Vista Christian Retreat (known as Camp Vista) was founded
in 1961 by Catholic priest Fr. Joseph A. Fischer - as a unique facility for ALL CHRISTIANS groups. His vision and goal was to provide a natural setting, where young people, while enjoying the outdoor environment, could develop their faith in God and learn how to bring Christ's love to others.
For almost 60 years, Camp Vista has been known as a place that is run by good leaders and that creates good leaders. We believe, that our simple and unique program helps campers - beginning with their first year at the camp - to develop their leadership skills.
As children, they sign up for our summer program to become the camper, then as a teenager they serve as junior counselors. Later, as 17-years old, they perform camp volunteer work, and finally when they turn 18, they can be promoted to serve as leaders at the camp. Christian formation they receive during their stay molds them into bright, faith-filled young souls and that greatly impacts them and those who they encounter. The camp experience influences their future choices and the values they learn here assist their entire life. In numerous ways, the leadership skills and the Christian values acquired at our camp, make them
"the salt of the earth."
In 2011 - just for the celebration of Camp Vista's 50th Anniversary, we invited special guest and speakers, Emile and Alois - Brothers from Taize, All Christians Community from France. Inspired by them, we have adopted the " Adoration of The Cross” and since than this unique prayer has become an important part of our spiritual program, "When the Souls are Moved by Singing"
Chapel Fire / Chapel rebuilding
Two years ago, we experienced a devastating tornado followed by the Chapel Fire that occurred on October 24, 2018. On March 13, 2020 we broke ground to start rebuilding the chapel we lost in fire,
and coincidently the same day - just a few hours later - the White House declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency.
As a result, our retreat was closed for the entire year, cutting our income dramatically. We were able to open the camp for part
of the summer, earning just enough funds to cover only basic retreat needs. In spite of these tribulations, we continue rebuilding the chapel, hoping it will be fully completed in September 2021,
depending on available funds.
Camp Vista Mission Statement
written by Fr Joseph Fischer
“Join us in our work of preparing youth of today for Christian life,
in the fullest sense,
as they are the inheritors of the world of tomorrow”
Father Joseph Anthony Fischer - founder of the Vista - was born
on November 4, 1914. He was called to his eternal
reward on May 4, 1997 after 57 years of camping,
36 of which were spent at the Vista.
He developed Camp Vista into a beautiful retreat in
Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine Forest
Seeing all kinds of people visiting the camp he once said:
"Two types of people are visiting the camp, - those who already
found the presence of God in their lives, and those who still search for Him". All of them are welcomed, and no one should ever be denied to attend the camp due to financial reasons.
In spite of working mostly with youth, Camp Vista in the course of
a year, houses people of all ages, from infants to the elderly.
Boy and girl scouts, teens, college students, families,
and Christian religious communities
all take up temporary residence at the Vista Retreat.