|OUTDOORS—Young men take to the lake in canoes and kayaks at Camp Veritas. Photo: Maria R. Bastone|
Camp Veritas, a co-ed summer camp, will soon be offering
its summer activities on the campus of the Legionary´s Thornwood
campus, at Archbishop Tim Dolan´s request. The story, first published
in Catholic New York, is reprinted with permission.
to Expand its Summer Program for Teens
By MARY ANN
Talk about a success story!
Camp Veritas, a weeklong summer program
that combines traditional sleep-way camp activities with an immersion in
the Catholic faith, began three years ago with 50 girls
This year, the camp finished its Aug. 14-20 season
with an enrollment of 260 seventh- through 12th-graders.
“It’s the Holy
Spirit gone nuts,” quipped camp director Ryan Young.
“The kids have
a great time,” he said. “They’re spreading the word, their
parents are spreading the word. And we have a very
high retention rate.”
Since it started in 2008, Camp Veritas has
operated for a week in late August at the Camp
Lakota campgrounds in Wurtsboro after the Lakota season has ended.
said Young, Camp Veritas is ready to expand.
Starting next July
8, Camp Veritas will also offer its program throughout the
summer in Thornwood on a Legionaries of Christ campus to
accommodate additional campers, including those from other states, and also
to accommodate those who can’t make it at the end
|OUTDOORS-Girls huddle before starting on a treasure hunt. Photo: Maria R. Bastone|
“A lot of schools start earlier than they do
in New York,” Young said, “and a lot of high
school sports programs start early. So we wanted to have
more options for them.”
He said that Archbishop Dolan, who visited
Camp Veritas last year, was very helpful in securing the
Thornwood site. “We’ve been working together on this for the
past year,” Young said.
He added that the program will continue
its August week at the Camp Lakota site as well.
have a recipe here that works,” said Young, who said
the Veritas program revolves around the Eucharist, Mass, the Rosary
and spiritual talks and testimonies—along with swimming, volleyball, basketball and
other physical activities.
Staffers include Father Luke Sweeney, the archdiocesan director
of vocations, who’s one of the camp priests; members of
the Sisters of Life and the Franciscans of the Renewal;
and some 80 counselors, known as mentors.
“We follow the recipe
of Don Bosco,” said Young, referring to the Salesians’ founder
who organized youth ministries.
“It’s play and pray here,” Young said.