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ELCA World Hunger

Examining World Hunger at Agape Kure Beach

This is the eighth in a series of posts highlighting hunger-related activities that happened over the summer at ELCA Outdoor Ministry locations with the help of Education/Advocacy grants from ELCA World Hunger. The following is from Agape Kure Beach in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina.


Worms. Food Waste. Campers.  You might be thinking, “Wow, what a mess!” or maybe even “Ewww, gross!”   It may be a little messy, but at Camp Agape we have been teaching campers about how to reduce our carbon footprints and world hunger by combining worms and food waste!  For the last two years, Camp Agape has been vermiposting (composting with worms).  Volunteers built vermiposting pits outside our dining hall and extra worms (red wigglers) were bought to start the process.  

After each meal campers separate their waste into two tubs: worm-friendly and trash.  Examples of waste that worms can eat include: fruit or vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, newspaper, and other organic waste.  Our campers and guests catch on very quickly not only to what foods can be composted but just how much food waste they create.  Campers also take part in maintaining the vermiposting bins: adding food waste,  shredding extra newspaper to cover the composting materials, and using water from our rain barrels to make sure there is plenty of moisture in the bins.  The more aware campers are of their waste, the more likely they are to think twice when piling up their plates with unnecessary, large serving sizes! 

Once they get into the habit of it, campers and guests find vermiposting easy to do, but often stop vermiposting when they leave simply because they don’t have vermiposting bins at home.  This summer with the help of the ELCA World Hunger Education/Advocacy grant we received, we were able to provide campers with the materials needed to take what they learned at camp about vermiposting home with them.  Campers in our SIT (Staff In Training) – Servant and Nature! Camp programs made their own vermiposting bins.  Camp Agape’s naturalist, Mir Youngquist-Thurow, led the sessions on how to create the bins, compost at home, and why composting can be so beneficial in our world.  We hope that campers will not only use their bins at home to continue vermiposting but also as a tool to teach their family, friends, and neighbors. 

Alissa Oleson
Program Director

Examining World Hunger at Lake Wapogasset (Ox Lake)

This is the fourth in a series of posts highlighting hunger-related activities happening at ELCA Outdoor Ministry locations with the help of Education/Advocacy grants from ELCA World Hunger. The following is from Lake Wapo Lutheran Camp in Wisconsin.


The new opportunities that our ELCA World Hunger Education/Advocacy grant has provided have been extremely beneficial to Ox Lake’s program this summer.  We have been able to use these resources to further Ox’s commitment to being thoughtful of how we live in and care for our world and its resources.  One of our projects has been focused on water.

We purchased two rain barrels and constructed a rainwater collection system on one of our dining halls.  After the first rainstorm we were amazed to see how much water can be collected!  We installed the second barrel closer to the garden, and connected it to the first barrel with a 100-foot hose. Water drains from the first barrel into the second, which we use to water the garden. When the second barrel is full, the first barrel then fills. We use water from the first barrel in the kitchen.  Because of the rainy summer we’ve had at camp and because the system works really well, we’ve been able to water our garden entirely from our rainwater collection system.  We’ve also been able to challenge campers to think about the resource of water and how – and how much – they use it.  Activities designed to illustrate the difficulties many people face distributing and transporting water have further challenged our campers to think about access to clean water.

We also wanted to show the cycle of food, and to discuss the problem of waste and pollution.  We were able to purchase materials to build two different types of compost systems.  Each system shows kids the benefits of composting.  We built a barrel-compost for organic waste from meal preparation and table scraps.  It’s been neat showing kids how organic material breaks down over time.  We empty the broken down material back into the garden.  Explaining to kids that the nutrients from the broken down compost helps our garden grow brings them full circle.  We also constructed a fenced-in, pile-compost used primarily for lawn clippings, garden material, weeds and vegetation etc.  We’ve been able to ask kids about where their waste goes.  We’ve been able to challenge them to think about alternatives to discarding their waste (esp. organic material) in trash cans.

Overall, these additions to the Ox Lake Village Program have challenged campers and staff alike to see that how we live affects our neighbors that live next door and people across the world.  As we seek to love our neighbors as ourselves, we believe that it is essential to think about how we can be better stewards of all that God has given us, and these projects have helped us do that.

Tony Schaden and Sam Pertz