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Welcome Moms and Dads! (and Grandmas and Grandpas, guardians and everyone else who has the care of the children who come to us at Camp Lawrence.) We are pleased to have you visit us here. We appreciate the great trust you place in us when you send your child to summer camp. On our part, we strive to make Camp Lawrence a rewarding experience that is not only great fun but a time of growth. In this page we answer many of the questions parents and guardians ask us about the Camping experience. Please feel welcome to contact the CYO office if you have further questions.
CYO Camp Lawrence operates under the direction of the Catholic Youth Organization of Northwest Indiana. The grounds of Camp Lawrence are owned by the Diocese of Gary Indiana. Any questions regarding the summer camp should be directed to the CYO office:
7725 Broadway, Suite C, Merrillville, Indiana 46410
Phone: (219) 736-8931
Fax: (219) 736-9457
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 - 3:30 p.m.
We at Camp Lawrence have long held that attending camp is more than just a fun experience but has lasting benefits for a child. Our belief is supported by the research of organizations such as the ACA and experts in child development. The camp experience is recognized as valuable in helping children mature socially, emotionally, intellectually, morally and physically. We at Camp Lawrence also see great benefit to the children in spending a week in a Christian based community environment. In other words, they grow spiritually. Here are but a few examples of professionals speaking of the benefit of the camp experience.
"The building blocks of self-esteem are belonging, learning and contributing. Camps offer unique opportunities for children to succeed in these three vital areas..."
Michael Popkin, Ph.D. Family Therapist and founder of Active Parenting
"The biggest plus of camp is that camps help young people discover and explore their talents, interests and values. Most schools don't satisfy all these needs. Kids who have had these kinds of (camp) experiences end up being healthier and have less problems..."
Peter Scales, Ph.D. The Search Institute
"At camp, children learn to problem-solve, make social adjustments to new and different people, learn responsibility, and gain new skills..."
Rebecca Cowan Johnson, Ph.D. Child therapist and Camp Director
Quotes provided by the American Camp Association
The 2016 Camping Season dates are:
|June 18th - June 24th||- Hatfield vs McCoy Week|
|June 25th - July 1st||- Spirit Week|
|July 9th - July 15th||- Holiday/Christmas Week|
|July 16th - July 22rd||- Carnival Week|
|July 23th - July 29th||- Red Carpet Week|
Hatfield and McCoy Week: Hillbilly week - come join the feuding hillbilly families - the Hatfields and the McCoys. Spend the week competing to earn points for your family. Highlight: Hillbilly face off.
Spirit Week: Fun! Fun! Fun! Be a part of the excitement and show your Camp Lawrence spirit! Highlight: Crazy Day.
Holiday Week: Wake up every day to a new Holiday. We'll celebrate Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter, Christmas and other favorites. Highlight: Halloween Haunted House.
Carnival: The Carnival comes to Camp Lawrence! Complete in games, win tokens, and earn prizes. Highlight: Carnival.
Red Carpet Week: Each day we will focus on a different genre and will have activities related to it. The genres will include: Super Heroes, Wild West, Disney, and a Red Carpet Premiere for our weekly movie night.
First week of camp (June 18-June 24) - special reduced rate of $225.00
All other weeks are $280.00
There is a discount of $30.00 for regular priced weeks, $250 if your registration is postmarked before May 31, 2017.
Only one discount is allowed and applies to regular priced weeks only.
A $100.00 DEPOSIT IS DUE WITH EACH REGISTRATION, FOR EACH WEEK A CAMPER WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE
To register for camp, you simply complete the registration form, which can be downloaded from this website, and mail it into the CYO Office along with the required deposit. You will receive back confirmation information along with the required Health Form and other information. To download the registration form, click HERE!
Important items to bring include: pillow, pillowcase, sleeping bag or blankets and sheet, towels, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and washcloth, comb or brush, sweaters, blue jeans and long sleeve shirts for hikes, shorts and shirts, underclothing, socks and pajamas, rain gear, gym shoes and a second pair of shoes, BUG SPRAY, flashlight, one piece bathing suit, writing supplies, stamps, water bottle, $10.00 for a canteen card, and a hat or cap (must be worn properly).
Please note that all clothing must be modest (no half shirts) and appropriate (pictures, sayings etc.).
Camp is accredited by the American Camp Association. For more information on the ACA, click HERE
We do our best to insure a quality staff for camp. Many of our staff members are former campers who are now finishing high school or are in college. Camp has also has a good return rate of staff members from summer to summer. Staff members are selected by the Camp Directors after a process that includes an application, references, criminal background checks and a personal interview. Camp Lawrence follows the guidelines set forth by the ACA for staff qualifications.
All staff members attend a week long training session prior to the beginning of camp. In addition to learning the basics of the Camp Program, they receive training from the Camp Nurse in basic first aid, learn emergency procedures, safety training, and are formed into a community. Following the Diocese of Gary Policy, Camp Staff will receive Virtus Training. Virtus is the program adopted by the Diocese of Gary to protect all of our children from sexual abuse. The staff will learn warning signs of abuse and how to spot a potential abusive situation.
Our counselors work in pairs and so your child will be with at least two of our staff members throughout the week. Additionally, the activity directors and waterfront staff are with the campers during the day. The counselors live in the cabins with the campers providing twenty-four hour supervision.
Our groups are based on the age of the youth. Their are a total of eight groups each of boys and girls. During the daytime, groups of boys and girls of the same age rotate between the activities. We do our best to accommodate request that particular children be in the same group as each other. If you wish your child to be with a friend, make sure that both your child's application and that of his or her friend provide this information.
The maximum number of kids we can accommodate is 160. The exact number varies from week to week.
Camp Lawrence has a camp nurse on staff who oversees the health of the campers and staff. The camp nurse reviews the physicals of all youth attending camp at registration and is available to speak with parents about any particular health concerns. All medication is kept in the nurses cabin and is administered by the nurse to insure proper dosage and timely reception. The nurse monitors the health of everyone at camp and contacts parents as necessary when health concerns arise. In the case of an emergency, Camp Lawrence is minutes from Porter Memorial Hospital in Valparaiso.
Temporary homesickness is a normal reaction, particularly to new campers. With proper handling by the staff, it can be overcome and the camper can make a big stride in maturing We welcome this opportunity to help youngsters grow in this area and we train our staff to handle homesickness in a constructive loving way. If it becomes clear that a child's homesickness is not getting better, the directors will contact the parents to consult with them and make the necessary decisions.
Each year we have a number of non-Catholic Campers. We welcome each child regardless of his or her religious creed.
The Camp Chaplin, who resides at a local parish, visits camp on a regular basis to preside at Mass, lead Morning Prayer, oversee and assure the spiritual atmosphere of camp, provide guidance and direction to the staff as well as take on any responsibilities requested by the directors.
Yes, spirituality is an important part of Camp Lawrence. We celebrate Mass on Wednesday and Friday evenings. Also, the campers come together each morning for about fifteen minutes of song, prayer and spiritual stories. We pray before and after meals and ask our groups to pray together before bedtime. Your home is likely to be filled with the sound of camp Mass songs and prayers when the week is over. You will be pleased with how much your child will enjoy our Masses and prayer times.
Over the years we have built up a supply of the items commonly forgotten. Often we can supply a youth with whatever he or she needs. If you need to drop things off for your child, please call the directors and make arrangements with them.
For practical reasons, it is not possible to give the youth access to our phone except in emergencies. Also, we have found that even the most well adjusted child can get a sudden bout of homesickness when talking on the phone. Please, however, supply your child with paper, envelopes and stamps and encourage her or him to write.
Yes, we encourage parents and other family members to send mail to campers. At registration, you will receive a card with the mailing information for your child. Also, we encourage the campers to write home so send paper, stamps and envelopes with your child. Address to send mail - 68 East 700 North Valparaiso, IN 46383
Twice a day the campers visit our Canteen. At Canteen they are able to buy a variety of snack foods from candy bars to ice cream. The counselors monitor their purchases to ensure the $10.00 canteen card lasts the week.
We serve three balanced meals each day which meet and often exceed the same standards of nutrition followed by Indiana Schools. Our meals taste better than school food too!!! We enjoy camp favorites such as hot dog cook outs and hamburgers as well as dinners of chicken strips. Breakfast always includes cold cereal and another item such as pancakes.
Camp Lawrence is coeducational. During the day time, campers attend activities with boys and girls of the same age. In the evening, some activities take place with a mix of boys and girls while other times they participate in their own activities. There are separate cabins for the boys and girls.