Camp Gray’s Explorer Village: A mysterious place where faith grows
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jul. 23, 2015 -- 12:00 AM
Camp Gray Explorers July 2015

A recent Explorers group from Camp Gray pauses during a hike at Devil’s Lake State Park near Baraboo to pray and write in journals. To view or purchase photos, go to
Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

REEDSBURG -- Every summer, hundreds of kids get their fill of faith and fun in the Camp Gray experience at the Diocese of Madison camp near Reedsburg.

Just off the main camp, down some visible but unmarked trails, there lies a "mysterious" place.

The campers always hear about this place -- Explorer Village -- but few see it until they are old enough.

Many stories surround the village and its native Explorers.

Some legends say the campers have to hunt for their own food. That part isn't true, but they do have to cook their own food.

In the village

It’s not exactly "What happens in Explorer Village, stays in Explorer Village," but it's close.

From July 5 to 10, 13 teens and six leaders shared a week of inside jokes, secret traditions, deep faith experiences, and countless singings of a recent pop song in which the protagonist "can't feel my face when I'm with you" (I promised them I'd work it into this story).

"It's cool being able to see God in each person in a different way just shining through them," said Maggie Sampson, 15, from Oregon. "You can just see it in everything they do."

The fun starts with work -- setting up camp for the week.

The counselors showed the Explorers what they have to work with. Other than two cabins -- one for boys and one for girls (the counselors sleep in tents), the campers needed to "build" the village. Tables, tarps, and the cooking/dishes area await setting up.


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Going pro: Former Catholic Herald intern is sideline face of Brewers, Bucks
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jul. 23, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

MILWAUKEE — If you've watched Milwaukee Brewers baseball or Milwaukee Bucks basketball broadcasts on Fox Sports Wisconsin the past couple of seasons, you've probably seen her.

Madison native Sophia Minnaert is the sideline reporter for the two teams.

A few years ago, she got her "start" as an intern at the Catholic Herald in Madison.

Minnaert's parents are well known in the Diocese of Madison. Her father, Al, is the head football coach and a religious studies and physical education teacher at Edgewood High School in Madison. Her mother, Sylvia, is the receptionist at Our Lady Queen of Peace School in Madison.

Silver Rose visits Diocese of Madison
Written by Michael Schultz and Brad Stiner, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Jul. 23, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- On June 20, Knights of Columbus District 47 hosted a Silver Rose Prayer Service at St. Joseph Church.

In 1960, the Columbian Squires (the official youth organization of the Knights of Columbus) started a project to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, by running a silver rose from Montreal, Canada, to Monterrey, Mexico.

There are now six roses that crisscross the country and end up in different locations. The one exhibited at the Madison service will end up at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.


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