Spiritual enrichment plus fun and games Print this post

Staff Report (Florida Catholic)

6/21/17

St. Michael Parish in Wauchula looks for ways to engage their youth in unique ways that are both fun and spiritually fulfilling. The large program includes more than 900 active students in the various levels of religious education.

A summer camp for girls took place at St. Michael Parish in Wauchula the week of June 12-16.

During the summer, to keep the girls connected to the Parish, several different activities are organized including trips and summer camps.

A group of girls participated in a month-long trip to the Washington, D.C., area to attend the ordination of priests with the Incarnate Word religious order which serves the Parish. Then the group participated in spiritual retreats and other activities while learning how to grow closer to the Lord.

Fun and games were part of a summer camp for girls at St. Michael Parish in Wauchula the week of June 12-16.

During the week of June 12-16, dozens of girls from first to sixth grade participated in a summer camp. Each day stressed a serious religious and spiritual element, including prayer and an examination of conscience. Other parts of the day included some fun and games and productive team-building exercises.

Prayer was an important part of a summer camp for girls at St. Michael Parish in Wauchula the week of June 12-16.

Sister Maria Gema de Jesus Ruiz, a Servant of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, Director of Religious Education at St. Michael Parish, said each day was a full eight hours or longer, depending on the activities planned with a strong religious component, including daily Mass.

Fun and games were part of a summer camp for girls at St. Michael Parish in Wauchula the week of June 12-16.

The schedule was simple: an 8 a.m. sign in and then a talk about the Holy Mass with a presentation covering different aspects of full, active and conscious participation in the Mass. They also reviewed the prayers and music. This was followed by going to and actively participating in the daily Mass. Following Mass, there were additional prayers lead by a religious sister.

Fun and games were part of a summer camp for girls at St. Michael Parish in Wauchula the week of June 12-16.

Following a hearty breakfast, the girls broke into smaller teams of about a dozen each which were led by a religious sister. Many of the outdoor activities included water, as the days were often very hot. For example, a sack race included getting a bucket of water dumped on the heads of the team members as each leg was completed. A special treat for the week was an inflatable water slide, for use only during special fun times.

In the afternoons, different activities included learning about the life of different saints, presentations on the stage in the Parish Hall, and more indoor games followed. The girls also had the opportunity to bake with cupcakes and pizza a big highlight. Days concluded with snack time, singing and then a recitation of the Holy Rosary.

The week culminated in a celebration for the parents which including fresh baked pizza and presentations from each team.

The summer camp is the collaboration of hard work by the entire Parish community, including the parents and volunteers and teens. Those who could not volunteer donated essential items used throughout the week, including watermelons for the young people to eat. For the week, additional religious women from the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará participated including two women who are in convent and from the Diocese of Venice.

The week of June 19-23, the older girls at the Parish went of a retreat to Georgia. Another group will be participating in the Ave Maria Youth Conference in mid-July.

These activities keep the religious sisters and priests at St. Michael Parish continually busy all summer before the fall when the religious education classes start anew.

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