After much preparation, we were really excited to get the Home of the Mother English Immersion Camp underway in Gavilanes (Avila, Spain), from June 29th-July 14th. 90 girls took part, aged 8-18, from all over Spain and the USA. For a lot of them, it was their first time participating in a Home of the Mother activity.
The theme of the camp – which was the idea used in all the camp´s activities – was, “The Glory of God is man fully alive”.
On the first day, all the girls made their passports. This passport allowed them to travel all over the world, to English-speaking cities. Every night, before dinner, they "got on a plane" and when they arrived at their destination, they had to go through customs in order get their passports stamped. Among the cities they visited were: Dublin, Ireland; Sydney, Australia; New York City, USA; Toronto, Canada, and many other cities.
Besides learning English, the camp was geared to forming the entire person - mind, body, and soul – just like in all our other camps. In order to fulfill this mission, we did all kinds of activities: hikes, games, arts and crafts, meetings, etc. One of the hikes that we did with the older girls was up to a cross that was on a the top of a nearby mountain. For many of them, it was an unforgettable experience. When we climbed down the mountain, they looked up at the cross and said, “Wow! I can´t believe we got all the way up there!” The younger girls went on another hike to a river with a waterfall, where they happily went swimming in the cool water, chanting “For Mary and for the Eucharist! ”
We had mass every day – in English, of course – thanks to the Servant Brothers who came every day to celebrate. Points of meditation were given right there in the mountains, where the girls could give thanks to God for creation, which reflects His majesty and beauty. There were English classes every day, taught by native English speakers, to instruct in grammar, proper pronunciation, etc.
The last night of the camp we had a closing festival. Each team prepared a small skit or a song for everyone else – even the Sisters who cooked during the camp prepared a song in order to thank the camp helpers for their generosity and joy.
On the last day we invited the parents to come and spend the day with us. We began with mass and afterwards had another festival for the parents in which the girls performed skits in English. There was a joyful atmosphere and the girls were really excited about sharing with their parents all that they had experienced and learned during those intense weeks. We finished off with lunch and then we all said goodbye.
We truly hope that all the graces that the girls received during the camp will give fruits leading to eternal life for each one of the girls.