Cara left last Wednesday for JC (Jesus Christ) Youth Camp. This camp is for freshman in our church parish. This camp is to help them prepare for Confirmation next March and to help them explore their faith and grow closer to Jesus.The camp is divided into two groups each going to Tintern different weeks in June. Cara was in Group #2. The campers all met in the gym at school and did an ice breaker before loading the bus and leaving for camp.
Cara was excited, but nervous to leave for camp. Most of Cara's class all chose to attend camp the second week.
Tintern is located a few miles south of Oakdale, Nebraska. It is about 30-40 minutes from Norfolk. Actually, the students go to Tintern for class retreats during the school year. The camp is all geared around Jesus Christ. Their are small group sessions, crafts, songs, large group sessions, speakers, testimonies about faith, camp fires, confession and daily Mass.
It is a tradition at camp to have a mud fight. All electronic devices are banned from camp. There aren't even clocks. The campers have no concept of time. The adult counselors have phones in case of emergency, but none of the campers.
I went to Tintern on Thursday as a volunteer in the kitchen. A few other Moms and I arrived at Tintern at six in the morning and started cooking for the day. We served French toast and sausages for breakfast and tacos with salads for lunch. Then we started the supper of chicken and rice and also made up breakfast egg bakes for the next morning. The parents work in shifts to get all the meals prepared for about 60 people. The campers are assigned chores to complete three times per day, such as, take out garbage, do dishes, clean bathrooms, etc.
On Sunday, the parents arrive at camp for a noon Mass, a closing discussion, and lunch. Then each camper goes home with their parents. Cara came home exhausted, but happy and faith changed. She made some new friends and she grew close to those in her small group. Cara was influenced by the testimonies of faith and struggles told by counselors at camp. Cara's small group was led by Michelle Johnson, an adult counselor and Michaela Heimes, a peer counselor.