Registration is between 12:00PM and 2:30 P.M on opening day. Please do not arrive at the school before noon as the staff are making final preparations for your arrival. Arrive with enough time to settle in, unpack and become familiar with the campus. The first program of the week begins at 3PM SHARP. IT’S VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU ARRIVE BEFORE 3:00 P.M. We cannot begin the program without all groups in attendance.
*Due to contractual agreements, we cannot allow groups to sleep at the school the night before camp begins. Check local hotels for the best rate.*
Lunch is NOT provided on the first day of camp. Dinner will be served at 5:15PM.
You will be divided into small work groups of 5-6 youth and 1 adult chaperone. Small work groups, worksite assignments and additional work related directions will be handed out on opening day. We will do our best to balance males and females, and experienced and inexperienced people on each team.
Each participant will be working with a team of people who are not from their own church group. This may be uncomfortable for some at first, but team members quickly form friendships. For many this becomes a highlight of the week. This arrangement also provides many different experiences for your group to share when they return home. All young adults (18-20 years old) will be placed in work teams together.
The day will end with mass, which will fulfill the Sunday obligation.
Days of Service
Each day begins with a wake up call at 6:15 and breakfast at 6:45. Morning program will either consist of daily mass (at Next Level and Elevate camps) or a staff witness and/or inspirational video (at Original camps). You will be at your worksite from around 9am to 3PM Monday-Thursday. Your day consists of repairing and renewing homes by (but not limited to) painting, house cleaning, yard work, basic construction projects, and/or helping build new homes for low income families through organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. Other work projects will include helping at daycare centers for low-income families and/or helping at Social Service Centers (food pantry, homeless shelter, etc). You may or may not be at the same location for the whole week; it depends on the project, weather conditions and duration of work.
While at your worksite, you will break for lunch each day and have a Prayer/Share time where you will go over discussion questions, explore the Catholic faith and get to know your team on a deeper level.
After arriving back at the school, there will be free time for showers, relaxation, socializing, etc. Group leaders are responsible for their own campers during free time; Workcamp staff has numerous other tasks and responsibilities throughout the day and will not be available to act as counselors/chaperones. Dinner will be served and the day ends following the evening program. These evening programs will inspire you to continue serving the next day and renew your commitment to God. The first half of each evening program will include fun games and upbeat music, and then we will transition into a more prayerful time with skits, videos, talks, praise and worship and other opportunities to deepen one’s faith and reflect on the days’ activities. At Next Level and Elevate camps, there is time built into each night for discussions with your group.
The final day of camp, Friday morning, will consist of breakfast, the last program and presentation of the Summary Video and a closing mass. At this point you have two options: 1) leave after the closing mass and head home, or 2) participate in an optional Free Day and explore the surrounding attractions/sights with your group, return to the school that night, stay over and leave first thing the following morning.
The Free Day will be on Friday (unless you are attending a Fourth of July camp). Admission to activities and additional planning efforts are not included in the registration fee. If you return to the school after the Free Day, you will have time to shower and clean up your sleeping area. Departure time is between 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. the following morning (usually a Saturday). PLEASE NOTE: The last meal provided by CHWC is breakfast on the morning of the final day of camp (Friday morning). You will need to make other arrangements for lunch and dinner on the Free Day and breakfast the following morning (Saturday).
We realize that most people have cell phones and most of the time there is no need to use a land line but at certain locations/schools there may be limited cell phone reception. Additionally, Wifi availability will be limited if any at all. We must limit the access to Wifi in order to not overload the server so that our staff can use it to properly do their jobs.
All participants will sleep in classrooms or a gym at the school. Bring a sleeping bag, foam padding, cot or an air mattress (twin-size only). No recreational vehicles, buses or cars may be used for lodging.
There are separate shower times for teens and adults. However, the showers are usually communal so it is MANDATORY that all participants wear a bathing suit. We recommend bringing shower shoes (flip-flops/sandals) and a bag to carry showering necessities and a change of clothing to and from the showers.
There are no facilities or time allotted for doing laundry. If it is absolutely necessary, an adult chaperone can bring what is needed to a nearby laundromat during free time. They cannot miss any programs or camp activities to do so, though.
If you are renting/driving a bus, make sure the bus driver is aware he/she is required to transport teams to and from worksites everyday. We cannot be responsible for housing drivers but feel free to invite them for meals.
Priests and seminarians will be assigned their own room so as to be in compliance with Safe Environment practices. Priests will be needed to hear confessions during our “Four Corners” prayer night and celebrate Liturgy. You will find more information about additional steps to notify us of clergy attending with your group after you register.
Catholic HEART Workcamp cannot be held responsible for mail sent to campers. Host School Administrators do not always deliver mail to the campers or the Workcamp Office. We suggest that parents and friends not write because mail delivery to campers is not guaranteed.
If you have participated in a HEART Workcamp, please limit your references to last summer’s camp. Refrain from saying things like, “how much more fun it was last year” or “this is how we did it last summer.” Comments such as these make first-time participants feel this camp is not as important or unique as last year’s. Even if you have done a specific activity before, do it as if it is your first time.
Catholic HEART Workcamp cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen materials. Limit the amount of money, jewelry and material possessions you bring. Some schools have lockers that we can use. Therefore bring a lock for the lockers to keep your valuables safe. Otherwise, you may bring a youth group box or footlocker that can be locked, to store all valuables. It is unfortunate that even at a Catholic camp, personal items can disappear.