Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day Camp TX - Round Rock Day 5

The last day of Daycamp was bitter-sweet… a sadness to see it end, but joy in witnessing the trans-formation that has happened in these young hearts. This week wouldn't have been possible without the hard work and dedication of so many people. Special thanks to all those who made Daycamp TX – Round Rock happen, especially director David Crawford, the cooks, counselors, and Legionary priests and brothers. And to all the campers…it was a joy to work with you and see you grow closer to Christ during this past week! We look forward to seeing you again next year if not sooner!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day Camp TX - Round Rock Day 4

Another great day was spent at St William's in Austin with a wonderful group of close to 50 boys at this year's Daycamp TX - Round Rock.
The morning began with our counselors gathering in the adoration chapel for a half hour of prayer. It was a special moment to prepare themselves spiritually for the day, and to be ready to give generously of themselves despite any tiredness or fatigue we may have felt.
The day's highlights included laser tag, a World Cup match, and totally EPIC water gun wars!! Special thanks to David Crawford, our director, for organizing and orchestrating this great initiative!

In the evening, the boys were given a talk on friendship, and what it means to be a friend to others and a friend to Jesus. When asked what true friendship is, their responses included "loyal", "self-sacrificing", "sharing the same interests", and "wanting the best for your friend". Using the quote, "There is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend", Br Drew helped the younger boys to understand that Christ wishes to be their very BEST friend.
Before wrapping up for the day, Police Officer Plank came and talked to the boys about life as a policeman. Midway through though, he was interrupted by his radio. The police station was calling for backup, as the Decepticons had been spotted!! He left in a hurry. Counselors later informed the boys that the attack was expected to happen the following day!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day Camp TX - Round Rock Day 3

Today began much like the preceding days, giving the boys time together with their team to discuss how to get the most out of the day, both spiritually and physically. Sports were led by Fr Michael Picard, which included Sonic Ball and Pool-Noodle Hockey. The kids enjoyed hitting each other with the foam noodles! We then moved outside to the field and commenced a vicious game of Border Wars, using face paint to distinguish between the teams and intimidate their opponents. Campers comradery helped to eliminate all intruding forces. 
With the morning activities finishing, the boys made their way to Mass. During Mass, they learned about St William, who is the patron saint of the parish. The Legionaries joined Fr Bruxe, a visiting Paulist priest, who brought his enthusiasm and charisma. 
After Mass, the boys enjoyed the lunch of champions: corn dogs and mac and cheese. This gave them the energy necessary to fend off the deception of the Decepticons. The heightened excitement surrounding the World Cup inspired our next activity. Breaking up into their teams, they fought for their position in our very own tournament. We told the news agencies that we preferred to keep our games private, in spite of all their efforts.     
We finished the day with a meditative rosary led by the campers themselves, and a trans-formation(talk) about the soul and its eternal destiny. The kids departed at 5pm, with team 5 currently in the lead!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day Camp TX - Round Rock Day 2

The boys jumped into action with team time, discussing highs and lows of the past day. They mentioned how much they enjoyed the challenge of earning points through team competition and acts of virtue. The rosary and talk especially stood out to them as well.

Afterwards, the boys were able to ask any question they had about the faith in an effort to "stump the priest". Questions included the following:
1. Does a priest think differently about you after hearing your sins in confession?
2. What does it mean to love? What is love?
3. Why did God create the devil while he knew that he would be bad?
4. What does Jesus look like?
5. How does the Church verify miracles?
Next, the boys played some intense games of decepticon ball (dodgeball). They completely terminated the opposing teams. The water slide was a splash!! It was a nice way for the boys to cool down between exhausting games of soccer and football.
We ended the day with our trans-formation(talk), given by Fr Vanderbeek and Br Jared. Tirelessly demonstrating teamwork and enthusiasm, the boys expressed their excitement for the next day!!

Day Camp TX - Round Rock Day 1

Day Camp TX - Round Rock launched on Monday June, 23 2K14. Leading the group are David Crawford, Fr Michael, Fr Michael, Fr Michael, and Fr Daren(whose middle name is most likely Michael), brothers and counselors. The day began at 8:30am with the arrival of 50 pumped and excited boys, ready to spend this week growing closer to God and friends while having a blast.
In his introduction, Fr Michael divulged the theme for this year's day camp: Transformers. The talks are centered around transforming yourself into Christ and his apostle in all areas of life, specifically God, soul, neighbor, body.
The boys were divided up into 8 teams. Each team got together to determine their team name, cheer and flag. Here are some of the VERY creative names they came up with:
God Formers
Bible Bee
Optimized Catholics
Having finished with the preliminaries, the boys split up into older and younger groups to play Decipticon ball, aka dodgeball. It was followed by an abundance of snacks generously prepared by Paula Nemec and company. Before lunch, they headed over to the main church at St William's for Mass.
In the afternoon, the boys were introduced to the game "Capture the Energon", a form of capture the flag. After capturing the energon, they united to pray the rosary and have another snack! The day ended with more FUN and a final trans-formation(talk). Day 1- TOTAL SUCCESS!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Camp Texas Day 6

This morning as Adrian roused the boys we were all very excited for another full day of faith and fun here at Camp TX. As the kids made their way to morning mass some still showed signs of sleep but gradually shook off the yawns to experience the amazing graces present in the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist.
While this was the final full day at camp, the kids seemed to dive deeper with every formation and talk. Each speaker seemed to feed the fire within each of the boys’ souls to give it their all to become modern day saints. While the boys begged to just stay inside and listen to talks all day we had to attend the amazing activities like paintball for the older track and MESSY wars for the younger track. Many of the older boys arrived back to the cabins with war stories for the ages! The younger boys came back with a few clean spots left on their clothes and huge smiles on their faces.

One of the highlights of the day was once again the lake with all of its slides, inflatables and lifeguard whistles. Father decided to challenge of the kids for dominance on a floating mat, while kids ziplined, blobbed, and had a great time. A few used the slide to test out new methods of sliding which resulted in a tidal wave splash after exiting drenching the life guard on duty. From here everyone proceeded back to the dining hall for a meal of grilled cheese and tomato soup while we watched special training videos.
Following lunch we had another formation for the boys, Father Michael taking the younger boys while the older boys had bonding time with the brothers and other religious. The boys came out awed and inspired and Father confided in me that he felt it was one of his best talks ever. Then the younger track met up with Brother Jared for a quick talk and some soccer out behind the chapel while the older boys joined Father Michael in the chapel for “Stump the Priest”.

Even after this packed day we still weren’t through! The boys all came together for a moving meditation during adoration while many received the sacrament of confession. That time in adoration has been the highlight of the spiritual growth here and we moved to another highlight and camper favorite, CASINO TOWN YEAH! After playing cards and carpetball the teams headed back to their cabins for winners circle and a well deserved nights rest!

To all parents the staff here at Camp TX, which includes our religious and counselors would like to thank you for the blessing of leading your young men to Christ. Seeing them all grow in and share their faith has inspired us all! Thank you so much and we look forward to seeing you all soon! Signing off here from Camp Texas.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Camp TX Day 5

Hello from camp Texas again,
Today we woke up to Adrian projecting through his loud speaker, “Good morning Camp Texas, it’s Friday, Friday….” Walking up and down the halls making sure all campers were awake.
When the shabby crew and their fellow councilors had finally woken up, we all headed to morning prayers and Mass. After a great homily by Fr. Daren explaining the importance and the meaning behind, “Thanks be to God.”
After we all had a great spiritual introduction to brighten our day, we all had breakfast, only to find out that Fr. Michael Sullivan had been “kidnapped.” After a scavenger hunt which included deciphering and winding trails the campers found him bound underneath the chapel. Mission success, “operation lost puppy” found and rescued.
The fun didn’t stop with a priest-napping!  We all hurried to enjoy refreshing watermelon by the lake before the campers rushed into the water to enjoy the reprieve from the heat. 
Even though it was only 1 pm we had already done a ton! The guys enjoyed some restful cabin time before the older track of campers had formation with counselors Chad and Titus.
In the mean time the younger campers met with Fr. Sullivan. They submitted their own thought provoking questions like: “Why did the Lord make me when He could have made anyone else?” and “Will mortal and venial sins follow you to heaven?” This is just a glimpse of some of the amazing questions asked during this period of the day.
After “Stump the Priest” we all headed over to the woods to play a large game of capture the flag. This was followed by dinner and then a great time for all those who went to adoration with Fr. Michael Sullivan. Here in adoration Fr. Michael lead everyone, who went to adoration, in a in depth meditation. In the mean time back in the mess hall the rest of the campers were playing bored games and “chillaxing.”
When everyone was done resting and praying we all headed for the one and only “border wars.” This game consisted of 4 teams, all trying to tag another team. The game ended with almost everyone joining the black striped team.
After everyone was exhausted from the huge game of “border wars” the older track headed for the pool for their last activity. In the mean time the younger track headed for the mess hall to play some card games and then hit the hay. After an hour or so the older track headed back from the pool, said there night prayers and also hit the hay.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Camp Texas Day 4

We gave everyone an extra hour of sleep, and it looked like the extra sleep was well received by the campers who looked refreshed, energized, and rearing to go conquer the day.  We adjusted the schedule a little to accommodate the extra rest, but no amount of formation or fun was sacrificed.

The day was jammed backed from morning till after sunset.  At breakfast, we all got the run down for the day as well as the theme of the day.  Today’s theme was endurance.  After being dismissed from breakfast, the older guys ran off to the Messy Wars and the Muddy Obstacle Course.  Exactly how messy and muddy did the guys get?  Well, let’s just say that only thing not covered in mud were the campers’ eyeballs.  The younger crew went to practice their shooting skills as they took aim at one another on the paintball course.

Bible Bob made a special appearance on the grounds today.  Bible Bob looks, talks, and walks just like Fr. Michael Sullivan, but don’t be fooled by his appearance, he isn’t.  He is Bible Bob, the sola scripture, bible thumping, non-Catholic sent to shake up the campers and test their knowledge of the Bible and basic Catholic Apologetics.  Some of the topics discussed were the Eucharist in John 6, tradition as in Matthew 15, and Biblical inspiration as mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:16. The campers were engaged and interested.

After Lunch, the camp made its way to the Cho Yeh land lease, which is a huge open field, and played some world cup soccer and it was then followed by a formation talk on Christian militancy, where the Christian and the Soldier must have a similar mindset if they hope to be successful in battle.  Post talk, the pool was opened and we swam, floated, wrestled, and dove until Br. Drew L.C. made an appearance with some cool and sweet watermelon and dinner.

One of our schedule shifts was moving mass till the evening; this was a good decision because it allowed us to slide right into adoration of the Holy Eucharist and a holy hour for those who wanted to attend adoration.  During the homily for mass, Father made an excellent memorable statement about prayer: “until you are convinced prayer is the best way to spend your time you will never find time to pray.”

When the holy hour was finished, the campers were treated to a campfire and smores before hitting the hay.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Camp Texas Day 3

Hello from Camp TX 2014.  Today was the third day of Camp TX.  Though it was hump day to the rest of the world, it wasn’t here.  We are still climbing the mountain and praying that we don’t reach the hump anytime soon. 

The Morning activity was Camp Olympics, and it went down on the Cho-Yeh field lease; there, the camp rotated through soccer, steal the bacon and dodge ball and each team earned points for each win.  Later, the campers changed into their swim gear and trekked down to the Lake free swim. The campers had a blast playing on the blob as they took turns launching each other into the air before splashing down into the water.  Also on the lake was a 40 feet tarp water slide, a climbing wall that was suspended over the water, an inflated pyramid that swimmers could hop inside or climb all over, and the ever favorite zip line.

The day’s formation theme was “training”, and after watching a short clip from a documentary on the rigors and formation it takes to become a Navy Seal,  the camp was then challenged to embrace the necessary training it will take to become Saints for the Kingdom of God -- to train more intently for the kingdom than what the Navy Seals train to become Navy Seals.  Two counselors provided reflections and formation talks.  The first talk was on reconciliation and the importance of making a good confession.  The other topic was discernment, and it’s main focus was docility to the promptings of the Holy Spirit’s call and how following the promptings of the Spirit leads to your vocation; even though God sometimes leads us places we wish not to be, it is the place God wants us to be – an important theme for students considering where to attend college in the coming years.

We got caught in an afternoon shower on our way to the Cho Dome for some organized sports.  Fortunately, none of us are made of sugar, so we didn’t melt.  Besides, what is rain but liquid sunshine? While at the Cho Dome, we played basketball, half court soccer, and jumped on the bouncing pillow, which Fr. Sullivan has taken to calling the “bouncy bounce.”

After dinner, Fr. Sullivan offered a prayer workshop that consisted of a holy hour and guided meditation for whoever was interested.  The workshop closed with benediction and the processing of the guided meditation.  Some of the campers who were at the prayer workshop shop had the following to say about their experience:


·      “I didn’t want to stop praying.”

·       “I have never had an experience like this.”

·      “This was the deepest prayer experience I have ever had.”

·      “I didn’t even realize we had been praying for an hour.

·      “My heart and mind was full of the passion of Christ.”

Those who did not participate in the prayer workshop went on a hike through the surrounding words.  While on the hike, campers were treated to tall tales.  One group even ran across a confederate graveyard.

Tonight’s evening activity was nighttime capture the flag.  Then after night prayer everyone was given the option of sleeping out under the stars.  We are hoping the weather stays good.

Tomorrow begins day 4, and we are just warming up.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Camp Texas day 2

Greeting from the land of the pine.  The day started off great.  A handful of dedicated anglers arose early and tried their skills in Lake Evelyn.  Their catch and release haul consisted of 3 catfish and a perch.  The remainder of camp was called to rise by the rousing and energetic MC, Adrian, singing “Rise and Shine” through the camp microphone as he ran down the halls.

As a whole, morning activities went without a hitch.  Fr. Sullivan, in the his homily this morning, referred to Christ as a Lone Survivor as demonstrated through every moment of his life and exemplified through His Passion and death.  He then challenged the camp to emulate those virtues as Christ demonstrated.

The scheduled activities of the day consisted of riflery, tomahawk throwing, rock climbing, dodge ball, and swimming.  During lunch the annual push up contest occurred.  Camper Joseph scored a whooping 5,000 manly push-ups, but it was only enough to net 5th place.  Fourth place went to counselor Adam W. who squeaked in with 6,000 push-ups.  Camper Ian amassed an impressive 7,000 push-ups; afterwards, he said about his third place finish that he “felt fine.  [He] did what [he] had to do.”  Scoring second was counselor Hunter and he was able to thump out 8,000 push-ups.  Feeling let down by the hard fought competition, Hunter promised the camp that he would redeem himself next time.  Bringing home the gold for the push up competition was Br. Jared L.C. who managed to eek out a victory with an impressive 8,001 push-ups.  In the post push-up conference, Br. Jared only had one thing to say, “victory.”

Following lunch the campers were treated to a series of formation talks based around a number of themes of prayer, answering God’s call, and living God’s call. 

Before dinner, the campers were treated to either time in the adoration chapel and/or playing board games: most took advantage of both.  Many campers experienced the joy and camaraderie of playing board games and simply enjoying the fun that comes with play.   Post dinner and board games, the evening night activity planned was the Mega-Ultimate-Neon-Dance-Jam party.  After getting dressed in their brightest neon, the campers discovered that the dance hall fell to a biological attack that happened to turn the counselors into zombies.  Their new objective was to find a way to defend against the infected and hold off till a cure could be located and administered.

After saving the camp and curing all the zombies, the evening activity and night prayer, the campers and counselors retired to their cabins for processing the day’s activities and talks and to share with each other their high and low of the day. 

Campers and counselors alike are already anticipating tomorrow.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Camp Texas 2014 Kick-Off

Today is the first day of Conquest Camp TX, the beginning to an exciting week of fun and formation while preparing souls for the Kingdom of God.  The counselors arrived to Camp Cho-Yeh, which is the Alabama-Coushatta Native American word for land of tall pines, and were greeted with a welcomed afternoon shower to help cool the day.  After the counselors set up the facilities, the campers began arriving at 5.  After being dropped off, checked in and reminded to drink plenty of water, the campers had free play — which consisted of their choice in playing or participating in Ga-ga Ball, Soccer, Volleyball, Carpetball, and or Ninja.  

At our first gathering, the campers were introduced to their team, team leader, given a run down of the rules and regulations via humorous skits as performed by the counselors, and introduced to this year’s theme. This year’s theme is Lone Survivor and is inspired by the courage and virtue as demonstrated in the book Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell, which gives an eyewitness recount of the lost heroes of seal team 10 and during Operation Redwing.

Later on in the evening the teams chose names, came up with a team chant or cheer, and made a team flag set with a coat of arms for their team. The campers had a blast deliberating and debating over what to call their team and what to put on their flag. The camp dads had the responsibility of judging the flags and cheers based upon the creativity, unity of cheer, and awesomeness.  The overall winner of the team flag and cheer competition was the Soldiers of the Trinity (S.O.T.)  Other team names included:

The Lone Dragons
The Aviators
Operation Domination
The Swiss Survivors
Satan Slayers
Squadron of 8
Christ Surrenders
The evening activity for the night was Wolf, which is an ever favorite for Conquest camps.  The counselors each adopted their own wolf call and dashed out into the grounds of camp Cho Yeh while the campers learned the rules.  Wolf is essentially a variation to the old camp classic Counselor Hunt.  The counselors hide and the campers hunt and find, and points are awarded for each counselor (wolf) captured.
The rest of the evening ran smooth and ended with night prayer and benediction before hitting the bunks.  Tomorrow is a full day, and we can’t wait for it to start.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Camp Del Rio - Day 2

Sergeant Stephen reporting:

Day two at Camp Del Rio was a great success. Campers woke up and enjoyed an enlighting mass and adoration! 

Soon after, they played various sports and swam in the pool. Then the campers were split up into their teams and played an all out CAPTURE THE FLAG GAME. Things got intense as campers tried to capture the other team’s flags! 

After dinner, campers took their turn shooting water balloons at the counselors! The campers finished their day with a campfire story about Father Kapaun and night prayers inside the chapel. 

Stay tuned to hear about all the exciting adventures of Camp Del Rio!

                Semper Fi!