This summer, the Servant Brothers of the Home of the Mother held our first summer camp in Italy in the town of Saint Colombano in the province of Brescia. There was a total of 20 boys between the ages of 8 and 14, a married couple of the Home of the Mother who were our great cooks, and two Servant Brothers.
This summer camp was able to take place thanks to the Servant Sisters and we are very grateful to them for facilitating everything for us. At first, we thought that the place where we were having the camp was going to give us problems because it was right beside a bar. In fact, our first night there was a Saturday and the bar was so filled it seemed like a club. It made us think about what St. Luis de Montfort said: “If an apostolic activity does not begin with suffering and adversity, it will not give fruit.” Thanks be to God, that did not happen again and we took advantage of the opportunity to talk to the boys about the emptiness of this world.
During the week we had a great variety of activities. The days went by quickly with different games, moments for prayer and Mass in the parish of the town, etc.
The boys enjoyed swimming in a nearby river that had a waterfall which they were able to dive into. In addition to being loads of fun, it was a good way for them to cool off from the intense heat.
Another fun moment was when we Split the boys into two different age groups for a hike in the mountains. The older boys went with Fr. Luke to climb a mountain with an altitude of 2,250 meters, where they celebrated Mass once they had reached the top. The younger boys were with Br. Nicolas in a forest with crystal clear waterfalls and later went back to camp for a wonderful lunch that the cooks had prepared for them.
Our Lord was also very generous with us during this week. Many of the boys mentioned that they had felt the closeness and love of Our Lord as they individually drew near to the Blessed Sacrament. There was also one boy who became very devoted to praying the rosary, he was the first to memorize all the mysteries and he would help to remind the other boys who forgot. Our Lady had definitely touched his heart.
Amongst the boys there was a truly fraternal environment and they certainly lived out the camp´s theme “The Joy of Living.” Moreover, each team made their own banner representing their protector saint. At the end of camp, the boys´ families came to eat lunch with us and the boys were able to share their experiences from the camp.
The Servant Brothers of the Home of the Mother would like to thank the Servant Sisters, all of the families of the boys who attended camp and who helped out in any way, and Fr. Franceso, the parish priest of Lumezzane who made it possible for this camp to take place and be a life changing experience for all who participated. We hope to be able to do this again next year!