By Cody Tredik, Communications Staff
Young people from across the Diocese of Helena, the state of Montana, and across the country embarked on another summer of adventure at our Diocesan summer camp nestled beneath the Swan mountains on Salmon Lake.
Over the course of seven weeks, students from grades 5-12 jumped into a camp experience full of fun and fellowship, all while exploring the great Truths of the Catholic faith. Campers participated in sessions on archery, hatchet throwing, canoeing, snorkeling, and fire-building. Youth also went on the lakeshore hike and practiced teamwork on the low ropes course.
Every activity at Legendary Lodge includes an aspect of our faith, including personal prayer, scripture, and Catholic social teaching. Campers are challenged to apply these tenets of faith not only to the current activity, but discuss the impact of faith on their daily lives.
Each day is steeped in prayer and sacrament; daily Mass at camp, Mass at the cross on top of the mountain, Reconciliation celebrated with our incredible priests from around the Diocese, and prayer throughout the day.
This summer’s camp theme, “Thirst”, was originally discerned by the young people of the Diocese on the Catholic Youth Coalition Board last October. Formation focused specifically on some of the final words of Christ on the cross, namely “I thirst” (John 19:28). Students dove into the reality of God’s profound thirst for them, and His desire to love them as His sons and daughters. Campers were then challenged to find ways to go back home and quench their own thirst for Jesus through personal prayer, sacrament and by sharing their enthusiasm to their communities, family, friends, and parishes.
Small group conversations, skit night, the dance, and legends told around the campfire were some highlights for campers as they made and/or strengthened Christ-centered friendships and created memories which will last a lifetime. New additions to help campers cool off in style, generously provided by Son Light donors and Dick Anderson Construction, included a 25-foot floating trampoline and a lumberjack log rolling game. Both water toys proved to be a big hit with all age groups, as well as the staff and weekend retreat-goers.
As another beautiful Montana summer comes to a close, we can again be encouraged that our young people have not only found a fun-filled adventure at camp, but also a personal encounter with our Lord, and a challenge to be sent out as joyful disciples to communities across our diocese and beyond.