Angela 1961-1970

State College, PA

#21 Jul 24, 2008
Some of my most wonderful memories as a child are of the times I spent at camp ST.Helenes. Children like myself who had no other place to go and get away from the sweltering heat of New York City found our beautiful camp to be a haven. Never once was I mistreated. I only found good friends and wonderful sisters who were there for me if I needed them. And yes the grotto was beautiful.
Susan Long Island

Bronx, NY

#22 Sep 5, 2008
I only remember one priest--Fr. Francis. Other than that, there were female counselors--even at unit St. Francis I loved St. Helene. I was there from 1959 to 1964. If someone hurt you there, you should speak to the archdiocese--even today.
angela

State College, PA

#23 Nov 8, 2008
I don't recall the grotto being near a waterfall either. From 1963 to 1970 I attended camp every summer. First I was a Rosebud,then I was in Sacred Heart then up in St. Clares. As a junior counselor I worked up in the boys unit St. Anthonys. I also recall just one priest up there, Father Francis. The only time I truly saw him was at mass. My best buddies all those years were Mary, Mercy and Irene. Does anyone remember Mrs. Walker the cook and her kids Johnny and Margaret?
Martin

Poughkeepsie, NY

#24 Nov 12, 2008
I am glad finally has spoken out about the attrocities of this camp. i no longer have to keep my secrecy from the world. Please do not send your children to this camp or to any of the coinciding camps. if you care at all about them, listen to them, have them tell you what they truly think and what truly happens. The stories you hear could sound very suspicious. Thank you for listening
liz capone

AOL

#25 Feb 5, 2009
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 camper first and then a junior aide. I believe it was the summer of 1971 to 1973. I was 15 years old. I worked with a Mary and Sabina. Do you remember any of this
Pat Quincy MA

Boston, MA

#26 Mar 14, 2009
Sorry to hear of the bad history/memories the Catholic Charities Camp gave some people. I was a camper at Camp St. Helene in 1955 in UMI with Miss Joyce, Cabin 5 and then a counselor in '57 or '58 in UMI, We had to go downtown Manhattan to a convent, where a middle aged French nun interviewed us. Was that Mother Yosi? I met some wonderful people who I still have photos and fond memories of: Patsy Kingston, Barbara Halligan, Ann Colavito (RIP), Barbara Evans assistant to the nurse nun, Mother Cleophas (who I am trying to track down) and Mother Paulita, in charge of the counselors. I remember upside down day when we would eat beef stew for breakfast and cereal for supper.. I am originally from the Bronx.
Tricia Cape Cod

Marstons Mills, MA

#27 Jun 2, 2009
I think Nick and Martin are at the wrong camp. There were no priests at Camp St. Helene. It was run completely by nuns (Franciscan Missionaries of Mary). There was a priest at Sacred Heart Church in Palenville who came to say mass and then left. Don't malign our beautiful camp with your rage from other unfortunate and heart-breaking experiences. Get the right Camp location. Camp St Helene was a wonderful place. I spent 7 glorious summers and left a piece of my soul there.
And Joanne, are you Joanne P.? I remember you if you are. We had a lot of fun together with Jill and Mary and Rosie, etc..
Nikki Sokol

Toa Baja, Puerto Rico

#28 Jun 14, 2009
My sister and I attended this camp back in the 50's. I remember having a good time and gaining about 13 lbs. My counselor was Miss Dorothy a student from Boston University. She was very nice. I remember Father Francis, a chainsmoking Franciscan. Mother Superior was an intimidating sort with a thick accent- French Canadian I think.Yes I remember she had two dogs that followed her around.For two city kids the fresh air and sunshine was a welcome treat.
Maryanna Sokol

Toa Baja, Puerto Rico

#29 Jun 14, 2009
I remember Ann Colavito. She had beautiful sining voice. What happened to her? I was in UMI Cabin 4. I agree with Pat QUINCY. The camp was run by nuns. The only priest came on sundays to say mass and then he left. Any molestation of boys would have more likely been caught by Mother Superior. She kept an eagle eye of everyone.
Maryanna Sokol

Toa Baja, Puerto Rico

#30 Jun 14, 2009
The name Pat Kingston rings a bell. What did she do? Did Miss Joyce have a niece nicknamed "Bubbles"?
melanie messina

Ridge, NY

#31 Jul 24, 2009
looking for anyone who worked at St. Joseph's Camp 1970.....
melanie messina

Ridge, NY

#32 Jul 24, 2009
looking for anyone who worked at St. Joseph's Camp in 1970
retired GI

Poughkeepsie, NY

#33 Jul 28, 2009
I am a resident of Palenville, and live a very short distance from the camp, and a member of the local church. I do remember it being a art's theater from time to time, during my deployments, I drive by it almost every day, and always wondered what was here first, now i know,
thanks
the waterfalls on 32a is called hellena falls, another answer provided.
thanks

God Bless America
Jacqueline Nolan

Pompano Beach, FL

#34 Aug 3, 2009
My sister (Karen Gumowski) were at Camp St. Helene's around the late 1940s and early 1950s. It was a wonderful experience for both of us. I remember a counselor Pat Greene. Also Miss Beatrice (she had red hair). She planned to become a nun. We had a wonderful time at the camp and what I learned there helped me many times in life. If anyone remembers us (I was a junior counselor the last year I was there. If anyone remembers this time, I'll look for remarks from you.
Melania

New York, NY

#35 Nov 23, 2009
My sister and I had the misfortune to be at this camp for the worst summer of my life. I was 10 years old and was in the dormitory that was a short walk to the main grounds. There was one counselor who was nightly sexually abusing a 10 year old girl. The other 3 counselors in that unit knew about these crimes and though they disapproved they said and did nothing to stop it. There was never enough food and by the middle of the summer our supper was potato chips, a little bit of potato salad and white bread. I was always hungry but my mother never knew this as the sisters would censor our outgoing mail and if we wrote anything they didn't like we had to change our letters and postcards home and lie about the conditions there. My mother was shocked when I got off the bus coming back home from that hellhole as I had lost so much weight and she had to take me to a doctor because I was malnourished and weak. I heard horrible stories about what happened at the boys section of the camp, beatings and sexual abuse by the Christian Brothers. This camp was straight out of hell. Mother Sylvia was the head of our area and though she was an absolute angel I never told her about the horrible abuse going on nightly not four feet from my cot. The Mother Superior punished me for sitting next to the pool in my bathing suit! I was ten years old! She was definitely a twisted sister to read anything other than innocence in my sitting by the pool. The people who report loving the place - either the camp improved after I left or they were in another section or they were not observant at all or, they are delusional. I am delighted to hear this place is no longer. I wonder why it was sold. I hope the abuse became known and that is why that asylum for mostly sick adults who were "religious" was shut down. It was a crime what went on there. I saw a post above where a man speaks of his abuse there and it is the only post that tells the real deal.
Melania

New York, NY

#36 Nov 23, 2009
I neglected to say that I was there in 1958 or 1959. Another torture was having to practice hymns in Latin (which I loved learning) in the sweltering recreation room (or whatever that large room was called)where it was so hot some kids passed out. We were practicing for the Feast of the Assumption and though I loved the singing in Latin the heat was overwhelming so it ended up feeling like punishment. The person whose post says something about not malignin a place that she found wonderful - all I can say is I'm very glad your experience there wasn't like mine. All those abusive CIT's, counselors and brothers should be in prison!
Melania

New York, NY

#37 Nov 23, 2009
Tricia Cape Cod wrote:
I think Nick and Martin are at the wrong camp. There were no priests at Camp St. Helene. It was run completely by nuns (Franciscan Missionaries of Mary). There was a priest at Sacred Heart Church in Palenville who came to say mass and then left. Don't malign our beautiful camp with your rage from other unfortunate and heart-breaking experiences. Get the right Camp location. Camp St Helene was a wonderful place. I spent 7 glorious summers and left a piece of my soul there.
And Joanne, are you Joanne P.? I remember you if you are. We had a lot of fun together with Jill and Mary and Rosie, etc..
There were definitely brothers who were in charge of the boys camp area. I remember them distinctly but oddly enough when the boys played baseball and the entire camp attended the brothers were not there. I would see the brothers in the distance in the area going towards the boys area. One girl whose brother was there told me her brother told her some of the boys got beaten and "messed with"by the brothers who wore brown habits like Franciscan's so maybe they weren't Christian Brothers as I noted in a another post. About maligning and expressing rage at this camp - if you had seen what I saw you would change your tune. Some men here have been honest about their experiences and have every right to finally let it be known.
tricia

Hyannis, MA

#38 Nov 23, 2009
Again I say, I think you've got the wrong camp. There were no priests or brothers there. Where was the camp you went to? I'm sorry for your sufferings. Maybe it was different in the 1950's. The late 60's and early 70's were nothing like what you describe.
Artie

Venice, FL

#39 Dec 2, 2009
Nikki Sokol wrote:
My sister and I attended this camp back in the 50's. I remember having a good time and gaining about 13 lbs. My counselor was Miss Dorothy a student from Boston University. She was very nice. I remember Father Francis, a chainsmoking Franciscan. Mother Superior was an intimidating sort with a thick accent- French Canadian I think.Yes I remember she had two dogs that followed her around.For two city kids the fresh air and sunshine was a welcome treat.
Nikki,
The sixties were pretty good too. Nisei, Kuroi Hyoh, Henry Cho's AAOKC. It has been a long time, and I've searched for you often. Hope all is well. Please e-mail me at [email protected]

Artie
jim

Gorham, ME

#40 Dec 25, 2009
Andrew wrote:
Catholic Charities camp St. Helene is scheduled to be bulldozed fall 2008. No more molesting children!!!!!
were you the molester?

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