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Tomah Shinga officially began when the Kansas-Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), searching for a larger camping site, purchased its present location in 1966. Funds for the purchase of the land came from the sale of surplus camp land, from the sale of Camp Wa-Shun-Ga, a predecessor site, and from a major gift from the Mariadahl Lutheran Church located near Cleburne, KS. Mariadahl Lutheran was the first Swedish Lutheran Church located west of the Missouri River. The congregation disbanded and the property sold in 1960 when the Tuttle Creek Lake Project inundated the church site.
Camp Tomah Shinga’s predecessor, Camp Wa-Shun-Ga, a 17 acre Lutheran Outdoor Ministry site operated from 1923-1969. Located eight miles southwest of the current site, the Wa-Shun-Ga property was sold to the Rock Springs 4H Camp.
In 1985 an agreement was established between the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) Kansas District and the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) Kansas-Missouri Synod to collaborate in operating the camp. It was a very unique outdoor ministry venture jointly managed by the LCMS Kansas District and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Central States Synod.
In 2005, a task force was formed to look at the future of the mission and ministry of the camp, resulting in a recommendation to restructure the camp governance. In early in 2006, both the LCMS District Board of Directors and ELCA Synod Council voted to accept the task force’s proposal. The Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Association of Kansas (LOMAK) was formed. Tomah Shinga became a ministry of the ELCA Central States Synod.
In 2006, LOMAK invited Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (NLOM) to join LOMAK in a ministry partnership to develop camp and retreat ministry at and out of Camp Tomah Shinga. With excitement and joy, the partnership came into being in 2007.
We invite you to join us in praying that Christ will continue to be the heart of Camp Tomah Shinga’s future as we provide places set apart for people of all ages to grow in faith and service to our Lord.
Tomah Shinga is a native Kaw Indian phrase meaning “shining water.” The camp name was inspired by Lyons Creek which borders the camp on the west. Tomah Shinga is geographically one of the largest ELCA camps in the United States. The camp is located in the historic and scenic Flint Hills which surround Geary County.
Mission & Purpose
Our mission is to be a year-round ministry of the church providing opportunities for all ages to experience Christ’s love, grow in faith and serve God. Our purpose is to know Jesus Christ and to make Christ known to all.