Homeschool Family Camp & Pentecost Sunday

by | Jun 4, 2015 | Camping, Homeschool Family Camp, Latin Mass, Pentecost | 13 comments

Over Memorial Day Weekend our family attended a brand new Homeschool Catholic Family Camp in a neighboring diocese which was coordinated by my friend Aleesa.  
The camp took place at the incredible Powell Butte Retreat Center built by Bishop Vasa in 2009. 
That Friday afternoon we attended the funeral and reception for an old friend who will be dearly missed – the husband of our children’s swimming instructor, may he rest in peace+ – and then headed to camp.  It was a beautiful drive! 
At one point I had to jump out and quickly snap a picture of the sky. It was gorgeous! 
In addition to bringing our RV and parking in one of the seven RV spots (with power and water hookups!), we also had one side of one of the five duplex cabins, with a bathroom and eight beds (four wooden bunks!). 
“Each Cabin is named after a pair of Saints and each Cabin has a different form of Cross built into the floor. The Cabins are named for men and women who were very close friends or even family members. Each Cabin has a side named for a male Saint and a side for a female Saint. Each cabin also has a brief biography of its Saint as well as a description of the floor cross mounted on the wall.”
“Behind the cabins is a trail which winds through the junipers and connects the Cabins to each other and to the Youth Activities Center. In addition to the Youth Activity Center there is ample area for playing fields both up above near the RV parking or down below near the Activity Center. “
Behind the cabins you will also find the waterslide! 

There was plenty of free time throughout the weekend for playing games, visiting with the other families, or spending time in the chapel.

On Sunday afternoon Father Andrew Szymakowski arrived to offer a Low Latin Mass for Pentecost, Adoration, and to hear confessions!

Our family actually attended the ordination of Fr. Szymakowski many years ago (we only had three children at the time!), since he happened to be ordained with my husband’s oldest brother, through the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), before becoming a diocesan priest.

After Mass the Sisters of Mary of Kakamega arrived to join us for a BBQ dinner. 

I put together a Seven Layer Dip to share, recalling the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.  đź™‚ 
I had also packed along a small cake to decorate along with candles (to sing Happy Birthday to the Church!) and some extra cupcakes decorated with red sprinkles and white chocolate doves. However, at the last minute quite a few additional families decided to come to camp and I didn’t have nearly enough for everyone. I ended up serving them the next afternoon after some of us hiked the cave

Roasting marshmallows was the perfect alternative to birthday cake for Pentecost! 
It was such a great weekend and I really hope we’ll be able to attend again next year. 
On the drive home, in addition to visiting Lava River Cave, we stopped to hike the Gorge trail and see how much lower the river is compared to last year.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. 
Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.


  1. Sunshine

    What a great trip!

    2015-06-04 12:17:57

  2. jbc2789

    What a beautiful setting for your camp! Looks like everyone really enjoyed themselves!

    2015-06-04 14:20:42

  3. Karina

    Thanks for sharing the little details about camp. I didn't know about the crosses. Hopefully we can make it next year!

    2015-06-04 16:04:20

  4. Julie

    I wish we had something like that here

    2015-06-04 17:22:35

  5. Guest

    God be praised!

    2015-06-04 17:28:15

  6. Melanie

    How fun! Reminds me of Catholic Familyland in Ohio.:)

    2015-06-05 11:58:19

  7. Shania Geshna

    What a great fun. i really enjoyed that camping photography !

    2015-06-05 12:33:02

  8. Kim

    Oh, that looks like such a cool place. So glad you were able to go and have a great time!

    2015-06-05 14:55:25

  9. Crystal

    Oh Jessica, I hope it is offered again next year, we would really love to go! Looks like you all had a wonderful time!

    2015-06-05 17:18:17

  10. Mary Beth

    I wonder if you could give us a tour of your RV sometime. Our family of eight is considering a cross country trip in a few years and I wonder how we're all going to fit in an RV. But, then I see your family of nine and think it must be possible! Can you give us a tour and go through logistics of where everyone sleeps, etc? Thanks for considering this!

    2015-06-06 01:49:33

  11. Millie

    I smile every time I see Bishop Vasa's name; he was my dad's debating partner back in Wahoo, Nebraska oh, so many years ago.

    2015-06-06 15:30:45

  12. Jessica Gordon

    Hi Mary Beth! It's definitely a challenge, but doable. So far our longest trips have only been 4-5 days, but we have some longer trips this summer. I'll keep your request in mind and try and take some photos to share. 🙂

    2015-07-03 14:07:06


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