August 13, 2017

Dear Northland Ministry Family,

On Friday, August 11, 2017, on her 29th birthday, Danielle Willoughby went home to be with the Lord. We know that God never makes a mistake, and we know that God is never caught by surprise. From a human perspective, Danielle should be here preparing for the school year, getting ready for church, waking up to enjoy fresh opportunity, and enjoying her family. But, after wrapping up a wonderful summer of ministry and returning home for only a few days, a sudden and unexpected health crisis occurred. While we all grieve and sorrow over Danielle’s homegoing, we trust God during this time to bring Him glory and honor. Our support and friendship are extended to her husband, Joel, and their two boys, Roger and Isaiah.

While Joel was introduced to Northland Camp for the first time this year, Danielle was a junior camper at Northland’s Pioneer Village when she received Jesus Christ as her Savior at 12 years of age. Both Joel and Danielle served on the program staff at Northland Camp this summer for the first time, and they were planning on many more summers with us. Our entire staff and leadership team appreciate their investment of time, investment in people, and investment in our children’s ministry. It is obvious that Joel and Danielle were loved and appreciated by many on the Northland staff but also by a host of friends and family.

In Joel’s words, “Thank you everyone for the overwhelming support! God is good and sovereign. He had blessed me with Danielle and two kids from her. The Lord gave her the best birthday gift ever today. Danielle went home to be with the Lord around 2pm today. The Lord gives and He takes away. All glory to the Blessed Father! Continue to pray for grace, wisdom, and comfort.” Our staff and Northland family, Joel and Danielle’s families, and their friends and ministry partners in Ankeny, Iowa, will continue to prayerfully support and comfort this family.

There are many memories that each of us have regarding summer camp. But there is no better longstanding memory from camp than those people that served alongside us. We will remember these people a very long time. For many on our staff, you will think of Danielle. Praise the Lord for her life; we honor her because she is one of our Northland team members. May God bring great comfort during this time of grief and sorrow at the loss of a daughter, a wife, a mother, a friend, and a ministry co-laborer.

On behalf of the entire Northland family,

Jeff Kahl, Executive Director

Funeral Arrangements: 10:30am Tuesday, August 15, at Ankeny Baptist Church, 2842 SW Third Street Place, Ankeny, Iowa.

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Earlier this year, Northland announced the establishment of the Northland Institute. As a result, the Northland Institute has generated much interest and many questions. Following are some FAQ and answers concerning the Northland Institute.

1. Just what is the Northland Institute? In its most simple definition, the Northland Institute is a residential Bible program offering 1 and 2 year certificates. Residential, because we believe Christian education is more than the dispersal of information but the practical demonstration and development of that information through “life-touching-life” mentoring. That cannot happen in an extension or on-line educational environment. Biblical, because we believe the Bible is God’s textbook for all aspects of life. However, the Northland Institute is much more than a residential Bible program.

a. It is a beneficial investment in one’s personal life. The Northland Institute will help instill and foster essential personal character traits such as discipline, honesty, integrity, and maturity. Invest in your personal growth!

b. It is a Scriptural equipping of one’s spiritual life. The Northland Institute will challenge, nurture, and equip each student spiritually to live their life upon the principles of God’s Word. Equip yourself with a biblical foundation!

c. It is a practical foundation for future life. The foundational principles taught at the Northland Institute are building blocks of life that will benefit the student physically, spiritually, and mentally whether serving in the sacred or secular realm. Build for the future!

d. It is an affordable alternative to college life. With the cost of Christian college constantly rising, the Northland Institute has been designed to be affordable. How affordable?

$3,500 per year working 20+ hours per week $6,000 per year working 10-20 hours per week $1,000 scholarship credit for Northland summer camp workers

2. What is your teaching philosophy? It is our desire to lay a foundation for future living by training the whole person – intellectually, spiritually, practically, and personally. This is accomplished by instilling a spirit of academic excellence, biblical instruction, selfless servitude, and practical personal living. Or, put another way: we desire to challenge the students’ heads with Scripture-centered thinking; their hearts with life-touching-life mentoring; their hands with ministry-centered serving; and their habits with Christ-centered living.

3. Who may attend? The Northland Institute has been designed to be an affordable alternative for those single, Christian, young adults who are seeking to enrich their biblical knowledge and spiritual life, those who want to attend but simply cannot afford a traditional Christian college, those desiring to enhance their vocational and life skills, or those who are in transition or are uncertain of God’s direction for their life. The Northland Institute will ground you in God’s Word, build your personal leadership and life skills, and equip you to faithfully serve at home, church, and work.

4. Can married couples attend? What about middle-age, or retired individuals? Yes, yes, and yes! Please bear in mind that published pricing is based upon single students living in a dormitory setting while participating in the Institute work program. For all other individuals, tuition is $2,500. Meals and lodging are available on campus for an additional cost.

5. Can I audit a class? Yes! Classes may be audited for $200 each. Please be aware that courses are structured in a one week block-class format. Therefore, a Monday-Friday 8am-2:30pm daily presence is required to audit a class. Meals and lodging are available on campus for an additional cost.

Perhaps, you’ve considered Christian college but cannot afford it. Perhaps, you are not certain what God desires for your life. Or, perhaps, you know someone who may benefit from the Northland Institute. There is still time to apply for the Fall semester! To apply or for more information about this exciting opportunity, check out the Northland Institute website at

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Eric and his wife, Debbie, began attending Northland Family Camp, with their three children, in 1994. Over the next several years their children also attended Junior and Teen Camp. Since Northland, Debbie and Eric have served on various mission and medical mission teams. They were serving 24 miles from Port au Prince when the Haitian earthquake struck and were part of one of the first relief teams into the area. Eric has served on the boards and committees of two Christian colleges as well as local, state, and national medical societies. He is excited to serve Northland and looks forward to seeing Northland's ministry reach others.​

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Would you consider donating to a worthy cause? Help sponsor a Nicaraguan camper to a USA Camp. If you wish to make a donation, please write a check, payable to Northland Mission, Inc., and in the memo line write Nicaraguan Camper. Then send your check to Northland at W10085 Pike Plains Road, Dunbar, WI 54119, by August 30, 2017. Thank you for your support as we seek to raise funds to reach the Nicaraguan children!

Download Nicaragua Poster

Download poster by clicking the image above.

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We are excited to welcome John and Karen Hanson to our staff team!

John and Karen Hanson served at Pine Valley Bible Conference Center (Pine Valley, CA) for the past ​ten​ years. John served as Director of Guest Services, and Karen assisted in guest service and nursing roles as needed. John graduated from Appalachian Bible College in 1999 with a degree in Christian Camping Ministry.​ In November of 2016, God opened the door of opportunity for them to serve at Northland​ as Operations Manager.​ John and Karen have two grown children in California and two teenage daughters, Ashley and Annalea, at Northland.

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Join us in celebrating Founder's Day at Northland Camp! On Friday, April 28, 2017, we will be taking some time to look back over the journey that God has allowed Northland to travel, remembering "Papa" Patz and his faithful testimony as well as the legacy of service and commitment that he exemplified, and looking to Northland's future with gratitude and excitement that God is still using us to impact lives with the gospel. The program goes from 10:30 am to noon, with lunch to follow.

Please click here to RSVP.

Share God's Work!

If you were impacted by Paul "Papa" Patz either personally or through Northland's educational or camping Ministries, would you take a few moments to share a testimony of that impact in a 2-4 minute video or in writing?

Please send any video or written testimonies to us here.

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Dear Friends:

Over the course of the last year it has been a privilege to watch and see what the Lord is continuing to do at Northland. It is easy to see that the Lord was not finished with Northland but has reinvigorated its purpose as Northland returns to its roots. We are encouraged by the progress that has been made and how quickly it is occurring.

Right now, we are especially excited about the announcement that the Northland Institute will open in September of this year. This next advancement in the ministry is encouraging as Northland takes another step in the education and investment of the next generation. Please check out and be assured of Northland’s continued goal and focus on a thoroughly Biblical foundation.

We are sure you understand the importance of an environment that will help produce rapid spiritual advancement through immersion in God’s Word. At the Northland Institute, students will receive concentrated Bible classes coupled with opportunity to utilize that knowledge through service.

Recently, Jack Kaetterhenry accepted the position of Director of the Northland Institute, which to us is the most exciting news of all. To know that the director passionately loves the Lord and is a humble man of God, gives us incredible confidence in the future and direction of the Northland Institute. Jack’s balance in the ministry, coupled with his love for Northland, will bring yet another level of excellence to the ministry.

Jack Kaetterhenry is a lifetime resident of Wisconsin and has 25 years of pastoral experience. He and his wife, Lynne, have accepted the invitation to serve at Northland as the Northland Institute Director with an expanded administrative role assisting the Executive Director. He has served on the Board of Trustees for Northland and is currently the President of Assurance Women’s Center in Appleton. His experience as a business owner of Granville Cabinetry, Inc, along with his strong vocational training skills, allows for expanded influence in the operations. Jack and Lynne have four grown children. Jack graduated from Northland Baptist Bible College in 1992.

We would again encourage you to take a look at the website and consider your investment in Northland, whether it be through promoting the Northland Institute with your students, or by sending your teens or juniors to camp this summer. It is such a pleasure to partner alongside those who are excited for the future of Northland and the ministry in general. May the Lord continue to bless you.

Your friends and partners in the ministry,

The Northland Board of Directors

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This past month we were excited to announce the opening of Northland’s Institute of Leadership and Ministry beginning in September of 2017. Since 1976, Northland has trained thousands of students for life and ministry and we look forward to continuing to train the next generation of servant-leaders for great commission living.

There is nothing more effective than the practical and personal participation a residential program can provide where each student is given targeted, personal attention and dynamic instruction in a conservative, Christian atmosphere. Online classes may bring a greater convenience, but they fall short of the practical ministry and life-touching-life experience of in-person courses.

The Northland Institute benefits those desiring to invest a year or more of their lives to increase their Bible knowledge, shape their Christian life and enhance their life skills. We invite single, Christian young people, ages 18 or older, to participate in this specialized Bible foundations and life skills training program before enlisting in the military, attending a secular college, or going directly into the workforce. The Northland Institute is also perfect for students looking for Bible training, leadership development, and vocational enrichment – after high school, during their early to mid-twenties, after military service, or after their four-year secular college degree.

The institute will employ a block class format with numerous qualified teachers coming in to cover various topics over the course of the school year. Pastors, youth workers, and others are also welcome to sign up to attend specific block classes they are interested in. The current list of courses can be found here.

While we have many items necessary for the start of Northland Institute, we would love to update our classroom technology ($1000) as well as start a scholarship fund. If you would be interested in helping with either of these needs, please let us know.

Please pray with us that the Lord would bless this endeavor. We desire to see students trained at Northland making an impact for the cause of Christ here in the US and around the world!

More information is available at, click here to view the brochure, and send any questions you may have to

For His glory,

The Northland Board of Directors  

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Dear Friends,

In Romans 16, the Apostle Paul expressed a great deal of esteem for those who served the church. This arena of colleagues, servants, and committed followers of Christ would not have been known had it not been for this passage of Scripture that reminds each reader of the sacrifices and friendship of an eager army of partners marching forward.

It is encouraging that we don’t know much more about these special people other than what Paul clearly stated—that he loved and appreciated them, and by inference, the Gospel went forward and Christianity increased and abounded because of these unity-builders and grace-givers.

Paul also warns the readers about what stops this bright Gospel light from impacting a dark, dying world. The people who impact a world for Christ can end up losing the ground they fought so hard to acquire. It is a blessing to read of the churches that Paul influenced and the spread of the Gospel during his generation. Some of those ministries and friendships were very short lived, but Paul rejoiced and thanked God for the privilege of serving these believers and their churches.

There are so many churches and ministry-minded people who need encouragement today. They need to be refreshed. They need a friend. The unsaved world around us needs to hear the Gospel. Those who serve at Northland desire to be that type of ministry. Help us build. Help us connect. Know that you have a friend in us and that we rejoice in your labor and your friendship.

And now we must guard it. Help us move the Gospel forward in any of these ways: •Attend and/or spread the word about The Northland Institute (

•Give toward the Partners Initiative, a specific project, and/or camper scholarship.

•Pray for the staff and Northland.

•Volunteer to spruce up the campus on April 22 or at other times.

•Register for Family Camp, Teen Camp, or Junior Camp by April 2 for the early bird discount.

•Work at Summer Camp—various positions still need to be filled.

•Retired Couples: Work this summer with international students. Duties include supervising and going on all expense paid city bus tours. If interested, send contact information to: as soon as possible.

For more information or questions, visit or contact us at 715-324-4200. At our annual Founder’s Day on Friday, April 28, we will give a more detailed update. We encourage you to attend; additional details will be given at a later date.

Your Servants,

the Northland Board of Directors

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While I was growing up, my church in Milwaukee went to Camp Bird, just outside of Crivitz, for our youth camp. I accepted Christ during the summer of 1961 at that camp. The following year we were told that we would start using a "new" camp. Farther up north a man had built a camp, and he was renting it out to churches for their church camps. That "new" camp was Northland. For the next three years, I went to camp and totally fell in love with it so much that on the bus ride home to Milwaukee, I cried the whole way.

Fast-forward fifteen years. By this time I was living in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The church I was attending said they were going to Family Camp at Northland! My childhood memories were in the distant past, and I couldn’t believe I was hearing that name again. I was so excited! I signed up for Family Camp with three young children, and I was pregnant with my fourth. We had a wonderful week, and my children loved every minute. Over the years, I was so blessed by the preaching and the examples the teachers and counselors set before my children. There were some years when we came home on Saturday, and on Monday I called the Camp Office to see whether there were still openings; I would then pack up the car, and we would head back to camp!

I have been going to Northland Camp every year for thirty-five years; this year will be thirty-six years. Over the years Northland has been a haven, providing such peace and rest for my soul. God knew the journey He had prepared for me. He also knew there were parts of the journey I wouldn't have chosen for myself. Through the years, I've been changed at camp by listening and learning from so many wonderful preachers. Whether the words pierced my heart because I needed to make a change in my life or whether they pierced my heart with the comfort I needed just at that moment, God’s love was in all of it. I have learned to be still and know that He is God, and I have learned to count it all joy. When my ten-year-old daughter died in 1984, I asked, "Why me?" Then I thought back to all the summer Family Camps and remembered what God had taught me. And I said, "Why not me?" As a Christian, I'm not immune to tragedy, but I know God is in control.

Northland is back, and it's the best place where you can take your family for a week of learning, laughing, sharing, bonding, healing, and making new, lifelong friends.

I'm so thankful for the commitment and vision of Northland to reach the lost and to strengthen and encourage all who go there. Northland is a very special place. Northland is family…Northland is home!

Judy Bandy Colossians 2:6

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A Tribute to Ken Blank, a Family Camp Attender and Pastoral Supporter of Northland Camp for over 40 years

Northland lost a great friend when Ken Blank (1938-2017) recently left this Earth to Heaven. It was our privilege to know him and his family. Here is a family tribute.

Jeff Kahl, Executive Director Northland Camp & Conference Center

My Dad

My Dad’s work on earth is over. If you knew my Dad, you knew he worked. He worked as a boy and a young man on the family farm in southern Wisconsin. He studied agriculture at UW Madison. My Dad was in emotional pain as a student at UW Madison. He had thoughts of ending his life. He talked about a time he was walking near the UW campus and a large bus went by. He wished it would hit him. It would all be over. His pain would be gone.

My Dad had a roommate who read his Bible. My dad started to read his Bible. It was at this time an older sister sent him a book. After reading the book, he realized that he was a sinner. He also realized that without Christ, God would punish him for his sin. In the closet of his dormitory room, my Dad got down on his knees, repented of his sin, and placed his faith in Jesus Christ.

His life was changed. He married my mother and attended a Gospel preaching church. He soon realized that God wanted him to preach the Gospel. My Dad, Mom, and a couple kids moved to Minnesota until he graduated from Bible College. After Bible College, he moved back to Wisconsin.

My Dad started a church in Green Bay. He told people about Jesus and invited people to church. He started a Christian school, and the congregation purchased a building. After a few years, the building sold. My Dad worked untold hours on the planning and construction of the little brown church.

My Dad worked as a pastor, teacher, and often as the janitor. He did this because he had chosen to serve God. My Dad’s desire was that everyone in his congregation learn and live God’s Word. After a number of years of growth at the little brown church, my Dad went through a time of depression. The church struggled. My Dad took it upon himself to make something happen to try to ignite the church again. As a result, he made some misguided decisions.

My Dad retired as the pastor a few years ago. He told me several times that he never cared if he had a legacy. He just wanted to follow God and do whatever God wanted him to do. Some may say that his legacy is the little brown church.

However, I say his legacy is his decision to place his faith in Jesus Christ. The church he attended as a child failed to teach the necessity of personal repentance of sin. It also failed to teach the necessity of placing one’s faith in Christ’s death on the cross to cover the sin debt that everyone has with a holy God. When my Dad understood the message of repentance and faith, he chose Christ.

Everyone has sinned. God commands everyone to repent of sin, to accept Christ’s death on the cross as payment for one’s sin debt, and to place one’s faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life.” Eternal salvation only comes to those who repent of sin and place their faith in Jesus.

My Dad did this many years ago. It changed his life. He spent the majority of his life working for God, not for himself. I truly believe that when he arrived in heaven, God said to him, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” I can handle my Dad’s departure. I will miss him. I would love to see him at church again and be Grandpa to my kids. The thought of not being able to speak with him again saddens my soul. However, I know he is with God. What about you? Do you know my Dad’s Savior? Do you know the God my Dad loved? Do you know the God my Dad served? If not, choose Jesus today.

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January, 2017

RE: An Urgent Appeal to Northland Friends

Dear Partners:

Northland has launched the “Partners Pressing Forward Initiative” where we are asking our committed, friendly, and appreciative alumni, campers, and friends to help take care of a $220,000 debt that continues to put untimely pressure on our recovery and rebuilding efforts. This obligation is a carry-over amount from the former ministry leadership.

Over the last 12 months, our current board of directors, along with generous friends, have helped bring it down from $497,000 to the current amount listed. We praise the Lord for faithful partners who have already stepped up to reduce the total amount so quickly and significantly. But we have a little more work to do.

With the daily operational expenses under control and the future increase in camper enrollment, we believe there is a growing confidence that Northland can be stabilized. With campers returning to Northland Camp; churches providing monthly gifts again to support the gospel ministry; international students making plans to attend camp and school at the Northland International Academy; and the reopening of Northland Leadership Institute for ministry-minded and gap year students, the board of directors is confident Northland can move forward.

There are many Northland friends all around the world. They have been impacted somewhere on Northland’s campus, by some person on campus, during some special time of the year. Northland is not dying but surviving. All it needs is a little more help from the friends who love it most and love the ministry a lot more. Northland will be a place where the Word of God is preached, the love of God is felt, the name of God is exalted, and where people esteem others better than themselves.

If you, your family, your church, or your business can help with a special gift at this time, you can help Northland do something many didn’t think possible—to survive another day to serve the Lord by providing a great camp experience, a great education, and a great vision for the future to multitudes more who have never yet been to the campus even once.

Can you help? Would you pray about it? The “Partners Pressing Forward Initiative” brochure can be viewed here. Partners Pressing Forward

For God’s glory alone,

Jeff Kahl

Camp Director

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