Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Holy Family Camp

What a fantastic day it was for me Tuesday, June 15th! I took a vacation day and joined campers and volunteers at the 'Holy Family Camp' at Camp Hiawatha sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. The camp theme this year was "Dancing with God" and it set a fine tune for everyone. This unique five day Christian summer camp is designed for persons with special needs. The age of the campers varied this year from around age 16 to senior I believe. It's power packed with every kind of fun activity imaginable. I watched volunteer 'Friends' put their hearts into every hour and they sure inspired me to give more and be more where my help is needed.
At about 9am I gave my first of 2 puppet shows. Pickles the Porcupine, Joshua the Lamb and Lizzy the Lizard brought quite a few smiles. There were quite a few butterflies flying around in my stomach before I got started. I said a prayer...let go and experienced...honestly...one of the best days of my life!

After the puppet show I enjoyed sharing a few jokes. I'm NOT a natural at it but I gave it my best shot. Here's one..."Why don't lizards eat clowns?" Answer "Because they taste funny!" Next came a little presentation on the subject of how we can ask God to guide our lives. I loved sharing a little bit about one of my favorite saints 'St. Therese' who began a life of holiness at a very young age. She carried a string of beads in her pocket as a reminder to do good deeds. It is the littlest deeds that make the biggest difference sometimes isn't it? Then I talked a little about Father Kapaun who may become Kansas' 1st Saint. BSOL (big smile out loud) I wore my brand new pink Fr. Kapaun T-shirt. It's one of my favorite photos 'Father celebrating Holy Mass on the hood of his jeep'. My husband, grandsons and I took a road trip to Pilsen, Kansas just a few weeks ago where we celebrated Mass and special memories of Fr. Kapaun were honored. The Holy Sea 'Rome' is in the process of investigating possible miracles linked Fr. Kapaun's intercession. It is exciting news for our family. My husband is celebrating his 40th Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School Reunion next month. You may be wondering who is Father Kapaun? My best answer...one amazing person! He answered God's call to become a priest and became a Military Chaplain in the Korea conflict which later became a war. After becoming imprisoned, he died a Martyr giving his life up for some else could live. He made many endless sacrifices even giving other prisoners his food. What a holy man serving God and our Country.

Next everyone created 'Good Deed beads'...a string of 10 beads with a crucifix tied on one end. The beads are attached with a simple weaved design and the beads slide from one side to the other. It can be a special aid...after doing a good deed, slide a bead. It's a good thing to try to do at least 10 good deeds a day. Christina purchased a wonderful variety of beads for this project.All sorts of beads...rainbow colored beads, flower art beads, sport beads (foot ball beads, base ball beads and basket ball beads) and the polka dotted beads were the cheeriest ever. Next the campers shared good deeds ideas. I reminded them it's important that they remember that God sees everything...EVERYTHING and random acts of kindness can be the sweetest. Have you ever heard that the more you give...the more you receive? Oh, I know what you may be thinking...no...it doesn't work that way all the time. You may be right about that however...trust me...your reward will come later. I promise!
My favorite times at Holy Family Camp were celebrating Mass with Fr. Paul and everyone, seeing the smiles, hearing the laughter and giggles, being inspired by the many devoted volunteers and watching everyone DANCE! My friend Kay said it best..."The campers are so much fun!" And I found that to be so true..first hand. Some campers are already calling to find next year's camp date because they don't want to miss it. Makes sense to me. How about you?
Dancing with God...a very good thing!
Patty Cake

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