Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer means Camp Turner

I once told a parent about Camp Turner and that our son would be going in case her child was interested and wanted to see a familiar face there. She thought it sounded wonderful, but it was just too far to drive. Too far to drive? I just smiled because there really was nothing I could say to her (without regretting it).

Camp Turner is operated by the Youth Department of the Diocese of Buffalo and is located with in the confines of beautiful and expansive Allegany State Park. Our son, turning twelve in a few short weeks, has attended camp there since he was eight years old. We have taken him there for both winter and summer sessions fully understanding that the drive there (almost two hours from our home and in winter a dicey drive as it is located in the snow belt) was an investment in our son's future.

What kids like about Camp Turner:
  • The camp counselors are awesome
  • The food is amazingly good and there is never a possibility of going hungry
  • The canteen
  • Crayfish hunts, funny camp shenanigans, clubs so kids can choose an area of interest to concentrate on
  • They can get e-mails from home everyday at mail time
  • Horses, archery, mountain hikes, creek walks
  • Meeting new friends and seeing some of the same faces year after year
What parents like about Camp Turner:
  • Camp counselors are awesome!
  • Mass is celebrated once a week at camp
  • Prayer is an important part of the day - morning, meal times, evening and other times as well
  • Even picky eaters will find something they love to eat.  Meals are like home cooking and at every meal cereal, peanut butter and jelly and a very nice salad bar is available.  Last summer I spotted seafood salad on the salad bar!
  • No video games, no iPods, no computers!
  • Kids have a wide variety of activities to try out
  • The camp mission statement: "Honor God in the Children Confided to Your Care."
  • The beautiful drive
  • Parents can view pictures from camp daily online and send an e-mail to the child
  • Kids are happy to go and stories of adventure unravel for weeks afterward
  • Children get used to staying away from home without Mom and Dad (good prep for college!)
  • Did I mention awesome camp counselors?  One young man has been the cabin counselor for years and when our son was a bit homesick one night, he let him stay up late and the two of them played cards and talked until our son was ready to go to sleep.   

I have no stake in Camp Turner, receive nothing for promoting it and pay full camp fees.  I mention it because it is a great place for kids where parents can leave knowing that the children will be given the greatest amount of respect and kept safe while there.  If you do not have children but live in the region, I suggest you support Camp Turner either financially or consider working there over the summer.  Perhaps the most you are able to do is spread the word to others who may be interested and pray for Camp Turner and those who operate it.  Anything you can do is appreciated.  Many parishes sponsor children who cannot afford to go to camp and Camp Turner welcomes children from all backgrounds regardless of religious affiliation.  Children do not need to live within the Diocese of Buffalo in order to attend.

Camp Turner is having an open house for those unfamiliar with it on July 3rd from noon - 4 pm.  Check out their website for camp pictures, registration information, a camp brochure and employment opportunities HERE

If you have any questions about Camp Turner that perhaps a mom can answer, please leave a comment for me and I'll get in touch with you. 

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