“People today put more trust in witnesses than in teachers, in experience than in teaching, and in life and action than in theories. The witness of a Christian life is the first and irreplaceable form of mission…” (Blessed Pope John Paul II,Redemptoris Missio). Faith, friends and fun: these objectives are all very important, as you can see from our mission statement: Camp Gray invites people of all ages to encounter Jesus Christ in all creation, experience a fun and vibrant Catholic community, and be challenged to ever more deeply know, love and serve God and neighbor. Here at Camp Gray, we recognize that, above all other reasons, kids come back to camp because it is fun. And, it is fun because here, kids and teens make friends. And that is okay. Rather than being overshadowed, the faith aspect of camp is enriched by every single other activity. This is because, here at Camp Gray, we believe that the witness our staff give to the campers through the way they live, work and play together will, in a certain sense, have a more profound effect on their faith journeys than anything else we could say or do.
Building on the example that our staff set, it is our desire to help young people develop prayer lives and embrace the love of Christ outside camp. In order to do that, we strive to make camp a safe place, a fun place, and a place to make friends. Through their shared experiences, our campers learn that the Catholic faith is not something that is just done at Mass on Sunday mornings. In the same way, while here, the Catholic faith is not something that is just a part of morning praise and prayer, evening devotions and Mass. At Camp Gray, campers learn that we are all called to holiness (Lumen Gentium, 40) in our daily lives. Then, they learn that we live out our faith and strive for holiness in absolutely everything we do. Program areas, meals, free time, swim time, evening programs, cookouts, games and sports – all are opportunities to live out our Catholic faith and grow into the people God is calling us to be.
Camp Gray has a lot to offer, but “That which is received is received according to the mode of the receiver.” This quote from St. Gregory the Great guides everything that we do here. The ‘mode’ of children and teenagers (and our staff too!) is craziness, fun times, friendships, and joy permeating the entire day. So, if we are going to share the faith, we know that we have to do it through those things.
At Camp Gray we are not talking about God every single minute, but we are living out His love every single minute. Our number one priority is to help all who come to camp to grow closer to God’s infinite Love and Mercy. The way that we achieve that goal is through fun and friends and some times set aside just for praying and praising God. So, at Camp Gray, in addition to living out the love of Christ and exemplifying the universal call to holiness, we provide the following opportunities for campers to learn and grow in their faith:
- Daily morning praise and prayer (in age groups)
- Daily evening devotions (in cabin groups)
- Grace before and after every meal
- All-camp Mass on Friday
- Optional Eucharistic Adoration
- Optional Reconciliation
- Optional daily Mass twice per week
- Youth Bibles, YOUCATS and other age appropriate spiritual reading materials available for rest hour, free time, and prayer times
- Ask a counselor a question whenever you want!