ALLOUEZ — The Diocese of Green Bay has named Rebecca Sievers as Camp Tekakwitha director, effective Nov. 21. Established in 1926, Camp Tekakwitha is located near Shawano on 37 acres bordering Loon Lake. Under the direction of the diocesan Department of Education, Camp Tekakwitha is a year-round destination for summer camps, school groups, retreats and professional development.
With 90 years of rich history, it is no surprise the camp’s newest director can attest to its influence. “Camp Tekakwitha holds a very special place in my heart,” said Sievers. “I spent 10 summers here as a camper and four as a counselor. Camp has had the single greatest impact on my growth and development to date.”
Sievers has had camp on the brain for as long as she can remember. “At the end of camp one summer, I went into (former camp director Eric Blumreich’s) office and said, ‘Eric, I want your job. How do I get to your position?’”
Years down the road, this impassioned statement has become reality.
Her visible excitement made Sievers stand out, but it is her professional background that really made a splash.
A native of Little Chute, she holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from St. Norbert College in De Pere and a master’s degree in student affairs and administration in higher education from Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.
Before her appointment at Camp Tekakwitha, Sievers worked at the University of Iowa coordinating alternative spring breaks in leadership and service, and, most recently, was the director of Summer Camps and Conferences at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. At UWGB, she ran 29 different summer camps with curriculum ranging from art and music to video games and cyber security.
“I had no intention of leaving UWGB, but when this job came up it was an offer that I just couldn’t refuse. I was holding off on applying, but my heart pulled me in,” said Sievers.
In her new role, Sievers will be responsible for the overall leadership and direction of Camp Tekakwitha.
“One of the many things that impressed me was the fact that she is a person of deep faith and that she sees Camp Tekakwitha as a school of discipleship,” said Joe Bound, Ph.D., director of Education for the Diocese of Green Bay. “She is well-organized and has a clear vision of where she wants to take ‘Camp.’”
Camp Tek, as it is often called, is a year-round facility. Sievers hopes to build on thecurriculum offered to school groups and summer campers and showcase the site as an ideal place for retreats, meetings, leadership development and team building.
Amid the archery, swimming and skits, it is not just the s’mores that keeps campers and visitors coming back. “The fact that it’s rooted in the Catholic faith is what makes Camp Tek special,” she said. “We are able to share in not just the activities of summer camp, but share our faith and the journey of life together. That’s where the relationships are built.”
Sievers said she is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something that has deeply touched her own life.
“I am so honored and humbled to get to serve the church through the ministry of Camp Tekakwitha,” she added. “I am looking forward to helping others experience God in the same way that I did through camp.”