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Contact Us/Staff

Bob Polansky – Executive Director
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Bob Polansky truly has a heart for service. He has been part of Lutheran Child and Family Services (LCFS) of Illinois since 1986. He worked at Lutherbrook for eleven years (a residential treatment center for children) where he held several positions: child care worker, intake worker, field cottage and Collins Group Home supervisor. Bob was hired as camp manager of Camp Wartburg in 1997. Camp Wartburg has grown tremendously under Bob’s leadership. When Bob came to Camp Wartburg in 1997, LCFS had just purchased the camp one year earlier. Camp was 38 acres and the buildings and grounds needed work. Today we have 124 acres, a beautiful dining hall/meeting facility, a new craft center, a new pool house, a rec center and updated cabins. We have grown from serving 186 campers in 1997 to more than 1,200 campers in 2014. The pool house, craft cabin and increased acreage have been put into place since Bob was promoted to executive director in 2011. Bob is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, where he serves as an elder and choir member. He has also served on the boards of the National Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Association (NLOMA) and the St. Louis Section board of the American Camp Association (ACA), both of which Camp Wartburg is a member.

John “Sparky” Hemenway – Camp Manager
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John “Sparky” Hemenway started as a camper at Camp Wartburg and has since served in many different roles including Lifeguard, Camp Counselor, Summer Program Facilitator and in 2017 became the Camp Manager. He brings great energy, enthusiasm and expertise into everything he does around Camp. His job responsibilities range from managing the site and facility, training and supervising staff, growing programs and maintaining our mission and vision. Over the years, he has greatly enjoyed mentoring staff as they learn how to express and grow their faith. In his spare time, Sparky enjoys playing soccer, camping, woodworking, occasionally acting in community theatre productions and spending time with his wife Christina and dog Ernest.

Theresa Thorburg – Development Manager
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Theresa Thorburg joined the Camp Wartburg team in 2010 as development coordinator. Theresa’s background was in corporate America where she held the position of vice president administration with a local privately-owned insurance company. Theresa served on the board of directors at Green Park Lutheran School for six years. She also served as their fundraising chairperson for six years. After twenty-five years in administration and fifteen years as a fundraising volunteer, the position at Camp Wartburg is a great fit. Theresa is responsible for donor management and fundraising events, which include our Trivia Night in January/February, Chicken Dinner in April, John Mohl Memorial Golf Classic in May and our “Let your Love Shine” Dinner Auction in August. Theresa enjoys cooking and traveling with her husband Tim.

Ruth Hertlein – Staff Accountant
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Ruth Hertlein joined the Camp Wartburg team in October 2010. Ruth brings a variety of skills to her position. She served at Christ Memorial Lutheran Church for four years assisting with worship preparation. Prior to her work at Christ Memorial, she spent five years as a kindergarten teacher’s aide at Green Park Lutheran School. She holds a place in her heart for the not-for-profit community, especially serving children of all ages. Her office responsibilities include accounting, payroll, database management and the management of Camp Wartburg’s scholarship program. “Ruth enjoys reading and spending time with her three children, grandchildren and husband David.

Faith Morris – Program Coordinator – AfterCamp and Summer Day Camp
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Faith Morris started working in the Camp Wartburg office in August of 2021. Previously known as “Banana,” she served as a camp counselor and lead counselor for a total of three summers. Faith is originally from Metcalf, IL, a small town in central Illinois, and received her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Eastern Illinois University (EIU) in May of 2021. While at EIU, she served as a student leader of the Immanuel Lutheran Campus Ministry group and worked as a tour guide in the Office of Admissions. Her love of Camp, positive attitude, creativity and marketing knowledge make her a great asset to our team. Her responsibilities include program and retreat scheduling, summer camp registration, social media management and camp communications. In her spare time, Faith enjoys shopping, singing, watching reality television and crafting.

Terri Maier – Kitchen Manager

Noah Jost – Program Coordinator – Summer Overnight Camp and Onsite
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Zach Winter – Hospitality Coordinator – Facility Rental, Retreats and Outdoor
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Cindy McNew (Nice Twice: 618-939-0311 ) – Nice Twice Coordinator