Diocesan Summer Camps Going Virtual


By Tony DeGol

A summer tradition in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is going virtual.

The Office of Youth Ministry, after consultation with Bishop Mark, has announced that the popular Camp Timothy and Camp Zacchaeus will be hosted via diocesan social media.

“We feel this option is better due to the continued uncertainty around COVID-19,” explained Youth Ministry coordinator Francine Swope. “It is always my top priority to keep our campers, counselors, and staff safe.”

The week-long camps are typically held on the grounds of Camp Sequanota in Somerset County.

Both experiences provide campers with a hefty dose of spirituality throughout the week as well as plenty of recreational activities.

The virtual versions of the camps will continue to highlight the Catholic faith with Mass, large group evangelization, and devotions. Swope and her counselors plan to offer new interactive options to accommodate the virtual format.

Although she will miss seeing the campers in person, Swope is looking forward to the opportunity for fresh adventures.

“I’m excited that we can challenge ourselves to do something new and different but still have a blast and grow in our faith at the same time,” she said.

The dates for both camps remain unchanged: Camp Timothy will be held the week of June 21; Camp Z is scheduled for the week of July 19.

There will be no charge to participate in either camp, but young people must register in advance.

Camp Timothy is open to students entering grades 10-12 and those who just graduated from high school. Students entering grades 4-9 are welcome at Camp Z.

The Office of Youth Ministry will announce more details about the 2020 virtual summer camp season in the near future.

[Photo: Campers work on a craft project during a previous Camp Zacchaeus.]