Over the past 57 years, the Catholic Youth Organization has built a reputation of working with children, teens and families and providing them with athletics, educational enrichments, confirmation retreats, residential and day camping, respite care, youth ministry and leadership opportunities.
Our mission involves breaking down barriers, whether they are physical, cognitive, behavioural or financial – Because every child deserves to play.
Our goal is to offer young people a sense of hope, success and an opportunity to grow in faith. Through C.Y.O. Programming, young people build confidence and skills that will stay with them for a lifetime.
Throughout the province of Ontario, over 30, 000 children and youth participate in the C.Y.O.'s programs each year.
About Our Charity
The Catholic Youth Organization has been making a difference in the lives of children and youth for decades. We have built our reputation on working with children who are disabled and underprivileged.
The C.Y.O. operates two outdoor recreational facilities Camp Brebeuf and Marydale Park that offer the following programs and services:
- Outdoor Education – Over 10,000 students are offered a wilderness-based curriculum “beyond the classroom” and your typical learning experiences. Our goal is to help students reconnect to the natural world around them and expand their understanding of conservation and the environment.
- Crusader Athletics - This is our after school, health and fitness athletic program. Each year, over 22,000 children, ages 6 to 13 from 54 elementary schools participate in our five sporting activities. Our agency staff stresses the philosophy of "Athletes First, Winning Second", while providing the opportunity for children and teens to grow physically, emotionally and spiritually.
- Camps Brébeuf and Marydale – Our residential and summer day programs for children ages 6-13 years of age have been serving the needs of financially disadvantaged families since 1941 and 1962.
- One-to-One Respite Care Program The C.Y.O. was one of the first organizations in Ontario to integrate children with special needs, ages 6 to 13 years old, into our mainstream camping programs. This service also offers peace-of-mind to families knowing, that their child is receiving safe and supportive care while at camp. Since 1972, over 11,000 children with special needs and their families have benefited from this important community service.
- Leadership Training Programs – The C.Y.O. offers leadership development and training programs for teenagers and young adults that gives them the skills, the confidence and the opportunities to give back to their community by becoming volunteers.
- Youth Ministry - The C.Y.O. offers Youth Ministry support throughout the Diocese. This involves consultation to parishes interested in initiating, further developing or evaluating their parish’s ministry to young people. The agency also coordinates youth ministry training and formation opportunities for youth and adult leaders such as helping to support people through the Canadian Catholic Youth Ministry Certificate Program.
- Dragon Fly Lodge - This program offers a respite vacation opportunity to parents and caregivers who may have family member with special needs.
- Sage Family Camp – A service that provides weekend respite retreats for women and children who are survivors of domestic violence.
- Marydale Park - This is the C.Y.O.’s largest and most ambitious community service project in our agency’s history. Marydale Park is a barrier-free, fully accessible recreational facility situated on a 35 acre, wilderness piece of property. Marydale Park features numerous accessible recreational amenities such as a hydrotherapy pool, hard-surface paths, barrier-free washrooms and change rooms, a multi-sensory Snoezelen Room, for children and adults with developmental disabilities and a covered indoor/outdoor recreation pavilion complex…just to name a few.
The C.Y.O. has a strong tradition of reaching out to those less fortunate and creating equal opportunities for all God’s children to live, work, and play together.