Summertime Camp Adventures: Outdoor Fun With a Catholic Focus

Faith-filled adventures for vacation time.

Camp Wojtyla in Colorado, named for St. John Paul II, offers plenty of outdoor adventures and prayer for young people of all ages.
Camp Wojtyla in Colorado, named for St. John Paul II, offers plenty of outdoor adventures and prayer for young people of all ages. (photo: Courtesy of Camp Wojtyla)

Catholic summer camps provide youth and families the opportunity to experience the beauty of God’s creation while enjoying fellowship and fun and deepening one’s faith. Here is a sample of the many camps across the nation.


Camp Wojtyla

P.O. Box 116

Erie, CO 80516

(303) 586-1799

Named after St. John Paul II, Camp Wojtyla (pronounced voy-tee-wa) is a Catholic adventure program located on 1,200 pristine acres of wilderness in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. It integrates the truths of the Catholic faith with adventure experiences for self-discovery and spiritual growth. Summer 2019 offers different programs for each age, gender and type of adventure. Middle-school program: six-day wilderness adventure. Campers sleep in teepees. Activities include mountain hiking and archery. High-school program: nine-day alpine expedition. Campers sleep in teepees. Activities include rock climbing, a summit attempt or a big hike day on Colorado’s peaks and mountains, and whitewater rafting. High-school backpacking expedition: six to 12 days of backpacking through the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. Activities include summit attempts, whitewater rafting and camping under the stars. Graduating seniors only: senior summit expedition 12-day backpacking trip in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of southern Colorado. Cost range: $745-$1,455.


Annunciation Heights

7400 State Hwy 7

Estes Park, CO 80517

(970) 586-5689


Annunciation Heights is a new Catholic camp located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It offers the opportunity to spend time in the Rockies, have fun and dive deeper into the Catholic faith. Youth camps: one-week summer sessions for youth entering fourth-12th grade. Camps occur simultaneously but are separated by gender and age group: fourth- and fifth-graders, sixth- to eighth-graders, and ninth- to 12th-graders. Adventure activities include age-appropriate hiking in and around nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, zip-lining, rock-wall climbing, lake fishing and mountain biking. Family camps: two four-day summer sessions. Adventure activities include paddle-boarding, zip-lining, rock-wall climbing and archery.  Engaging staff lead fun and games, skits, live music and campfires. Faith activities include Bible studies, Mass, adoration, confession and small-group prayer time. Youth camp cost: $650 per camper; some scholarships available. Family camp cost: $325 program fee (per family), plus $150 for lodge room or $80 for campground. Meals cost: $95 per adult, $80 per teen age 13-17, $65 per child, 5-12; under 5 free.


Whispering Winds

17606 Harrison Park Road

Julian, CA 92036



Whispering Winds is located in the Cuyamaca Mountains on 161 acres in Cleveland National Forest, about an hour’s drive from San Diego. It aims to provide quality family time together on the mountain to grow closer to God and to each other. Two three-day family summer camps are offered in July. Activities include swimming pool and zip line, Mass, and dynamic speakers and programs for children, teens and adults. A three-day special-needs family camp is offered July 26-28. Cost: $60 per person, ages 4 and up; plus lodging, $460-$670, or your tent/your RV for $295. Additional day: $30 per person. Some scholarships available. Discount rate for military families.


Our Lady of Good Counsel

8888 E. Gobbler Drive

Floral City, FL  34436

(352) 726-2198


Good Counsel Camp is the youth camp of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. It is located about 60 miles north of Tampa. The camp challenges youth to grow in character through wholesome outdoor adventures and the Catholic faith. It is a coed camp and accepts campers from 7 to 15 years of age. A one-week session and three two-week sessions are offered this summer. Activities include archery, boating, riflery, swimming, arts and crafts, sports, low-ropes activities, capture the flag and swimming, fishing, night hikes and overnight camping trips. Faith activities include Mass, Bible vigils, Benediction and other prayer experiences. Most sessions have waiting lists. Cost: $405-$650.


Catholic Youth Summer Camp

7550 Ramey Road
Centerburg, OH  43011



Catholic Youth Summer Camp was founded 18 years ago to help youth “live the adventure” of their Catholic faith. It is located on 471 acres in Centerburg, Ohio, 40 minutes northeast of Columbus. Five-day summer camp sessions serve youth in the sixth-12th grades. Activities include high ropes, paintball, archery tag, giant swing, dual zip lines, five-story climbing wall, boating and fishing. Sacramental life includes daily Mass, reconciliation and adoration. Cost: $495 per session.


Camp Gray

E10213 Shady Lane Road

Reedsburg, WI  53959

(608) 356-8200


Camp Gray is the Catholic summer camp and year-round retreat center of the Diocese of Madison. Located on 225 wooded acres, it strives in its activities to incorporate the Catholic faith, encourage love of neighbor, and offer fun. Ten sessions of summer camp are offered for campers in 2nd-12th grade. Sessions typically last one week. Activities include fishing, canoeing, arts and crafts, swimming, mountain biking, climbing tower, low ropes and horseback riding. Youth camp cost: $440-$995. (Additional $100 fee for participants outside the Madison Diocese.)

Roxanne King writes

from Denver.