Kanakuk Kamps


#1

My wife and I are considering sending our daughter to a Kanakuk Kamp next summer. It is clearly an evangelical Christian camp. If you are Catholic and have sent your child to Kanakuk, I would love to hear your experience and opinion. www.kanakuk.com

Thanks!


#2

[quote=TxEd]My wife and I are considering sending our daughter to a Kanakuk Kamp next summer. It is clearly an evangelical Christian camp. If you are Catholic and have sent your child to Kanakuk, I would love to hear your experience and opinion. www.kanakuk.com

Thanks!
[/quote]

Having some very close evangelical friends, I can tell you that there is an explicit, and often fierce anti-Catholic bias in that culture. They are sincere and often devout Christians, but your daughter’s camp-mates will surely attempt to convince her that she “hasn’t been saved” and that Catholicism is wrong, and the Roman Church the whore of Babylon. Even if the camp itself is welcoming of Catholics, the other kids with whom your daughter would want to make friends will not be friendly toward her Catholicism. It is not the sort of environment into which I would send my daughter. Having one’s faith tested is fine; having absolutely no other Catholics to whom one can turn in a hostile environment is quite another, especially at a younger age.


#3

Ed, there are summer camps, sleep-away and day, that are at least welcoming of Catholics. Besides Kanakuk (sounds too much like the cheese), I would avoid ANYTHING connected to Awana. I don’t know about Awana in other places, but around here, the Awana groups I have found are very, very anti-Catholic.

Why not do a web search and see what comes? How far are you willing to send her? How old is she? What are her interests?

I think if you’re willing to send her that far (I know where Pearland is), I think University of Steubenville offers some sleep-away options during the summer.


#4

As someone who grew up steeped in the Evangelical world – church camp has an agenda. That agenda is to make certain these kids have a profound emotional experience (this impresses the parents). Kids who grew up in church are pressured to have a conversion or re-conversion experience, there are those kids who have theirs early in the camp and they form the peer group who puts pressure on the other kids.

I have friends who were baptized EVERY summer at camp as part of their re-conversion experience. The kids who did not go in for this were ostracized. The kids were scared by “rapture” teaching – “you don’t want to be left behind when Jesus comes again like a thief in the night. You’d better get right with God tonight.” It is really intense.

I would never ever ever ever send a Catholic child to an evangelical camp. Never.


#5

To follow up, I checked the web site - this camp clearly states good ole sola scriptura:

“THE SCRIPTURES:; II Timothy 3:15, 16, 17; II Peter 1:19-21 We believe both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible to be the inerrant Holy work of God, inspired in every part by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is the revelation of God for the equipping of man and is the supreme and final authority for faith and life.”

kanakuk.com/about/Philosophy.aspx

They also go into the “good works does not save you” that is a red flag for me, says they are going to tell that poor Catholic kid that they are trying to be saved by works…

"SALVATION: Ephesians 2:8-10; I Corinthians 15:3-4; John 1:12 We believe in salvation by grace, a free gift from God apart from works. Salvation comes through repentance, a turning from one’s own way to God’s way, and accepting Jesus Christ in personal faith.


#6

I’m not sure about that particular camp - but my son has attended Camp Timber-lee in Wisconson for several years in row. It’s run by the Evangelical Free Church. They stress having a relationship with Jesus & Bible reading… nothing incompatable with our Catholic Faith. This past year though one of the counselors pulled him aside when she found out he was Catholic to drill him about “Why do you pray to Mary? What’s up with purgatory? Why do you think you have to listen to the Pope when he’s just a man?” etc. etc. He came home all excited because in his mind (he’s 13) she was “interested” in the Catholic Faith and he got to witness to her. I of course knew better so I wrote a letter to the Camp Director telling how angry I was… that the camp is supposed to welcome kids of all Christian faiths & build up their relationship with Christ - NOT convert them to become Evangelicals. He was very apologetic - said he would see to it that the teen leaders rec’d better training… blah blah blah.

Would I send my son there next year? Yes. He is very opinionated & strong in his Faith… He was able to hold his own with her so I don’t worry about him. (He was recently “banned” from a Protestant Teen forum because he kept defending the Catholic Church) I would not send my younger children though. Oh - and a side note… the kid he hung out with most from his cabin was another Catholic kid.


#7

The “Daily Devo” for today on the web site is a big clue. In it, it mentions a man with alleged theological degrees who, on Sunday, “he puts on his robe, climbs his pulpit, and demonstrates just how little respect he has for the Word of God. He twists and alters it to maintain its popularity with his congregation and to match his own of true faith. In short, John is an educated fool.”

http://www.kanakuk.com/outreach/dailydevo.aspx

Now, that might change as it seems to be a daily feature. And for all we know, the guy in question could just be a popularity seeker.

However, I also simply googled “Catholic Summer Camp”. Mysummercamp.com came up with a nice list:

http://www.mysummercamps.com/camps/Religious_Camps/Catholic/

I noticed one of the camps on the list was Catholic Boys Camps in Home, Texas. Perhaps they have a girls’ camp, too. Can’t hurt to call and find out.

You might also check with the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, and see what kind of summer programs they offer. The Archdiocese of Chicago, Diocese of Joliet, Diocese of Peoria and Diocese of Rockford all offer summer experiences for kids.


#8

I CANT NOT BELIEVE A WORD I AM READING!!! I am an active Member of the Catholic Church and i am an Active attendee of Kanakuk and i believe the Best part of the year is camp No Doubt about it. There at camp are at least 10 catholics and they dont single you out because of your beliefs I have told people i am catholic and no one at camp has ever told me i am wrong or different for those beliefs. Also my Aunt worked there guess what shes Catholic ohh yeah my brother went and my other aunt ALL CATHOLIC my family is very close friend with Joe White and his family and with his promise and our families promise your child would not be singled out or ever told that her beliefs are wrong and she needs to change ALL ARE EQUAL ON KANAKUK HILL

Ryan,15,Houston,Texas
6th year attendee at Kanakuk


#9

Hey Ryan :wave:
Welcome to the forums… I’m glad that camp has been a good experience for you. My son also thinks going to camp is the BEST part of the year. Even if you aren’t singled out (this is a good thing) do you find that they teach stuff that as Catholics, we don’t necessarily agree with? That was my son’s experience but he is very bright (as it seems you are also) and he can weed out what he knows isn’t true. Do you think that happens at the kankuk Kamps? Just wondered…
God Bless,

:slight_smile: CM


#10

[quote=Lakebaseball4]I CANT NOT BELIEVE A WORD I AM READING!!! I am an active Member of the Catholic Church and i am an Active attendee of Kanakuk and i believe the Best part of the year is camp No Doubt about it. There at camp are at least 10 catholics and they dont single you out because of your beliefs I have told people i am catholic and no one at camp has ever told me i am wrong or different for those beliefs. Also my Aunt worked there guess what shes Catholic ohh yeah my brother went and my other aunt ALL CATHOLIC my family is very close friend with Joe White and his family and with his promise and our families promise your child would not be singled out or ever told that her beliefs are wrong and she needs to change ALL ARE EQUAL ON KANAKUK HILL

Ryan,15,Houston,Texas
6th year attendee at Kanakuk
[/quote]

Hello and welcome! :wave: You said that no one has ever told you that you are wrong for being Catholic, but there are subtle means of challenging a person’s values without getting in their face. To discover if you are being subtly indoctrinated it would take asking your beliefs on topics that Catholics and Protestants don’t agree with. These include such things as bible interpretation, definition of salvation etc. Is there pressure on the child to have a born again experience? I am not saying that this is not a wonderful camp and I am certainly happy that you enjoy your experience there.:thumbsup:


#11

Doesn’t your archdiocese have a camp? If they don’t perhaps a neighboring diocese might have one. This is the one in my area:

catharchdioceseokc.org/pastoral/Youth/Archdiocese%20Summer%20Camp.htm

It is beautiful. It took some years to build, but it is used for camps, retreats, and all sorts of wonderful activities. Prior to it being built, the archdiocese held summer camps at a lake in another part of the state.

I cannot answer for a Protestant camp, but for my children, this was definitely the way to go.


#12

I allowed one of my sons to go to a Protestant activity at a local church with a friend - it was like a WWF type presentation with a religious flare. About a week later I found out about the “altar call” that he made at this event, the mother that took him was unaware of how this is so contrary to the Catholic religion. None of my kids are allowed at this kind of stuff anymore.

It woke me up to the need for teaching apologetics to my own kids. Hopefully now that they are teenagers they can defend the Catholic faith but it is an ongoing process!


#13

Tx Ed, I hope you are still reading. Your post was a while back, but I hope you are still checking.
We live in Texas also, and my daughter is 9. I have considered camp for years and never was willing to part with her for 2 weeks (most Texas camps are 2, and I recall from my friends who have gone to Kanakuk it is also 2). I haven’t gone there or ever considered it based solely on the statement from my husband, who went to Baylor, that every good Baylor Baptist went there. I am sure that Kanukuk, like Baylor, has its share of Catholic campers. But the question to ask is whether that camp or any other will actually help in her formation.
With that in mind, I am finally taking a more serious look at camps. I know both Heart of the Hills and Mystic, both in Hunt, TX, have Sunday mass, but I found one camp on line earlier today (before I read your post) which is an actual Catholic camp.
www.thepines.org
I am planning to call and see how often they go to mass. If daily, I am really open to it. (Plus they have 1 week camp.) If not, the other two may do, as they are closer and I know more people who have been to them. But do consider this: if your daughter has had her 1st communion, she must attend Sunday mass. Not sure Kanukuk offers it. If she is younger, she will want to return in subsequent summers, and this issue will arise.
And now what info I have about Kanukuk: several kids at our kids’ school go there. All are Presbyterian, and they are lovely families. The one Catholic family I know who sent their son there has not returned and felt it was anti-Catholic. Their experience was obviously antectdotal, as was the young man who responded earlier, but I wouldn’t take a chance when Catholic alternatives are available.
I would love to hear your follow-up to what you have learned and/or decided. It would be useful to me as we make this decision.


#14

[quote=just5kids]Tx Ed, I hope you are still reading. Your post was a while back, but I hope you are still checking.
We live in Texas also, and my daughter is 9. I have considered camp for years and never was willing to part with her for 2 weeks (most Texas camps are 2, and I recall from my friends who have gone to Kanakuk it is also 2). I haven’t gone there or ever considered it based solely on the statement from my husband, who went to Baylor, that every good Baylor Baptist went there. I am sure that Kanukuk, like Baylor, has its share of Catholic campers. But the question to ask is whether that camp or any other will actually help in her formation.
With that in mind, I am finally taking a more serious look at camps. I know both Heart of the Hills and Mystic, both in Hunt, TX, have Sunday mass, but I found one camp on line earlier today (before I read your post) which is an actual Catholic camp.
www.thepines.org
I am planning to call and see how often they go to mass. If daily, I am really open to it. (Plus they have 1 week camp.) If not, the other two may do, as they are closer and I know more people who have been to them. But do consider this: if your daughter has had her 1st communion, she must attend Sunday mass. Not sure Kanukuk offers it. If she is younger, she will want to return in subsequent summers, and this issue will arise.
And now what info I have about Kanukuk: several kids at our kids’ school go there. All are Presbyterian, and they are lovely families. The one Catholic family I know who sent their son there has not returned and felt it was anti-Catholic. Their experience was obviously antectdotal, as was the young man who responded earlier, but I wouldn’t take a chance when Catholic alternatives are available.
I would love to hear your follow-up to what you have learned and/or decided. It would be useful to me as we make this decision.
[/quote]

I just check out the website for The Pines Camp - can I go?! It looks great!


#15

I’ve heard only wonderful things about The Pines. FWIW.


#16

First, I have to say I am not Catholic. We have friends who are and we’ve gone to their church before. We definately do a lot of things differently. I worked at Kanakuk for four years. I’ve never seen anything anti-Catholic at Kanakuk. They will only pray to God or Jesus. If that is a problem, that needs to be taken into consideration. All scripture will be taken from a Protestant Bible. We do teach that “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us.” (Titus 3:5) But the Bible also makes it clear that we do good works because of what He has done for us. If it is a Catholic belief that you can go to heaven by works alone and not on the sacrifice of Jesus Chirst, then the teachings at Kamp oppose that belief. At Kanakuk Kamp, your child will meet great life-long friends and Counselors they will be with round-the-clock that they will encourage them and pour out God’s unconditional love on them. Staff are hand picked college kids. I became so much stronger in my Christian walk and loved Kamp (and that was as a WORKER! Being a camper was even better! A great option for you to check out Kamp is Family Kamp! It opened a few years ago. We were able to go last year and it was Fantastic. K-Kauai is designed to look like Hawaii and serves family style meals by a chef and the accomodations were great! Parents have the option of morning sessions (different speakers each week-ours was making your marriage stronger, communication skills, etc.) while the kids went with staff to the kids activities (too many to mention). My favorite part of the day? NAP TIME! After lunch you can spend time with your family at miniature golf, two water park areas, etc. or send the kids with staff for activities. You guessed it…I went back and took a nap. My kids had great Daddy/daughter time at the water slide and lazy river and I got the room to myself. Fantastic. So we got to enjoy the great fun of camp without the homesickness we were sure our seven year old would have. If you have any specific questions, I would love to “chat” so you can send me a reply. Thanks!


#17

I’m sorry you have a bad experience with a chuch AWANA program. I have been involved with ours (Baptist church) for four years. We have been taking a Catholic friend with us for about two years (to some church services and to weekly AWANA group) and we talked about the differences before she started. AWANA is a bible based, non-denominational kids program. But you have to remember that it is primarily volunteers that work with the kids. So, could some leader have said something “not okay?” YUP. No child should ever be made to feel bad about how they are raised/their beliefs. Protestants and Catholics do have a lot of differences, but learning scripture should be something that unifies us, not seperates us.


#18

Rather late reply, but I was a camp counselor at Kanakuk and believe it is one of the finset camps to send your kids to in the country if not the finest. I am a strong catholic and my faith grew in bounds while at camp. The people that work there are very sincere and love Jesus and unconditionally love the kids there. It is the most positive place you can send your kid during the summer. He or she will be challenged physically, mentally, emotionally, and most important spiritually. Catholic or Baptist I would send my kid there in a heartbeat.

Daniel Falvey:)


#19

The camp I went to a few years ago was evangelical, and I regretted every second of it.

The counselors were not welcoming in the slightest when they found out I was Catholic. I didn’t appreciate having to listen to three hours of incredibly bad evangelical Christian music a night, and I most definitely did not appreciate the “Bible study” periods, which consisted of being forced to memorize as many verses as possible. :rolleyes:

Stick with a non-religious camp. I think your daughter will enjoy herself a lot more.


#20

I would agree that as Catholic counselor I did not feel very welcome either and have to admit sometimes it was hard to have “praise and worship” every night. However, as a Catholic I have learned much from my Protestant evangelical friends like having Bible studies or reading more scripture or having accountability. All of those have helped me develope my Catholic faith even more because in my experience young Catholics do not entirely know what to believe or why they believe what they believe and where it is found in Scripture. Kanakuk will not teach them that directly, but in the process will help answer and really search out those questions and grow in the one true Church. Kanakuk vs a regular camp ? The regular camp may have beneifts, but Kanakuk will challange and help mature your daughter or sons faith. Kanakuk stands for sound morals and principles in a society that is losing their spiritual/moral compass. So just because it is evangelical and may not line up all the way theologically does not mean it will not help a young generation in need of sound morals and good role models. :slight_smile:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.