Just the other day I overheard someone say, “We are in for another COVID-19 summer.”
I was caught off guard and most of me wanted to disagree. “We are moving forward”, a strong voice in me proclaimed,“we are planning camp, hiring staff, buying supplies. We are back in business”.
Another voice nervously replied, said “yes, but things will be different than they were before 2020, before COVID-19.”
Of course I know this, but sometimes my heart forgets and dreams of summer camp as it was and as it has always been. I am likely not alone. It is true that some things have been lost, but we are not without hope and when reviewing the latest COVID-19 recommendations from the American Camp Association this caught my eye.
“The safety and health of campers and staff is always the highest priority at camp, and camps have a long history of planning for and managing communicable diseases. With the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within the United States, camps are reviewing and updating health-related plans and procedures.”
It’s true, we have adapted again and again for changing times. Granted this time feels more significant, but we know how to do this; we know how to create a safe environment at camp. We have done our research and made necessary changes to ensure that our campers and our staff are safe at camp. We have also kept the spirit of camp alive. There may be some activities we cannot do but there are more we can do. We are focused on the can! We can come together and play, build relationships, be in the natural world, pray, celebrate faith and life, and grow. And there will also be fun as we swim, ride horses, hike, create art, play games, swing on the giant swing, sing around the campfire and so much more. It may not be completely camp as we have always known it, but it will be a positive camp experience that none of us will forget.
CYO Camp Rancho Framasa is safe this summer and camp is essential this summer. Our children have no doubt had a tough year and coming to camp can help alleviate some of their stress and give them back a piece of normal and hope that our world is healing.
Below you will find a link to our COVID-19 safety practices for you to review. Please let us know if you have any questions. We are open to discussing the topics that are important to you and your family.
We hope to see you at camp soon!
CYO Camp Co-director
COVID-19 Safe Practices
Lent is a time of preparation, reflection, reconciliation, and penance. Sounds super fun right? Well… maybe fun is not exactly the word that springs to mind when you think of Lent. By definition, Lent is not designed to be a “fun” or necessarily “enjoyable” time in the church. As we see, even the celebratory exclamations of “Alleluia” are removed from our services. We are called to deepen our spiritual life through the practices of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. It is designed to be a time where we call to mind our short comings, and failings, then seek to make atonement in the form of fasting and prayer. It is to be a reminder of when we did not live up to our Christian values, to look at our mistakes and examine our lives and consciousnesses thoroughly and objectively. For most of us this act of self-examination is not a comfortable one, but it is a necessary one, and a good one.
Many people give up something, or fast, as a penance for Lent, maybe chocolate, or sodas, or maybe video games and television. Why? That sounds hard or inconvenient. However, that difficulty or inconvenience is exactly why this practice is so necessary. Each time we are challenged or inconvenienced, by our sacrifice, is an opportunity to remind ourselves why and for whom we are making that sacrifice. We are providing ourselves a moment of pause in our busy lives, to remember Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for us. We recall that if Christ, sinless and pure, made the ultimate sacrifice to suffer and die on the cross, then I can surely take up the cross I have been given and offer my sufferings up to Him in atonement for my sins and failings.
The second spiritual practice we are called to is expanding our prayer life. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 we are called to “Pray without ceasing.” That may seem like a tall order. However, we do not need to be constantly knelt before the altar in church to live up to this request. We can do this through our everyday lives. Think about how much more meaningful and powerful our lives would be if you could offer even the simplest tasks to God as a prayer. Well, you can! Simply by changing your mindset. When you are faced with a task, first intentionally offer a small prayer up before starting. Do you have to sweep the floor? Say “Father in Heaven, I offer this task up to You!” Maybe you even offer the task as a prayer for someone else. Think about how much more powerful that mundane task just became.
The final Lenten practice we are called to observe is almsgiving. Many churches offer a Rice Bowl, where you are invited to place your spare change, or any donation amount during Lent, and then it is offered to a charity at Easter. We can do this for any charitable organization that is designed to forward the message, and mission of Christ. We can also do this in the form of good works. Perhaps a small random act of kindness each day, a deposit into another’s “emotional bank account,” is a beautiful gift to be given during Lent. St. Therese of Lisieux said “Remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love.” So even the smallest things we do for others, done with love and devotion can build to great things. During these trying times, we must seek to offer others a loving act of kindness, you never know what difficult battle they may be fighting.
So, this Lent, we are all bearing our crosses together. Let us offer each other love and support. Let us lift each other up in prayer. Let us orient our hearts and minds toward Christ and seek to allow His mission to be lived out through us!
I’m praying for you; we are all in this together.
School Year Program Director
Camp is such an unique experience! Our staff take turns sharing their perspectives of the experience that is CYO Camp Rancho Framasa!
Hot off the press…
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