This year’s the motto for the camps in Ecuador was "I can do all things in him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13). With this motto, inspired by the life of Sister Clare and under the protection of St. Augustine, we ran two, week-long summer camps with over 100 girls participating in each one.
We had the camps on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, on the Santa Elena peninsula. From the beginning of both camps, the girls maintained a joy-filled environment and participated in everything.
Without a doubt, the biggest surprise for the new girls was adoration and daily Mass. It was a huge grace for them, which they left camp eager to continue.
We were blessed to have priests with us who were dedicated to hearing confessions and celebrating Mass, allowing the girls to experience spiritual freedom and joy. As each camp went on, the times for adoration and Mass gradually conquered the hearts of the girls. The hearts of the older girls were especially touched.
The talks, games, and sports were inspired by our motto, accentuating the courage and strength that comes from Christ. Halfway through the camp, we went on an excursion to the Sanctuary of Olón. An image of Mary, Mystical Rose is venerated there, where Our Lady cried tears of blood in 1960. We also went to the Dos Mangas Waterfalls. We walked through a tropical rainforest until reaching the beautiful waterfalls where the girls went swimming.
All the girls loved "human foosball" which we played on the last day as well as swimming in the ocean, playing hide-and-go-seek with the Sisters, and arts and crafts, of course. There was a special surprise at the second camp: a beautiful life-size statue of Our Lady arrived. The older girls had a prayer vigil for Her on the beach one night, dedicating songs and prayers to Her.
The girls left with a lot of memories and graces from the Lord and Our Blessed Mother, which for some (hopefully all) has been the beginning of a life dedicated to God.