When did the first campers (boys) come to Foley? 1925. Foley was established and built in 1924.
Who was the founder? Fr. John P. Foley
Who was Father Foley? He was born in 1878, died in 1964. He was Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Faribault, MN for 36 years - until his death. Previously he had many roles at St. Thomas College - even President in 1927. With all of this responsibility, he was able to found a camp!
Why did he start a camp? Because of his interest in children, Fr. Foley frequently took boys on vacation trips to his cabin on Whitefish Lake during the early ‘20's and introduced them to the great outdoors. The setting reminded him of his boyhood adventures on Prince Edward Island in Canada. Due to their interest, Fr. Foley wanted more boys to experience the thrills of being at camp. After obtaining the property, the first boys arrived in 1925.
How many buildings were there in 1925? A campsite of 5 buildings!
Why was the chapel built? In the early years, Fr. Foley made a promise to the Blessed Virgin that if camp was successful, he would build and dedicate a chapel in her honor to Our Lady of Snows whose feast day, August 5 was when the first Mass was celebrated in 1937.
Tell us about the construction of the chapel: Built basically by one man, Henry Ruad, without blue prints beginning in 1934. The stone is field rock from the local area. The benches are made of cypress wood from Florida and soaked in the lake.
Who was Bob Schmid? He was a former camper and counselor who with the help of his parents purchased the camp in 1949 and was the director until his death in 1973. He married his wife Viola Fallon in the chapel in 1951 and had three children - Rob, Marie and Tom.
Who was Vi Schmid? Wife of Bob who stated, "I married a camp." Worked alongside Bob and was the director after Bob's death in 1973, until her death in 1985.
When did Marie become the director of Foley? In 1985
Was camp always called "Camp Foley"? No, it was first called Camp St. Thomas, then Father Foley's Camp for Boys, and in 1949, Camp Foley.
How many acres are in main camp? 211 acres, 1000 feet of shoreline.
What other property does Foley own? Foley has a peninsula and an island on the Whitefish Chain and 120 acres used as a Wilderness Reserve 7 miles from camp. There is also a site with 15 acres on the Pine River.
Which buildings are some of the oldest buildings still standing?
Kildare which used to be the camp chapel
Micmac which was a private cabin before becoming a younger boy's camper cabin
Nature (Lehetepe) which was a camper cabin and the staff lounge
Office, part of it which was a camper cabin
Shop which was possibly a camper cabin and later arts and crafts
Kiowa which was called Durand and housed the cook by that name.
Menominee which was called Moorman and housed the cook by that name.
What happened to Father Foley's cabin? Father Foley's original log cabin was taken apart and moved. The stone fireplace is still standing where Father Foley said Mass in the early twenties for the boys before starting the camp. Pat Dougherty owns the property and campers still use the site for some of its campfires.
Do campers still wear a red ribbon around their neck if they are "sinker"? A sinker was a camper who did not pass the swim test on arrival day and a red ribbon was tied around the camper's neck for safety purposes that all staff would know that the camper could not swim. Foley stopped this practice in the ‘80s - it seemed cruel and at the same time it is now mandatory that everyone wears a lifejacket while in a watercraft.
What happened to the cabins of Locosippi and Waupacuta? Ojibway used to be two cabins - ½ was Ojibway and the other half was Locosippi. The same was for Seneca with ½ being Waupacuta. Those buildings are now each one cabin - Ojibway and Seneca.
What happened to boxing and badminton? Times do change! The boxing ring which was in the location of the climbing tower and the tennis court went down in the late 60's before the two enclosed tennis court were built in the 70's. Badminton lost its popularity and the campers suggested sand volleyball in its place in the late 80's. Badminton then made a return to Foley in 2004 out in the Foley Fun Center.
Where did all of the ‘C Scows go? The ‘C Scows were sold and sailing took a new turn using 420's and Opti's beginning in '96. In '04, along came the Mangos and JY-15's. We are constantly trying to update our equipment to stay in sync with the collegiate sailing movement.
Was the rifle range always where it is now located? No! It was along the bank between Mandan and Kadigomeg.
Why do the cabins have Native American names? In the earlier years, there was more of an Indian theme in camp with outside council rings, campers being divided by tribes, Indian headdresses worn at campfires and on special Umgawa days, etc. Foley has left the cabin names and have continued to name additional cabins with Native American names.
When did the first girls come to Foley? Foley began having girls in the summer program in 1974, but had worked with girls in other programs.
What other programs does Foley do? Foley runs an environmental program in the spring and fall since 1970, and we host some retreats, weddings, vocation camps, and family reunions. A variety of specialty groups have used the facility over the years.
When was the new dining hall and kitchen built? The fall 1999 and winter 2000.
Is there still soda bread on Sundays? Yes! Foley campers enjoy soda bread outside every Sunday morning!
Is Mass still offered in the camp chapel? Yes! As of Summer 2008, the chapel is considered a missionary church under Immaculate Heart of Crosslake. Mass is offered on Saturday afternoon for Catholic campers and staff. Individuals of other faiths are invited to attend the Catholic Mass or attend on nondenominational prayer service. We are unclear how long we will be able to continue that service as the need for priests increases.
When was the Foley Fun Center, with Human Foosball and "The Barn" for Floor Hockey first used? 2004
Paintball came to Foley in 2005!
The West and Mid Washos were updated in 2005!