Camp Cathedral wraps up successful year

Record number participate, director says


Megaphone file photo

Last summer in the Shiel Student Life Center, Camp Cathedral director Mr. Anthony Ernst prepares to check in that morning’s participants.

Megaphone Staff

As of July 27, the 12thCamp Cathedral will be in the books, and camp director Mr. Anthony Ernst said the seven-week program was successful, with a record number of campers participating in a wide range of athletic and enrichment opportunities.

Ernst said 842 families sent one or more children, ranging in age from kindergarten to eighthgrade, to Camp Cathedral this year. A total of 1,061 campers attended a total of 1,651 sessions, as some took part in more than one one-week morning or afternoon program.

Ernst, who teaches social studies during the school year, said, “One of the things I am most proud about is that we have such a broad and eclectic list of opportunities for campers to be involved in and learn in.”

During the seven weeks of Camp Cathedral, Ernst said he arrives on campus every morning at 6:40, unlocks doors, makes sure the facilities are ready to go welcomes the first campers, who show up at 7:30. Most of the camp counselors come in at 8, with the morning session beginning at 8:30, with a lunch break and the afternoon programs starting at 12:30 and ending at 3:30 p.m. By the time he wraps up his duties, it’s usually 6 p.m. before he is out the door and heading home.

The veteran director said the primary reason for Camp Cathedral is to reach out to the community to provide summer activities and to promote the school. About half of the campers, he estimated, eventually enroll at Cathedral.

Ernst said he begins planning each year’s camp 10 months before they begin in August, reviewing offerings and adjusting the schedule. This year, new sessions included Moana Island AdventureCamp, Lost World of Dinosaurs Camp, Mermaids and Unicorns Camp, “Seize the Clay” Pottery Camp, Minecraft Build Battles and Minecraft All-Stars.

Ernst noted that the athletics camps are popular, but their enrollment has fallen slightly over the past few years, so coaches offered specialized sessions, for example, not just the typical general football session, but quarterback camp. This was done in an effort to increase enrollment and tailor the camps to the needs of the public, he said.

Ernst, who will begin his 17thyear as a member of the Cathedral staff in August said, “This has been our most successful year.”

Information about 2019 Camp Cathedral will be posted on the website,, in January.

Editor’s note: Students enrolled in the Journalism 360 session of Camp Cathedral during the week of July 24 interviewed Mr. Ernst and compiled information for this story. Those students are Nick Gurdian, Tori Reisz, Kamryn Smith and Isabelle Tompkins.