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Summer Camp 2009:

'True Life --

I’m Catholic’

Youth in grades 5-8 spent five days taking part in two separate camps -- one for grades 5-6, and one for grades 7-8 -- in June at Camp Lakeside in Scott City.
The theme for the camp was “True Life -- I’m Catholic.”
“The concept centered around the thought that, to many young people, the society we live in depicts what they think is real life, but that what is reality is the Catholic faith we profess, and it is this faith that brings to us a true life,” explained Steven Polley, director of youth ministry.

Kaitlyn Moore, of Prince of Peace Parish, Great Bend, attended the camp for 5th and 6th graders: “It was really awesome,” she said. “I got to meet new friends. It was a great way to learn about God. I didn’t know we would have church, but there was a church and it was so awesome because I got to actually read one of the readings. And it was so cool because I always wanted to do that. It’s a cool ways for a kid to learn about God. I want to go again next year.”
Polley said that the camp, as well as the junior high your rally, is designed to bring out “our core beliefs that our faith is one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic.” The camp was designed to address a specific theme each day:  Monday – One; Tuesday – Holy; Wednesday – Catholic; and Thursday – Apostolic.  
And, of course, there was plenty of time for fun, including sports, swimming, and canoeing.
“I felt very good about the two camps,” Polley said. “The first camp for the seventh and eighth graders went exceptionally well, as there was a wonderful balance of boys and girls with 34 campers.  We had 16 boys and 18 girls, so this created a wonderful blend for sharing.  I walked away from this camp feeling like we had really done a good job of teaching them a little more about our faith, as well as bringing them more deeply into the Body of Christ and friendships that will last a life time.
“The second camp for fifth and sixth graders was equally good.  This kids simply bring a huge amount of energy to the week, and this energy creates a natural flow of sharing our faith and bringing the message of our theme to the campers.  For this camp we had 13 boys and 27 girls.  To take these young people on a journey that brings them to a better understanding of One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic can be a little more of a challenge, and yet with each day, each moment, and each activity, each camper came to a greater awareness of God’s presence in their daily life.  When they departed the surroundings of Camp Lakeside on Thursday, they left as a strong disciple of Christ.  
“Once again, I am in awe of the power of our camps,” Polley said. “Great things happen during camp and it is evident from year to year.  Having young people return to camp just to see friends they met the year before, speaks very highly of what is being accomplished.  As I look at the other diocesan ministries that take place, I am confident that many of them are finding their roots in camp.”

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