by Alicia Dziak

Camp Turner, located on the Quaker side of Allegany State Park, offers overnight camping for boys and girls in a Catholic environment. The camp is operated by the Diocese of Buffalo, and in 2013, celebrated its 90th year.

According to their website, “The camp serves boys and girls ages 7–16. Activities include horseback riding, hiking, orienteering, basketball, soccer, volleyball, court hockey, yoga, dance, jewelry making, low-ropes, arts and crafts, campfires, creek-walking, archery, beach trips, sports, dances and much more. Special programs for older campers include a high ropes experience, backpacking trip and special leadership training workshops. All campers are welcome regardless of religious affiliation.”

The resident camp boasts a caring and professional staff, nutritious and kid-friendly food, licensed medical care, and the opportunity for structured physical activity, mental and social activity.

Many fun sessions are available for campers of various ages throughout the summer months, ranging from special sessions for first-time campers that allow kids to try everything camp has to offer, to two-week sessions for teens that offer a backpacking adventure and outings.

The programming encourages the development of community living skills, self-care skills, interpersonal skills, values and spirituality, and provides a great way for kids to enjoy New York State’s largest state park and meet new friends.

“When our kids are at Camp Turner, my husband and I  know they are safe, supported and enjoying new experiences,” said Amy Ruffino, of Hamburg. “Our children enjoy reconnecting with friends and forming new friendships at camp. We relish hearing all of their camp stories for weeks and months to follow. Spending time exploring nature, trying new things and forming new relationships is what Camp Turner is all about. Our kids love it!”

Summer will be here before you know it, and it’s not too early to start making your summer plans! Registration is set to open on the Camp Turner web site this weekend. For more information, or to register, visit