Camps Renewal: Site work begins with moving and repurposing

Archdiocesan Camps Renewal Project: Update 1

June 19, 2019

Planning for the redevelopment of Camp Encounter and Our Lady of Victory Camp is under way, and first steps have been taken toward site preparation at Camp Encounter. The Archbishop has appointed a committee to oversee this work, with Lucy Kaakyo of the Office of Lay Apostolate serving as Chair. Committee members see their service as an exciting opportunity to grow our camping ministry in a sustainable way that will continue to build community and support the Church’s evangelizing mission, particularly with our precious young people and their families.

(Pictured: Cross at Camp Encounter)

Moving Structures

As we reviewed the facilities at the camps, we determined that some structures will need to be replaced. At the same time, we learned that our sisters and brothers at Lac Ste Anne are in dire need of improved facilities for the pilgrimage site. Lac Ste Anne is the venue for two major gatherings each summer: the Catholic Family Life Conference on the Canada Day long weekend, and the Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage later in July. Since we will be redeveloping the Camp Encounter site, and since buildings deteriorate more quickly when not in use, it was decided to move three mobile structures from Camp Encounter to Lac Ste Anne. These are the kitchen/mess hall and two trailers that had been used for staff accommodations.

We expect the move to take place in the coming days, depending on various logistics. Our friends at Lac Ste Anne are delighted to be receiving these units, which will replace some structures that were so seriously dilapidated that they could no longer be used. For your information, plans are also being made to improve the pilgrimage site in the long term.

If you have questions or comments specifically about the moving of units from Camp Encounter, please contact Andrew Papenbrock, Facilities Coordinator, at 780-469-1010 ext 2147 or apapenbrock (at)

Camping Options this Summer

Some parents have asked about other camps that might be suitable for their children this summer. While the Archdiocese cannot promote any individual camp, we encourage parents to consider those that are accredited by the Alberta Camping Association. Accreditation means that a camp has demonstrated a high level of standards and follows strict protocols to make sure that children get the best experience in the safest environment.  These standards are related to things like site, facility, administration, leadership, health, food service, and programming.  (Both our camps had this accreditation while they were operating.) Safe environment programs vary from camp to camp. It is important that parents inquire with any camp that they are considering about the safe environments standards for that camp. 

For more information, including a directory of camps and advice on how to choose one, visit the ACA website at

If you’re looking for a faith-filled experience for the whole family, consider attending the Catholic Family Life Conference, which runs June 28 - July 1. Hear some inspirational speakers, and connect with friends or make new ones. Some space is available on the site for recreational vehicles. For details and registration information, visit

Keeping in Touch

Finally, a reminder that we are committed to providing regular updates as we continue work on Camps Renewal. For general inquiries or comments, contact: 

Lucy Kaakyo, Chair, Archdiocesan Camps Renewal Committee
780-469-1010 ext 2134 or lucy.kaakyo (at)


Lorraine Turchansky, Chief Communications Officer
780-392-2456 or communications (at)

Please keep this work in your prayers; with your support and the grace of God, great things will happen.

We pray that you have a great summer, with time to relax and refresh with friends and loved ones!

In Christ,

Lucy Kaakyo

Committee Chair