Monday, November 21, 2011

Megan Raymond: New Director of CYO Camp Services

The Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry is excited to announce the hiring of Megan Raymond as our Director of CYO Camp Services! After completing an open hiring with candidates from across the country, the hiring committee unanimously saw Megan as the right candidate to lead our summer camps and environmental education programs in the years to come. During her time as Interim Director this fall she has worked tirelessly to lay the foundation for an amazing and successful summer and a flourishing future. Her dedication to CYO has been a blessing to see.

Megan has been a part of the CYO community since she first went to camp at age eight. She worked seasonally for CYO during high school and college. Having gotten her degree in Ecological Studies, she spent a few years working full time for Camp Fire USA and then the YMCA. Since 2006 she has been working full time for the Archdiocese in our Environmental Education and Summer Camp programs . Her history with CYO, experience in the camp industry, and love of Jesus Christ and His Church will serve her well in her new role and allow her to hit the ground running.

We are blessed to have Megan leading our team and hope that you will welcome her into her new role.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Why is Camp Gallagher Not Open for 2012?

This is a question many people have, and we would like to answer. Last year CYO camping was in a hard financial situation. Camp registration numbers had been dropping significantly over recent years, and with it, a drop in revenue. An internal audit was done of the camp services department because it was significantly over budget. It became clear that CYO Camp Services could no longer operate three summer camp sites and have the costs associated with those properties. As a step towards financial stability, Camp Gallagher was mothballed so resources could be focused on the other two camp properties. By closing Camp Gallagher for residential summer programming CYO was able to save a significant amount of money last summer.

This summer we served 1256 campers, while needing 1590 to break even. Even with reducing our costs and changing our pricing structure in most programs, we still fell short by $81,787.24. The camp services department worked hard to bridge this gap, looking at both what needed to be done with the remainder of this fiscal year and how to proceed in the next. To overcome the budget shortfall for this fiscal year, three full time positions were combined into one full time position which will be supported by two new seasonal positions.

When the camp schedule and programming for this summer were being determined we analyzed the ability to open Camp Gallagher for residential camps this summer. We looked at a variety of options for how this could work. We looked at opening it up fully, opening for part of the summer and having Hamilton open part of the summer so as to share one staff, and a variety of other options. None would have been fiscally responsible in the end. Unfortunately CYO will not be able reopen Camp Gallagher until it is a financially viable option. The fiscal health of the entire Camp Services department needs to be solid prior to reopening the property for residential use.

While it is not currently home to a full residential camp, we are currently able to use Camp Gallagher as a Nanamakee launch point and campsite. We can do this because we do not need to open any of the buildings for use by the Nanamakee campers and the staff needs are significantly smaller. We all long for the day when Camp Gallagher will be brimming with campers once again. Until that day, it is currently being maintained by our maintenance department with the help of a site staff member from another Archdiocesan facility that lives close to the property. General maintenance is still happening onsite to ensure that the property is maintained in good working condition.

--The CYO Camp Services Staff

(Shawn, Megan, Sarah and Debbie)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

CYO is Blogging Again!

Here is our first blog since March of last year. We'll be posting more regularly on the blog to keep you upto date about the latest information about CYO Summer Camps.

High School Catholic Youth Convention
Last weekend we represented CYO Camping at the annual Archidocesan High School Convention ran through our office. We had a great time letting everyone know about why they should come to camp this summer. We had a huge wooden sign, camp chairs, and handed out glow in the dark wrist bands that had our theme for the summer printed on them. A big shout out to our volunteers Lauryn Wirtala, Joe Christianson, and Mary-Kate White. There is another convention this spring for Junior High Youth. If you are interested in helping us man our booth please email

CYO high school campers and staff at convention