Administration Building during Lutherhaven’s first 25 years, Pinecrest served as camp office and lodging for volunteer pastors and teachers from Lutheran churches who rotated through each week of summer camp.

A quarter century later, Pinecrest Lodge was in the “center” of camp in a different sort of way: Lutherhaven was broke. Lutherhaven needed a change in direction to last beyond 1970.
The Board of Directors made the bold decision (they had no money) to jump from summer to year-round programming. They winterized the camp, hired Rev. Bob Newcomb to be Lutherhaven’s first year-round Executive Director, and remodeled Pinecrest into the signature “lodge” at camp, back in the day when “Retreat Centers” were a new concept in Christian camping.

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The New Building on Camp!

In 1971 — less than a year after planning began — the new Pinecrest Retreat Center was dedicated at Lutherhaven’s 25th Silver Jubilee. The 5,800 square-foot, $100,000 project included the signature A-frame front, a three-story addition off the back, rooms to accommodate 60 or more guests, three meeting spaces, a summer infirmary, four bathrooms, and offices.

The Pinecrest Lodge “RC” has welcomed nearly 70 years of campers, retreat-goers and staff. Literally tens of thousands of every age have used the central lodge as base for Christ-centered discovery, growth, restoration and renewal, as the love of Jesus is shared to all ages at Lutherhaven, ‘midst the beauty of God’s creation!

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Phase 1 :: $165,000 :: Fully funded and completed, March, 2015 :: The basement level project added four flexible family suites and a handicapped accessible room, plus enclosed stairs to upper levels.

Phase 2 :: $195,000 :: Fully funded, thanks to a top-off grant from the Water Walking Fou ndation! The “Raise the roof” third floor remodel is underway, including a new roofline, six family suites and lake-front balconies. Scheduled to be finished by summer, 2016.

Phase 3 : $215,000 :: Main level and lounge area, including six family suites, handicapped accessible accommodations and expanded indoor and outdoor meeting spaces for 40 guests.

RC blueprints

The total project cost is $650,000: $400,000 for materials and contracted services and $250,000 in staff and volunteer labor.

$50,000 is still needed for paved and lighted outdoor pathways, seating areas, retaining walls, and new landscaping around the historic Lutherhaven Bell Tower!

rc basement pano

The new Pinecrest Lodge gives generations of Lutherhaven campers of every age a fabulous Christian camp and retreat experience, helping fulfill our mission to get people outdoors, build life-long relationships, and drive Christian growth in faith and life:

Encounter creation … create community … commune with Christ!

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Donate Now


Kristi Rietze, Director of Philanthropy

208.667.3459 ext 122

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Plans include

  • A beautifully expanded lounge area adding meeting space for small groups of 30-40 guests
  • Replacing 1970’s paneling with knotty pine
  • Insulating outside walls and between guest rooms
  • Upgraded wiring, electrical fixtures and lighting
  • Energy-efficient windows
  • Covered, handicapped-accessible main floor entry
  • Gray water recycling
  • Single-level Fireplace Lounge
  • Commercial-grade carpeting
  • Private bathrooms in every sleeping suite
  • Flexible sleeping accommodations “flippable” for comfortable lodging for kids, youth, adults and families
  • Handicapped accessible main floor accommodations
  • Dormer windows in Peak Rooms overlooking Lake Coeur d’Alene
  • Outdoor patio with gas fire-pit at front entry
  • Christ-centered, Spiritually-Blessed

name on paddle

Get Your Name on a Paddle!

The ceiling of the Pinecrest Retreat Center lounge is covered with nearly thirty canoe paddles—one for each camp summer since 1980 — each paddle wood-burned with the names of that summer’s staff.

That’s over a thousand names of young adults from across the United States and around the world, called by God to spend a summer telling campers at Lutherhaven about the love of Jesus amidst the beauty of God’s creation.

Donate to the project and have your name engraved on a special paddle to hang in the new Retreat Center lounge. The Donor’s Paddle celebrates a new generation of leaders helping continue Pinecrest Lodge’s legacy as Camp Lutherhaven’s center for “Christ-centered and spiritually-blessed retreats.”

"Registered for the first fall Women's Retreat at Lutherhaven, September 26-28, 1971, were 32 ladies from many places in Washington and Oregon. A small group, but what we lacked in numbers was not evident in spirit and enthusiasm. We got to personally know each other, and this carried with it blessings and joys not possible in a large group. After the regular sessions, coffee "klatches" were enjoyed in front of the fireplace and topics discussed were many and varied. I thank and praise the Lord for the opportunity to attend this Christ-centered and spiritually-blessed retreat."

Lydia Tipke

Mead, Washington