Friendships, values forged at Camp Stanislaus

St. Stanislaus, the 1854-founded Catholic boys’ school in Bay St. Louis, Miss., has operated its popular “Camp Stanislaus” from its beachfront campus since 1928.

In addition to providing boys ages 8-15 with both day camp and residential camp options June 15 through July 12, Camp Stanislaus again will offer a summer program for girls in the same age group from June 15-July 5.

“The boys and girls do their activities separately – they even eat in different dining halls – except for some elective courses and the morning character talks,” said Sam Doescher, camp director, explaining that each camp day begins with an assembly led by Brother of the Sacred Heart Lee Barker, a former St. Stanislaus principal. Brother Lee, a camp staffer for nearly 40 years, focuses the morning talks on age-appropriate topics such as homesickness, making friends and peer pressure.

Girls have separate camp
“We offer a place where boys, and now girls, can have a safe and fun environment where they can grow in their faith,” Doescher said.

The camp, which makes use of the full boarding school campus and a six-wing dormitory, also is known for its impressive variety of activities, many of which are otherwise unavailable or difficult to find in the local area. The list is dizzying: sailing, water-skiing, archery, fishing, swimming, weightlifting, gym and field sports, movies, barbecues, skit nights, art and Saturday “mystery trips” to local areas of interest, just to name a few.

“We have a 1,000-foot fishing pier that juts out into the Gulf of Mexico. That’s where we operate our sailing and fishing operation,” Doescher said.

Water sports galore
The camp’s water-ski lodge on the Jourdan River, equipped with a boat slip, enables campers to enjoy the sport on the river and on the adjacent Bayou LaCroix.

After steadily rebuilding its sports equipment since losing it in Hurricane Katrina, Camp Stanislaus is resuming canoeing this summer, Doescher reports.

“We’ll take a group out every afternoon to canoe on either the Wolf or the Jourdan River,” he said, adding that swim time takes place in the campus pool and in the Gulf of Mexico.

In one elective offering, marine biologist Letha Boudreaux will give campers nets and other equipment and take them to the beach to identify marine life and gauge water quality.

Campers can choose one week or all four weeks of camp. Cost for the day camp is $315 for one week and $300 for each additional week; cost for the residential camp is $675 for one week and $575 for each additional week.

An application deposit of $100 for day camp or $200 for residential camp is applied to camp tuition.

Tours are available. For more information, call (228) 467-9057, ext. 277; email camp@ststan.com; or visit www.camp stanislaus.com.

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