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Monday, December 12, 2022

Christmas in July: The Faces Behind Sunset Point Camp’s Treasure Night

For Catholic Charities Boston’s Sunset Point campers, treasure night is a deeply loved tradition that occurs on the last evening of each camp session.

“We call it Christmas in July for a reason,” said Program Director Ivana Correia-Veiga. “The children absolutely love it.”

On Treasure Night, campers compete in games and raffles for the opportunity to earn prizes. Behind the scenes—or rather, behind the raffle, concessions, and knick knack table—are four women who have collectively helped to maintain the magic of treasure night for 30 years.

Mary McCarthy, who runs the raffle table, learned about Sunset Point Camp through her parish, St. Mary of the Nativity in Scituate, MA. Since the early 90’s, she has been a familiar face at Sunset Point Camp, first helping to facilitate games on treasure night and later taking over the raffle table, for which she puts together three gift baskets containing anything from beach toys and coloring supplies to shampoo and bath soap.

“Seeing the happiness treasure night brings the children is what I love,” said McCarthy. “Often times, they remember us and come up to say hi. We get to be a meaningful part of their day.”

McCarthy’s friend and fellow treasure night supporter, Joanne Barbary, has been running the so-called knick knack table for 17 years, while their companions, Betty Crowley and Maureen Cox, have been running the concession table for over 20 years. At the knick knack table, campers can “purchase” small gift items using tokens they win in games.

Like the raffle table, the treasure at the knick knack table ranges from arts and crafts to everyday hygiene items to even rosary beads; a big hit among the campers.

“It amazes me how the children are always very generous thinking of what their loved ones might like,” said Barbary. “One boy bought all the toothbrushes I had to bring home to his family. It’s a joy to witness.”

Part 4 of our Twelve Days of Giving Series, sharing heartwarming stories about people spreading joy and compassion within our community this holiday season. Explore more ways to give this holiday season on our Ways to Give page.

Sunset Point Camp provides an overnight camp experience to children ages 6-14 from Greater Boston and the South Shore areas. Campers travel to Hull, MA to develop independence, new passions, healthy habits, and lasting friendships. Learn more at

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