Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
April 28, 2008
Fun and faith reign at Cadicasu
Knights help Calgary church camp relocate after 77 years
- photo supplied
An artist's conception shows plans for development at the new Camp Cadicasu in Kananaskis Country.
By GLEN ARGAN
Ross Szentmiklossy still recalls the good times as a 10-year-old at Camp Cadicasu, the Calgary diocesan summer camp near Bragg Creek.
He recalls the campfires, horseback riding, hiking, daily Mass and swimming in the creek.
"It was quite an adventure swimming in Bragg Creek in the rapids," Szentmiklossy told the WCR.
Then there was the time he went into the woods after someone had broken a wasps' nest. He ended up getting stung about 20 times.
"I'm still leery about yellowjackets," he said.
There was a scavenger hunt which his team lost because it was unable to find an Indian Paintbrush.
There was the rustic log chapel and its bell that was rung every morning.
Camp Cadicasu (pronounced Cad-i-ka-zoo) gave Szentmiklossy, now a district deputy with the Knights of Columbus, a treat his widowed mother could not afford. He was able to attend because his way, like that of about 10 per cent of the 1,000 campers every summer, was paid for by donors.
This summer, for the first time in 77 years, there will be no Camp Cadicasu. The camp is in the process of relocating to Kananaskis Country.
When the mess hall burned down a year ago, it forced an issue that had been brewing for a while. Encroachment by the town of Bragg Creek meant the camp had lost its wilderness feeling.
But that feeling will return next year when Cadicasu reopens at its new location.
For St. Albert the Great Council 12446 in Calgary, that means a new challenge.
"We've donated money over the years and now we want to go deeper," said grand knight Bill Werbowski.
Going deeper means that the council hopes to "adopt" one of the buildings at the new site and be responsible for its upkeep.
Other councils are also involved in helping establish the new camp, but St. Albert the Great Council is making a special commitment.
Werbowski said the council will provide "sweat equity" to do finishing work on the new buildings as well as the proceeds from its annual garage sale, roughly $3,000.
"We're not a large council. We don't have a lot of money," he said.
A deeper faith
For Szentmiklossy, Camp Cadicasu was more than a pack of adventures. It deepened his faith.
"It was something I would never get otherwise. It was very Catholic."
In his teens he returned to the camp for a weekend Catholic Youth Organization retreat. There were more hikes, but there was also a greater spiritual focus with meditation and emphasis on the liturgy.
Szentmiklossy regrets that the camp won't be open this summer. But he's looking forward to being in Kananaskis in 2009.
"Out there, it's like another wilderness again."