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Los Gatos, CA

#1 Mar 9, 2006
Many, many years ago, in Palenville, there was Camp St Helene...does anyone know what came of it? Was the land sold?
Thanks so much for your help...


Pleasant Valley, NY

#2 Jun 16, 2006
Camp St. Helene closed as a camp in 1973. I bought it from Catholic Charities and ran a summer theatre and arts colony on the property from 1982 to 2002.

Athens, TX

#3 Aug 8, 2006
I worked as a counsellor there for two summers in the late 1950's. It was a Catholic camp run by the sisters who belonged to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.
I would like to hear from anyone who worked there in '56 and '57.

White Plains, NY

#4 Sep 1, 2006
Joanne Boston MA

Des Moines, IA

#5 Oct 26, 2006
I went there from 1969 after my mom died to 1973, their last summer. I had some of the best experiences of my life there. I was a camper, a camp service girl, a CIT and assistant head counselor. Anyone remember the grotto?
Barbara ----- Texas

Athens, TX

#6 Oct 30, 2006
I remember going to Mass in the Grotto. It must have been for a holyday(the Feast of the Assumption?)
The beautiful chapel was very new in the late '50's
I worked at Unit St Joseph which was for girls about 8-10 years old. One year the toilets all backed up in the house. That was lots of fun!
I remember campfires on Sunday evenings with sandwiches and kool-aide for supper.
Most of the other meals were good, though. I gained 10 lbs one summer.
The sisters were all very kind and tried to talk us all into becoming nuns. The Directress was a nun from France.
Joanne Boston MA

Des Moines, IA

#7 Nov 1, 2006
What years did you go there Barbara?

Athens, TX

#8 Nov 2, 2006
I was a counselor for two years-- in '57 and '58. the directoress was Mother Ysoie. I was in high school then.


#9 May 17, 2007
Joanne Boston MA wrote:
I went there from 1969 after my mom died to 1973, their last summer. I had some of the best experiences of my life there. I was a camper, a camp service girl, a CIT and assistant head counselor. Anyone remember the grotto?
I was a counselor there for one year 1972 or 1973. I taught swimming and helped with a cabin part of the time. Was the grotto up on top of the waterfall? Do you remember the play the staff had for the campers? The year I was there it was Jesus Christ Superstar.

I was nearby the camp the summer of 1979 and stopped by to see it... it was empty. It was very sad.

Athens, TX

#10 Sep 19, 2007
I don't think the grotto was near a waterfall, it was supposed to look like Lourdes, I think. We would have an outdoor Mass there once a summer.
The grounds of the camp were very nice and we walked up to the lake past a small cottage called Stella Maris where two nuns lived. The first year I was there a swimming pool was built.
We celebrated Christmas in July and put up a tree decorated with hand made ornaments. I had lots of fun there and kept up with some other counselors for years.
sometimes bob cats came down to the kitchen and raided the trash cans.
Jerilyn A Bryson

Brentwood, TN

#11 Oct 3, 2007
I attended the camp from 1949 thru 1952 and throughly enjoyed every day. I stayed in St Joseph and St Francis(the barn) up the road. If anyone out there remembers please email me. I came from Harlem, NYC.
Barbara--- Texas

Athens, TX

#12 Oct 6, 2007
Hi Jerilyn
I worked St Joseph in '56 and '57 it was a beautiful place to go to and so far away from the city. When I was there, St Francis was for the little boys. We had good times, lots of fresh air and pretty good food.
Was Mother Ysoie the directoress? She was French and had two big Shep dogs named, I think, Blackie and Brownie! They followed her everywhere.
I came from the Bronx and now live in Texas. Read my other entries under Barbara

Melrose, MA

#13 Oct 23, 2007
I remember two different girls age groups and they had a boys camp across a bridge that my younger brother went to. The woman who worked at the office was named Miss Rae.

Athens, TX

#14 Oct 28, 2007
I remember the sweet nuns who were there...Eanna Regis, Claire, Francis and others who were there to recuperate from missionary work. The chapel was new and Fr Francis was in charge.
I put on a play about Indians which would not be politically correct today, I think.
The little girls were in Unit St Rose and called Rosettes...the older girls in Unit St Joseph and the pre-teens in Unit Mary Immaculate..the small boys in Unit st Francis.
They showed very old movies on Sunday afternoons and we had campfire on Sunday nights . I have good memories of my summers at the Camp.

Carteret, NJ

#15 Feb 12, 2008
I was a counselor at Sacred Heart for 5 years and my sister Paulette was a counselor at St. Joseph's (1963-68). These were some of the best summers. It's amazing to read all of these comments and how others had such great summers as well!

Melrose, MA

#16 Mar 11, 2008
I remember working my way up all the to Asst. Head Counselor for the older girls and then the camp closed. It was devastating. They had a house up the road (can't remember the name) that we used to go on retreat to.
Jerilyn A Bryson

Brentwood, TN

#17 May 8, 2008
on the post of Oct 3,2007 the city is listed incorrectly. It should be Tallahassee, FL

Poughkeepsie, NY

#18 Jun 28, 2008
Catholic Charities camp St. Helene is scheduled to be bulldozed fall 2008. No more molesting children!!!!!
Nick Paxton

United States

#19 Jul 1, 2008
My parents used to send me to camp St. Helene when I was a child. I was always too devastated and embarrassed to tell my parents what really was happening there. The priests used to take me and the other children in to the woods to "camp" but they would really bring us there for the unthinkable. I know those few summers at St. Helene have scared me for life. I was very happy when the camp closed and I hope this type of molesting doesn't happen to any more children.
Barbara Tx

Humble, TX

#20 Jul 5, 2008
never dreamed this was happening! No one ever took the children from our unit.

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