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First diocesan Family Camp draws more than 100

By Deacon Kyle Eller
The Northern Cross

The first diocesan Family Camp, organized by the Office of Marriage, Family, and Life, was held at Big Sandy Camp Aug. 13-15 with about 20 families (more than 100 individuals) in attendance.

Photo courtesy of Betsy Kneepkens

“I think that it was successful in accomplishing the goal, which was to bring Catholic families together enjoying life as family, without the burdens of the outside world,” said Betsy Kneepkens, who directs the Office of Marriage, Family, and Life, and led the event on site.

She said Catholic families from around the diocese got to know each other and that the various aspects of the weekend — prayer, Mass, and play — seemed to be successful. “People just continually shared how grateful they were that this opportunity was given to them,” she said.

The camp was “intentionally non-structured,” with even most of the planned events being optional, but the goal was things of interest for the variety of ages present: swimming, Catholic trivia, praying the rosary around the bonfire, laser tag, and even a special episode of “Old Fashioned Catholics,” a YouTube show by Nic Davidson and Kevin Pilon, filmed on site.

There was even a ping pong and Foosball championship for the older kids present.

A variety of lodging options, including RVs, tents, and the camp’s lodges, were available, and Kneepkens said there is room to grow for what she hopes will become an annual event.

“We’re working on a date for 2022 and hope to get that out soon,” she said.

The event was supported by “a kind benefactor” and by the United Catholic Appeal, keeping costs relatively low.