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
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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