Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Now Hiring for 2011!

Read about spring and summer employment opportunities and download an application packet by following this link.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

CYO Survey

Hey all! We are gathering new creative ideas for High School programming at Camp Hamilton and Nanamakee. Take our survey to share your new ideas. Click here to take our survey.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

CYO is working hard as a community to develop refreshed marketing ideas. Part of that is the development of a new CYO slogan that captures who we are as a community: the strength of our community, traditions, history, and programming all rooted in and building our Catholic faith. The idea to come up with a new slogan has come from many different groups at the same time and so we want everyone's input. We’re looking for a phrase that encompasses what CYO is and what it does. A brand logo or slogan that will resonate with the many audiences for our programming, such as Alumni, Parents, Youth Ministers, Teachers, Teens etc. Our goal would be to use this slogan for a couple of years, not just for 2011. We will take all of the ideas generated here and elsewhere to the marketing task-force to use as we move forward. What do you think the new slogan should be and why? We are on a timeline to get our messaging out as soon as possible, so please give us your thoughts over the next couple days as posts on our facebook wall.

Recapping the Bellarmine Meeting

Below you will find the letter from Greg Bachmeier who attended the meeting of concerned community members at Bellarmine High School last Sunday. He does a great job of recapping the context of the decision around the changes for summer 2011 and summarizes the brainstorming and work that was accomplished by the group.

We want to thank all of the community members who attended, or wanted to attend but could not. Together with the leaders of the small groups, we will work together to implement some of the ideas, brainstorm more creative solutions, and continue to strive toward making 2011 a successful year for the CYO!

As a side note, Youth Convention was really successful! We spoke to over 1,500 teens about CYO summer camping and ramped up the excitement for next summer! Thank you to all of the volunteers who came to share their passion for camp!

Greg's Letter:

To the CYO Community:
First of all we would like to thank all of you who were able to make it to the meeting on Sunday at Bellarmine. It was so inspiring to see such a dedicated group of campers, staff, parents, alumni and friends ready to help CYO summer camping and especially Camp Gallagher. We had about 80 people in attendance from as far away as Spokane, Moses Lake, Portland, Everett and Seattle, all for a common purpose. While much of the news shared during the meeting was not what was expected or hoped for, take strength from the fact that, though the problems facing CYO Summer Camp are large, it is within out power to solve them.
The meeting began with a summary of the conversation we had with Rick Fersch regarding the announcement made by Shawn Madden, followed by questions from the group and a brainstorming session.

A conversation with Rick Fersch:
On Friday, November 5, we met with Rick Fersch regarding the e-mail sent out on Monday which announced:
For the summer of 2011 we will be housing all of our camping programs out of Camps Hamilton and Don Bosco and not utilizing the Gallagher property. By doing this, we can use the funds that are freed up to do a lot with regards to enhanced programming and facilities care. (Shawn Madden, Archbishop‘s Delegate to the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry)
After retiring as president of Eddie Bauer, Rick Fersch began working for the Archdiocese eight years ago in a stewardship and fundraising capacity. In April of 2010 he was asked by the Archbishop to step in at the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry (OYYAM) to help ascertain the financial situation of summer camping ministries and their facilities. In August of 2010 the current Delegate of the Archbishop for OYYAM resigned, and the Archbishop named Rick as the interim Delegate, a position he will hold through calendar year 2011. Shawn Madden was hired in October 2010 as the new Delegate, but as he will be moving with his family from Kansas City and then learning his way around a new organization, Rick‘s involvement will continue throughout the transition.
Since he began with OYYAM, Rick has been working on clarifying and understanding the general financial picture of the Archdiocese‘s youth ministries, but with a specific focus on the summer camping programs and their facilities, due to high annual budget deficits over the past several summers. While Rick clearly stated that summer camps are a ministry first and don‘t need to make a profit, the Archdiocese cannot subsidize their losses at the current level—they must be a self-sustaining ministry. There are many reasons why no one had an accurate sense of the dire financial status of the summer camping program, but what is more important is the cause of this situation: low camper enrollment. The peak year for enrollment was in 2003 with 2,300 kids attending the 3 residential programs as well as Nanamakee. Since 2003 there has been a steady decline in camper enrollment down to last year‘s low of 1,300 (1,100 when leaving out day-camp which did not exist in 2003).
While 1,000 fewer kids are coming to camp every summer, the costs associated with running camp have increased, leaving us in the current situation, annual losses of a few hundred thousand dollars. Using models which factor in the cost of running each individual camp and anticipated enrollment, Rick along with Sarah Humlie, Director of CYO Camp Services, Tom East, a camper parent and ministry consultant, Rick‘s assistant, Brian Harrington, as well as Tauno Latvala and Bridget Harris of OYYAM, developed a plan for the coming summer. The goal was to bring financial stability back to the organization while continuing to provide youth ministry through summer camps. The decision they reached was to consolidate all summer camp programming at Camps Hamilton and Bosco, leaving Gallagher unused for summer 2011.
In order for the CYO to ―break even‖ (or simply lose less money), camper enrollment has to increase to at least 1,560. The simple fact is that Bosco and Hamilton are larger facilities that can accommodate more campers. They are also used year round, making them more difficult to close for a summer and more expensive to operate and maintain whether or not there are campers. Camp Don Bosco can serve approximately 1,300 campers, Camp Hamilton about 700, Camp Gallagher 300. Reaching the minimum enrollment necessary with just Hamilton and Gallagher open is impossible, and while completely filling Bosco and Gallagher could yield 1,600 campers, the cost of maintaining the Hamilton property (whether it hosts programming or not) causes that minimum enrollment number to increase dramatically.
Lower capacity, usability only 3 months out of the year, and the fact that unless Gallagher is full every session, it also loses money (as it has over the past few summers), are some of the factors that resulted in the decision to ―mothball‖ Gallagher for this summer. Moving the high school programming away from Camp Gallagher for summer 2011 was not a simple decision, but one based on the financial and logistical realities of the situation. It was a decision aimed at securing the future of CYO Summer Camps in the long term. While the thought of missing a summer at Gallagher is painful and sad, the simple fact remains that if the coming summer is not a complete success—camper enrollment of 1,560, reduced costs, campers excited about their experience and ready to sign up next summer—the archdiocese will very likely stop subsidizing the losses of the summer camping programs and close all three facilities.
In addition to deciphering the financial position of the organization Rick also conducted a reorganization of the office personnel in order to maximize efficiency and accountability. The current structure of the summer camping elements of the larger OYYAM, more closely resembles the structure of the past.
 Director of Camp Services (Sarah Humlie) oversees all aspects of CYO Summer Camping
 Associate Director of Youth & Family Camping (Megan Raymond) is responsible for programming at the residential camps as well as the Nanamakee tripping program
 Assistant Director of Youth & Family Camping (Jamie Fredrickson) will assist in planning and orchestrating the summer program
 Assistant Director of Guest Services & Facility Maintenance (Shaune Randles) is responsible for coordinating all user groups and overseeing maintenance at the camps.
Summer camp remains part of the larger Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, which is overseen by the Archbishop‘s Delegate, currently Rick Fersch, but transitioning to Shawn Madden. If you have specific questions about the decision regarding Gallagher, or the state of the CYO, you can find contact information at the Seattle Archdiocese‘s new webpage:
Where we go from here:
The solution to saving CYO summer camp: get kids to come to camp. The challenge of making this happen is the subject of much discussion. Meeting the minimum enrollment level keeps the CYO afloat, but to thrive, and ensure that camps never have to close again we need 2000 kids coming to camp this summer. To deal with the many challenges facing the organization in the coming summer, the office staff have enlisted concerned and dedicated alumni to participate in a variety of task forces. One of these groups will assist in marketing the camps, another planning an adapted high school program to be run at Camp Hamilton, and a third group focusing on Catholic identity. The decision not to utilize the Gallagher property for this summer is a very recent development and many decisions have yet to be made, including the possibility of Gallagher as a point of departure for an expanded Nanamakee program.
In addition to getting more kids to camp, there is a great need for help in fixing and beautifying the camps in order to heighten the camper experience and make an impression on potential donors. The question of fundraising has been asked often and genuinely, and there is definitely a need to raise funds to build the scholarship fund and repair the facilities, but a major fundraising campaign at this point would be premature. With the organization currently losing a substantial amount of money on a yearly basis, fundraising for operating costs would be a stop-gap measure. However, this summer is a chance to prove the viability and value of the summer camping program so that when an organized and well-planned fundraising effort begins next year, it can be even more successful. In the meantime, if people are willing to support CYO summer camp financially, ask them to sponsor a child to come to camp. Better yet, have them find a kid and sign them up.
From its beginnings in 1950 to the recent past, the CYO has largely been an organization built through the dedication and sweat equity of volunteers. Recently this has not been the case, but whatever the reasons for this we need to return to a more volunteer oriented organization. As current and former staff members and campers, parents, or simply friends, it is up to us to band together to find ways to support the CYO summer camps in a manner that best matches our skills and abilities. To this end, we are working to form a strong and active Alumni and Friends of CYO group so that we can rally the many hearts and hands that share a love of the CYO. In addition to providing our time and efforts to better the properties through our bodies, a strong and active group of Alumni and Friends can use one voice to call for positive change within the CYO and help steer its course during these challenging times. It is our role and responsibility as those whom CYO Summer Camps have impacted, to work for a better future.
Sno, Sey, Wa, Yo!
Stephanie & Greg Bachmeier
Outcomes of the brainstorming sessions:
After recounting our conversation with Rick Fersch and answering some questions, the large group broke into smaller teams to provide feedback and brainstorm ideas in 6 different areas: fundraising, marketing, high school programing at Hamilton, middle school and elementary programming, response to the Gallagher situation, and cost cutting ideas. Every team got to share their thoughts on each of the topics, the results of those conversations is below.

Responding to the Closing of Gallagher:
Save Gallagher
Fill Camp:
 300 campers, pre-registration, group early registration
 End all girls?
 Align with school and sport schedules (to a degree)
Volunteer staff
Change waiting list
Talk to Archbishop: Inform, Send Letters
Fight for reconsideration
Take out Leroy‘s and build a new lodge
Look at dates
NO ―eyond Gallagher‖session
Stick to a 9 day schedule
Advertise to public schoolers and 8th graders
Work parties
Use Gallagher in the off-season
Ask for repair list
Use Community
Database not just on Facebook
 Google groups
 Website/blog
Camperships—to principals, priests
Fewer sessions
 Pack them
 Juniors and seniors
Market to a broader area:
 Portland
 Canada
 Bellingham
 Spokane
Doesn‘t cost much to open Gallagher: Lots of volunteer work
Overhead costs are not a legit excuse
Lifestyle of Gallagher
Degrade the caliber of a healthy high school camping program
Can we keep Gallagher open AND work on enrollment numbers for the other camps?
How do you provide a high quality overnight experience based out of Gallagher?
Ideas for Cutting Costs:
Grant writing for special programs
Annual Auction:
 Volunteer donations
 Combine with Christmas party
 Seasonal staff work as waiting staff
Ask for Help
Ask for Donations (alumni letters)
Control of Supplies
Cutting food costs (discuss with those who have been under budget successfully)
501 (C) 3
Volunteer staff
Taking inventory before each session to establish min/max requirements for program areas
Have a maintainable budget that is communicated and acceptable
Invoice User Groups
CYO Wishlist
Catalog alumni with specific skills or businesses who are willing to help
Camp Maintence:
 Work Parties—Camper tuition can include (x) amount of service hours
or with (x) amount of service hours (y) discount on tuition
 Advertise work parties - brochure and facebook
 Utilize Parish Youth Groups for service
Friends of the CYO group—help establish healthy relationships with alumni
Bake Sale
Car Wash
Downsize Office Staff:
 Accountability for people who perform poorly
 What do all of those people do?
Carpool to more functions
Private sites for overnights (encourage use of these and attempt to find more)—Gallagher
Don‘t over-staff seasonal staff (allow people to be mobile)
Cut electricity/heating at Hamilton and Bosco
No More Honeybuckets—Bring on the BIFFYS!
Make sure there is no waste of electricity
Charge user groups more
Have Alumni bring in meals for staff training
Elementary and Middle School programming:
More sport camps:
 Tap into CYO athletics
 Utilize more facilities
 Coaches
 Different ages
 New sports
 Our niche: enjoy sports with close friends
Feeling of home—consistent friend groups going to camp together
Talented Staff—not afraid to be themselves, enthusiastic and creating connections
Create and sustain camper to camper connections all year round
Theme night!!
Theme Pranks
Field Games—first experiences, being together
At camp promote the next camp (BoscoHamiltonGallagher/Nanamakee)
Magic and Mystery of Camp
Invite kids out to camp during off season for a day of fun camp activities
Why not camp?
 Lack of parent buy-in
 Camp isn‘t ―ool‖
 Afraid to ―isconnect‖and embrace the presence
Do skits and present pictures at mass presentations—include all of our CYO community (current high school campers to older staff. Imagine a 3 generation CYO presentation)
Increase the bead program
Faith Programming:
 How to make this fun, deep and relative
 Definitely moving in the right direction over the last few years!
Specialty camps focus more on specialty:
 Secret agent camp
 Culinary camp
 Photo camp
 Science camp
 Fitness camp
High School Programming:
Things Gallagher does well:
 People-oriented
 Freedom
 Friendships
 Place to express your faith comfortably
 Challenges in your faith

 Environmental relationship
 Be yourself
 Time to escape worldly pressures
 Community
 Trust and responsibility
Nanamakee ideas:
 Keep intact camper freedom and involvement in decision making
 More accessible
 Can seem too intimidating
 A very small group of people
 Maybe create 2 tiers of trips: advanced and beginner
 7 night overnights from Gallagher
 Multiple trips at the same time (amazing race possibility)
 Spend day 1 and 8 together at camp
 Biking trips (San Juans, Ranier)
 Hiking trips ( Cascades, Bosco or Hammy base camp)
 Borrow bus from local catholic high schools
If High School programming happens at Hamilton:
 Overnight at Gallagher?
 Utilize the cascades and off property overnights
 Do not operate Middle School and High School Programming at the same time
 Sundown at Seattle Lookout
 New creative wide games (Quidditch)
 Bring the sunfish to Lake Hannan
Create an entity ―he Friends of the CYO‖that has a say in the happenings of the office:
 Prevent future predicaments from happening
 Keeps alumni involved
Killer Benefit Auction/Concert
 Charge for attendance
 Do it at camp (Damellio Hall?)
 Dinner
 Campfire-ish
 Use seasonal staff to work as wait staff
 Combine with reunion
Benefit concerts at schools
Firstgive.com (google it)
Bake Sale
Accurate alumni and camper lists
 Plaques
 Graduating classes
Volunteer our time
Calendar/CD sales
Overnights in off-season
 Winter Nanamakee
Camp Apparel that is cool
 Awesome T‘s and Hoodies
 Clarify where money goes
Marketing Feedback:
 The CYO camping website is confusing to use and hard to find. We would like see a better website.
 The CYO facebook page is under-utilized. That could be a great marketing tool to reach campers and keep them interested.
 See if we can have a teacher at each school as a CYO camp contact. He/she can initiate assemblies, start clubs at the schools, etc.
 Although marketing in the Catholic community is essential and should be a top priority, many children in non-religious environments should be reached as well.
 We need a new brand! Let‘s re-invent the CYO imagine and get a cool slogan. Maybe something like ―o CYO!
1. Make CYO apparel for people to buy such as an online store. Maybe specific tee-shirts, sweatpants, etc. with Go CYO as a tool for fundraising and marketing.
 Kid to Kid communication is important!!
1. Have a point person in each Catholic school (high school level) who can be a contact for other students and get people excited about CYO! ‗
2. Deem a day ―YO day‖at school for campers to wear their CYO apparel
3. Develop CYO extracurricular clubs at high schools – ―YO CLUB‖and give them the tools in which to market to their peers.
4. High schoolers help to make camp sound cool to their peers!
5. Set up school assemblies where high schoolers can talk to their peers about CYO.
A. make skits
B. make a slideshow
C. sing camp songs
6. Get interviews with high school and younger age campers to use as a marketing tool for parents and peers.
7. Have high schoolers go to their grade schools and talk with kids. Younger children really look up to the older ones.
 Ask campers, staff, and the CYO community for photos they have and would be willing to give to the CYO to use as a marketing tool.
 Create an active alumni network. Let‘s get them involved in passing on the word about camp and opening up their checkbooks when needed. We can remind then what camp is all about.
 Have a point person at every parish willing to talk with their church community and give continued talks and reminders about having their kids sign up for camp. It is important to have people within those parishes volunteer because their church communities trust them.
 Have a CYO camp song CD!
 Get CYO songs up on iTunes

 Have staff/volunteers go to schools and parishes and give a presentation with basic information staying consistent.
 It is important to reach primarily parents who have children of younger ages (4-5 years old) because then their kids will hopefully stick with the CYO for awhile. Once they are older they might be hooked on another camp.
 Donate an auction item for 1 free admission to camp. They will most likely invite their friends and not go by themselves! It also is a way to advertise camp to parents at the auction. Additionally, children will hopefully ask their parents to buy the auction item. However, if their parents are unsuccessful, they will probably send their kids to camp anyway.
 Have a program set up to take families out to camp and check it out in the off season.
 Youtube – get some videos out there for kids to watch.
 Blogs – have a cyo blog that campers can write on and share stories about camp!
 Research other successful camps and youth programs to see what they use as their marketing strategy (Young Life).
 Develop partnerships with CYO camps in other parts of the country. Maybe they can give up some tips!
 Have a meeting at Christmas time just like a reunion party. That meeting could be used to remind people to tell their friends about camp and take some flyers etc. to their schools.
 Have count down to camp on the website. Get kids really pumped for the summer!
 Make sure priests are informed about Seattle Catholic Camping.
 Flyers, although a good thing to have, are not the greatest form of getting the word out when used by themselves.
 Get our name/ad sponsored on Google – Seattle camp
 Have a benefit concert! (See Danny)
 Go talk to youth groups
 Bumper stickers – with new brand on it! New Slogan!
 Most high schoolers need to do community service. Have them volunteer to go to other schools and talk about camp. Or get them involved in service projects at camps.
 Survey kids on how camp went as well as parents with what they want and what they don‘t want in a camp for their child. Why wouldn‘t they want their child to go to CYO camp? Is it a question of cost, security or maybe not enough info out there? What makes them want to sign their child up?
 Advertise the new high ropes course a lot.
 Market internationally/multiculturally
 Advertise in other parts of the state. Lots of communities in Eastern Washington for example have no summer camp programs. They would be interested in CYO camps.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

To the CYO Camping Community

The decisions reached about how to proceed with summer 2011 were difficult ones. We don’t discount the feelings of sadness around Gallagher for this summer. We have been excited and encouraged by the groundswell of support for CYO summer camping that has come in response to the November 2nd announcement (see announcement below) about changes occurring for summer 2011. We have been listening to your responses via phone, conversations, and e-mails, and you have shared with us many of the things that you love about Camp Gallagher and about summer camping. Your offers to help are heartening.

We are hopeful about the Archdiocesan passion for the unique and powerful ministry we achieve through our summer camping programs. We are dedicating ourselves to the task of providing high-quality, life-changing, Catholic camping experiences to high school, junior high, and elementary school campers across western Washington. We are striving to fill our camps in order to return our camping program to a thriving and vibrant ministry.

We have much work ahead of us in order to make this happen. With the support of the camping community and the guidance of the Holy Spirit we will succeed! Above all we need advocates for CYO summer camping and we need campers in camp!

How can you help?
If you would like to help in any way, please send us your information (cyo@seattlearch.org) so that we can be partners as we plan for summer 2011 and beyond. If you would like to help us run a booth at Youth Convention this weekend, we need volunteers to speak to the high school teens in attendance! Additionally, we will include information about work parties, other volunteer opportunities, and further information about summer 2011 in upcoming newsletters as well as blog and Facebook posts.

Official Announcement:

Office of the Delegate for Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Archdiocese of Seattle Recommits to Catholic Camping Ministries

In response to significant financial challenges and changing demographics, the Archdiocese of Seattle is implementing changes for summer 2011. These changes build on the dedicated work and leadership of the past sixty years of Catholic camping in the Archdiocese and renew our commitment to children, youth and families through Catholic camping.

To honor the good work that has been done in the past and to provide for Catholic camping into the future, we have had to make difficult but necessary changes that will be implemented for the summer 2011 Catholic Camping schedule.
This summer we will be operating all of our camping programs from Camps Don Bosco and Camp Hamilton.
The rugged high school experience will be continued and expanded through Nanamakee Expeditions.
The property at Camp Gallagher will not be used for summer 2011.

These are significant changes to past camping practices. The loss of summer programming at Camp Gallagher for 2011 is especially challenging for the youth and staff who have experienced tremendous ministry in this beautiful setting. However, focusing on two camp locations for summer 2011 will provide efficiency in both staff and property resources essential to the future of Catholic camping.

In preparation for a refocused 2011 camping season, CYO Camp Services looks forward to working with you to develop and implement these programs. If you are interested in helping and sharing your knowledge going forward, please contact the CYO Camp Services Director, Sarah Humlie at (206) 382-4562 or email: cyo@seattlearch.org.
In Faith,

Rick Fersch
Archbishop’s Interim DelegateOYYAM

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Extra! Extra! Read All About It!"

Last week was a busy one at Camp Hamilton! Three schools enjoyed the fall mix of rain and sun over the course of their EE experience. Immaculate Conception & Our Lady of Perpetual Help from Everett, St. George from Seattle, and St Pius X from Portland all came out to camp for a very full week of activities. We were also very blessed to have a talented reporter from the Everett Herald come with her son as a chaperone. Julie Muhlstein wrote an article about her experience and about environmental education in the state of Washington. You can read the piece and see some photos at this link:

Next week we look forward to a visit from Chase Lake Elementary from Edmonds. They will be joining us out at camp for a 3 day program.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Are you there Summer? It's me Hamilton.

So the sun is FINALLY shining here at Hamilton. The Teacher Naturalists, Cooks, and Directors are all glad the sun finall showed up, just in time for summer camp to start. St. Charles and St. Joe's Issaquah are splitting a week here at Hamilton. St. Charles is here from Monday until Wednesday and St. Joe's is partaking in the regular Tuesday through Friday schedule. The staff is enjoying the change of pace. The TNs all hope the sun will continue to shine through our last week at Outdoor Ed. and into the start of the summer season.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's Raining Again, Hallelujah!

So it just finished dumping buckets of rain on Lake Hannan and the level of the lake seems to be high and ready for some summer splashing. The Pond was a site of some exciting events caused by the high water level: Salamander eggs!! A group of students found a some goo and discovered an unborn Salamander within. The kids from St. Louise, St. Rose and St. Anthony from Portland were all excited to see the unusual sight. Although the rain continues to plague us, the warmer temperatures are welcome. The Salmonberries and Thimbleberries are starting to ripen and the Vine Maple leaves are stretching out to create the shade we’ll be grateful for in August. The camp looks so different from how it was in April and the staff loves watching the slow transition towards Summer occur.Thankfully the rain stayed away in time for Night Hikes in which the kids will learn about the inner workings of the eye and other night adaptations. SAY HEY SAHALEE!

St. Joe Sno!

St. Joseph Snoqualmie came to Hamilton to frolic with the beavers and to learn important leadership skills. They roped up and climbed into the Vertical Playpen. The high ropes challenge allowed them to learn valuable leadership skills that will transfer from the outdoors to the everyday. Affirmations, “Cross the Line” and group affirmations allowed the group to grow closer to one another. After a Solo Hike St. Joe’s enjoyed some shelter from the rain with Hot Cocoa by the Fire in Discovery. The students had a chance to learn about leadership, each other, and most importantly, themselves at a fantastic day suspended high above the ground.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

San Juan

On Wednesday we had a motley crew of ten volunteers at Camp Don Bosco. They helped scrape barnacles off of the hull of the San Juan and pine tar it for the upcoming summer season. Thank you for all of your help!

Brian Bradshaw High Ropes Course Dedication

The dedication on Saturday was a huge success! Thank you to all of the volunteers that helped facilitate the course, provide music, direct traffic and much more. We had over 60 people attend and even made King 5 news that night!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

St. Thomas Moore Gives Back

St. Thomas Moore 7th graders are experiencing a camp focused on Leadership, Service, and building their relationships with Christ. Here's a photo of some of them helping us get the campfire circle cleaned up.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Week for Wildlife!

Camp Hamilton has been buzzing with wildlife sightings this week. Students from Sacred Heart, St. Joseph in Vancouver, and St. Benedict have encountered White-tailed deer, a raccoon, and a young Barred owl while trekking around camp. The Barred owl and its mother have been spotted in the trees just outside the doors of Discovery Lodge! The baby owl is spending its days climbing the trees, branch by branch, to strengthen the muscles in its legs and wings, muscles which it will eventually use to take flight!

During evening reflection, a beaver swam away from the bog directly adjacent to the beach. Each student had a chance to see the majestic creature that formed Lake Hannan swimming just a few yards off shore. It was quite an awe inspiring moment.

Brian Bradshaw Memorial Ropes Course

Just a reminder that the dedication for the Brian Bradshaw Memorial Ropes Course is coming up. We would love to have you at Camp Hamilton on May 22. The day will begin with the dedication and blessing at 10:00 am, followed by a reception in Discovery Lodge. The course will be staffed and open for those who want to try it out. Please RSVP to Debbie at debbiefisher@seattlearch.org 206-382-4562.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Wonders of Creation

After Easter, the Gospels and readings talk at great length about how the people of Jerusalem and their leaders could not recognize Jesus for who He was. Indeed, after He had first risen, His own disciples did not even recognize Jesus until He spoke to them and revealed His identity.

Just as the disciples discovered Christ in His resurrected form, our students at Camp Hamilton learned to see God in many different ways this week. They discovered God as reflected in the beauty of the Creation surrounding them at camp. They saw God's creativity in the multitude and varieties of the plants and animals that fill our forests, the intricacies of His plan in the complexities of the relationships between the plants and animals, and how He loves and cares for His creatures by providing for all of their needs within their habitat.

Finally, they saw Christ in each other through the friendships and community formed this week at camp. We all shared our care for one another by being supportive and positive group members, sharing our prayers, cleaning up after each other, and cleaning up camp as we went along. We celebrated mass as a faith community to complete our week of Environmental Education before returning home.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Week for Science and Stewardship

Environmental Education is in full swing! We have a talented group of teacher-naturalists from across the country working hard to make every student's experience enjoyable and full of learning.

This week, we have almost 100 students from St. Joseph Chehalis, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Holy Family- Lacey, and St. Therese school tromping the trails at Camp Hamilton. Students spent their first day getting to know each other while studying macro invertebrates in our pond. Our first evening was punctuated by the boisterous songs of our campfire echoing across the lake.

Today, they are testing their teamwork and resolve on our climbing wall, learning about WAMO! in our organic garden, and canoeing under the halo of a rainbow on Lake Hannon. At choice time today, we will poise the scientific question: "Does everything really taste better dipped in chocolate?" Stay tuned to find out....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Facebook and Blogging

We've been trying to keep as up to date as possible on our facebook page, but unfortunately we haven't done that on our blog. So here are the highlights from CYO:

-Adult and Family Camp registration opens May 1st. Check out our website for dates and locations.

-We are still looking for nurses/EMTs for this summer. Pay and a campership included.

-Environmental Education has been underway for a few weeks now. They've had great weather and a great experience so far.

-The Bradshaw High Ropes Course Dedication is only a month away. We would love to see you at the event on May 22nd. To RSVP please email debbie at debbief@seattlearch.org.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Date Change

When we originally posted about the 60th Aniversary Celebration with the wrong date. The Celebration will be Saturday June 26th.

Friday, March 19, 2010

EE Staff Training is 4 days away!

We are all super excited to welcome our newest group of Environmental Education staff to Camp Hamilton. They'll spend the next 11 weeks helping students to learn their role in the environment as well as how they are called to be stewards of the Earth.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CYO Summer Camp is now on Facebook!

We have slowly been taking steps toward being more inline with current technology and today we have finally created a facebook fan page. This page will give you up to date information about CYO Summer Camp. We will be posting information about our 60th Anniversary Celebration coming up on June 28th from 4pm-9pm at Camp Hamilton. RSVP by emailing us at cyo@seattlearch.org (please include any food allergies). Also we are asking people to submit stories and photos to our facebook page as a way of archiving the last 60 years of camping.

Click on the link to the left to see our fan page!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

CYO Office

Sorry we haven't posted in a while. Aside from summer, spring is a really busy season for us. Environmental Education is only weeks away, registration and recruiting staff picks up, as well as our office event Junior High Rally. Rally on Saturday was really successful. We handed out CYO buttons and took photos at our photo booth. When the camera gets unpacked tomorrow I'll post some.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Asking for Your Prayers

Last Friday we lost Sheila Fisher, mother of our registrar Debbie Fisher. We ask that you keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

E.E. Apparel is Available Online

The days are getting longer and spring is just around the corner. For many of you fifth and sixth graders, that means Environmental Education camp is also coming up. E.E. t-shirts and sweatshirts are now available for purchase online! We have an exciting new design this season, and the shirts will be handed out when you get to camp. Many of the schools who attend camp will allow the shirt or sweatshirt to be worn as part of the uniform after E.E., but remember to check with your teachers or principal first. If nothing else, it will be a trendy reminder of the fun you had with your classmates in our outdoor classroom!

Ordering online is easy:
1) go to www.stotaninc.com
2) click on "Store"
3) click on "Camps"
4) highlight "CYO Environmental Camp"

You will be directed to the online order form and get to see the color and design before purchasing. The shirts and sweatshirts will be labeled with your name and shipped to camp to be handed out when your school attends E.E.

Remember to order before the deadlines pass! If you attend camp in April, you will need to order by March 1; if you attend camp in May or June, you can order until April 15th.

High School Internships

The information, application and reference forms for high school internships is available online now at High School Internships.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Summer Staff 2010

You wouldn't think January would be a busy month for a summer camp. However, summer camp begins registration, Environmental Education is only months away, and CYO summer staff are hired. Jamie and I spend a large portion of January reviewing applications and doing interviews for potential candidates. If you are looking for a rewarding job this summer we are still hiring. Most positions require you to be at least 18 (unless you are a kitchen staff member or lifeguard), but a few like Camp Gallagher staff require you to be 21. Jamie and I both worked at camp while we were going to college and it was a great way to live out Christ's example, have fun, and get paid for it! So if you would like more information click on the link at the right and see if working at camp is for you.

If you are under 16 but in high school we do have a summer internship program. These interns are volunteer employees who gain valuable leadership skills. When I was 15 I was a WIT (which proceeded this program). I still use a lot of the tools I gained during that summer at camp. If you would like more information please email Jamie at jamie.fredrickson@seattlearch.org.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2010 Summer Brochure

The brochure is completed and is now at the printer. Here is the PDF that you can download and view.

2010 Summer Brochure

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What is the Nanamakee Geocaching Trip About?

So you may have noticed the new Nanamakee Geocaching trip for this summer. We are excited to be offering this trip out of Hamilton to High School aged campers. Geocaching is a treasure hunt that involves hidden treasures that can only be found through clues and the use of a GPS unit. It is a great way to get outdoors and connect with millions of others who geocache around the world.

The week will start at camp with a day of learning how to use the GPS units and searching for caches on the site. After that we hit the road to search for caches at local parks, and some very unlikely locations. We'll also make our own cache to hide and leave a travel bug that we will be able to track as it travels across the county. Check out the picture of Sarah Nasser. Sarah Humlie and I joined her for a very wet geocaching day in Duvall.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Registration Begins

2010 summer camp registration begins today. We are excited to see the campers begin to sign up for sessions. There has been a lot of activity around Camp Gallagher so sign up soon to reserve a spot. If any of our camp sessions are full please email us at cyo@seattlearch.org to be put on a waitlist or see if there is more space available. Scholarships are available. Click the link on the right to register.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Camp Brochure

The 2010 Summer Camp Brochure is almost finished! It is in the final revision stage and will soon be sent off to the printer. Check your mailboxes in February.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bradshaw High Ropes Course

After about a month of hard labor in the rain, mud, ice, and snow the construction on the Brian Bradshaw Memorial High Ropes Course has been completed. Here are some pictures of the completed course. There will be a video showing the construction over time and a dedication event in the next few months. As you can see from the pictures there is still some work to be completed on the ground, but the construction in the air is done!

Camp Gallagher Camper Reunion and CYO Summer Staff Reunion

We all got together just before Christmas to remember stories from the summer and to reconnect with friends we made at camp. The reunions were a ton of fun. At the Gallagher Camper Reunion we ate pizza, sang songs and even had some trivia for Camp Gallagher prizes. At the Staff Reunion we made ornaments and shared about how the fall was going. These reunions really kick off our 2010 summer staff hiring. If you are interested in applying for an internship or paid position at any one of our summer camps please click on the link on the right.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Website!

We are very excited to launch a new website for the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry. We hope that it will help you find current information about our program offerings. The shortcut to the site is www.camping.seattleoyyam.org.