Cap Campaign Goal Met final.pngYou did it! You all have helped Bethel Horizons to meet our goal of $3.5 million pledged toward the Horizons 50th Capital Campaign.


In March, just as COVID-19’s effects became realized, we were nearly $400,000 away from our goal. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, this $400,000 in commitments was realized during the past several months. Praise the Lord!

This work would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our 50th Capital Campaign Committee. This committee was co-chaired by Jack Salzwedel and Dale Mathwich. Members also included Alice Mowbray, Sigrid Knuti and Phil Pielage.

This goal was reached with over 230 people/families providing a pledge in just 18 months! This fundraiser is the largest fundraiser by far in Bethel Horizons history and will help set the course for the new Bethel Horizons Master Plan. Over 70% of these pledges have been paid off and the rest of the pledges are due to be paid off by the end of 2022.

Thank you all for your support to make this possible!

Eric Knueve, Executive Director


Horizons Campaign Tree Completed.png

A Letter From The Director

Greetings from Bethel Horizons!

During the 50th Anniversary year of Bethel Horizons, I am excited to look back on the impact that Bethel Horizons has had on so many lives during the past 50 years. As a Program Director from 2000-2005, I remember working with lots of people throughout those six years and never fully understanding the impact of my work until a random meeting at a social gathering. A woman that I did not know approached me and stated that she had attended Bethel Horizons summer camp some 27 years prior. She said that she would not be where she was without her experience at Bethel Horizons, and that the single most impactful moment from her experience was sitting on Main Cliff with her group and writing a personal letter to God. That experience was with her and guided her throughout her last 27 years and helped her to navigate some difficult times and emerge from them a better person. I was stunned and from that moment I tried to remember that every interaction I had at camp could lead to a transformational experience for that person.

For 45 years, Pastor Duane Hanson had a vision of helping people find ways to live in better harmony with God, Self, Others and Nature, and people should be able to access Horizons regardless of their financial ability. He remained committed to that vision and created a space and program to allow for these types of significant experiences. Here are some of the ways in which we have affected those participating in our programs throughout the last 50 years.

● Over 400,000 individuals have participated in one of our programs (Adamah Clay Studios, Adventure Programs, Environmental Education Programs, Retreat Programs and Summer Camp). Here are a few quotes that speak to that impact of those using our space for retreats:

○ “We have been having our retreats at Bethel Horizons since 2002. It feels like home. Thank you!”

○ “It was such a peaceful place to be, the staff were so friendly, the food was very good, and the facilities were perfect!... we can’t wait to come back!”

● Over 25,000 summer campers have been to one of our week long programs with over 16,000 receiving a campership to make that possible. Here are some of the impacts on these children:

○ “I would like to tell you that these have been the best three years of my life… Of course I will come back! I want to live here! It was SO fun!”

○ “You all have become family in a short amount of time. I will miss you.”

With these powerful experiences throughout all of our programs, I am excited for the impact we will continue to have on people who come to our space away from the hustle and bustle of life. We have realized that in order to continue to serve all those who come to Bethel Horizons, there are some improvements that need to be made. First, we need to build capacity for current and future growth of our programs. Second, we must create  a welcome center that helps people new to camp know where the “front door” to camp is and provide a collaborative space for our year round staff to work. Finally, we need to provide our year round staff with living spaces where they can feel that they have a “home” away from work.

This capital campaign is about honoring the legacy of Pastor Duane Hanson and building capacity to continue his vision that was started 50 years ago when the two farms that make up the majority of the Horizons landscape were purchased.

This capital campaign also reflects the goals of our 2018-2023 Strategic plan, which can be found below. This campaign will help us to increase participation in our summer camp, allow more year round use of our facilities, continue to build with green technology, update some of our facilities to modern standards, help create sustainable programs that will stabilize our budget from year to year, and invest in providing top notch accommodations for staff, which are the backbone to the success of all of our programs and efforts.

To complete all of these projects, it will cost approximately $3.5 million. That amount is daunting; however, I am pleased to share with you that as of today, we have more than $2.2 million pledged to make these projects happen. That’s almost 63% of our way to our final goal! Can you help us go the rest of the way? I ask you to prayerfully consider how you might contribute to this capital campaign after reviewing the materials on this page you can return a pledge card to Bethel Lutheran Church which is linked below or donate through the link below. Every gift is important, as it is only collectively that we will realize the full potential of this campaign.


Eric Knueve

Executive Director


50 Years of History

Click here to learn about the 50 years of Horizons history.


The Vision


Camper Cabins 1.png

The addition of these cabins allows Horizons to meet the immediate need and expand summer programming and increase use of facilities - both goals outlined in Horizons 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. These cabins, architecturally harmonious with the camp's rustic identity, are well designed to accommodate 16 campers in two bunk-rooms with adjacent modern shower and bathroom facilities. A multipurpose deck joins the two bunk rooms, and provides an informal "hang-out" space, where meetings, sing-a-longs, and group cookouts can be held. The cabin configuration is also ideal for family camping, reunions, and youth retreats.


2.png Art Ventures Retreat Center Addition With New Single Room Options

Art Ventures Retreat Center new wing will provide up to 10 spaciously designed hotel-styled guest rooms with private bathroom facilities. The Retreat Center, nestled in the Wisconsin driftless hills, attracts regionally and nationally recognized clay artists to its workshops each year. The lack of single-room accommodations has placed limits on its expanding programs and necessary potential revenue. The addition of a second guest room wing will bring us closer to meeting the retreat's original master plan of having four wings and will help ensure financial stability, which is one of the objectives stated in Horizons 2018-2023 Strategic Plan.


3.png Staff Village

Flexible Housing for Year-round Staff will allow Horizons to attract and maintain quality long-term professional staff as outlined in the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. Four, two-bedroom apartments with living room, full kitchen, laundry, and bathroom facilities, are ideal for roommates or family. Each apartment has a private patio that allows the full enjoyment of living at Horizons. The project will improve morale and allow essential employees to make their home on Horizons campus.




4.png Welcome Center Honoring Pastor Duane Hanson

The new farmhouse presents an opportunity to name the building in honor of Pastor Duane Hanson, whose vision has fostered personal growth in the harmonies of "God, Self, Others and Nature" for 50 years. Having centralized administration office space will help build collegiality, improve communication and stimulate creativity-values Duane nurtured in his staff. The new facility provides professional workspaces with state-of-the-art office equipment, making Horizons' operations more efficient and effective. New basement shower, bathroom, and laundry facilities will be ideally located for the use by summer staff, who are housed nearby and currently lack adequate facilities. The replacement Farm House, architecturally consistent with the current Horizons icon, will be the central location for office and meeting space for year-round staff. These improvements will help attract summer staff, which is one of the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan strategies.


5.png Adamah Multi-Media Studio

Since 2013, interest in Adamah's clay workshops have increased five times. Adamah Multi-Media Studio allows the expansion of its growing clay workshops while providing space for other medias such as painting, glass fusing, printmaking, and fiber art. This additional studio space will allow Adamah to maintain the momentum from its growing programs. Horizons' Adamah campus is located in a budding arts community, with artists working in a wide range of media, and living in historic and picturesque sites, which are drawing many art enthusiasts to the area.



Looking for More Info?

Attached below are all the individual 50th anniversary capital campaign documents which includes our strategic plan, our long range capcity plan, the official letter from the director, and a 50th capital campaign pledge card!

Icon 50th Campaign Letter From the Director (157.1 KB)

Icon Horizons 2018-2023 Strategic Plan (11.7 MB)

Icon Long Range Capacity Plan (4.6 MB)

Icon 50 Years of Impact Fact Sheet (131.1 KB)

Icon Capital Campaign Pledge Card (98.5 KB)


Ready to Help Make The Dream a Reality?

You can print off, fill out and turn in the below pledge card to Bethel Lutheran Church at 312 Wisconsin Avenue Madison Wi 53703 or donate via paypal at the below link (you do not need an account to donate)

Icon Capital Campaign Pledge Card (98.5 KB)

Donate using Paypal

*Please write "50th Capital Campaign" in the "add special instructions for the seller" section while donating.