Almost 275 youth and young adults are attending camps at San Pedro Spiritual Development Center in Winter Park this summer. Avid mountain climber Blessed Pier Giorgio used the phrase “To the Heights” to describe the way God calls us higher—to more. Activities are focused on this idea as well as faith, friends and fun.
“We wanted to incorporate the Year of the Eucharist into our theme,” explained Kimmy Zeiler, San Pedro program director. “Knowing the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Catholic faith, I came across Blessed Giorgio’s quote and thought it was an apt description of how we encounter the Eucharist, to the heights as we meet him in the sacraments. So the theme is really Eucharist-focused.”
She noted that each day breaks down into sub-themes. “The first day looks at what’s in your backpack? What are those things you bring on your journey that you shouldn’t be bringing with you and you are – that you’re carrying falsely,” she said. “And what should you be bringing with you – your bible, your prayer, your community, your faith in God. The next day is about authentic community. Who’s with you on your journey? Looking at our prayer relationship with God, but also our community relationship with one another.”
Campers then explore what obstacles are on their path, including themselves, and how to overcome these. The week is filled with imagery of fields and mountains as participants approach the peak. During this time the Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered along with time for Eucharistic Adoration and the true presence of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist is discussed.
Zeiler described Friday as, “…coming down off the mountain top. Where do I go from here? How do I continue to live this out? What does that look like?” She acknowledges that this is often the hardest part, so the day helps prepare campers for an authentic encounter with the Lord in daily life.
Returning camper, Joanne D., from St. Margaret Mary Parish shared “This is my favorite camp because it’s not just based on Jesus. You get to do other things like going boating and swimming. And all those things are related to faith.”
By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic – June 13, 2018