• September 30, 2009

Summer camp 2009 at the ICCC

View of the lake, ICCC, 2009

The youth group of Brooklyn, leaded by Sylvie Muller, had its first Summer Camp 2009 at the ICCC in early September. Report.

Two crazy days!!
At the begining of last school year I met four young teenagers from the church. We gather together each sunday afternoon after mass to play Baseball, watch a movie, talk or visit a place in Manhattan such as Museums or touristical places. Sunday after sunday we built a real friendship and so we all had the desire to plan a summer camp, to spend more time together to know each other better. To raise money for the camp, we baked and sold the goods at church. Thanks to the generosity of many, we earned enough to make this experience possible.

We departed from Heart’s Home at 9:00am on September 2nd. As usual, some arrived one hour before « to help pre­pare and be sure not to miss it ». We were all very excited! Véronique, a new intern, accom­pa­nied us and helped me with the teenagers. We arrived in Woodburne at the around lunch time. After a good pizza, we entered the woods for an adven­turous two-hour walk. It was so funny and nice to see them run­ning, playing and dis­cov­ering the nature. We made a big tour around the lake, hiking in places where no human ICCC beings have ever been, acting as American Indians searching for food and run­ning all over. We came back to our camp to build our camp­fire. This was a big expe­ri­ence for the group, as it was the first fire they ever built. The second task was to assemble the tents. Mabye it doesn’t mean a lot to you, but I tell you, this was a big issue for them! « It means that we are gonna sleep under the tent with all the ani­mals and insects !». What a chal­lenge !

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Katherine and Sylvie, Summer camp 2009

We took time to sit down and pray, thanking God for this first day full of new expe­ri­ences, for the beau­tiful nature He gives us, and for our friend­ship. We went to the chapel for mass with Rev Thierry de Roucy our founder and all the Heart’s Home team. How beau­tiful it was to share this time and to see the faithful and intense prayers of every­body. Our teenagers, nev­er­the­less, did not forget that after mass we would go to the woods to light the fire and to cook hot dogs and smores!! The first chal­lenge was to figure out how to make a camp­fire, the second chal­lenge was how to roast the hot dogs on sticks without losing them in the fire. The food was good, even if it was a little burnt. We ended the evening with some songs, poems and the inescapable scary story. By then it was already 11:30pm, time to put out the fire and to close our eyelids. Tomorrow would be another long day full of new expe­ri­ences, starting with the sun­rise at 6:00am.

The pre­vious long day did not pre­vent the guys from waking up before the alarm clock. The sun slowly appeared behind the trees and warmed us up. As we where watching the sun­rise, we were joined by two beau­tiful deer eating fresh grass. Before break­fast, we decided to pray the rosary while walking on the prop­erty. We devourded a good break­fast and where ready for all the activ­i­ties of this second day. We started with a com­mu­nity ser­vice pro­ject of cleaning a small part of the woods. The goal was to make the woods beau­tiful by removing all the branches from the forest floor. This activity pro­vided the mate­rials to built a good fire for lunch. Véronique then led us in a mix of many funny games. We con­cluded our time together by reading the text « Three Minutes of Silence » written by our founder Rev. Thierry de Roucy, reflecting silently on how it touched us, then sharing our thoughts about the meaning of life and friend­ship. Taking this time of silence was impor­tant, helping to remind us about our pur­pose. Little by little the teenagers opened up more to this « School of Community », becoming more con­fi­dent in saying what they feel and sharing their per­sonal expe­ri­ence.

The summer camp ended by taking down the tents and packing every­thing up. We went to the chapel for a brief prayer of thanks­giving and pro­tec­tion for our drive back to Brooklyn.

And as they all told me: « Thank you, because it was hard but GOOD »

Sylvie Muller

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All the group at the end of the Camp

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