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 ( 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:
In Faith,

Rick Fersch
Archbishop’s Interim DelegateOYYAM

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