History, Mission & Vision

Founded in 2001 as a parish initiative to help young people “live the adventure” of their Catholic faith.

Our mission is to awaken, empower, and equip a generation to live the adventure of the Catholic faith through world-class programs and and environment of encounter.

Catholic Youth Summer Camp began as a parish initiative in Columbus Ohio, a response to the legitimate need expressed by parents for an environment of encounter for their children that was rooted within the Catholic tradition.

What began as a one week camp-retreat rapidly developed its own unique identity as a joy-filled program that challenged young people to live the adventure of their Catholic faith through an encounter with Jesus Christ and His Church. What began as one week of summer camp in 2001 has grown to a full summer of camp sessions serving thousands year after year from around the world!

Over the past 15 years, CYSC has touched the lives of tens of thousands of campers and has made advances into the active service of young people with special needs as well as outreach to inner-city youth. In 2015, the Catholic Youth Summer Camp Campership Endowment Fund was established with The Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Columbus in order to provide camperships for families in financial need. Catholic Youth Summer Camp was incorporated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation with the permission of Bishop Frederick Campbell in 2006. Since that time, the Board of Directors has worked diligently to position CYSC for its long-term future success.

In the spring of 2015, the Catholic Youth Summer Camp story took an amazing turn when we were blessed with the gift of 471 acres of land in Central Ohio which has become known as Damascus Catholic Mission Campus.  Under the leadership of an amazing staff and board, Catholic Youth Summer Camp, now a program of Damascus, will be a true blessing to the Church for years to come.

What is Damascus?

St. Paul, when he encountered the living God on the road to Damascus, was awakened, empowered, and equipped to spread the Gospel of Jesus. Damascus Catholic Mission Campus is a place of encounter where generations are awakened, empowered, and equipped to live the adventure of their Catholic faith.

CYSC is the Summer Camp ministry of Damascus Catholic Mission Campus:


Permanent Home of
Catholic Youth Summer Camp
where the youth of today will become the hope of tomorrow.


Centralized Retreat Center
in the State of Ohio
that awakens faith and builds missionary disciples.


An Innovative Training Center
where the Church’s renewal begins with the transformation of her leaders.

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