Newspaper Archive of
Catholic Northwest Progress
Seattle, Washington
March 22, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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March 22, 1963
 

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AMP, to me, is the place where children of the Archdiocese of Seattle can experience a real living situation that couples natural fun and activities native to child life. Under CYO auspices, these are presented in a constructive and enduring manner with the divine attributes of our Faith. In no time has there been a greater need for taking a child out of the material and secular interests of our modern society with its artificial situation and influences of the bad communications media and plac- ing the child in an atmosphere where they can be complete participants in all phases of the true basic needs of their nature. Consider, if you will, the basic reason for our archdiocesan camping program and the concept be- hind it. Camp is basically fun because it gives each child an opportunity to swim, play, eat, sing. Camp affords them to care for their belongings. Children are given a chance to maintain their own living quarters, to appreciate and use these facilities under proper direc- tion and guidance. From dawn through night, campers (Second What is the basic .reason for camping and the concept behind if? ties that belong to the Northwest. In handcrafts, they are given an opportunity to participate ha hand-skills by making simple things like a rosary, statue or leather craft. Hand skills are essential to a child, who is in most cases a spectator in other phases of life. They know what they can do after they have been given the oppor- tunity. Athletic programs, individual skills, such as archery, canoeing, rowing a boat, give them an oppor- tunity to participate in an area where they can sense their own skill and can thus develop them. In the total picture of living in a group of this kind they can also find a deeper and a more satisfying attitude towards food. Food at camp is given a great deal of consideration because upon it is built the hap- piness and joy of a child. Food is a necessary ingredient for basic satisfaction in child life. There are daily camp inspections where the child has to keep his own personal gear in order and to know where it is. The camper has to keep his own bed in order, not only for his own benefit, but for the benefit of the group in which he lives. This leadership, coupled with the program and the basic direction, makes the CYO Summer Camping Pro- gram in this great Archdiocese the vital force that it is. Facilities HE CAMP facility is based on three distinct varieties of opportunity. Camp Don Bosco is backed against the great forest area of the Cascades. It has a wonderful pool which is ideal for training in swimming and gives rise to a water activity that only a large and well organized pool structure can define. All other phases of camp life, including the activities of nature and in the out-of- doors are available at this facility. At Camp Cabrini calmness of the water on the lake gives rise to the use of canoes and rowboats. A quiet and restful atmosphere makes possible things we attempt to do very readily through a lake and forest combination. The beautiful setting with the necessary facilities makes the program possible for our campers. For a little bit of an older approach to camping, J. GORDON  HAMILTON cyo Camp Director. Arr.hd'mcese of Seattle V'w.e President. National C4atkollc Camping ANociatioa live camp life with the proper balance of leadership, direction, guidance, their own curiosity, imagination and effervescence, all focused to the constructive end. Intermingled with natural living in God's great out-of-doors is the Catholic Faith in action. Christ is there at camp at the early morning's Holy Sdcrifice of the Mass, whether it be in the resident camp or a hiking site. What are the observances of prayerful appreciation for the benefits and graces of the entire day? These would also include the Angelus, the prayers before and after meals, moments of meditation in the chapel, freedom of discussion during 'the chaplain's or semi- narian's hour, night prayers around the evening camp fire, the Rosary. Campers and staffers place their confidence in our Blessed Mother and ask that she invoke the help and direction of her Divine Son for the good of the camping community where He is always present. These are the enduring values of life and, it seems to me as we grow as a Catholic community, camping is stamping on the minds and hearts of youth a respect for the priesthood, the Religious life and the laity of the Archdiocese. This is our goal and we see it as we live with these children in camp. I feel this so strongly that I wtld not hesitate to urge each and every parent to give their child an opportunity to live in this camping environment for 10 days. HROUGHOUT this special supplement, many phases, of the camp program are depicted. But the program m essence is built around the basic interests of the child. IVhatever their ability is, they are taken at their level o[ interest and ability and given an opportunity to increase their skills in areas that are natural to them. For example in swimming, each child learns to understand, live with and enjoy the great water facili- And in the Campfire, programs and activities such as stunts and, plays the child is given an opportunity to participate because all of these activities are done on the basis of the cabin unit. A child is not just a number but an individual who is necessary to the total participation and the total good of the group. It is an exciting thing /or them becauie many times the child, who doesn't have a particular ability, is brought into the picture, given an opportunity actuaIly to share in the joy and fun o[ participation. Most of all they are being recog- nized. The program is balanced with days in camp for consistent development of skills and interests had then are broken with the freedom of an overnight hike to open areas. There under the guidance and example of leaders they sleep under the stars, build fires for cook- ing, cook, obtain water, care fo: their sleeping bag and clothing, secure warmth and foster comradeship. They have a deeper respect for one another as a result of an overnight. Manners, attitudes and such are all directed and transferred back to the home, school and community from which they came. These are the basic foundations of a well-organized, well-directed and well-projected program. Leadership IHE LEADERSHIP, provided in camp, is of the 1. highest quality. It is given by the chaplain, the priest who is appointed by the Most Reverend Archbishop; the bogs" staff, primarily made up of major and seminarians and supplemented by an outstanding lay staff chosen from hundreds of applications; and the girls' staff, composed of persons of similar high qualities. Significantly, out of the girls' staff, ma young women have entet'ed the Sisters' teaching or nsing communities. These girl staffers become the example and direction of our young female campers. And what more can be said about the boys" staff whose alumni includes 49 piests, who labor today in the Archdiocese and the Diocese o/Yakima? the beaches and salt water are available at Camp Blancher. These combinations of [acilities comprising some 350 acres certainly give the Archdiocese the proper type of setting, enabling us to carry out our goals without restriction. In addition, we make use through our mountain program in Nanamakee, the great national forest re- serves and national parks in the Olympic and Cascade areas. We attempt in every way to take advantage of every available facility and couple the child's interest with the natural land and water areas that are our good fortune either to own or to have the privilege of using. Results HE RESULTS of the camping program to me are manifest in many, many ways. The child, I believe, in lO days grows in ap- preciation of his own talents and his own importance as an individual being. Most important is the growth of the understanding and appreciation of the Faith and of the deepening realization of his responsibility as a child of God and citizen of his community. This transition is made possible from intimate knowledge and friendship with older exemplary and mature people and leaders who direct the camper's thoughts, minds and action to the eternal goals set down by God Himself. Thus as the years go by, these young people will mature with a deeper love for those who have guided them at camp and are now priests and Sisters. I feel that the whole Catholic community will be strengthened by this relationship. As the Church grows and progresses in the Northwest, the influence of the days spent in camp will be a strong bulwark to the Faith of our people and to the children of the future. And, in God's own good time, I am sure that many of our young people, too, will turn to the priesthood dnd the Religious life /or their vocation. This call is being made possible by the result of a very significant experience at a Catholic camp, more notably at a CYO camp of the Archdiocese of Seattle.