Walter's Summer Recap Our way of giving thanks to the wonderful Camp Gray community for the copious amounts of fun we had this summer

WELCOME - hello from Tim

There we were. 63 staffers from all over the country had found their way to small town Wisconsin to embark on a radical adventure to change lives. As we gathered on May 22nd to begin preparing for the 1,300 campers who would soon be joining us, we were told to begin with the end in mind. As we looked out on what was to come I don’t think any of us truly knew how great this summer would be. Summer Camp 2018 not only brought us Walter’s 66th birthday, the 75th running of the Cassidy Games, and an amazing 4th of July Parade; it also brought with it fun memories and incredible moments of God’s grace that are too many to recount here. What follows is an attempt to share the big picture with our Camp Gray Family so that you can share in the joy that was Summer Camp 2018. Thank you all so much for your continued support of Camp Gray and enjoy Walter’s 2018 Summer Recap!

"There are not many places you can drop your kids off and have that kind of confidence that they will return to you with great hope and a desire to maintain the joy."

- Summer Parent Evaluation

Summer By The Numbers

Summer 2018 is officially one for the books! While reflecting upon the great joys we experienced this summer, we decided to crunch some numbers and give you all a quick cross section of what our summer looked like!

Summer Camp Breakdown

Amount and number of camper scholarships given out in 2017 vs. 2018

Strength For The Journey Update

Tour Our New Gym

Opening Our New Gym and Raising Paul's Wall

As Camp Gray celebrates our 65th year we look around today and see a great mixture of old and new facilities. Aside from a desire for our facilities to mirror our top-notch programing much of our growth came from the simple fact that there was much more “old” and a lot less “new.” Operating as a year-round retreat facility during Wisconsin's harsh winters requires a different standard of building than a small summertime only camp facility. With that said, we set out to design facilities that will keep kids safe, healthy and happy in all kinds of weather throughout all 12 months of the year.

In 1965 our gymnasium was constructed for a total cost of $2400. It had long outlived its useful life. The new gym is over 11,000 square feet of fresh indoor space. There is a retractable divider so that multiple activities can take place simultaneously. There is a high school regulation basketball court and two volleyball courts.

Towards the back of the gym towering 40’ in the air is Paul’s Wall which is named for our former program director from 2010-2014. The climbing wall is designed for up to three climbers at once. It offers various levels of difficulty and allows kids a chance to challenge themselves in a new way. Paul Coakley was not only a climber, he was a lover of Life. He loved the Lord and his love of Christ shined through his life every day. After his death in 2015 the idea was dreamed up to honor him with this wall. You’ll find the toughest route layed out in hot pink rocks as that was Paul’s favorite color. Time on the wall is a great way to tell Paul’s story to campers so that they too may climb to new heights and take inspiration from such a giant of a man.

At this point the Strength for the Journey Campaign has reached just over $5million dollars. We have $1.3million yet to raise. We are very excited by the changes to Camp Gray and we look forward to serving many more campers for years to come.

Check out some awesome gym moments below!

"My kids literally talk non stop about all the fun they have there. They are still talking about it. They meet great people and new friends. They have fantastic counselors who take care of them with love and respect. They grow in faith and love!!"

- Summer Parent Evaluation

The Cassidy Games

From humble beginnings, Camp Gray’s Cassidy Games has grown into a highlight for campers and staffers alike. Full of pageantry, goofiness, and fun, the Cassidy Games is a week-long competition taking place during every session of Summer Camp (except Mini Camp).

Named after former Camp Director, Fr. Kevin Cassidy, the Games provide a great opportunity to reap the benefits of healthy competition. Throughout the week points are tallied while campers grow in teamwork, sportsmanship, respect, etc. The Games then culminate on Camp’s final night with three mini-battles (games which are appropriate for the abilities of each age level), and the epic Lake Jake Relay Race. At the conclusion of the Relay Race, the Chief that first raises his/her team flag to the top of their team’s flag pole on the center of the lake dock, is deemed the winner of that running of the Games.

summer 2018 wall of winners

"What we really like is how REAL the staff makes a connection with God. That it's not just something for church on Sunday, but an integrated part of our life. The staff somehow makes that completely logical and wonderful in a way that everyday life somehow misses."

- Summer Parent Evaluation

Some of Our Favorite Moments

This summer we smiled, we laughed, and we shouted with jubilee! From the Monday night Boof Quest, our daily PODs, to Super Crazy Adventure Time, and swimming, check out some of our favorite moments from summer camp 2018!

"The girls came home so alive!"

- Summer Parent Evaluation

What's Next?

Can't wait a whole year to come back to Camp? Well, you are in luck because Camp Gray is open year-round serving the community with faith and fun! Camp hosts confirmation, team-building, and environmental stewardship retreats all year for parishes, schools, and organizations as well as Adventure days for students throughout the Diocese of Madison. All of our retreats and school year events are run by our Servant Leadership Team (aka: SaLT Missionaries) which is comprised of passionate, energetic, and fun recent college graduates who have been called to serve in Camp’s unique year-round ministry! Our SaLT Missionaries serve over 3,500 individuals through our year round retreat program, and if you or someone you know may be interested in serving at Camp Gray as a SaLT missionary click below to learn more! Keep an eye on Camp Gray's social media for more updates throughout the year and be sure to add the dates below to your calendar. We hope to see you around this neck of the woods real soon!

If you have any questions or comments about our year-round programs please feel free to contact me! We are always looking for new ideas and partnerships. You can email me at david@campgray.com with feedback or ideas.

We are so excited to share this incredible new space with the Camp Gray family! Join us for the Grand Opening and Dedication of our brand new gymnasium this fall. The schedule of events includes Mass with Bishop Morlino, a dedication ceremony & grand opening with tours to follow, and Dinner provided in St. John Paul II Dining Hall. For more information and to RSVP click below!

Get one more taste of summer camp before school picks up at our High School Adventure Day! Experience some authentic Catholic inspiration and classic summer camp activities all while getting to know other teens from around the Diocese of Madison. Come ready for a day of adventure, sweet music, great food, and new experiences! If you're interested get in touch with your DRE or Youth Minister to see if they are taking a parish group. If not, you can register below as a Lost Sheep. Without a doubt this will be a day you will not soon forget, we hope to see you there!

Summer Camp 2019 registration opens! Stay tuned for more information via our social media as well as the Camp Gray website!

It's been called the most fun Benefit Dinner this side of the Mississippi! Save the date for our 10th Annual Camp Gray Benefit Dinner! Last year, the Benefit Dinner raised over $30,000 to support Camp Gray, check out some of the excitement from the event below! We hope for our 10th annual Benefit Dinner to be an even larger success this coming spring!

"We love how camp provides a place to live your faith out loud"

- Summer Parent Evaluation

Many Thanks

A closing note from Rebecca Hoeben

It's good to be grateful! At the end of each week of summer camp after we've said goodbye to our campers and cleaned and readied camp for the next week we gather our staff for a staff meeting. After meeting with our Christ Friends we gather to share our Thanksgivings - our moments of gratitude for the week. So here, as we wrap up the summer I have a few Thanksgivings to share with all of you. First off, thank you to our campers. Thank you campers for the joy and energy you bring each week to camp. Thank your for helping us all grow and for being the reason that we come to serve camp. Thank you also to the families who believe in camp and who allow us to serve your children summer after summer. It is a gift to see so many campers grow up through the years at camp.

Many thanksgivings to all those volunteers who served in big and small ways this summer. No doubt your service impacted the lives of many. Special thanks to our Health Care Team who gives of their time freely to serve the health care needs of our campers and staff. Thank you to the Staff Alumni who return each summer to give back to this place whether for a day or sometimes a whole week or more. Thank you to the extra helping hands who pitch in to get camp ready for the summer, clean, work in the kitchen, donate treats, and support our staff and campers in many behind the scenes ways too.

Finally, a huge thank you to our 2018 staff. To the summer staff who choose to work hard, play hard, and pray hard to ensure a safe, fun and vibrant Catholic community is created you are amazing and you no doubt shaped the lives of many campers, families and fellow staff members this summer. Your service and desire to give of yourself in a way that allows campers to be themselves and grow in their faith in a safe environment is truly a tremendous gift. Thank you also to the full time staff who serve and work so hard all through the year so that we can provide the best possible Catholic Camping Experience. Your desire to serve and give of yourself to help build the Kingdom is inspiring.

Thanks to all of you for being part of the Camp Gray Family. Come Home Soon!

For more Information about Camp Gray and to stay up to date with all the happenings here on Shady Lane, check out our Twitter, Instagram, YouTubeFacebook and our website to always be in the know!

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