Mission / Vision / History

At Damascus, we are reversing the trends

Our mission is to empower a generation of Catholics by establishing a faith-awakening campus that fosters faith that is deep, contagious, and joy-filled.

Our Vision

What’s in a Name?

Like St. Paul who encountered the living God on the road to Damascus. Damascus Catholic Mission Campus will be a place of encounter where generations of Catholics are awakened, empowered, and equipped to live the adventure of their Catholic faith.

Damascus Catholic Mission Campus is:


Permanent Home of
Catholic Youth Summer Camp
where the youth of today will become the hope of tomorrow.


Centralized Retreat Center
in the State of Ohio
that awakens faith and builds missionary disciples.


An Innovative Training Center
where the Church’s renewal begins with the transformation of her leaders.

The Damascus Difference

For 2000 years, the Catholic Church has stood as the foundation of our faith, our culture, and our families. But today, that church is in crisis.

Did you know, that 5 out of 6 young people confirmed in your parish today, will no longer be practicing their Catholic faith within 10 years of their confirmation?

That over half of Americans raised catholic no longer identify as such? When more than 70 % of American Catholics no longer attend Mass regularly, isn’t it time we did something? Many Catholics view their faith as dull and boring, irrelevant and unimportant. Still others see Catholicism as outdated and out-of-touch.

We seek something greater. A church where:

  • Generations of Catholics live a faith that is deep, contagious, and joy-filled!
  • Youth and families are filled with gratefulness for the gift of Jesus and their Catholic faith.
  • Young people’s hearts are consumed with love of God and not the things of this world.
  • Leaders teach the faith with renewed joy and vibrancy.
  • Catholics actively live the adventure of their faith in their schools, workplaces, and communities.
  • Young people are excited to live their call as the living stones that will build the foundation of the future.

What is the key to renewal?

An Environment of with Jesus. In him, young people are awakened, families are empowered, parish and school leaders are equipped.

For too long the facts have been planted in our minds, without a relationship being planted in our hearts. 89% of Catholic who have remained faithful to the Church after college identify a particular event or experience that triggered their faith commitment. Damascus Catholic Mission Campus will provide these events and experiences.

Damascus Catholic Mission Campus will create an environment of encounter with Jesus and His Church. Like St. Paul who encountered the living God on the road to Damascus, Damascus Catholic Mission Campus will bring the impact of encounter not only to the youth of our church, but to thousands more.

Our History

The vision for Damascus Catholic Mission Campus began in 2001 with the inception of Catholic Youth Summer Camp (CYSC), a faith-awakening summer camp that utilizes high adventure camp activities in order to foster a high adventure faith.

CYSC began as a parish initiative at St. Andrew Church, responding to a legitimate need expressed by parents desiring an environment of encounter for their children that was rooted within the Catholic tradition.

CYSC quickly became a joy-filled environment that challenges young people to live the adventure of their Catholic faith through an encounter with Jesus Christ and His Church. What began as one week of summer camp has grown to a full summer of 8 camp sessions serving the dioceses of Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, and far beyond!

Over the past 15 years, CYSC has touched the lives of many thousands of campers and has made advances into the active service of young people with special needs as well as outreach to inner-city youth. In 2015, the Catholic Youth Summer Camp Campership Endowment Fund was established with The Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Columbus in order to provide camperships for families in financial need. Catholic Youth Summer Camp was incorporated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation with the permission of Bishop Frederick Campbell in 2006. Since that time, the Board of Directors has worked diligently to position CYSC for its long-term future success.

Catholic Youth Summer Camp is the only Catholic camp of its kind. In the past 5 years, CYSC has more than tripled in size, serving youth from every diocese in the state of Ohio, as well as youth from all over the globe. In the spring of 2015, Catholic Youth Summer Camp was blessed with 471 acres of land in Central Ohio. With this gift came the establishment of a group of faithful Catholic businessmen and women who helped to create the vision for and sustainability of Damascus Catholic Mission Campus. Damascus will be developed into a fully featured adventure camp, leadership and training institute, retreat and conference center that will be a blessing to the Church for years to come.

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