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 !
- 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 »
- All the group at the end of the Camp