ANGOLA - The St. Vincent de Paul Summer Camp is now accepting applications for the 2012 camping season.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Buffalo Central Council, owns and operates the children's camp on the shores of Lake Erie in Angola. Weekly camp sessions are designed for all children ages 8 to 13.
"The camp is a great place for young people to get together in a wholesome atmosphere to experience traditional camp activities," said Mark Zirnheld, executive director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. "Our campers enjoy outdoor sports, arts and crafts, singing and so much more. It's a place for kids to share good times and make new friendships."
The camp features 15 acres of wooded land on the shores of Lake Erie, with 1,200 feet of beach. Facilities include eight cabins, a dining hall and kitchen, outdoor activity areas, a clinic, two shower rooms, a craft building, campfire circle and heated pool.
"Campers experience a variety of activities, designed for specific age groups, such as arts and crafts, swimming, music, bible discussions and athletics," said Ray Wassinger, camp director.
Evenings are devoted to special camp programs, which may involve the entire camp or individual cabins. Wassinger said a special awards campfire is held on the final night of camp where cabins and individual campers are recognized for their efforts in camp competitions or for individual accomplishments.
"We have worked to keep many camp traditions while adding new events and activities," Wassinger said. "For more than 85 years, we've offered a camping experience to young people that will linger in their memories for a lifetime."
Camp counselors are assigned to each cabin. Support staff includes a full-time nurse, lifeguards, program director, activity director and kitchen staff.
Six weekly sessions begin July 8. Residential camp is $285 per week with an early bird rate of $240 if paid in full by June 15. A day camp is also available at $150 per week. Financial assistance is available to those who qualify.
"Our camping fee is among the lowest in Western New York," Zirnheld said. "We thank our members and benefactors for allowing us to keep our program so affordable."
Camp open houses are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20, and Sunday, June 3, from noon to 5 p.m. The camp's annual fundraising barbecue will be held the afternoon of Sunday, June 10. Barbecue proceeds benefit the camp. Last year's event raised more than $8,000.
More information about the summer camp and application forms are available at www.svdpwny.org, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 882-3360, Ext. 7. The camp's website has a newly-produced camp video where families can learn more about the St. Vincent de Paul camp experience.
Members of the St. Vincent de Paul Sumer Camp Advisory Task Force are available to meet with various school and youth organizations to present the video and answer questions. Arrangements can be made by calling 882-3360, Ext. 7.
Young people interested in serving as counselors should use the same contact information to get in touch with camp officials.