Family Camp

Friday, Oct. 6 – Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023

Grow, learn, and have fun with your family and friends.

St. Mary’s Family Camp Program began in 1994 and is held the second weekend in October at Camp Courage in Maple Lake, MN. Families drive themselves to the camp approximately 75 minutes northwest of Minneapolis. Although this weekend is called Family Camp, we welcome everyone to attend: singles*, married couples, and grandparents. For those who have sent their kids to Summer Camp, it is a great way for your children to share their camp experience with you! For those who have been on the fence about sending your kids, it is a wonderful way for both parents and kids to preview and experience a slice of life at Summer Camp. Even though it is a different campsite than our Summer Camp, kids get an idea of what it is like to be at a camp with their church friends.

 *Minors must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or an “adopted” parent for the weekend. 

Unfortunately, camps around the country, including ours, are experiencing significant price increases to meet the highly increased overhead costs: lodging, meals, and necessary materials.  While we are doing everything, we can to maintain an affordable Family Camp experience for all, we must be sustainable.

Please consider asking your parish priest for assistance in creating and maintaining a Camp Scholarship Fund to help subsidize your parish’s camp fees.  We have found that many people love to donate and support these experiences.  Thank you so much for your interest and support of Family Camp!

The true cost of camp is $171.49 + processing fee ($7.39) = $178.88. However, due to the generosity of several accounts that support our Family Camp, we can offer the subsidized rate below.

***NEW*** This year and for years to come, registration will take place on CampDoc. Please note that you will be creating a new account and that your old credentials will not work when logging in.. Creating your account and updating your Health Profile may take a little longer than previous years, so please make sure to set aside time to complete.  PLEASE REMEMBER THAT REGISTRATION OPENS AT 10:00 AM ON AUGUST 1ST!

Registration Update (8/24/23): At this point in time, we are moving all future registrations to a waiting list. If a family or individual can no longer attend then we will look at this list to fill those spots. It will operate on a first come first serve basis. The cut off for registering for the wait list will be August 31st, and we will let you know if your waitlist spot was moved to the attendee list by September 18th. To register for the Waitlist, click the box below that is labeled, “Register Here”. 

Join the Waitlist

Download the 2023 Camp Flyer

Consider sharing the flyer with someone who you think might be interested in joining us this year.


August 1 – 15


+ $7 processing fee


August 16 – 31


+ $7 processing fee

Registration is Closed

We are thrilled to announce our 2023 Family Camp theme: The Power of Our Story. Our gracious speaker, Fr. Timothy Pavlatos, explores how our life narrative influences how we see ourselves, ourselves in relationship to others, and most especially those with whom we have our most intimate connections. He examines why it’s important to learn from our past relational experiences in order to better understand why we and others function relationally the way we do, in order to improve how we communicate and understand one another. 

Meet Fr. Timothy Pavlatos!

 Fr. Timothy Pavlatos currently serves at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Chandler, Arizona. Prior to his assignment, he served as Director of the Family Wellness Ministry in the Metropolis of San Francisco from 2015 to 2018. He is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. He held a private practice as a therapist for six years in Oregon, while also teaching courses as an adjunct professor at George Fox University’s graduate program of Counseling in “Spirituality & Clinical Praxis,” as well as “Interpersonal Neurobiology and Trauma.” 

 Fr. Timothy has lectured and conducted retreats in Orthodox Churches and Metropolises of all jurisdictions on Marriage, Parenting, Addictions, Orthodox Spiritual Life, Trauma Informed Care, and Stress & Resiliency. He holds a bachelor’s in Psychology, a Master of Divinity, a Masters in Pastoral Counseling, and a Certificate in Marriage & Family Therapy. He and his wife, Presvytera Victoria, have been married since 1995 and have 9 children. 

Financial Assistance

If you are in need of scholarship assistance, please contact your parish priest FIRST, PRIOR to the end of the Early Bird Registration period (August 15, 2023). After checking with your home parish priest, if you still need assistance from St. Mary’s GOC, please contact:


We will offer a full refund (minus the processing fee) until September 18. Beginning September 19, registrations will be non-refundable. Registrations are not transferable.


Read about the Family Camp Play-by-Play.


Get directions to Camp Courage.


Get some ideas from our packing list.

Family Camp FAQs

Why should we consider going to Family Camp?

To grow, to learn, to have fun with your family and friends! For those who have sent their kids to camp, it is a great way for your children to share camp with you! For those who have been on the fence about sending your kids, it is a wonderful way for both parents and kids to preview and experience a slice of life at camp. Even though it is a different camp site than our Summer Camp, kids get an idea of what it is like to be at a camp with their church friends.

What is Camp Courage like?

It is a beautiful facility on a Minnesota lake, only 1-1.5 hours away from the Twin Cities! Beside having dorm rooms for each family, most with private bathrooms, the camp has a game room, swimming pool, outdoor sporting facilities, walking trails, fire pits, a dining hall and chapel for families to eat and pray together. Because it is a camp for children with disabilities, everything is accessible!

In fact, if you know someone who would benefit, share the news! Families will be grouped in cabins that have bedrooms and bathrooms for each family. The cabin may have a small kitchenette and sitting area that will be used by all families. Visit Camp Courage’s website for more details!

Who goes to Family Camp?

While most of the participating families come from Orthodox churches in the Twin Cities, we have attendees from Duluth, Rochester…near and far!

How old should your children be?

All are welcome!  However, parents have told us that it is more relaxing once the kids are preschool aged or older.  We listened to that feedback and have planned activities for kids 4 years and older.  The last few years, we have had a great group of elementary, middle and high school kids.

How much time do we spend in workshops?

The kids have one session and the parents have two sessions. The kids are in supervised activities during the parent’s second session. We often have a fun family session in the evening. You are welcome to attend as few or as many as you like.

What types of activities are available to the families?

Swimming, hiking, sporting games, carpet ball, ping pong, indoor cards and game room.  You name it, you can probably do it!

Do we eat together?

We eat all meals together as a group.  All meals are held in the camp dining hall.  It is a wonderful relaxed setting to visit with other families.

What are the rooms like?

Most rooms have sleeping spaces for 4-8 people and include a private bathroom with a shower.  You must bring your own bedding (sleeping bags are most common) for twin style beds.  Sometimes, small families choose to share a room with another family they know.

While many of the buildings are different, rooms are centered around a common sitting room.  These common areas have a refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot.  Don’t worry about packing food for the weekend…the food is great and plentiful.

Do we have to share a bathroom?

In most cases, you will have your own bathroom.  However, some years we have had overflow cabins with bathrooms that are shared…a great reason to get your registration in early!  You would be notified if this is the case.

What do the kids do when parents are in sessions?

We are excited that we have sessions that are divided by age.  We have had up to 4 different age-based workshops at one time for kids 4 years and older. During the second parent session, fun activities with our young adult counselors are planned for the children. The smallest children are kept together.

What do people wear?

This is a casual weekend…jeans, sweatshirts…whatever you feel most comfortable.  With the permission of our priests, even church is casual.  Please see the packing list for more ideas.

Are we allowed to come early or stay later?

While our program begins at 7:00 pm, check-in begins at 5:00 pm in the Lakeside Dining and Rec center, so come to the check-in desk to get your room assignment. There will be no dinner on Friday night, so feed your family before you come. You and your family are invited to spend time after brunch on Sunday, too!  The camp has graciously allowed families time to enjoy nature once our time together has ended.

What if we cannot get there by 7pm?

No worries!  Get there when you can!  Let us know if your delay may mean a Saturday arrival so we will know not to worry.