English Camp for girls, July 20-30, 2015 in Valencia (Spain).
A total of 48 of us between girls, monitors and sisters got together in the Servant Sister’s house in Valencia to kick off the fourth English camp that the Home has put on in Spain. Just like the camps going on in Peranzanes and in the U.S., the theme for this summer camp has been, “In His Name”. We wanted to unite ourselves to the persecuted Christians in so many countries who are suffering discrimination and martyrdom for the mere fact of being Christians and sharing the name of the Nazarene. “In His Name” we want to bear witness to the faith and the joy that we share with so many men and women around the world and encourage all Christians to be a light wherever they are…starting off right here at camp.
To start off running, all the activities have been in English and of course Mass and prayer times as well. Fr. Rene and Fr. Reinhard came every day to celebrate Mass for us and say the homily, complete with lots of hand gestures and questions to make sure that the girls were keeping up with the English and understanding the most important parts. The girls (and the priests) have laughed a lot but we hope they’ve learned even more. For the older girls, even the meditations were in English.
We invaded the metros twice with more than 40 girls singing and doing hand motions to all the songs they learned during meal time. The first time we went to celebrate Mass in the Cathedral in Valencia and to see the Holy Grail that is venerated there. Some of the girls climbed to the top of the tower in the Cathedral and all of them were able to see a video about Saint Vincent Martyr. The second trip was to the City of arts and science where we went to see the Aquarium and spend the day enjoying the vast number of species that God has made for us. We got to watch the sharks as they swam over us in the tunnels and we were also able to see a dolphin show that left the girls with their mouths wide open, and not just because of the heat!
Since we couldn’t have a campfire because it’s illegal in Valencia due to the risk of fires, we finished off each night with night games or festivals. The girls amazed us with their many talents and their creativity and they had a great time translating the skits into English. Saturday night we took Our Lady out on a Rosary procession. We adorned her with all the flowers that the girls had made during craft time. For a lot of the girls it was a big grace to be able to carry Our Lady while they prayed the Rosary and it was an opportunity for all of us to bear witness to our faith to all of the young people who saw us in the streets.
The last full day of camp we had a meeting where the girls got to share about what they had learned, what they had liked the most and a resolution to put into practice once they got home. Many of them shared their desire to help out more around the house, to make more of an effort to eat the food they don’t like and to help out with the more unpleasant chores. Some of the girls realized the importance of spending time in prayer really talking to God and not just going through the motions. And all of them made a rosary bracelet and consecrated themselves to the Ever Virgin Mary as an expression of their desire to imitate her, especially in the virtue of her purity. We are incredibly grateful to the Lord and to Our Lady for all the graces that they have poured out upon us in these days and for everything that they have worked in our hearts.