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Catholic Charities Corporation Administrative Offices:

7911 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44102

(216) 334-2900

Location & Facilities


Facilities & Location:

Most children live in urban or suburban settings. Despite the availability of lawns and trees, few young people have felt the awe of ancient forests or an open sky at night. These gifts await your child at Camp Christopher. Located on 160 acres in Bath Township, Camp Christopher is the summer home to thousands of young people every summer. The property offers beautiful lakes, forests, a cave, one of a few natural bridges in the state of Ohio, springs, wetlands, geologic formations, grassy fields, and more. The diversity of the ecosystems at Camp Christopher makes it home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, some of which cannot be easily found in this region of the world anymore.

The facilities at Camp Christopher are intentionally rustic. They provide a safe and comfortable shelter but are simple in design. Most cabins do not have indoor plumbing, but there are modern bathhouses with flush toilets and hot water showers available. Bathhouses are located near each settlement. Camp Christopher has a fully modern kitchen located in the St. Francis Dining Hall for the preparation of all meals. The Health Care Lodge is the home to our nursing staff and provides adequate space to address minor medical treatments.

Catholic Charities has invested heavily in the facilities at Camp Christopher over the years. Some of the larger projects include:

  • Major overhaul of the sewage treatment plant
  • Building a new changing station for the Day Camp
  • Replacement of the floating docks at Lake Marion
  • Installation of a High Ropes Course
  • Building an ADA compliant new cabin with in-door plumbing (Cabin St. Teresa)
  • Building a spacious new pavilion with a fireplace (Hope Pavilion)

Beyond our gates, there is a spectacular variety of opportunities and natural wonders to explore. The idyllic backdrop of Camp Christopher serves as a backdrop for diverse programs and enduring traditions. The pristine wilderness of Camp Christopher is truly an outdoor wonderland.

Bath Township Police and Fire Departments are 3 miles away. Urgent care centers are located within 10 miles of the camp, and many first-rate hospitals are within an hour’s drive of Camp Christopher. 


Environmental Hygiene & Pest Management at Camp Christopher:

A summer camp in the woods can be a challenging place to manage pests in cabins and other buildings. There are several things we do to prevent pests from entering and taking hold of our facilities.

  • As a preventative measure, we are gradually shifting to a newer type of mattress and bed that will be less hospitable to bed bugs. We are replacing our old wood built-in bunks with bunks made of metal and composite plastic. They provide the rustic charm of a campground, but with their smoother surfaces and portability, they will help us to prevent pests from settling in too comfortably.
  • We currently have a contract with a local pest control company to have our cabins inspected at least quarterly by bed bug-sniffing dogs. If bed bugs are identified, the cabin will be heat treated to eradicate the pests. If other pests are identified, appropriate measures will be taken to eradicate them as well based on the advice of the pest control company.
  • In addition to the measures discussed above, we try our best to manage the entry of pests by conducting visual inspections (over the clothing) of every camper upon entry to the camp for bite marks or other indications that he or she may bring in pests like head lice, bed bugs, etc. Staff inspects each camper’s head looking specifically for lice, nits, etc. Each day, we conduct inspections of the interior of our cabins. Campers work together each day to be sure that their cabin is cleaned of debris and dirt, their personal belongings are present and accounted for, and all gear and clothing are neatly stored. Cabins compete daily for inspection scores, and the cabin that earns the highest score in each settlement is invited to the Big Staff Party at the end of the week. Staff is trained during orientation to be vigilant in reporting campers who may have more than ordinary bug bites to the camp nurses for further examination.

There are many bugs, especially at a summer camp, that are easy to confuse with bed bugs (like bat bugs or carpet beetles). They also bite but do not necessarily spread and become a pest in the same way that bed bugs do. If you believe your child may have bed bug bites, please follow the precautions provided below. It is highly unlikely that a doctor will be able to know with certainty what type of pest bit your child unless you have captured a pest. But it is important that you notify us as soon as you notice your child has bites so that we can examine the cabin and bunk where the child slept to see if there are bugs remaining.

Today, vacationing anywhere should trigger precautions on the part of the traveler. If you are feeling anxious about your camper bringing home uninvited guests, you are not alone. We encourage you to resist the urge to ‘throw everything away.’ This is rarely, if ever, the best response. Most items can be cleaned or treated easily. Here is some information provided by the American Camp Association, which you may find helpful:

“It is important that you also be aware of what to watch for and what to do in case any bed bugs were carried back home. An adult bed bug is very small (¼” long) and reddish-brown with an oval, flattened body. They are parasites and can be found in bird nests, on bats and other mammals, and can occasionally be found in firewood. They prefer dark places. They can be spread through direct and indirect contact.

Their bite may be confused with that of a mosquito; they tend to last longer than a normal mosquito bite. It is recommended as a precautionary measure that you hot-water wash all items and dry them in the dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes. Carefully inspect all of your child’s bedding and clothing that were brought home from camp. Another prevention method is to place all of your child’s bedding & clothing into a black plastic garbage bag, then put it out in the hot sun for a day as heat can kill this pest.

The temperature within the bag must reach 120 degrees for at least one hour. Examine your child for any bites that have a white-appearance with a red dot. Also, watch for complaints of intense itching. If any of these symptoms occur, there is no need for alarm, but you might want to contact your family physician." For more information about the symptoms, abatement measures, and prevention techniques regarding bed bugs, the American Camp Association has an excellent resource at:

http://www.acacamps.org/knowledge/health/diseases/bedbugs

Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Part of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

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