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Enjoying a Gibbons summer
Students at music camp at Gibbons.

It is never too early to start thinking about summer camps.

Students enjoying activities at Short Journey

This year Cardinal Gibbons Summer Programs is adding something new to its traditional on-campus offerings of academics, athletics, and the performing arts. That something new is the addition of Camp Crusader, a weeklong camp at the school’s retreat center in Smithfield. 

Registration is now open for all the camps, which provide a stimulating and invigorating environment for children and teenagers who want to maximize their summer experience. To that end, summer days - on Gibbons’ campus and now at the Cardinal Gibbons Short Journey Center - are filled with activities and events that inform and engage campers, helping them to have fun and make new friends. Camp participants will become part of a summer tradition that thousands of campers have participated in over the years.

That tradition now includes a sleep-away component, a Gibbons first. Science Educator Sarah Kuszaj ’95, who is also the Summer Programs Coordinator, will oversee Camp Crusader with Gibbons Retreat Director Tim Yelenic. They will work with a staff of 15-20 Gibbons alumni. “to help bring Camp Crusader to life,” noted Yelenic.

Coach with basketball campers during summer camp at Gibbons.

Kuszaj added that it is the involvement of our alumni, students, educators, and coaches that make Gibbons camps distinct. “Campers,” she added, “experience what it is like to be a part of Gibbons, and when they become students here, they carry on a legacy when they work at the camps themselves and give back to the school. The same is true for our alumni.”

Campers may choose from a diverse selection of on-campus summer offerings. They range from traditional favorites like performing camps (theater, dance, and music) to the ever-popular sports camps. In terms of academics, there are such camps as academic writing, robotics, and media camps.

​At Camp Crusader participants - rising 5th – 8th-grade boys and girls - will enjoy five days and four nights of fun-filled activities. During the camp, which will take place July 12-16,  Yelenic said campers will experience a low ropes course, arts and crafts, music/dance classes, field sports, deepen their faith and experience some one-of-a kind-field trips.

Students working on a puzzle together at Short Journey.

So, what are the most common reasons parents say they choose Gibbons camps for their children? “What I hear from parents is that they are impressed by how much their children enjoy the experience and how much they gain from it," Kuszaj said, adding that many campers return year after year for those same reasons.

Yelenic said he is hopeful the same will hold true for Camp Crusader.

To register for any of the camps, please visit

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