Camp Ursuline, Paola

Camp ProjectA summer project for the Ursuline Sisters of Paola was a summer camp for little girls which began in 1941 on the campus of Ursuline Academy. Mother Jerome Schaub chose Sister Roberta Allen to direct the camp and was its enthusiastic supporter while she was active. Thirty years of camping at Ursuline tells a story of intensive play activities for children with the added attraction of a boarding school atmosphere. From 80 to 100 children romped over the campus and through the halls of Ursuline and auditorium of the staid educational institution for 16 years and loved it. Then the Ursuline Sisters built a camp facility in a wooded section of their land about a mile east of Paola. A useful and attractive camp building with kitchen facilities were ready in time for the 1958 camp session. An outdoor swimming pool and the adjacent woods for nature study added new attractions to the already popular Camp Ursuline.Synchronized Swimming The camp had originally started as an all-girls camp but in later years became coed.

Sister Angelica Urynowicz was camp director at the new site. Sister Roberta’s plan of using older high school and young college girls for camp counselors in the ratio of 1 to 8 was continued through the years. The children, under the tutelage of their counselors, did many things during their six to eight weeks of camping, always staging a big demonstration closing day with dinner, demonstration of crafts and skills, awards, and a dramatic production to entertain their parents who had come to take their children home.

Camp Ursuline PlayBut camping dimensions changed, and Camp Ursuline’s last session in 1970 marked the end of another of Mother Jerome’s dreams for year-round activity for her sisters. For many years the camp was used during the summer months for Lakemary children to swim, for weekend or day groups to enjoy picnics and demonstrations, for three weeks art day camps in June and for sisters to invite their families for family day or reunions. By 1989 the camp was closed permanently.

Ursuline Camp published a “Campette” newsletter in the 1950s. Here is an excerpt from July 1958 in which a camper seeks advice.Camp Ursuline ca 1940s

Q: I’m having trouble getting A’s on my neatness card. It seems my bed is always wrinkled when Sister is checking beds. What do you suggest I do?

A: Solution 1–Get in good with Sister.
Solution 2–Forget about it and get straight D’s.
Solution 3–Don’t sleep on your bed.


  1. Ellen Mary Condry

    I remember Camp Ursuline as a Reading Camp. My sister, Sister Kathleen Condry, ran a camp there for several summers, probably in the late 70’s. Several of we volunteers pre-tested, tutored, and post-tested students over a two-week period, with great results! I always thought that was a great combination of strengthening reading skills and enjoying camp life.

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