Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Musings by Mo-T

Welcome to Post Blizzard Wednesday. Though I usually post on Mondays (every other Monday, of course) the impending snow had me scurrying around coaching basketball and doing homework for grad school. Besides, I knew you would want to hold out for some video footage of the winter wonderland. As you can see, it's kind of hard to ski in 15 inches of snow...but it sure is beautiful out there!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Are you guys cold?

By: Jeff Hoeben
Camp Co-Director

In the Madison area each year they participate in the nation wide vigil called 40 Days for Life Our shift was from 6am to 10am on Monday morning. Chris and I left the house at ten 'till five. It is eery pulling up to Planned Parenthood in the dark. Just looking at the building and knowing of what goes on inside is troubling and so very sad. As we stood outside quietly praying, a car pulled up and rolled down his window. He politely asked, "are you guys cold?" We replied, with a "good morning"and before we could give an answer about our condition he responded, "it's faith that keeps you warm." It's faith that keeps us warm, what a beautiful thought. Certainly is was cold that morning. It's cold thinking about the reality of abortion. It's cold looking at the numbers of abortions performed at Planned Parenthood. The Life Issues Institude has some staggering numbers posted...It's all so cold. Just as the stranger said, faith does keep us warm. It is such a good reminder to pray and turn our efforts over to God.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Musings by Mo-T

By: Mo-T Theresa Wilks

That may sound like a flock of geese flying overhead in a perfect V formation, heading south for the winter. But it is not. In fact, I do believe that all the geese have decided to stick around for this nice weather. I mean, would you really walk all the way to Florida when there is sunny, 60 degree weather here? It's basically the same thing.

Actually, that is the sound of the Camp Gray outdoor ministry team walking around camp in the "Flying V". They recently got the idea from watching all three movies of the Mighty Ducks trilogy (on DVD). For those of you who are too young to know what these movies are, please rent them sometime and watch.

The Mighty Ducks is a timeless tale of a hockey team that starts playing together as a peewee club (District 5, to be exact). With a cranky lawyer-turned peewee coach, this group of misfits quickly (in one practice) turns into the best peewee club in country (or Minnesota). Just like all the other classic, Disney, wonderful sports movies.

We really learned a lot about teamwork, miracles, and forgiveness from these movies. It seemed only natural to try to practice these same attributes in our retreat work here at camp. So, today they get to try out the new attitude with the eighth graders from St. James School in Madison. And that, my friends, is why you will hear the sounds of spontaneous, simultaneous quacking here at Camp Gray.

Have a great week friends, and remember, no matter the weather, ducks fly together!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Musings by Mo-T

By Mo-Theresa Wilks

Weather Update:
Cold and rainy.

For those of you who live near Camp Gray, you may not be all that surprised at this weather report, for two reasons.
1) You are currently experiencing the same weather
2) It has been like this for about a month

Granted, we have had a few nice, sunny, moderately warm days. But it seems as if most of this month has been cold and rainy. Rain isn’t so bad. It’s even necessary. It also helps us to appreciate more the dry, sunny days. But when it’s in the 30s or 40s, it’s just uncomfortable. Some might even call it “bone chilling”. I hear that it makes some people just want to curl up inside with a nice mug of hot cocoa and a snuggie? (Yes, I intended that question mark.) Personally, I most strongly dislike this weather because if it is going to be this cold anyway, it might as well just snow. Snow is clearly way better than rain (at least if you are trying to ski…)

So this is what we have been dealing with at Camp recently. But the staff here and all the groups who have visited have been taking it in stride. Everyone gets on their rain gear and heads on outside. That’s because the truth is, Camp is beautiful and a gift from God, whether you’re looking at it through rain, fog, snow or sunglasses. And, even despite less than ideal weather, it’s still such a blessing to have the opportunity to be outside exploring our 225 acres. Besides, we wouldn’t want to miss the beautiful fall colors all around us, would we?

So onward we press, working with all our ESP, teambuilding and Confirmation groups. And yes, onward we look – to some different weather. But we still won’t forget to thank God for all the blessings that we are experience right now, and take full advantage of them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Musings by Mo-T

By Mo Theresa Wilks

October 12, 2009, a day that will live in infamy. Well, maybe not, but it is my half birthday! I will be celebrating another 6 months of life by doing what I do most Mondays…working in the Camp Gray office.

My job here as weekend retreat coordinator is pretty cool. I work with the volunteers in planning and running all the, you guessed it, weekend retreats. This happens to be mostly spiritual retreats. When I am not working on those, I spend my time researching topics within the faith we want to learn more about, thinking of new programs/ideas for retreats, or helping out around camp in many other ways.

Everything I do during the year though, does not make me forget about the awesome things we also do during the summer! While we don’t typically do anything special for half birthdays here at camp, if you are here your birthday you are in for a treat!

Traditionally, especially during a session of summer camp, the birthday boy or girl gets the privilege of sitting on a stool in the middle of the pavilion, being sung to (very loudly and boisterously) and getting a special birthday dessert. It is truly a great way to celebrate.

Having a springtime birthday, though, I have never had the pleasure of experiencing this. This saddens me greatly, but I figure I can make up for it by celebrating my half birthday as well…

Inaugural Camp Gray Alumni Softball Game

By: Skip Carlson
Camp Gray Sports Writer

In what turned out to be a perfectly marvelous afternoon, dozens of Camp Gray staff alumni past and present recently gathered at the Fr. Cassidy Athletic Field at Camp Gray for the Inaugural Camp Gray Alumni Softball Game.

After players warmed up, and caught up (late 90's staff members Brian Spader and Shaun Crumb made the trek back to this humble camp - meaning there was a lot of time needed to catch up!), teams were chosen. Those staff that have at least 4 years of experience serving at Camp Gray were placed on one team (affectionately known as the Geriatrics - or Jerrys for short), while those that are bit more green to the Camp Gray staff were placed on the other team (known simply as the Domin-8-ters).

The Jerrys won the pregame coin toss, and so were awarded with the home-field honors, which seemed appropriate as the Jerry's had nearly 60 years of combined staff experience.

After two innings, the Jerrys had a commanding 6-1 lead, which had the mostly pro-Jerry crowd in an absolute tizzy! Before long, however, the Domin-8-tors settled in, and came storming back with 10 runs over the next 3 innings. After five innings, the score was 11-10, in favor of the Jerrys, but the Domin-8-tors weren't backing down.

The game continued on in this back-and-forth fashion all the way until the top of the 9th, when the Domin-8-tors came to the plate looking to extend their two-run lead, because due up in the bottom of the 9th was the top of the order for the Jerrys: "The Big 3" of Jeff, Shaun, and Brian.

The Jerry's defense came up big in the top of the 9th with several clutch plays, and were able to keep the Domin-8-tors from scoring any runs, however, the Jerrys were only able to score 2-runs in the bottom half of the 9th, knotting the score at 16.

Not unlike the 2002 MLB All Star game, this game ended in a tie, not because the players didn't want to continue, but because the annual fall community picnic at Camp Gray was on-deck (pun entirely and excitedly intended!), meaning hundreds of local folks would be arriving at camp anytime to take in the celebration of Mass, a delicious meal, and fellowship with the staff and volunteers of Camp Gray.

While the decision to end in a tie was difficult, it adds fuel to this young rivalry, and will make future alumni softball games at Camp Gray even more exciting. Won't you join us next year? Thanks to all those that made the first-ever Camp Gray alumni softball game such a huge success.

There's no DH at Camp Gray.
Jerry's starting pitcher Brian Spader crushes this pitch to left-center.

The Domin-8-ters
left-to-right: Emily, Chris, Amanda, Kevin C., Meghan, Pat, Sean, Emilio, Kevin E., Kate

front row, l-to-r: Rebecca, Mo-T, Nicky, Lindsay, Jenna, Sara
back row, l-to-r: Topher, Gus, Shaun, Jeff, Brian

A soft grounder is easily collected by Domin-8-ers shortstop Kate Earleywine, which she effortlessly turned into a double play.

Jerry's "BIG 3": Jeff, Shaun, Brian

Once again, the Fr. Cassidy Athletic Field played host to a real nail-biter.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Doug - All-Pro Counselor. Scratch golfer. Aspiring closer for the Chicago Cubs.

Well howdy Doug! What have you been up to since summer?

I’ve been living it up out in corn country, at THE Iowa State University. I just started my junior year there studying Journalism and Religious Studies. Also, I’m a CA (community advisor; same thing as an RA) on campus. Between that and homework, I’ve been keeping plenty busy.

What is your favorite thing about Camp Gray?

Oh man, that’s tough…there are so many things I absolutely love about Camp, but if I had to choose, I’d say parent feedback. It feels incredible to know just how much of an impact we as a staff have on our campers. There’s not many summer jobs where you can say, “man, I really made a difference in that person’s life,” as much as you can as a camp counselor.

What was the best lesson you took from summer camp 2009?

Patience! When you are responsible for 8 Settler boys, you better have some. If you don’t, you’ll learn it quickly, like I did. Holy Cow…let’s just say I have a new found respect for mothers and elementary school teachers.

What is your absolute favorite memory from summer? (I know you have like 39, but I’m confident you can narrow it down to one)

The Week 8 CTF was epic. I was a Pathfinder counselor that week, and between us and the Ranchers we had about 35 people against about twice as many Trailblazers. It was a really close fought match. The Pathfinders were down pretty much the whole game, but we scored the winning point with like 2 minutes left. I mean, you could put that game on ESPN Classic it was so good. That was also my last CTF match of the summer, so it was especially sweet to end it like that.

What is your favorite book?

I’m a big Harry Potter fan, but I think I’d have to say The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn. Or anything written by Scott Hahn for that matter. In The Lamb’s Supper, he talks about how the book of Revelation relates to the Catholic Mass…reading it gave me a completely new outlook on the Mass. It went from something I just did every Sunday to something I look forward to every week.

Name one improvement you would make to camp?

I would love to see more Praise and Worship music…We do it after Mass on Fridays, but it would be sweet to have 20 minutes every day just to praise God through song.

You have a free ticket to go anywhere in the world. Where would you fly?

Is it clichĂ© to say Rome? I’m a big history nerd, especially when it comes to Church history, so I think I would just be beside myself in the Vatican. There’s so much faith and history there; I could probably stay here for months and still not see everything.

Who is the biggest hero in your faith?

You know, I really can’t say I have a biggest hero. There have been a lot of people throughout my life who have had a great impact on my faith…one is definitely Fr. Larry Bakke. This summer I got to know him, and he is truly a great man of God.

Who is your favorite Saint?

Hmmm…I’ve always been partial to St. Sebastian (my Confirmation name!). Any guy who goes up to the Roman Emperor and tells him off for persecuting Christians, then gets ordered to be put to death, doesn’t die, but goes right back and tells him off again is seriously cool.

What are your top 3 favorite spots on camp? Why?

3. Cassidy Athletic Field – CTF on the AF. Nuff said.

2. Patrick and William Picnic table for lots of good conversations with staff when campers are asleep.

1. St. Francis of Assisi Chapel because, well, Jesus is there! Mass, Adoration, No Rosary No Dinner; every powerful faith experience I had this summer happened there…it is truly a special place.

When you were of Settler age, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I think my mom told me once I wanted to be a chemist, but I also remember wanting to be a reporter. Ironically, I started college as a Chemical Engineering major and ended up in Journalism. Oh, and a professional baseball player (actually, that’s still true…can you say Fantasy Camp?)

Favorite Bible verse?

Colossians 3:17 – “Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of Christ Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Honorable mentions – 1 Timothy 4:12, Luke 22:26, and Jeremiah 17:7.

Well thanks a lot, Doug! Do you have any closing words?

Sure. I firmly believe in God putting people where they need to be. Way back in February, I got a call from my old boss telling me that she didn’t have a job for me that summer; I had been planning on working 40 hours a week developing pictures at the Walgreens I had worked at since I was 16. “Well, that’s great,” I thought, “now what?” I was a counselor for a week long camp my parish ran back in high school, so I thought that might be fun to do for the summer. Now, this is the God part. I wanted to work at a Catholic Camp (in truth, I wasn’t sure if those even existed) close to Chicago, where I’m from. So I Googled “Catholic Summer Camp” and just applied to the first one on the list. Camp Gray was number one on that search, and my life will forever be changed because of it…I guess you could say Google (but really, God) changed my life.

Doug teaches this camper the appropriate way to celebrate your first catch at Camp Gray!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Musings by Mo-T

By: Mo-Theresa
Weekend Retreat Coordinator

Today seems to be the first real Autumn day here at camp. Some might even call it a blustery day. Feel free to count me among the “some”. It’s a touch chilly, and very windy. Leaves are blowing, layers are being worn, and hot chocolate is being warmed. Mmmm…Soon we will have fires going in the fireplace, I will be skiing everywhere…and oh, sorry, I think I got lost in a daydream.

Being the weekend retreat coordinator this year, I have a bit of spare time during the week. (But only a bit – it takes a lot of work to plan those retreats, and help out all over camp!) I use this time to cause mischief, daydream (as you just witnessed) and… and… well I’ve got nothing. That’s why I decided I would write on the blog every other week.

This led me to trying to figure out exactly what kind of poster (as in a person who posts on the blog, not hangs on the wall) I would be: would it be biweekly, bimonthly, semiweekly, or semimonthly? After a raging debate in the office, I turned to the more reliable source of for some help.

Here are the definitions I found:

Bi weekly-Occurring every two weeks,
Occurring twice a week; semiweekly
Bimonthly- Occurring every two months,
Occurring twice a month, semimonthly
Semi weekly –Occurring, done, appearing or published twice a week
Semimonthly - Made, occurring, done, or published twice a month

Okay, so let’s talk this out. It could be biweekly, because it occurs every two weeks. It seems as though it could also be bimonthly, occurring twice a month. This however says it is the same as semimonthly. This makes sense, according to the definition of semimonthly, but begs the question, “How can bimonthly and semimonthly mean the same thing?”
So I decided to look up semi – nothing. Only one thing left to do, look up the prefix “bi”. This is what I found:

All words except biennial referring to periods of time and prefixed by bi- are potentially ambiguous. Since bi- can be taken to mean either “twice each” or “every two,” a word like biweekly can be understood as “twice each week” or “every two weeks.” To avoid confusion, it is better to use the prefix semi- to mean “twice each” (semiannual; semimonthly; semiweekly) or the phrase 'twice a' or 'twice each' (twice a month; twice a week; twice each year), and for the other sense to use the phrase every two (every two months; every two weeks; every two years).

So there you have it, bi can mean either, but semi only has one meaning. Still, the debate continues. Is this a biweekly/bimonthly post? Is it a semimonthly post? Or, should it be a biweekly/semimonthly/semiweekly post? I guess I have 2 weeks to figure it out…

Friday, September 25, 2009

Weekly Devotion for Sunday, September 27th

Every week during the school year at Camp Gray, a staff member or volunteer writes a devotion for the upcoming Sunday Gospel reading. Sara, our Program Manager, then emails this devotion to a list of campers, staffers, and retreatants that numbers nearly a thousand. Sean, a long time volunteer at camp, has written this weeks devotion, and we're excited to share it on "Misplaced & Found" - The Blog of Camp Gray 53959. If you like what you see (which no doubt you will), and would like to be added to the weekly devotion email list, contact Sara at

Hey everybody, this is Sean writing to you from the beautiful grounds of Camp Gray. We are enjoying the great weather here at camp, even the rain we had Tuesday, as we continue to work and play with many groups who are visiting us. Anyways, let’s move on to this week’s Gospel reading, which comes from Mark...

Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

At that time, John said to Jesus,
"Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us."
Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.
Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ,
amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.
"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'"

All right, so I know that this reading may seem kind of deep or scary when you first read it, but if you take a little while to think about it, it starts to make sense.
The reading starts out talking about doing things for Jesus. In the story a man is driving out demons in Jesus’ name. John doesn’t like that because this man doesn’t specifically follow Jesus. Right away, Jesus answers, saying that when we do things for Jesus, we can’t dishonor him in any way. When we serve others because we know it is what God wants, or when we pray to God, we are actually honoring and worshiping Him. At those times there is nothing we can do to wrong God.

When we sin, on the other hand, it is like we are hurting God rather than honoring Him. Now when we sin, we do not need to cut off a hand or foot to be forgiven. Actually, all we need to do is go to confession. But if something in our lives is causing us to sin over and over, Jesus wants us to get away from that thing so we can focus on God.
So just remember to keep serving others and keep praying, so that you can keep honoring God and loving Him just like He loves all of us.

God Bless,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kick Off to an Incredible Year

By: Emily McHugh
Outdoor Ministry Team Member

Here at Camp Gray, we just finished our first retreat of the season! Northwest Catholic school of Milwaukee blessed us with the presence of their fifth and seventh graders last Wednesday through Friday.

As I write this from a near empty camp, it is difficult to believe that just a couple days ago over eighty students filled the basketball courts, the trails and the Pav. Fifth graders were able to take a departure from their classroom setting via the Environmental Stewardship program during which they learned about marshes, cranes, invasive species, streams, and forests from volunteers Kevin, Amanda, Meghan, and myself. They (as well as the excited staff) had the added bonus of visiting the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, witnessing the endangered Whooping Cranes in all their glory!

Meanwhile, the seventh graders were in good hands and had a great time with volunteers Chris, Mo-T, Renata, and Pat as they underwent several teambuilding activities.

The two groups merged for the entertaining bonfire which satisfied everyone’s funny bone, as well as sweet tooth with the favorite bonfire snack of smores.

This week, we’re welcoming Sacred Hearts School for a teambuilding and spiritual retreat – we can’t wait! Camp Gray wishes you all a blessed week!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Camp Gray Summer Camp Session 10

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

Because of our unfortunate mid-summer battle with Swine Flu, and subsequent 10-day closing, we were excited to offer the first ever summer camp session 10 to give campers that had their session cancelled, an opportunity to experience all the faith, friends, and fun we offer here at Camp Gray. Many of our summer staff were unable to stick around for session 10 because of early starts at their respective University's, but there were enough for us to host 45 campers, which is exactly how many were able to experience the excitement of the first ever session 10!
With an unprecedented 10th session of summer camp, many have been asking, "Well, how did it go?"

Answer: After having a couple weeks to process this experience, only one word comes to mind: Exceptional!

With 45 campers (a typical session has well over 120), and a staff of less than 20 (typical: 50), things were personable and intimate with the same enormously high level of Camp Gray fun!

As you can probably imagine, 45 campers don't quite fill the "Pav" for meals, so we transformed one half of the pavilion into a circle of 6 picnic tables. The delicious and nutritious salad bar and cereal bar was then rolled right into the middle by our humble kitchen crew!

Also, with only 3 Survivor teams, all of camp traveled to the three different game sites together, with facilitation done by the same crew at each stop! To mix things up, we invented an exciting new game that involved transport of water, followed by each team attempting to be first to extinguish their respective fire with water canons. Talk about excitement!

On top of all of this fun, there was a pre-Capture the Flag pond party, which ranked #1 on the end of week Top 5 Board. Lastly, the brand new session 10 ritual saw the return of Pokagon, which had one camper so excited, he exclaimed, "Pokagon is back?! This week couldn't get any better!"

Thanks campers and staff of session 10! Years from now, scholars and historians will still be talking about the amazingness of Camp Gray's first every session 10!

Thanks for tuning in, friends! May your current/future adventures find you happy and with many blessings!



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2nd Annual Camp Gray Community Picnic

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

In an effort to welcome our summer and year-round camp families and staff back to Camp Gray, and to give others in the community an opportunity to see camp and to experience the energy and fun of this holy ground, we're excited to invite you to the 2nd Annual Camp Gray Community Picnic on Saturday, September 19th!

Come on out to meet our full time staff and volunteers, walk the trails of camp, join in the celebration of Mass celebrated by Fr. Eric Neilson, and finally, take part in a delicious dinner! Yup, sounds like a pretty amazing Saturday evening to me, too! Oh, and did I mention that this entire evening of fun for the whole family is absolutely free of cost?

Please click here for more details.

Please RSVP to (608) 356-8200


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Session 10 Picture of the Week!!

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

Greetings friends! After an exceptional summer at Camp Gray, it's always sad to say goodbye to our wonderful staff and to our last group of campers. Alas, that time has come and gone, and we're already getting our hands dirty with preparations for Camp Gray Summer Camp 2010! That being said, we'd like to sincerely thank everyone who joined us on this holy ground this summer. We're already looking forward to your return next summer! We'll keep you posted on upcoming dates for our year-round fun, and we'll let you know when you can start checking your mail for our Summer Camp 2010 Registration Packet!

And now, the final photo in the Summer Camp Picture of the Week Series:

These three gentlemen showed us that when it comes to paddling for speed on the expansive waters of Lake Jake, three is better than two.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Session 9 Picture of the Week!!

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

After Joey's bobber disappeared into the depths of Lake Jake, his heart began to race in the hopes that he had caught Walter (Camp Gray's resident, mythically large fish). Imagine his surprise when after reeling for several minutes, he instead found a sizable turtle on the end of his line! (Don't fret, no turtle was harmed during this program area, nor during this photo op.)

Thanks Session 9 Campers for a thrilling week at Camp Gray! (And nice catch Joey!)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Session 8 Picture of the Week!!

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

With yet another solid crew of Leader's in Training finishing their three week tour at Camp Gray, we can confidently say the future of Camp is bright! Thanks to Emmy, Emily, Brittany, Claire, Paul, Megan, Sara, Taylor & LIT Coordinator Lindsay Becher, for an incredible three weeks!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Camp Gray: One More Week!

By: Chris Aderhold

Assistant Director

That's right folks! In case you haven't heard the exciting news, we will be offering an additional session of summer camp August 16th-19th! Session 10 will be a shorter, smaller session, but packed full of all the same faith-filled fun you've come to expect from a stay at Camp Gray. Session 10 will be open to settlers (campers in 2nd-5th grade), and trailblazers (campers in 6th-8th grade).

Tell your friends, siblings, cousins, and neighbors! The first ever Camp Gray Summer Camp Session 10 will be nothing short of phenomenal!

Click Here For Details!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Session 7 Picture of the Week!!

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

Our campers really look up to our staff
(in more ways than one!)!
Thanks Session 7 campers for a spectacular week!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Session 6 Picture of the Week!!

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

You just can't have summer camp without horseback riding!

These campers enjoyed a mid-morning riding lesson while dreaming of some day being campers in our Ranch Program!

Thanks campers for a phenomenal session 6!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Session 5 Picture of the Week!

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

During a morning team building challenge, the Pathfinders successfully (and safely) completed the spiderweb! Thanks campers for a great week 5!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Session 4 Picture of the Week!

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

Back by popular demand, the Camp Gray Summer Camp Picture of the Week!

Before we get to the winning picture though, it should be noted that after being closed for nearly two weeks (click here), our phenomenal staff at Camp Gray had no trouble getting things rolling again at full throttle for session 4! Thanks to all the incredible campers that made this week so terrific!

Our first session of Leaders in Training (LITs), were back last week and certainly made the most of their shortened 3-week session. Many thanks to the LITs for being so great and for being such a great inspiration to both our campers and our staff! In appreciation for the great things they did, allow me to present the Session 4 Picture of the Week:

Patrick, John, Tyler, Sally, Nicky, Clara, Shelly, Becca, and Kevin... Thanks!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Camp Gray; Temporarily Closed?

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

Last week, as nearly a dozen Camp Gray staff members were down for the count with flu-like symptoms, we received word that a staff member who had been ill the week before, tested positive for the H1N1 virus (otherwise known as swine flu).  For both the safety of our campers, and for the need to give our staff time to recover, the difficult decision to cancel two weeks of summer camp had to be made.  

This decision came during Monday evening of session 2, which meant calling hundreds of parents of campers both in session 2 and session 3.  Many thanks to the tireless efforts of Tricia Sanborn, our Guest Services Manager, and Joseph Heit, our Administrative Coordinator, for heading up this operation.

Also, we can't thank our camp families enough for their support and encouragement after this difficult decision was made.  We were humbled by the positive response from families thanking us for keeping the safety of their campers priority number one.  

With 10 days off, our afflicted staff has had time to mend, and those that were unaffected had time to head home for a bit to see friends and family, while a few stuck around to build a fort!  Regardless of their destination though, one thing is certain, we could not be more excited about resuming summer camp on Sunday!  Bring on session 4!  


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Camp Is Here!!!

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

Greetings friends!

It's been much too long since we at Camp Gray have posted anything on our blog, "Misplaced and Found"! First off, I apologize for the lack of posts, and although I strongly dislike making excuses, here's one: SUMMER CAMP IS HERE!!! With the overwhelming ammount of time devoted to preparations the last couple weeks, we just haven't had the time necessary to contribute anything! I know, talk about sad stuff!

However, now that summer is under way, it is my hope to continue posting stories and articles, at the very least, fortnightly (which I just recently learned means every two weeks).

A new column I'll be starting is a weekly post of my favorite picture of the week! Because during summer camp we take somwhere in the neighborhood of 700 pictures per week, I'll have plenty to choose from. I'll be certain to include a caption with each photo to aid in explaining the events in the photo (I'll write only 12-23 words though, and someone smart once said a picture is worth thousand words!).

Enjoy! And be sure to check back soon!

After a cookout down at Lake Jake and before the big Capture the Flag game at the Cassidy Athletic Field, these ladies do their best to put on their game faces!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

End of the School Year!

By: Sara Knutson
Program Director

It's the end of an era... yesterday marked the final day of the year-round program for 2008-2009. Here's what I have to say about that (according to the team, this is what I have to say about everything ;) ): SWEET!

Not about the year ending, of course, but about a job very well done. This year's retreat team (assisted by a number of fantastic shorter-term volunteers) facilitated a whopping 72 retreats! Nearly every parish in the diocese sent either its students or Confirmation candidates, with some sending both. The result: an exhausted but happy retreat team, and countless lives changed.

We celebrated the conclusion of the year with lunch at the phenomenal South Shore Restaurant, located on Castle Rock Lake. Doesn't it look delicious?

A huge thanks to Meghan O'Connell, Amy Baker, Sean Deignan, Jenna Keller, and Tim Chaptman for giving nine months of incredible service (okay, six for Tim!) to Camp Gray! You were (and are) amazing!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Many Thanks to the Knights of Columbus!

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

The Baraboo Knights of Columbus Council 746 has a long history of contribution to Camp Gray. In fact, Council 746 was integral in the humble beginnings of Camp Gray, and without their generous gifts of time and talent, Camp Gray wouldn't be the camp that it is today. Several of our cabins (St. Clare, St. William, St. Patrick), and the clearing of the Cassidy Athletic Field, is a direct contribution from the men of 746.

On Saturday, May 9th, several gentlemen from Council 746 came out to Camp Gray to leave yet another lasting mark.
In striving to provide the most adequate facilities for outdoor teaching in our year-round Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP), the decision was made to build a pavilion at camp's Antioch campsite. Antioch plays host to a couple ESP units, in addition to cookouts for our summer campers, making it multi-functioning!

Many thanks to Brian Thompson and the fine gentlemen of the Knights of Columbus Council 746 for your continued support of the ministry of Camp Gray!

Step 1 complete: The posts are in!


Even Relevant Radio's Brian Kelly came out to get some more quality sound bites from Camp Gray's Co-Director, Jeff Hoeben

Thanks again, Knights, for your generous contribution to Camp Gray!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Reality Check: I May Be Addicted to Coffee Part 2

By: Jenna Keller
Administrative Coordinator

Haven't read Part 1? Click here

Welcome back to this mini-series. First off, I’d like to apologize for not posting this sequel sooner. Here’s a brief recap on the events of March 1, 2009 leading up to this post. I was planning on writing about the crazy weather we had going on that day, since Mother Nature dumped about eight inches of snow on us the previous night and by mid-afternoon on the 10th, it was virtually all gone. However, Sara had already posted on such events before I was able to, so I needed to come up with a different idea. Chris gave me the “brilliant” idea to write about my so-called addiction to Starbucks. Later that afternoon I had a brief conversation with my friend Lindsay about Dancing with the Stars, and decided that I now had to watch the season, being as The Bachelor’s ex-fiancĂ©, Melissa, was now on the show. Then it was off to Starbucks to write my blog entry.

Well, it’s almost two months later that I’m continuing this here series, but I’m again at Starbucks, and again enjoying my favorite drink: a Grande, non-fat, Caramel Macchiato, for here. And yes, they do typically look that delicious and taste just as wonderful.

If you haven’t been keeping up with Dancing with the Stars, you’ll be happy to hear that Melissa is still in the competition and now it the final five, despite having very little time to rehearse her first two dances and not actually being able to perform in this week’s show because of a cracked rib.

Now, on to the moment you have all been waiting for: how did the random events of Jenna’s day inspire her blog topic of choice? During the day, three specific topics came up that I could potentially write about: weather, Starbucks, and reality TV. The topic of weather obviously wasn’t going to happen, so I decided to try to find a way to combine Starbucks and Reality TV into one topic.

“How do these relate?” you ask. Well, when I was younger I made a vow to myself that I would never take part in two things: drinking coffee and watching reality television. It seems as though they have won me over. What happened that I would go back on my word and now enjoy both things so much? Let me assure you that it was not an overnight transformation, but came with some time and convincing.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Camp Gray Staff Spotlight IV

By: Camp Gray

This weeks Camp Gray Staff Spotlight is Nicky Kaehler!

Nicky will be joining us out at Camp Gray once again this summer (her fifth!), and will be teaming up with Lindsay Becher as a Co-Leader in Training Coordinator.

Nicky has spent the last year as a first-year teacher at St. Aloysius school in Sauk City, WI teaching second grade, and loves kids so much, she couldn't imagine summer without Camp Gray!

We're thankful to Nicky for agreeing to be our latest staff spotlight, and we're excited for you to learn a little more about her!

Camp Gray Blog: Hi Nicky! Thanks for joining us! Let's get right to the questions... What is your favorite thing about Camp Gray?
Nicky Kaehler: Well, since you probably don’t want me to ramble for too long, I would have to say that my favorite thing about Camp Gray is it is one of those homey places. You know, the kind of place that you feel happier and more filled just for being there. Maybe it’s the people, the surroundings, the incredible activities, a combination of things, or God’s overall presence, but there is just something special about Camp Gray.

Camp Gray Blog: What are you most excited for about summer camp 2009?
Nicky Kaehler: This summer I'm looking forward to working with the LITs and helping young people see what an awesome joy and pleasure it is to work with kids, especially at Camp Gray. I'm also looking forward to seeing old and new faces of campers and staff. Yeaaa summer's almost here!

Camp Gray Blog: What was the best lesson you took from summer camp 2008?
Nicky Kaehler: I was an Explorer/Voyager counselor last year, and I learned that you really can do anything with God’s help and a sunny attitude. I’ve never been an ultra buff individual, and I was worried about carrying canoes and large packs while hiking up hills and rocky terrain. But, as I was struggling through it all I kept praying and trusting that I wouldn’t collapse. In the end I always made it. I felt so strong physically and spiritually because I knew who was helping me every muddy, “mosquitoey” step of the way.

Camp Gray Blog: What is your absolute favorite memory from summer camp 2008?
Nicky Kaehler: That’s not fair. Why would you ask an impossible question. That’s like saying pick your favorite blade of grass in a big field. However, I would have to say meal times with my campers (Especially ones where they are cooking fries in the village). Meals are just so fun and relaxed. Everyone’s happy and laughing while eating lovely food prepared by the Kitchen Crew.

Camp Gray Blog: What is your favorite book?
Nicky Kaehler: I love a lot of books but my favorite children’s book would have to be Walk Two Moons by Sharron Creech. It’s just an incredible book full of life lessons.

Camp Gray Blog: Name one improvement you would make to camp?
Nicky Kaehler: I would make Lake Jake’s water clear and then buy a glass bottom boat so we could see Walter and all the weird things that fell into the lake.

Camp Gray Blog: You have a free ticket to go anywhere in the world. Where would you go?
Nicky Kaehler: To Florida to visit my Grandma. She’s just the coolest and it would be nice to drink tea and chat in sunny weather by the pool. Next time I’ll try to be more extravagant about my travel plans.

Camp Gray Blog: Who is the biggest hero in your faith?
Nicky Kaehler: Our mother Mary. She’s always praying for us and helping bring us close to Jesus.

Camp Gray Blog: Who is your favorite Saint?
Nicky Kaehler: Right now it’s kind of a toss up between Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and Therese of Lisieux. They’re just such awesome women with a focus on prayer, simplicity, love of the Eucharist, and faith in action.

Camp Gray Blog: What are your three (3) favorite spots on camp? Why?
Nicky Kaehler: They would have to be (in no particular order):
1. The dock at Lake Jake.
2. The Explorer Village
3. St. Francis Chapel
These are all places that are beautiful, and I can just sit and be with God.

Camp Gray Blog: When you were of settler age, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Nicky Kaehler: Well I think I wanted to be either a librarian or a cashier simply for the fact that they got to make that “beep” noise every time they scanned a bar code.

Camp Gray Blog: What's your favorite Bible verse?
Nicky Kaehler: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understandings. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
It’s constantly been a reminder to me that no matter where I go or what I do I need to follow God’s perfect plan.

Camp Gray Blog: Well thanks so much for your time, Nicky!
Nicky Kaehler: Well you're very welcome. In closing, I just wanted to talk briefly about the Bubba Keg (a container for serving and pouring milk at camp meals). I know this might seem random but here goes. Last summer, the Bubba Keg was mocked for spilling by staff and campers, alike. As the great granddaughter of the inventor, Bubba Kaehler, I needed to defend my family. To put it simply the Bubba Keg is a lesson for life. BK (Bubba Keg) asks us to commit. Don’t start your pour assuming something bad will happen. Take a chance and go for it. Pour that glass of milk! You will be surprised to find liquid in your cup, no mess on your table, and confidence in the decisions you make. Thank you. Additionally, I would also like to mention that Bubba Kegs are perfect for transporting food items such as hot chili, which was recently done by Lindsay Becher of Baraboo, WI. Just one more way the BK saves the day!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Restock 2009!

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

The timing of the overwhelmingly successful Inaugural Camp Gray Bassmaster Tournament two weekends ago was perfect, as last Friday we had a special early morning delivery.

Greg, from the Gollon Bait and Fish Farm, visited us at camp to restock Lake Jake with 310 beautiful bluegills. A thriving bluegill community means more fish will be caught this summer, which ultimately translates to more happy campers!

As this was the first restock experience for Jeff, Rebecca, and I, we were anticipating some sort of canon style apparatus that would launch the hundreds of fish into our humble lake. Turns out, Greg simply emptied the not-yet-full-grown bluegills into a bucket, and then slowly released them into Lake Jake. With the release of an equal amount of fatheads (feed minnows), the bluegills should be primed and ready to put smiles on hundreds of campers faces by week 1 (which starts one month from today!).

Special thanks to John Karsten, the Chairman of our Board of Directors, for his generous donation of the fish!

Here are several pictures from the exciting morning!

Greg wasted little time filling buckets with the hundreds of fish!

Release the hounds (aka: fish)!

Even though the delivery truck didn't come equipped with a launching apparatus, it was still quite an imposing presence pulled up next to Lake Jake.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy Campers Overrun Camp Gray!

By: Sara Knutson
Program Director

The 3rd annual Happy Camper Fun Run/Walk was a great time once again! We had a great time seeing both familiar and new faces, and hope to see you back again! A special shout-out goes to the eight participants who have now completed all three Happy Camper runs (an impressive number considering we only had 27 participants the first year!).

With the rain letting up before the start of the race, conditions ended up being great – as long as you don’t mind clouds! On the women’s side, Maureen Hunt defended last year’s win with Katie Kleczek only seconds behind. Michael Krueger, last year’s runner-up, crossed the line first this year with an impressive 20:06. One of our founding race directors, Mitchell Bechtold, took advantage of being a “regular” participant to take second. Perhaps the most impressive finish came from Jack Champeau, who led the under-18 division and took second place overall with his time of 20:57. Whether it was your first race or one of hundreds completed, we’re glad everyone could join us!

And it’s never too early to post next year’s date, right? In keeping with our Mother’s Day weekend tradition, the 4th annual Happy Camper Fun Run/Walk will be held on Saturday, May 8, 2010. If you can’t stay away from camp that long, join us for our Fall Community Picnic on September 19, 2009 (more details will be available on the main website page as the date grows closer). Until then, keep on walking, running, and happy camping!

Check out all the results of the 2009 Happy Camper Fun Run: Click here

Michael Krueger: Your 2009 Happy Camper 5k Fun Run Champion!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Camp Gray Staff Spotlight III

By: Camp Gray

Thanks for tuning in to "Misplaced & Found"!

Our latest Camp Gray Staff Spotlight is Luke Meinholz! Luke was a camper at Camp Gray for many summers before joining staff last summer as our Operations Assistant. This summer, Luke will be back on staff as a counsleor for settlers and trailblazers! We're certainly excited to have Luke back this summer, and we're excited to hear how life has been for him since summer camp 2008. So, without any further delay... Luke Meinholz!

Camp Gray Blog: Well howdy, Luke, what have you been up to since summer 2008?
Luke Meinholz: Hi everyone! Since leaving Camp at the end of week 8 last summer, I have been busy with my studies at Oklahoma State University in environmental sciences, where I also run for the OSU Track team.

Camp Gray Blog: What is your favorite thing about Camp Gray?
Luke Meinholz: One of my favorite things about Camp Gray is the community that is formed by everyone who goes there. That’s what’s been bringing me back year after year since the mid to late 1990s. It’s probably my favorite place to be.

Camp Gray Blog: What was the best lesson you took from summer camp 2008?
Luke Meinholz: Hmmm… There were a few things. I learned quite a bit from Joe Van Tassel the week that I got to be his co-pilot. And throughout the summer I learned about having to deal with all sorts of different stuff (remember 7/9/08!!)

Camp Gray Blog:
What is your favorite book?
Luke Meinholz: I'm a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings, and since they all go together, we’ll count it all as one book.

Camp Gray Blog: You have a free ticket to go anywhere in the world. Where would you fly?
Luke Meinholz: I’d love to go to Germany someday and visit my ancestral homelands. See the castle that belongs to my family.
Meinholz Day is on a Saturday this year, so we may all have to help celebrate…

Camp Gray: Who is your favorite Saint?
Luke Meinholz: St. Michael and St. Luke. Michael because he rocks, and St. Luke because, well, we have similar writing styles. At least that’s what my senior English teacher said.

Camp Gray Blog: What are your top 3 favorite spots on camp? Why?
Luke Meinholz: La Hacienda, the Cassidy Athletic Field, and the Stables.
I spent a few summers as a Ranch Camper and really grew to love La Hacienda. Not too many people get to experience it, but I really like it. The Cassidy AF just because I love the Tuesday game of CTF and just running around in general. And as a Ranch Camper, I really liked going down to the stables and seeing what Jim Riggs was up to.

Camp Gray Blog: When you were of settler age, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Luke Meinholz: In all honesty, I wanted to be a camp counselor. Ask my Grandma.

Camp Gray Blog: Favorite Bible verse?
Luke Meinholz: "Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified"
- 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Camp Gray Blog: Well thanks for your time Mr. Meinholz!
Luke Meinholz: My pleasure! I can’t wait to get back to Wisconsin and for the summer to start! Anyone who is free this Saturday, May 9th, should come on up to Camp Gray to participate in the 3rd Annual Happy Camper Fun Run!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Inaugural Camp Gray Bassmaster Tournament

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

Editor's Note: Because of an overpopulation of bass in Lake Jake - an overpopulation of bass equates to an under-population of sunfish, bluegill, and perch - Camp Gray's Operations Specialist, Tom Thill, challenged the Camp Gray community with the best solution possible: a bass fishing tournament (which, with any luck, would be followed by a delicious fish fry).

Overcast skies during the Inaugural Camp Gray Bassmaster Tournament made for optimal fishing conditions, as a dozen intense competitors took to the shores of Lake Jake in the hopes of achieving the largest total weight haul of the day.

Tom Thill, fresh off his 2.5 month stint on the DL (Tom broke his leg back in February, and the tourney was one of his first opportunities to get back out to camp), started the day nicely by pulling in two 11 oz. bass before the rest of the field could even get their hooks wet.

Tom's grandsons, Hayden and Sawyer, made it onto the leader board early as well when they teamed up to pull in an 8 oz. bass:

Meghan settled on the unorthodox fishing style of attempting to catch fish with a net while laying over the dock. After nearly two hours of struggles and near-catches, she scooped up an impressive crappie! The crappie, of course, wasn't added to Meghan's total weight haul, but it did provide extra food for the post-tourney fish fry.

When the horn blew at 5:15, indicating the end of the tourney, the tension in the air was thick with anticipation as Pat, the Official Bassmaster Tourney Judge, added the day's catches.

When it came down to it, nobody really stood a chance at beating Tom, who was crowned the 2009 Camp Gray Bassmaster Tournament Champion with a total haul of 2 lbs. and 15oz.

Regardless of who won, it was a fun afternoon for all, and the challengers caught enough fish to feed everyone, even those of us that only caught sunfish.

Thanks to Tom and Micky (Tom's lovely wife), for a wonderful afternoon of fishing!

Work Day Continued...

Here are a few more pictures from Camp Gray Work Day. Thanks again to everyone who helped make it a successful day. We hope to see you all next year!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Welcome to the new "Misplaced & Found"

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

Hello friends!

Welcome to the new Camp Gray Blog - still affectionately known as "Misplaced & Found"! We hope you'll enjoy the changes we've made to the blog, and we invite you to peruse the new features. With the addition of the slideshow and the Camp Gray video bar, we're hopeful a visit to "Misplaced & Found" will make it feel like you never left Camp Gray.

Also, we invite you to become a "follower" of Misplaced & Found, making it easy to keep up with everything going on here year-round.

Lastly, we'd certainly love your feedback, so shoot us an email at with any suggestions, comments, complaints, etc.

Happy reading!

- Chris Topher

Monday, April 27, 2009

Camp Gray Spring Work Day

By: Chris Aderhold
Assistant Director

This past Saturday, in an effort to spruce up the grounds at Camp Gray, we held our annual spring work day. The spring work day has been a tradition at Camp Gray for many years, and we're always humbled by the amazing turnout - even during inclement weather.

Heavy rain didn't deter us, as the crew of 60+ started the day deep cleaning our summer camp cabins, the Pav and Helen Hall. Sara headed up a tremendous effort of organizing the Arts and Crafts room, as well. The rain halted enough during late morning to allow us to start some much needed raking. Thankfully, a delicious mid-morning muffin snack kept us working hard all the way to lunch.

After a scrumptious lunch of pulled pork, baked beans, and salad - graciously prepared by our co-head cooks, Pat & Mo-T - we were able to get back outside to finish our outdoor projects. In addition to the dozens of truck loads of leaves that were raked up around our main camp area, the crew also did some repair work on the rope swing dock at Lake Jake, and a massive wood pile reshuffle took place over by the maintenance shed.

On the whole, it was a great day, and we're thankful to everyone who braved the cold and rainy weather in an act of service. We couldn't do it without you!

Without the leaf stomping of these two volunteers, we'd still be raking the main camp area!

The final project of the day: The Ampitheatre Rake-a-thon.

Thanks to the crew from St. Ann's Parish in Stoughton!