Girl’s camp in la Hosteria Sagoatoa, Santa Elena (Ecuador). March 26 - April 2 and April 3-10, 2017.
We began this year’s girls’ camp in Ecuador with the theme “True Joy.” Since there were so many girls signed up for the camp, we had to do two different summer camps: one for the older girls and one for the younger girls. Just like last year, we had the camp in la Hosteria Sagoatoa which is in the province of Santa Elena.
We had the grace to have two great protector saints given to us for our camp that stood out, among other things, for their joy; a true joy that came from doing in each moment what God asked of them. These saints were St. Phillip Neri and Sister Clare, who protected us this year from Heaven.
Every day, in addition to our two protector saints, we had another Saint who we learned about and learned from, like St. Augustine, Chiara Luce, St. John Paul II, and St. Maximilian Kolbe to name a few. We learned about their lives and their virtues thanks to some videos that we had prepared for the occasion.
Each day we had formation talks where we reflected upon the different types of joy. We discussed whether fashion, the latest styles, or things of this world can give true joy; we talked about whether impurity gives true joy or whether it is Our Blessed Mother who is the cause of our joy.
Without losing sight of our ultimate goal in the Home of the Mother summer camps - which is to bring young people to Christ - we also had different activities such as games on the beach, crafts, astronomy classes, dance classes, first aid classes, etiquette, etc. All of this was carried out in an atmosphere that aimed at having a personal encounter with Our Lord in daily Mass, prayer, etc.
We have to say that a couple of the biggest moments in the camp were the candlelit Rosary procession that we prayed on the beach accompanied by the image of Our Blessed Mother, and the pilgrimage that we made to a shrine of Our Lady in Olon. There, they explained the story about the shrine and how at the end of the 20th century a statue of the Rosa Mystica had begun to cry blood. This was a key moment for the girls as they started to reflect on their own lives and ask themselves: “What can I do to console Our Lady’s Heart?"
These days at summer camp were days of a true encounter with the Lord in which many girls came to understand what God was asking of them. They realized that it is worth living their lives for the Lord even though they have to fight against many obstacles in the world.
We give thanks to God for allowing us to have these days in which one can grow closer to Him, and the possibility of gaining more souls who will console His Sacred Heart.