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Rally for Closed Summer Camp in Wyoming County

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SCRANTON -- Around 100 former campers, counselors and staff of Camp Saint Andrew rallied outside the Saint Peter's Cathedral in Scranton.

Earlier this year, the Diocese of Scranton closed the well-known 387-acre summer camp near Tunkhannock.

Since the announcement in October it would close, former campers and staff have been pleading for a way to bring it back.

That's why hundreds wore their camp t-shirts at Sunday's mass.

Bernie Kozlowski was a basketball camper in 1983 and stayed with the camp for 29 years. When she heard it was closing after 75 years, she started a grassroots effort to bring it back.

"It's so important to the lives of the children and the families in the area," said Kozlowski. "It's a fabric of this whole entire community and we believe there's a way we hope the bishop will change his mind and find a way to keep camp open."

Even though thousands of kids attended the camp over the years, the Diocese previously told Newswatch16 that it had been struggling with enrollment the past few years.

"I met a lot of my really good friends there and so many people come in from all over to experience what we've experienced at camp," added Rose Granet of Scranton.

In addition to Bishop Joseph Bambera addressing those in the crowd about Camp Saint Andrew, the Diocese issued the following statement:

"On Sunday, November 29, 2015, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera will preside at Mass for the First Sunday of Advent at 10:00 a.m. in Saint Peter’s Cathedral, Scranton. Parishioners and friends are most welcome to join him for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist as the Church begins a new liturgical year.

The Diocese of Scranton is aware that an invitation has been extended to supporters of Camp Saint Andrew to attend the Mass in a visible show of thanksgiving for what the Camp Saint Andrew/Project Hope experience has meant to them and welcomes their presence for worship and prayer. As a point of interest, the Diocese has been and continues to be in discussions with United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania about options for the possible future use of the camp facilities."

Bishop Bambera added during the mass that he hopes to have a solution for the camp in time for next summer.