New buildings almost complete at Camp Wartburg

Camp Wartburg Director Bob Polansky stands inside the soon-to-be-completed Grandma Linda Craft Center recently. (Kermit Constantine photo)

There are exciting new things going on at Camp Wartburg, one of which has been a labor of love for the Collmeyer family over the past year and a half.

The Grandma Linda Craft Center at Camp Wartburg is expected to be completed in early December as a memorial to the late Linda Collmeyer, who passed away from cancer on July 20, 2011.

“We were trying to think of something to do her justice as a memorial,” Camp Wartburg Director Bob Polansky said as he recalled his collaboration with Linda’s husband, Wayne Collmeyer. Both told the Republic-Times of Linda’s extensive work with arts and crafts to help raise money for the camp.

“She did a lot of arts and crafts that she made and sold for the (Annual Camp Wartburg) dinner auction,” Wayne said. “Once the auction was over, the very next day she started on making crafts for the next year.”

Wayne, former Waterloo School District Superintendent, and his late wife have been involved with Camp Wartburg since his induction onto the camp board back in 2005. Wayne was then named chairman to the board more than four years ago, and has about two years left in his term, making this among his last projects as board chair.

“(I am) looking forward to getting this accomplished, and my children are excited to memorialize their mother,” Collmeyer said.

The Grandma Linda Craft Center is also going to serve as a multi-purpose building for camp goers, with outdoor access to public washrooms and the ability to serve as a meeting place.

The craft building was made possible by memorials made out to Camp Wartburg in Linda’s honor, with added funds from the Collmeyer family and relatives. The construction was accomplished by the work of a national Lutheran group, Laborers of Christ, who also helped construct Camp Wartburg’s new pool house.

“The bath house has been number one on camp goers’ list to help improve Camp Wartburg for quite sometime,” Polansky said, adding that a new bath house has been needed for 15 years and was made possible by a generous $100,000 grant from the Zimmer Family Foundation.

Polansky also said Laborers of Christ traveled from as far as Louisiana, Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan to help work on these two projects, staying at Camp Wartburg and working 40-hour weeks to complete the construction.

“They were all very excited to work on both projects,” Polansky said of the Laborers of Christ, adding, “its just going to be wonderful… any way we can serve more people is better.”

The dedication and blessing of the Grandma Linda Craft Center and new Camp Wartburg bath house will be held April 7, 2013.

Camp Wartburg will also be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013. The camp’s goal is to raise $50,000 for its 50th anniversary.

The camp opened in 1963, and from those early days as a summer camp it has evolved into a four-season camp.

To learn more about Camp Wartburg and how to donate or raise money for this milestone, visit

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