Sheldon Calvary Camp has been home to tens of thousands of youths over the years, a place where they have found friendship, spirituality, faith, and fun. The memories and stories run deep into the foundation of many. Join us this year as we celebrate the generous gift of Mrs. Sheldon and the 75 years of ministry begun by the Rt. Rev. William S. Thomas!
The 75th Anniversary year is a calling for both preservation and celebration. We are called to hear the voices of former Calvary campers and staff members by collecting and preserving the rich tradition and history of Sheldon Calvary Camp. We are also called to gather our great community and celebrate the outcome of the hard work and dedication of so many for so long.
We invite any and all to participate in our year-long celebration. Click the links on the left for more information about our two events or to learn how to participate in our history initiatives!
How it all started...
In the summer of 1936 the Rev. William S. Thomas (who was later ordained Bishop) answered the call to become the associate rector of Calvary Church in Pittsburgh. Dr. Edwin J. van Etten, then rector of Calvary, charged Fr. Thomas with creating a youth program but was leaving shortly for a 6-month sabbatical. Through friends and family, Fr. Thomas became aware of Camp Porter, a YMCA camp for sale on the shore of Lake Erie. After gaining approval Fr. Thomas searched for funding sources to purchase the property. Just as he began to become discouraged, his pastoral care yielded the unexpected. Dr. van Etten was still away when Harry E. Sheldon, founder of Allegheny Steel, passed away and Fr. Thomas took to the care of Mrs. Sheldon. He recounted:
"I called on Mrs. Sheldon quite often because I really wanted to help this dear lady. One afternoon out of a clear blue sky she stated that she would like to buy the camp in memory of her husband. Actually, she wrote a check payable to the YMCA that very afternoon for $23,000. Trust the dear Lord and He will provide."