Daily Mass at Family Camp has been a high point for me since my first week as a Teen Staff in the mid 1980’s and it has remained so through the years as I have come to camp with my own family, as a volunteer and now as a leader. Here is what I love about Mass at Family Camp:
I love that parents can truly participate in Mass because the teen staff members are willing to help out with rambunctious tots.
I love that God can surely hear our responses during Mass! AMEN!
I love the numerous ways that young campers can participate in the Mass: being invited to stand near the altar for a better view during the Eucharistic Prayer, being shown the hand motions that accompany a number of songs, serving as a lector or reading the Prayers of the Faithful during Mass.
I love that families (with the help of their Teen Staff ) plan each Mass – providing lectors, writing and reading the Prayers of the Faithful, choosing and sometimes leading the music, etc.
I love that the homily really speaks to us – the families, teen staff and adult leaders – and ties into the theme for the day and the week.
I love that it’s okay if a 5-year old is moved to dance during Mass.
I love that the music is led by whoever shows up at Camp with instruments and the willingness to lead AND that inexperienced musicians (like me last year!) are welcomed and mentored by the more seasoned musicians.
I love seeing evidence of community developing within and between the families and teen staff during the prolonged Sign of Peace.
I love receiving the Eucharist amongst people with whom I’ve shared deeply.
I love that the Mass at Family Camp feels like a celebration of our faith.
I love the simplicity of the chapel, the view through the windows, the breeze through the screens, the sound of rain on the roof and the sounds of spontaneous singing as I approach before Mass or as I leave after Mass.
I love that we have an outdoor chapel that we can use… if everyone has bug spray!
I love that the young people love going to Mass at Family Camp.
True confession: In my younger years, once I returned home I tended to compare Mass at home to Mass at Camp and find a number of faults with Mass at home. That was never a helpful thought process! I now try to remember the joy, spirit of community and the love of the Lord that I experienced during Mass at Camp and bring that with me, in my heart, when I go to Mass at home. Oh… I also try to remember we do not shout “AMEN!” In my home parish.