Holy Family Campers gather at KMC for a week of fun, friends, food

Travis Pafumi enjoyed a few moments with an iridescent soap bubble Tuesday, June 4, during the Holy Family Camp. Fifty-eight campers took part Monday through Friday June 3-7 at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School in Wichita. (Photo courtesy Regina Barker Photography)

Holy Family campers gathered for their annual family reunion earlier this month – a full-camp experience for the first time since 2019.

Baylee Holmes, the camp coordinator, said the diocesan Ministry With Persons With Disabilities, was able to restore some of the popular traditional activities such as a talent show and a dance during which a camp king and queen are crowned.

“That was really cool because we’ve had royalty since the very first camp. To be able to bring that back was wonderful,” she said.

The camp was held Monday through Friday, June 3-7, at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita.

Holmes said they were also able to have a carnival night with long-time volunteer Kasey the clown making an appearance. “We initiated some new activities such as a phone party and foam fights, activities that really went well with the campers.”

Fifty-eight campers took part in this year’s event, she said, assisted by 80 volunteers.

“It was a transition year and our community longed to get back together,” Holmes said. “Kapaun Mt. Carmel was a location that let us do that – be all together.”

A previously used campsite closed and another was too small for the Holy Family Camp, she said.
“We announced that the camp will be an overnight camp next year at Wheat State Retreat Center near Augusta. That will allow everyone to be there all together.”

A campsite southwest of Hutchinson recently purchased by the Diocese of Wichita will not be able to accommodate the number of Holy Family Camp participants next summer but will be able to in the future.

Holmes said nearly all of the food for the campers and volunteers was supplied at no charge. “The Knights of Columbus and other church and community members donated most of the food,” she said. “They came in, they served it, and really enjoyed doing so.”

She said she appreciated the KMC’s very generous use of the school.

“They were very accommodating. It was wonderful to be there. The Kapaun students really stepped up as well as the Carroll students.”

Bishop Carl A. Kemme visited the last day and took part in the water games, Holmes said.