The world is a different place now, this we know. Our daily lives have been changed, some work from home, some have been laid off, and we all wear these wonderful new accessories on our faces. With all the change, it was only natural that we, as a camp, had to change as well. Camp Rancho Framasa is not unique in this, as it is something that has affected the entire camping industry. The number of groups that are visiting camp on-site is only a small fraction of what we would normally be seeing. We needed to find a new way to survive until this craziness has normalized a little.
What has camp done?
That is a great question! The short answer is when the going got tough, we got busy.
The longer answer is…
In looking at how the school year was going to take shape, we needed to get a pulse on our groups and what they would and would not be able to do. We learned the most difficult piece for our schools and groups was transportation. It seemed almost universal that schools were either advised not to take field trips, or their travel requirements were so strict that it made it infeasible to take the trip. We thought, if they cannot come to us, we can go to them.
This was the beginning of our new programming option “CYO to Go.”
For deacades Camp Rancho Framasa has been programming for and hosting school groups onsite. We also have solid experience leading retreats off site. Rethinking how we could do more programming away from camp became our focus. We dove into our curriculum and created a new way of doing things in new settings all while keeping the foundation and integrity of our programming alive.
It was a bit tricky at first but after weeks of discussion, work, dissecting, adding, replacing and creating new topics and lesson plans, we had a functional curriculum that had the ability to bring some of the best parts of camp right to our schools, churches and other various groups .
“CYO to Go” is broken down into the following four parts.
"CYO to Go" has been a huge blessing to many of our groups who thought they would not be able to have a camp experience this year! It has been exciting to offer this good news as groups contact us with the news that they will not be able to attend camp this year. I hope and pray that we can continue to bring the joy, exhilaration, and fun that so many find at camp to them at a time when they thought they would not be able to have that experience.
If you are reading this and think this sounds like a great idea for your students, groups, or parish, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to bring all the amazing things camp has to offer directly to you!
Ever since the summer right after my second-grade year, I have been going to the summer programs at CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) Camp Rancho Framasa, which I now consider my home away from home. Camp Rancho Framasa will always hold a special place in my heart. CYO Camp is an amazing place, and the experiences I’ve had there have changed my life.
I have been attending family camps with my mom since I was four years old, but in second grade I received the opportunity to officially be a summer camper at a shorter session called Sassafras, which is three days long. I was pretty nervous, as it was my first time being away from home for that long. Despite that, I still had a blast, and I couldn’t wait for the next summer. Each summer meant new experiences, groups, counselors, and overall growing myself closer to God through people and nature.
The first year of camp that I really felt an encounter with God was my third summer, the summer after my fourth-grade year. My group did a prayer and reflection walk, and at each station, we were given either a prayer or something to reflect on. This experience allowed me to open up and see how God was really working in my life through nature. I remember being told to use all of my senses to recognize each thing in nature, and to remember that each thing is God’s creation and that I should be thankful for it. During this walk was when I really gained my appreciation and love for nature. The biggest thing that I remember was seeing each individual tree and seeing how different each one is. Today I use that memory to remember that we are all God’s creation and He made each one of us unique in His way and we are all perfect in His eyes.
Another encounter that I’ve had with God at camp was during Mother-Daughter Camp. We were given different pictures of Jesus to look at and to study, and from that experience, I was able to see the many forms in which Jesus shows up in our lives. There are two pictures that really stuck out to me. The first one was a picture of Jesus talking to children. This one stuck out to me because it showed that we should always remember to go out and teach the Gospel to everybody. The second one that really stuck out to me was a picture where Jesus was black. This picture really stood out because it showed me that in all reality we really don’t know what Jesus looks like until we see him. This picture really helped me open my eyes and realize that no matter what a person looks like we should always help them because it could be Jesus coming back. This also reminded me of a skit that is done almost every summer. A person is preparing for Jesus to visit, and in the midst of that a person who is hungry comes to them, but the person preparing does not feed them the food that is meant for Jesus. Then a person in need of shelter comes to them, but the person does not let them stay in the place that is meant for Jesus. Finally, Jesus arrives and says those people were actually him in disguise. The moral of that story is that we should always be ready for Jesus’ coming and help those in need.
In 2018, I made the decision to attend Adventure Camp, which included caving, and I was extremely nervous and wanted to back out. Luckily, my wonderful counselors encouraged me to do it. Although I often found myself struggling in the cave, I felt assured that God was with me and He was going to make sure I got out safely. Once we were all in a place where we could sit up straight, we all had our headlamps on, and we said something that we were scared of and turned the lights off. Once all of the lights were out we sat in the dark in silence and thought about one thing we looked forward to and turned our lights back on. After that, I really felt at peace, and I wasn’t scared, but then I remembered I had to get out of the cave. I had some difficulties getting out, but once I was out I saw the sun shining, and because it was so dark the trees had a different shade of green to them that made them look very pretty. I knew that it was God saying everything is okay now. I even have a scar that I can always look at and remember Adventure Camp 2018.
Each year at camp, groups have a bead time right after breakfast where we focus on one virtue throughout the week. This one time we learned about St. John Bosco because he is considered the camp’s patron saint due to his love for children. As a matter of fact, he is now my favorite saint! One of my favorite virtues that we discussed was fortitude, because it taught me that no matter what I am struggling with, there is always something better in life to look forward to. At the end of the week, on Thursday night, we had a bead ceremony in which we talked about what we accomplished during the week that used the virtue we focused on. Each year from the bead time and the bead ceremony, I always learn something new and end up growing more in my faith.
I know you may be thinking, “Are those the only things you got from going to camp?” The answer to that question is absolutely not! From the past seven years of camp, I have learned so much about myself, and I have gained so many new friendships that I still have today. A lot of counselors, including the co-directors, have often called me a “camp pro” because of how much of the camp history I know, and because of how often I have attended the many programs at Camp Rancho Framasa. I do, in fact, plan on being a camp counselor during my college years, and I have considered working full time at camp.
Another thing that I absolutely love about camp is something very unique there, the Camp Great Amen:
Amen! H-A-P-P-Y! Yay God! Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen. Sing it Over! Amen (Alleluia!) Amen (Praise the Lord!) Amen, Amen, Amen. Woo!
CYO CAMP RANCHO FRAMASA GREAT AMENAs I said in the beginning, Camp Rancho Framasa will always hold a special place in my heart, and this summer was very difficult for me because I was not able to attend for my eighth consecutive summer. This summer I was supposed to be a junior counselor, but because of Covid-19, it was canceled. Even that experience, though, was not without value. From this, I have learned to appreciate all of my previous summers because I never know which one will be my last.
Attending summer camp for so many years has taught me to love and appreciate the many things in nature, and life in general, that God has given us. I am very grateful for CYO Camp Rancho Framasa and the many things it has taught me; I would highly recommend that you, too, find a local summer camp that helps you enrich your own faith!
The world is a wild and crazy place that seems to be moving at a breakneck speed. It was not that long ago, if you can believe it, that we only had a landline phone in our houses, our computers were glorified typewriters with Minesweeper, Solitaire, and the epic upgrade of Spider Solitaire. It was a time when you had to use a map and rely on street signs to get yourself from point A to B, and you had to wait until the evening news to learn the events of the day. Now, we have combined phones and computers in our pockets, with an unlimited ability to get almost any information at our fingertips. We are more connected socially through digital platforms, and communication is now instant and constant.
Though there are fantastic benefits from today's modern age, there are also some negatives that come with it. For instance, we see increased stress, and social pressure from people we know, and those we have never met who suddenly have knowledge of our private lives via the internet. We see constant access to information, facts and opinions flying at us from all directions, and while it is great to be informed, it can also cause some serious mental strain.
However, it is because of all the craziness that I find myself reflecting more and more on how grateful I am for the opportunities I have had in my life. I was blessed to have a great family, to have had the opportunity to work for a couple of wonderful Catholic Schools, and learn from some amazing administrators. Now, I am blessed to have the opportunity to take all that experience and share it here with the camp family. Camp is such a blessing, because it is truly a reprieve from the high speed world we live in, and a chance to unplug, slow down, and reconnect.
I believe that one of the most important things we can do in this fast paced world is to ensure we are handling our underlying stress levels. I love to follow one of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People created by Steven Covey. Though all the habits he teaches have their own benefits, I love the final habit, Sharpen the Saw. This habit is all about ensuring that you are constantly developing toward the best version of yourself. This is also an essential part of camp and is infused into the experiences we seek to provide!
One way we keep ourselves sharp is through physical aspects. Seeking out ways to care for ourselves through exercise, nutrition, and our physical environment. I love to spend time outdoors and have the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air, and see the beauty of the world around me. It is so important to get out of the house and just be in nature, and away from all of our devices to see the beauty of what we have been gifted with. Not only that, it helps us to slow down and take a break from the stress we are constantly bombarded with. Camp is the perfect place to do this, the quiet setting offers a place of reprieve, and having the ability to hike and explore is an ideal way to focus on physical health!
Socially and Emotionally
Another way to keep ourselves sharp is through social interactions, real live ones, not just the “like” button. Though we are currently in a time where we need to keep our distance in the social realm, it is still important to maintain those emotional and social interactions. Many of us are spending more time at home, and with our families during this time. Though sometimes it may add a little stress, we must focus on enjoying that extra time to truly get to know and appreciate those that are closest to us. I love that camp is able to provide this as well. Being in the outdoors and in wide open spaces we are able to safely gather and share our experiences together. We have so many opportunities to connect with family and friends in our beautiful outdoor space to learn, explore, and just enjoy each other’s company.
Staying sharp mentally is extremely important. We should always be learning new skills. Personally I love to be constantly learning or improving something in my life. I am always challenging myself to pick up new skills and develop new interests. I am a music lover and already play several instruments, but have recently picked up the violin. It is truly one of the most challenging instruments I have tried, but I love it because it pushes me to practice, to learn, and to focus. I always have a new hobby or interest that I am working on. I know that I will likely never perform, or may never even get past a good rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. I just like to learn, I like to experience new things and develop new skills. Camp supports that as well. We love when those who come push themselves to learn new skills and have new experiences with us. We seek to help others challenge themselves to reach new heights, learn and develop new skills and interests, and generally have a wonderful experience.
The last area is the most important, staying sharp spiritually, or rather not allowing your spiritual life to dull; this is essential. Oftentimes we find ourselves drifting away from our prayer lives, becoming distracted in prayer, or just forgetting to focus on it at all. It is important to maintain that relationship with God, and to find new and compelling ways to connect and keep our prayer lives fresh and engaging for ourselves. I love to spend some quiet time outside and read the Bible, or to take a long walk with myself and my thoughts and prayers. It is refreshing to spend some time with the Lord in the beauty that He created. Camp offers opportunities for this spiritual renewal as well. A chance to get out there, relax, reflect, and reconnect with ourselves, and our Lord is a beautiful way to stay energized in our faith journeys.
So check out our fall offerings for camp, and come enjoy some needed time away from the hustle and bustle to relax, refocus, and revive yourself with us!
Asst. Program Director
In 2012 I left Idaho to accept a position as Program Staff at CYO Camp Rancho Framasa. It seemed to be a perfect fit as I received my degree in Outdoor Education from Idaho State University just a year earlier. During my time in the outdoor and camp industry I have held many positions including Program Staff, Counselor Manager, Program Coordinator and now I am currently the School Year Program Director.
Working in the camping industry I have had the opportunity to learn new skills, to work and live in a beautiful area, and to get to know some really great people. I have fallen in love with so many areas of the job, but one of the most enjoyable pieces is the schedule. I have found that I love a busy and hectic schedule. I truly enjoy the long days, short nights, and busy weeks. It helps keep me motivated and excited.
In December of 2019, there were a few news stories about an outbreak of a new virus overseas. Most of the articles I quickly moved past or tuned out. In March of 2020, as we all know, the virus SARS CoV 2 was here in the country in full force. Almost overnight it seemed restaurants closed, store shelves were emptying, millions were losing their jobs, and many of us were under stay at home orders. The world had completely changed in a matter of months.
At camp, our entire spring season was upended with the news that schools were moving to a distance learning model for the rest of the year, which meant all groups had to cancel. Many of the things that I loved, including the energy of the schedule, were put on hold. The other camp leaders and I hit the brakes and shifted into working from home mode. Our primary task became figuring out how to move forward using zoom, text, and email.
What was that? A light at the end of the tunnel?
In early June, it seemed we would be able to open camp in July with a few sessions of summer camp. We took a deep breath and plunged in. We developed COVID related guidelines, reimagined how camp would look, and created new infrastructure to adhere to health guidelines all while staying optimistic. However, just as quickly as we saw the light, it was switched off again. Out of an abundance of caution, the very tough decision to close for the summer was made.
Personally, I felt defeated. We worked so hard to get everything ready for camp to operate, and then it was over. The worst part was that it was not going to happen for all the kids who were looking forward to coming to camp this summer. The camp experience is one of the most incredible, positive, and uplifting experiences for so many young people. It is not uncommon to hear that a young person finds the confidence to be themselves, finds a new friend, or simply releases some energy from being home all day every day during the summer. This summer was those things were lost for our campers.
Where is the light?
This entire experience will go down in world history books. Our children will learn about in school for decades to come. It has been hard, but there is light. Personally, I have gained a new appreciation for those around me. My wife and I got an opportunity to spend a lot of time together with our young daughter. Our campers were likely able to spend time with their families and maybe find strength and new confidence in themselves as a result. Perhaps they were able to spend intentional time outdoors in their backyards, or around their neighborhood or in a park. Also, with the slower days just maybe they improved their relationship with Christ and were able to reinvigorate their prayer lives.
Yes, there is light. It is hard to see some days because we have our eyes closed to what can be as we cling to what was. Maybe all we can do is open our eyes or change our focus to see the light.
Where this will all end?
No one knows. We do know what is right in front of us: our families and friends, the love of Christ, slower days, time outside, and the many other blessings of just being alive.
Changing our view and noticing the light can uplift us during these tough times. I wish you well.
School Year Program Director
What a ride summer 2020 was! I have lost count of how many times I expressed, “Well, that is not what I expected.” Each time we had a plan in place to put on a bit of summer camp we were thwarted by COVID-19. Clearly, summer camp 2020 was not supposed to happen at least in the way that many folks (especially our campers) would have preferred. We were able to squeeze out one week and camp joy was had by all who attended. That was definitely a bright spot.
Truth be told I am not a fan of roller coasters. Some people just love them, but not me. I am not a fan of the anticipation of the drop or the drop. I feel quite nauseous just thinking about it. I had that feeling often as we moved through the summer. Maybe others did as well. At any rate, I feel fairly confident that no one enjoyed the summer roller coaster ride of 2020.
The saving grace for me was hanging on tight to the highs becuase in spite of the disappointments we had quite a few sweet moments.
Here is a glimpse...
This was not the summer any of us planned and at times it felt quite hard but staying open and connected to the good stuff and being hopeful about camp's future keeps us going.
Currently, we are excited for fall. It is looking brighter! With COVID-19 safe practices in place (including masks, distancing, sanitizing, and daily staff screenings), we feel good about safely hosting people at camp. We are ready to have some fun! Stay tuned to our social media and emails (newsletter coming soon) for ways that you can connect at camp.
Good stuff is on its way!
Angi K Sulivan
CYO Camp Co-director
“If you build it, they will come.”
This quote has been resonating in my thoughts for weeks now as we prepared to have campers back on the property. Camp has been shut down since mid-March. Camp staff have been working from home trying to create content that would help us stay connected with you, our extended camp family and plan for camp's future.
In my house, our “new normal” was as follows: wake up; get our baby, Taylor, up and fed; work for a bit while my wife herds and corrals our daughter; switch roles so my wife can get some work done; have lunch; more corralling and herding; have dinner; take a walk; get Taylor to bed; get ourselves to sleep; and repeat. Oh, I forgot Zoom meetings - plenty of those to go around!
For almost three months, this was our life and likely yours as well. Then, almost overnight, we were back in the office working on a strategy to opne camp for as much of the summer as possible. The decision wasn't one we made lightly. The admin team met for a day and had meanigful in-depth discussion about the possibilities, drawbacks, challenges, and fears. Out of a deep desire to continue our mission, we decided that we were going to put in the hard work necessary to reform our “typical” summer camp. Our work became developing programs and practices to open safely. We reimagined our summer routine, developed new guidelines for our activity areas, rethought our food service operations, changed our cabin procedures, and so much more.
Our mission is to get young people (and the young at heart!) into the outdoors and develop their confidence, heart, and spirit. It is out of a desire to carry out this mission that inspired us to build a new kind of summer. These last few months have been unlike any other time in history. Therefore, I believe people are ready to get out of their houses and into the outdoors. They are weary from online school work and zoom meetings and ready to see nature, hear the wind in the trees, and feel refreshed. We, too, are ready to come together as a community and share in the beauty of nature - while remaining a safe distance of course!
We have built it, come check us out!
I distinctly remember donning a wild costume dug out of Cabin F, bursting out of the Canteen door to parade across the pavilion all while doing a goofy dance, to a crowd of smiling and overjoyed faces. To then run away into the woods only to be chased by, and chase children who were gathering the most precious of material...foam blocks. We were hot, sweaty, often covered in dirt, bug spray, sunscreen, and creek paint, yet it was the most marvelous time of my life.
One of the most important features of the camp setting is the willingness of everyone to let go of the expectations from the outside world and just be silly. There is an openness of heart and mind that sets us apart, and allows us to create the magic that is a visit to camp. There is something powerful in the simple joy of allowing yourself to be silly and live fully in the moment. That is what camp is all about!
But can the silliness we develop and enjoy here in the “camp bubble” have benefits outside of this space? Can it really help or be an asset to us in “real life”? My answer is ABSOLUTELY!
Laughter, Comfort, and Joy
Laughter is just uncontainable joy that has to come out! Being silly helps kids and adults alike to feel the simple joy of life. Think back to the last true belly laugh you experienced, the feeling that it emotes from us is incredible. As adults, it is so important for us to role model for children to show them how joyous and happy life can be.
Having the ability to cut down on our stress levels is incredibly important for both
adults and children especially in today’s fast paced world. Being silly and having a light hearted attitude helps us to cope with stress, and be able to laugh at ourselves and break our habits of taking ourselves too seriously. There is always a time and place to buckle down and get the job done, but we must find those outlets to release that pressure in a positive way especially when the observant eyes of children are upon us.
Building that Bond
One huge aspect of camp is the development of positive relationships between campers and counselors. The light hearted playful approach is a huge guiding principle in our approach to the camper centered atmosphere we create. It is all about the kids! Getting on their level, and experiencing things through their eyes allows us to grow in relationship and provide an experience that is unlike any other! This approach is a fantastic way to connect with, and grow the relationship with the children in our own lives. Whether you are a parent, relative, teacher, coach, or a trusted adult it is in the building of those loving relationships that provides children with a safe place to come and the knowledge that they are loved and supported. Getting down and entering into their world, opens the door and allows that loving bond to grow.
Learning to be silly allows you to open your mind to creativity! The fear of peer pressure and expectation can put a muzzle on creativity. Modeling for children ways to think creatively and outside the box allows them to be more open, and better problem solvers. That sense of creativity can open unexpected doors and opportunities that make life richer and add excitement!
Our Role Model
There is no better example of the benefits of silliness and playfulness in working with children than St. John Bosco. He believed deeply in reaching children, most had been deemed unreachable, though a sense of playfulness. He did magic tricks, told jokes, and interacted with children in a way that no one else would. He responded to the need he saw before him, by getting down on the level of these children to draw them closer to God. He showed that he was truly present for them, showing that he was there with them, and that they were exceedingly important. He said “ It is not enough to live the young; they must know that they are loved.” And what better way can we show our love for the young people in our lives than to break from our “adulting” and truly engage in their world for a while.
So today don’t be afraid to take a break and just be a little silly!
Assistant Program Director
Summer 1978, I was ten years old and for the first time I attended summer camp at CYO Camp Rancho Framasa and from that time forward, it has been an essential part of my life. I barely remember summers without camp. From camper, to staff member, to co-director, the essence of summer camp has been the foundation of how I experience summer. In addition, it has been a significant contributor to who I am as a person and I know I am not alone when I share the sentiment that a summer without camp is just not summer.
However, the priority this summer has shifted and it has become the collective physical health of our communities and that changes everything about how we can interact, live, eat, play, and socialize at camp. For me, it is important to not get stuck in what summer will not be but rather focus on what summer can be and the exciting opportunity that we each have to create a little bit of summer camp magic for ourselves. So, yes, we will sacrifice a typical summer camp experience this summer and while we cannot replace its inherent camp-ness, I believe we can create some camp in our everyday lives.
Before we get to that, let me say…some activities will be happening on camp property this summer. In June, we will be making improvements to our facility and will be doing A LOT of cleaning as we prepare for some unique programs in July. We are wild with our brainstorming efforts and will be sharing those opportunities soon. We cannot wait!
In the meantime, we will continue to provide some camp joy for all ages via the internet. This is where you will find some inspiration to make your very own camp like experiences. At the very least we are sure that many of our posts will bring you a smile BUT will also bring you some ideas on how to explore your faith, explore outside, help others, and to always, always, always HAVE FUN! (because that is exactly what we do at camp).
Here are some ways to create some camp at home--
1. Check out our virtual fun to help you get going...we post daily on Facebook and Instagram. Our weekly themes beginning, today, June 1:
2. Join us for morning faith reflections on Tuesdays and Thursdays (also on Facebook & Instagram).
3. Read our blog posts. They come out every other Monday and you can subscribe on our blog page: https://www.campranchoframasa.org/blog
Summer 2020 is not how any of us at camp have imagined it to be nor would we choose it to be this way. We would much rather be welcoming in campers to live the experience that is summer camp at CYO Camp Rancho Framasa. But for now, we will do our best to provide a different kind of camp experience with our hearts and minds focused on the pieces of camp we can share.
By the way, we also cannot wait until Summer Camp 2021!
Until we are together again,
Angi K Sullivan
CYO Camp Co-director
Throughout my faith journey I have come to recognize a reality: testimonies are powerful! One of the first testimonies I can remember hearing was during a retreat in Wisconsin when I was in high school. Interestingly enough, I often reflect on this experience and its format as I now create and plan retreats. It was the perfect mix of using what a camp has to offer by way of the outdoors and a powerful faith encounter. We had daily devotions, scripture readings and prayer as well as some survival type team building scenarios. The combination led to a powerful and dynamic faith and bonding experience.
As part of the faith programming, we heard the testimony from a Christian speaker. I do not recall his name, but I do remember his message. It was an all too familiar Augustine style narrative. You know the ones I’m referring to - man was raised religious, decided to rebel, fell heavily into drugs, alcohol and promiscuity, hit rock bottom, had a life altering God moment, repented and is now speaking to others, cautioning of his woes.
There are many of these types of stories out there, very dramatic and powerful conversion moments. It may sound like I am a little negative toward these, and that is semi-intentional. To be clear I am not against these types of stories - they are powerful narratives and stories that need to be told to demonstrate how powerful God is and how he can work and how everyone, regardless of previous actions, is offered forgiveness through Christ.
The hint of negativity comes in when people who have not had these powerful, dramatic conversion moments begin to think, “Hmm, my story isn’t anything like that. Did I do something wrong? Is my life just too boring? Do I love God as much as they do?” This is a trap that I got to see firsthand as a youth minister. I remember having a conversation with an adult volunteer about giving his testimony. I knew the volunteer well and I knew his story, and it was exactly what I wanted. He, on the other hand, was not so sure. His response was something like, “You want me to give my testimony? Why? It’s not a very good one.” That was the moment I had this entire revelation. I responded with something like, “If God is in the story, it is a powerful one.”
It was during this time that I decided I had a mission. I wanted to make sure that my volunteers and those I worked with knew that they have a powerful story, regardless of how they came to their faith. I know many who have had those powerful, dramatic stories, and they are great! So many people, especially young people, are tempted by innumerable different false promises the world has to offer and we need people who have been there to tell them it isn’t all it cracks up to be.
However, I also know many people who grew up in their faith, never strayed and continue to this day. THAT IS A POWERFUL STORY!! It is often tempting to try and spice our stories up, but we don’t have to!
First off, that is a powerful testament to not only that person for remaining faithful for so long, but also to their parents and families who have done such a great job of creating a family culture that fosters that kind of faith. Just to note, I am not saying this if children stray it is the fault of the parents. Sometimes you can provide the perfect atmosphere and culture and still people have free will and can choose a different direction regardless.
Secondly, just as there are those young people out there who are being tempted to the not so great things in this world, there are also young people out there that are living a faith filled life and who, just like my volunteer, think that they may be doing something wrong. Questioning whether they should be trying to have these intense conversion moments. We need young people to be hearing stories from those who are just like them - living a faith filled life, but not necessarily having a big conversion moment.
To wrap up, my point is, as long as your story has God in it, it is a powerful one! Personally, my story has a bit of both. It definitely is not crazy party goer turned saint (not that I am a saint, far from it!), but also not “cradle” Catholic continuing his journey. Everyone’s story, regardless of drama, is a powerful testament to the love, patience and devotion God has for all of us. There is no “boring” God story.
Wow! Our lives may be moving slowly…yet our world and country are changing fast. It is strange to look back at the past several weeks and see how truly different things are in this moment.
We are all dealing with our own individual challenges during this time. Some are coping with the loss of financial security; some are dealing with a continued work schedule in an essential position and thank heaven for them. Others are learning to slow down and enjoy spending time with our families, while some of us are facing the challenge of being separated from loved ones and families. Then, there are those of us who are just struggling to remember what day of the week it is.
However, we seem to finally be reaching a point, where our national, state, and local governments are developing plans to ease us back into a “new normal.” Though this may be an uneasy time for all of us there is something we must all keep in mind, that we are all meeting this challenge from our own perspectives so be kind out there! A friend of mine recently posted the following, something I found to be a beautiful way of approaching this transitional period.
🛑 Some people don’t agree with the state opening.... that’s okay. Be kind.
🏡 Some people are still planning to stay home.... that’s okay. Be kind.
🦠 Some are still scared of getting the virus and a second wave happening.... that’s okay. Be kind.
💰 Some are sighing with relief to go back to work knowing they may not lose their business or their homes.... that’s okay. Be kind.
👩🏾⚕️Some are thankful they can finally have a surgery they have put off.... that’s okay. Be kind.
📝 Some will be able to attend interviews after weeks without a job.... that’s okay. Be kind.
😷 Some will wear masks for weeks.... that’s okay. Be kind.
💅🏻 Some people will rush out to get the hair or nails done.... that’s okay. Be kind.
❤️ The point is, everyone has different viewpoints/feelings and that’s okay. Be kind.
We each have a different story. If you need to stay home, stay home. But be kind.
If you need to go out, be respectful others when in public and be kind!
Don’t judge fellow humans because you’re not in their story. We all are in different mental states than we were months ago. So remember, be kind.
Kindness is contagious too. ❤
I am reminded of a quote from the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” I believe that is a statement to live by during all of the upheaval we are enduring. We may not be able to change the minds of others, or get them to see things our way, but we can be kind, respectful, and accept that this is going to be a challenge for all of us. It is our choice to treat others with kindness, to reserve judgement, and to move forward with an attitude of gratitude and positivity.
Assistant Program Director
Camp is such an unique experience! Our staff take turns sharing their perspectives of the experience that is CYO Camp Rancho Framasa!
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