For many of the faculty and staff who participate in LSM it is their eighth, tenth, eighteenth, and in some cases nineteenth LSM. I belong to the nineteen year club. Many friends and family members ask me why I keep doing what I do. The obvious answer is that it is my year-round job. What they really want to know is what it is that makes a Minnesotan give up five plus weeks of their summer (and cabin time) to “…go to camp…” I do not think of it in that way. I am not saying it is not hard at times. I struggle with missed time spent with family and friends and the many summer festivals that dot the Minnesota landscape. The truth is that I can’t imagine a summer without LSM.
One of the great messages that Luther College lives out is welcome home. The faculty, staff, and students are told welcome home at the opening assembly. Luther College means this. We are welcomed at Luther and in the broader community of Decorah, Iowa.
I feel this distinctly on many levels. This is my eleventh LSM on the campus of Luther College. I have experienced many collegiate events on campus over an eight year span for two nieces and one nephew. My great-great grandparents settled in this area in between 1849 and 1851. I indeed feel like I am coming home when entering the limestone bluff country that surrounds this area.
This is in many respects a mystical place. LSM is a mystical living and breathing “thing”. It embraces you and pulls you in from Luther’s Morning Prayer to the many faculty and student recitals. You return to familiar buildings on campus and familiar faces. You return to familiar music, hymns, and evening prayer. You are indeed coming home.