by Jessica Langdon
WILLIAMSBURG — If they start in fifth grade and return every year through high school, kids might camp at the Prairie Star Ranch here eight different times.
But they’ll never repeat an experience.
Camp leaders rewrite the curriculum every year, developing new ways to infuse faith and fun into kids’ summers, and they’re already looking ahead to summer 2014.
Registration for Camp Tekakwitha — including the popular Camp Tekakwitha Extreme — opens on Jan. 29 for students entering high school grades in the fall.
Registration opens Feb. 5 for campers starting seventh and eighth grades.
Families with campers entering fifth and sixth grade may begin registering their children for Camp Kateri on Feb. 12.
Registration starts at 9 a.m. on each of those dates.
Families are encouraged to register online, but mailed registrations are also accepted. Families should wait to mail them until the registration period for the appropriate age group opens.
One group Deacon Dana Nearmyer, camp co-director, really wants to draw to camp this summer is girls in middle school.
Last summer saw light camp attendance among this age group.
Recognizing that this is an intensely busy age — with many activities competing for every moment of their time even during the summer — Deacon Nearmyer noted that it is also an incredibly important time in their lives.
Camp leaders have even heard from young high school students that the junior high grades need greater focus.
“We’re writing curriculum especially for junior high kids,” said Deacon Nearmyer. “It preserves their innocence, but it’s tracking into where the culture’s trying to take them.”
Deacon Nearmyer recently immersed himself in the latest apps that he hopes — combined with a wide range of fun outdoor activities — will help provide the answers kids today are seeking to their very “sophisticated” questions about their faith.
This is also the first year the Wet Willie water slide will be open to all the camps. The new attraction opened during mid-summer last year.
Brochures, registration information and other details are available on the archdiocesan website at: www.archkck.org.
Important dates for 2014
Jan. 24 — Scholarship applications due
Jan. 29 — Registration opens for campers entering ninth-12th grade
Feb. 5 — Registration opens for campers entering seventh/eighth grade
Feb. 12 — Registration opens for campers entering fifth/sixth grade
Camp dates for 2014
Camp Kateri — fifth/sixth grade ($230)
Session 1: June 9-11
Session 2: June 12-14
Session 3: June 29-July 1
Session 4: July 14-16
Camp Tekakwitha Junior High — seventh/eighth grade ($370)
Session 1: June 2-7
Session 2: June 23-28
Session 3: July 7-12
Session 4: July 21-26
Camp Tekakwitha Senior High — ninth-12th grades ($380)
Camp Tekakwitha Senior High Extreme — ninth-12th grades ($430)
July 28-Aug. 5
Camp Tekakwitha Family Camp 2014 (children younger than 2: free; ages 2 and up: $125 per