formerly called the Camp Ma-He-Tu Foundation

The Camp Ma-He-Tu Endowment Fund

Formerly known as the Camp Ma-He-Tu Foundation


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$600,000 and Growing!

Posted on May 5, 2021 at 2:30 PM

Thanks to the incredible faithfulness and generosity of our donors, Ma-He-Tu's endowment fund now exceeds $600,000!  We continue to push towards our ultimate goal of $1 million.

If you are making estate plans, or have an old car or unwanted piece of real estate that you would like to donate, please keep us in mind.  Our endowment fund is managed at Thrivent Charitable Impact & Investing (formerly InFaith Community Foundation), which can assist you with these kinds of donations.  Please see our 'How to Give" page for contact information.

A New Name!

Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:10 AM

Following our successful Cornerstone Campaign to create an endowment for Camp Ma-He-Tu, we have changed our  name to reflect our sole mission:  growing and managing Ma-He-Tu's endowment.  From now we are called the Camp Ma-He-Tu Endowment Fund, a reality that our donors made possible.   We plan to continue to grow our current fund of $463,000 to $1 million and then make regular distributions to Ma-He-Tu in perpetuity.  

THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts. We will be faithful stewards of your donations for the long-term benefit of our beloved camp.

Getting There!

Posted on February 7, 2018 at 8:50 AM

The Foundation ended 2017 with over $434,000 in assets for Ma-He-Tu's endowment fund!  With 11 months to go in our 5-year Cornerstone Campaign to raise $500,000, we believe that our hopeful, optimistic goal can be achieved.  

We encourage all who want a permanent income for Ma-He-Tu to help us obtain that goal by giving in 2018 .  (See "how-to-give" on this website.)  The Foundation Board will recognize the following categories of giving at the conclusion of the Cornerstone Campaign:

Sponsor: $25,000

Architect: $10,000

Builder: $  5,000

Mason: $  1,000

Bricklayer: $    500

Apprentice: under $500

Thank you to all who have so generously contributed, and to those who will continue to help us create an endowment fund for Ma-He-Tu!

A Successful Challenge Grant!

Posted on January 21, 2017 at 5:30 PM

The 15-month Challenge Grant awarded to the Foundation by the JEM Fund closed on December 31, 2016. We are pleased to report that due to the spectacular support of our donors we raised $141,000 that will be matched dollar for dollar. This means a net increase of $282,000 for Ma-He-Tu’s endowment fund, and represents 94% of the maximum amount that was possible, far exceeding our expectations.
When the matching funds are received the endowment will have $371,000 in assets. We are still two years away from the conclusion of our initial $500,000 Cornerstone Campaign, but the successful beginning means that we can make a distribution plan for the endowment that our donors deserve to know about. On January 14 the Foundation Board of Directors (which includes an appointee of Lutheran Girls Camp Association (LGCA), which operates Ma-He-Tu) unanimously approved a plan that contains the following highlights:

  • The ultimate goal of the Foundation is to create a $1,000,00 endowment fund that can make regular, annual distributions to LGCA at an industry-recommended level (currently, 4% or $40,000 per year.)
  • Until the initial Cornerstone Campaign goal of $500,000 is reached, the Foundation will maintain a small emergency fund in case LGCA experiences a financial crisis.  Otherwise, all interest and capital gains will be turned back into the endowment fund.
  • Between $500,000 and $1,000,000, the Foundation will distribute up to 3% of assets if LGCA operating funds fall below a certain level.  (LGCA currently has over five times the assets that would trigger a distribution.) 

This plan will keep the endowment growing until the $1 million goal is reached, and stable through good times and bad. Obviously, to reach that goal sooner rather than later we will continue to need donations. But now is the time to say THANK YOU. Thank you to all who have supported us these past three years, whose generosity and love of Ma-He-Tu and Trexler have made the dream of an endowment fund a reality. God bless you!

An Eloquent Endorsement from a Camp Trexler Alum

Posted on May 10, 2016 at 3:20 PM

The Foundation was blessed to receive two sponsorships of $25,000 towards its $150,000 Challenge Grant, one from Peter & Kathy Nurge and the other from the Croyder family.  Peter Nurge, who attended Camp Trexler with Harry Croyder, wrote the following:

I hope that today’s internet age, plugged-in kids can get beyond their phone screens and experience traditional camping. It was so influential in my life. Counsel fires, buddy checks, singing, elephant walks, yad sdrawkcab (figure it out!), canoe regatta, rappelling, the Trexler Times and the Babbler, cookout nights, CN Day, ghost stories, lanyards and dubious craft projects that only a parent could love. Dare I mention stealing totem poles, playing cards, liberating a pygmy goat or, heaven forbid, skinny dipping?

But, for me, it really came down to the people. Campers and counselors; friends and teachers. Andy Lindgren blowing reveille in a red union suit. Garet Church on the “desert” telling how the loon got its necklace. Nicky Johnson jumping over the counsel fire. Lou Ramey teaching us some interesting songs. Chef Hans’ bread. Writing the Trexler Times and songs for the staff show with Harry Croyder and Conrad Olsen. Mark Bynoe, Henry Florschutz, Aaron Mills, and the Smith, Stuger and Grotheer brothers. Families spanning both Ma-He-Tu and Trexler like the Beckers, Burfeinds, Ludwigs, Chiaravalles, Croyders, Fletchers and mine. Hulk, Tiny, Peanuts, Chuckles, Ma, Chin, Nursie, Rosie, Igoe, Ruthie…people who even today are identifiable by only one name. Like Rock stars!

We had incredible adventures. Enduring friendships. Treasured memories. Trexler’s light still burns brightly for me. We need to keep it burning through and for Ma-He-Tu.

We hope that Ma-He-Tu alumnae feel the same way, and step up to support Ma-He-Tu's endowment fund to maximize our wonderful challenge grant.  Camp Trexler is no longer operating... but we can keep its legacy alive along with Ma-He-Tu's!

$150, 000 Challenge Grant!

Posted on October 1, 2015 at 2:25 PM

The Cornerstone Campaign - our five year effort to raise $500,000 for Ma-He-Tu's endowment fund - has been wonderfully blessed to receive a $150,000 challenge grant from the JEM Fund.  This Fund will match all donations between now and December 31, 2016 dollar for dollar up to $150,000.  This is an incredible opportunity for Ma-He-Tu!  For those who have been intending to donate to the endowment fund but haven't yet gotten around to it, now is the time!  And for those who have been so very generous in the past, this time you can double your money with one more donation.  

All donations to the endowment fund are being invested.  This means that not only will your gift be doubled, it will be used to generate more income - truly a gift that will keep on giving!

Please help us maximize the challenge grant  You can make a one-time donation, or make them monthly between now and 12/31/16.  Please see our How-to-Give page for more information.

All donations are tax-deductible.  We thank you!

Generosity Begets Generosity

Posted on September 18, 2015 at 3:15 PM

The Foundation received a $10,000 pledge in honor of Jeannie Bionda from an anonymous donor.  The donor wrote:

"Over the last several years Jeannie Bionda has, without any fanfare, donated tens of thousands of dollars to Camp Ma-He-Tu. I want to acknowledge her incredible generosity and self-effacement in a permanent way, by donating $10,000 over the next five years to Ma-He-Tu's endowment fund. While I wish I could give more, I know that this money will grow and become an enduring legacy in Jeannie's honor."

Ma-He-Tu's Fundraising Campaigns

Posted on February 1, 2015 at 8:20 AM

The Foundation ended 2014 with a flourish, receiving another $2500 from Messiah Lutheran Church on Staten Island, as well as contributions and pledges from some long-standing, incredibly faithful donors.   We now stand at $125,000 in combined investments and pledges for Ma-He-Tu's endowment fund after one year!

This was accomplished even as Keep the Campfires Burning had another successful year, a testament to the generosity of  Ma-He-Tu's alumnae and their family members, supporters and churches.  But we have learned that some may be confused by Ma-He-Tu's multiple fundraising campaigns, so now is a good time to explain the difference as we look ahead to the Foundation's second year.

Camp Ma-He-Tu Foundation.   This separate non-profit was created for the purpose of building an Endowment Fund for Ma-He-Tu, and includes a board member appointed by the Lutheran Girls Camp Association (LGCA).   Our goal is to create a permanent income from the interest of the endowment fund, eventually making Ma-He-Tu financially independent of grants and fundraising and able to survive economic downturns.

Lutheran Girls Camp Association.  LGCA operates Camp Ma-He-Tu.  It conducts the annual Keep the Campfires Burning campaign, which subsidizes camp operating expenses each summer.  LGCA also sponsors Casino Night, which likewise helps to pay camp operating expenses.

Donors should feel free to donate towards the organization/purpose of their choice.  Please feel free to ask any questions of us at



A Time for Thanksgiving

Posted on November 9, 2014 at 4:15 PM

As we near the end of the first year of our 5-year, $500,000 campaign to create a permanent income for Camp Ma-He-Tu, we pause to reflect and express gratitude to those who have made the following possible: 

$ 65,500 invested
53,550 in additional pledges

$119,050 in combined investments and pledged assets 

The Board of Directors is humbled by the generosity and the foresight shown by all who have made this possible. Our most recent donors reflect the diversity of those who share the same commitment to Ma-He-Tu's future: 

Nancy Gotwalt, Ma-He-Tu's director in 1956, '57, and 58.
WELCA Messiah Lutheran Church, Staten Island.  These church women have consistently supported Ma-He-Tu over the years.  
Janet Tings, a former camper & counselor, and now on the Lutheran Girls Camp Association Board of Directors. 

We give thanks for 77 years of Camp Ma-He-Tu, and for all of you!

Summer of '14 News

Posted on August 10, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Just before the beginning of Ma-He-Tu's 77th summer, the Foundation received a donation and note from one of its most iconic directors, Jean Gaise Swedberg, and her husband John.  Jean was director from 1964 to 1970, and this summer marks her 50th anniversary as Ma-He-Tu's director.  Calling her directorship her "dream job," Jean wrote, "I thank you...[for creating] an endowment fund for the Lutheran Girls' Camp Association - the Camp Ma-He-Tu Foundation."

Midway through our first fundraising year the Foundation has nearly $55,000 invested and growing, and another $55,000 in pledges.  We deeply appreciate the generosity of those who have donated, pledged and started us on our way to our 5-year, $500,000 goal. Thank you!

And now we have other ways to give as well.  Thrivent Financial members can direct Thrivent Choice Dollars to the Foundation.  And those who shop at Amazon may do so through  By logging on to that website when shopping at Amazon, you will have the chance to designate the Camp Ma-He-Tu Foundation to receive a percentage of your purchase.  

Every donation from every source helps.  And remember: each gift to Ma-He-Tu's endowment fund is a gift that keeps on giving!