Nazareth Retreat Center Awarded Grant for Youth Enrichment

Posted by Spalding Hurst

November 19, 2023

Above, Davette Swiney, President and CEO of the Central Kentucky Community Foundation, with Stephaine Lamar, Development Director for the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth

The Central Kentucky Community Foundation awarded the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth a 2023 Granted Award in the amount of $7,500 for the Nazareth Retreat Center’s Spirit of the Wild Camp. This funding will be used to provide a summer full of enrichment for local youth.

During the summer months, when schools are not in session, youth often face a lack of constructive, engaging activities that challenge them mentally and physically while providing an outlet for learning and growth. The Spirit of the Wild Camp aims to fill this gap in our community’s resources. The camp’s educational component primarily focuses on ecological lessons. Located at Nazareth, the camp provides the perfect setting for an ecological educational experience. Campers are not just observers but active participants in nature, exploring the woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, and gardens in the area. Through their interactions with these diverse ecosystems, they learn about the interconnectedness of life, the delicate balance of nature, and their role in preserving it. This fosters a sense of responsibility and deep-seated respect for the planet, vital for molding environmentally conscious citizens.

Kids Explore ‘Spirit of the Wild’ at Nazareth Day Camp

A unique aspect of the camp is its emphasis on mental health support. Mental health is especially important among younger generations who face a unique set of stressors in the modern world. Therefore, the Spirit of the Wild Camp includes dedicated sessions on mindfulness practices, led by certified instructors. These sessions equip campers with essential tools such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, which they can use to navigate their emotions and stresses effectively. By grounding themselves in the present moment, they learn to cultivate resilience, empathy, and a deeper appreciation for the world around them.

This one-day program is open to all youth in our community, from elementary through high school, and includes all necessary supplies, lunch, and snacks. The Spirit of the Wild Camp is more than just a day camp – it is an opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of our youth and, ultimately, the future of our community. Thanks to support from the Central Kentucky Community Foundation, the lives of youth in our community will be impacted in a profound and meaningful manner.

The Central Kentucky Community Foundation (CKCF), located in Elizabethtown, KY, strives to enhance communities by uniting people and investing resources through philanthropy. CKCF is committed to building philanthropic resources that will enrich the lives of people in their nine-county region, encompassing Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, Hart, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, and Washington counties. One of the ways they carry out their work is through a meaningful and impactful grants program. This grant period, CKCF granted funding totaling over $125,000 to area non-profits.


  1. Eugenie Coakley scna

    This is great! An example of community organization (CKCF)-community (SCN) collaboration – for education, for young people, for care of the earth. I hope the coming year camp is a success!

  2. Ann Palatty

    A very good initiative. I am sure it will have lasting positive effects.


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