Camp Stapleton and Camp Ozanam Alumni gathered on Thursday, April 10th at the beautiful Joe Bologna Trattoria, located in Sterling Heights.
The evening was filled with laughs, stories, and memories as Alumni shared moments from their special times at camp.
A special highlight was the opportunity to honor Jim Doyle, who received a brick paver to acknowledge his many years as a devoted maintenance man.
THANK YOU Alumni for supporting the camps, and raising proceeds for camp programming, and teepee maintenance!
We'd LOVE to highlight Camp alumni stories here on our blog, The Journey. If you are interested in submitting your story, please contact Jenny@campsconnect.org.
Enjoy these Alumni Reception photos from a memorable night to remember!
The relationships that you form with your camp family don't end with summer. They give you lifelong love and support. Eric Macks was a CYO Camper from 1972-1977. He served on staff for a summer in 1981.
During Eric's time at camp there were many memorable activities, but his favorites were the evening programs which included the whole camp in activities that needed large groups of people and couldn't be accomplished anywhere but at camp. Eric also enjoyed the entertaining staff shows held on the last night of every camp session.
How Being at Camp Helps with Being an Adult...
"Camp taught me how people can care for each other and work together to accomplish great things. At CYO camps the campers and staff together bond with each other and learn to work as a team to do work; Chores, meals, and lifting each other's spirits and working together. It becomes clear after attending camp at CYO that it isn't stuff, like smart phones and video games but caring for yourself and others that makes life successful and great."
As a direct result of spending time doing group activities and recreating at CYO Boys camp, Eric developed a love for serving others and learned it is important to take time to make a difference in people's lives.
Tell Me About Your Camp Family...
"Above is a picture from 3/31/12. I'm on the left end of the group, and the rest of these people are some of my favorite people from times spent as a camper and staff at the boys camp. These relationships created great support systems to get through any home sickness at camp, and many friendships have turned into life long friendship and support. For example the annual Boys Weekend (father/son trip) at CYO has many participants that were campers and/or staff together at camp."
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments?
"Through actions in my personal life, my family, as a parent, and in my work I have kept foremost in my mind to make a difference, continuously improve, and have fun and leave time for recreation.
I'm proud to have been part of automotive engineering projects that improved the quality of products sold by General Motors and Ford, and created products which were received better the car buying public.
As a husband and father I strive to maintain balance in my life, keeping myself healthy and happy, but accomplishing this while caring for and loving my wife and two boys. We take pride in leaving time for meals together, praying and serving others as a family, and striving to be involved in activities while maintaining our sanity and sleep."
How did your time at camp help build your faith?
"It gave me a deep appreciation for the values instilled by the Catholic Faith that center on caring for one another. [If you are a] family who is considering CYO Camp, CYO camps will build independence and confidence, and a love and appreciation for working with others."
Summer camp registration is open and programs are filling! Share the gift of camp with a family today by sharing what you know and love about CYO Camps!
Returning staff highlights: Leadership Staff
Stephanie Fraley, Program Team Leader
Stephanie is 22 years old and graduated from SVSU with a bachelors in Elementary Education. She currently works as a substitute teacher in Sanilac County. She is a history buff, loves mathematics, reads constantly, and loves listening to any kind of music.
Stephanie loves living in a rural area on a farm in Sandusky, MI. She has worked at camp for three years and it is the highlight of her summers.
When asked why she works at camp Stephanie tells us, "I work at camp because I love being able to see the transformation in the campers. Some of those campers are so shy and reserved why they first arrive, and by the end of the week they and their cabin mates have become a family. I also enjoy seeing how the experiences at camp push them and sometimes help them grow. Some of my best memories of camp are seeing campers work at something they were scared to do, or didn't think they could and then succeed."
Welcome back, Stephanie!
Molly Hochstein, Assistant Camp Director
Molly is 21 and from Redford, MI. She attends Eastern Michigan University with a Special Education major and physical education minor. Molly works as a lifeguard when she is not at camp . This summer will be her 7th summer working on staff with 11th summers all together (4 as a camper) at CYO Camps! Camp is her favorite place on earth! She can also be found hanging out with family and friends when not at camp, school, or work.
Molly says about her summer camp life, "I work at camp because I want to be able to provide kids with the same wonderful camp experience I had when I attended CYO. I love getting the chance to help kids grow every summer and having the opportunity to teach them new things. I love having the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life every summer to hang out on the shores of lake Huron. This summer I am looking forward to getting to hang out in the sunshine with all the new and returning campers!"
We thank Molly for her years of service, and dedication to CYO Camps!
Trevor Harnden, Counselor Team Leader
Trevor is from Marlette, MI and currently goes to Rochester College. He works as a butcher at a grocery store called Ben's in Marlette.
Trevor is really just excited about everything in general, and really just can't wait for camp to start!
"I'd have to say I'm probably most excited about starting the new position this year at camp, because it's going to provide new challenges, new responsibilities, and even a new role of leadership that I [can build] a lot of experience in. I've learned a lot of cool things that I'm really excited to share with kids, and other staff members also!"
Welcome Trevor, we're glad to have you share your knowledge this summer at camp!
Volunteers Make A Difference!
A huge THANK YOU goes out to our CYO Camps Work Weekend volunteer team who came to serve with their time, talents, and treasures, April 11-13, 2014.
It was an amazing weekend filled with friendship, fellowship, and fun! Best of all, the time our volunteers gave allowed us to accomplish work that will benefit the campers, families, and rental groups at CYO Camps... to the Glory of our God while building hearts of service and strong character!
Volunteers... walking with us on the path
The Catholic Youth Organization of the Archdiocese of Detroit hosts the 47th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration
Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - Sacred Heart Major Seminary; Detroit, Michigan
To all our volunteers... thank you for supporting CYO's Mission, Vision, and Values!
Our Mission: The Catholic Youth Organization enriches families and strengthens communities across Southeastern Michigan through youth programs that embrace the love and example of Jesus Christ.
Our Vision: Mentoring today's youth... Empowering strong Christian Leaders!
Our Values: Fostering love of God, self, and neighbor, service to others, respect for live, compassion, inclusivity, diversity, and justice!
Our Catholic community can only be as healthy, vibrant, and active as its members, volunteers, and staff are willing to make it. We honor all of the award recipients, as well as express our deepest appreciate to all our volunteers who have partnered with is in this work of the ministry.
The Journey -About Us
THE JOURNEY journals our Camps Connect story. Camps Connect is a summer camp for boys, girls, and co-ed programs, a family
Invest in Camps Connect
Together we can change a child's life.
On life's journey it's nice to connect: Camps Connect!