What do crafts, games, canoe trips, and bonfires have to do with living in Jesus Christ? The campers at San Pedro Center in Winter Park are finding out as they grow in faith. Eight weeks of “Secret Agent Training” camp are taking place this summer, sending the campers on daily missions to find God in their surroundings, in each other, and in themselves.
“Our goal is to create an environment where everyone feels the Christian spirit and is welcomed for who they are. It is a chance to encounter the holy in a unique setting” explains Katrina Hamilton, Director of Youth Programs and Summer Camp. “It’s a great time to explore their faith and share it with others.”
Each day begins and ends in prayer. Mass is celebrated twice a week and there is an opportunity for the Sacrament of Penance. Daily teachings and witness talks inspire the campers to reflect on where God is calling them and how they can use their unique gifts and talents to go forth and build the Kingdom of God and stand as witnesses to Christ.
“During the school year with academics and sports and other commitments it seems like there is never enough time to focus on your faith” says Jack, a high school camper.
“I know that by the end of the year my relationship with God is not where it should be. When I come to camp it’s a time to get away from all that and grow close to God again.”
For many students, camp might be their first time away from home. That in itself is an opportunity for a lot of personal growth according to Hamilton.
“The personal witnesses from the counselors really drive home the theme of the camp and show the campers how they can live their faith,” Hamilton explains.
“Something from each talk might touch each camper differently depending on their circumstances. We give them a lot of time to reflect on that and to share it with each other.”