On December 27th, 2012, a group of 12-16 year-old girls got together with the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother of the Parish of St. Apollonius in Lumezzane (Italy), to begin an exiting 3-day winter camp.
What better way to spend our Christmas vacations and to prepare ourselves for the year 2013?
We all arrived from Lumezzane the afternoon of the 27th, but the girls from Brignano (Bergamo, Italy) found traffic on the road and could not arrive until later.
The theme of this year's camp was “Nobody has greater love”. We watched the first 2 movies of “The Chronicles of Narnia”, which are based on the book series written by C.S. Lewis. They are about 4 English brothers and sisters (2 boys and 2 girls) who pass through an old wardrobe and, all of a sudden, find themselves in another world called Narnia, where they must overcome many trials, helping the good lion Aslan and fighting against the bad witch to whom Narnia is submitted to.
The first day, after making oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies that turned out to be delicious, we saw the first movie, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”. Afterwards we discussed the movie. Some of those who had seen it before helped us to understand the deeper symbolism behind the story of the characters. For example, that the lion Aslan who gives his life to save one of the children, Edmund, is a symbol of Christ, who has given His life to save us. After dinner, we also played a game with several trials to overcome, based on the movie. The winner was the team that first filled in the 4 thrones of Cair Paravel.
The second day, after a time of prayer and Mass, we had the morning to play all different kinds of games, like Capture the Flag and frisbee, in the big field outside of the parish. The weather was good, which is strange for this mountainous area and in this time of the year. Thank you, Lord!
In the afternoon we went to sing Christmas songs in the nursing home near our house. There we tried to share the joy of the Child Jesus, but as always, we left there having received more than what we had given.
Returning home, we saw the second movie of Narnia, “Prince Caspian”. It impressed us all and afterwards we discussed several topics that we had seen in the movie, like true love, the sacrifice for love, maturity, overcoming one’s own fears, etc. We realized that, just as these 4 children had to learn certain lessons in Narnia to later live it better in the real world, we also have to overcome certain trials and take advantage of the strong moments of grace or suffering in life to always try to live our life better.
Unfortunately, the last day arrived and our winter camp came to an end. They had been very intense days. That last day we made leather bracelets as a remembrance of our 2012 winter camp, and at the end, before returning each one to her own home, we had a final reunion so that each one could share what she had learnt or experienced during these days.
Every day of the camp we participated in the parish Mass and led the songs. There were also times of personal prayer, to give the Lord a chance to speak to our souls. Many times we are deaf to His voice, because of distractions: the cell phone, music, computer, etc. We give thanks to God for all that he has given us in the form of light, friendship and strength to live giving our life for others.