Even though it's hot enough outside here in Boise to cook an egg on the sidewalk (maybe not quite, but it feels that way), Summer 2016 is coming to an end. I'm not, necessarily, talking about the season of summer - as I don't anticipate this boiling heat to dissipate anytime soon - as much as I am the state of mind that is, "SUMMER!"
'SUMMER,' is the greatest! Whether you're in school or not, everyone is transported back to that state of mind of the absolute freedom that comes with the time of year. Leisurely days by the lake, the melodies of the ice cream truck, the anticipation of adventures to come, and the long days of constant sunshine and endless possibilities!
And now, we find ourselves at the end of this wonderful season. I'll give you a minute to wipe away the tears...
Whenever I'm asked the question, "How was your summer?" I find myself lost to explain. How do you sum up in a few sentences to a barista a summer like the one I've had?
Like this: This summer I was privileged to witness hundreds of teens come together to try to make the world, and themselves, better through works of service! And because of it I am filled with joy!
Catholic HEART Workcamp is an experience which can be difficult to summarize, because it is so unlike most things. It's like a mission trip, but not completely; a retreat, but not really; a camp, but different than most camps. It really is Catholic HEART Workcamp, and nothing else! It's a crazy week-long, service-oriented, faith-building, community-growing, taco-consuming, dancing, singing, praying, camp experience! If you haven't had the chance to experience it, I highly encourage you to do so with your youth group or school. You can find more info at the Catholic HEART Workcamp website.
This summer was my 4th with Catholic HEART Workcamp (CHWC) and I was able to sing and pray with campers in Reno, NV; Ashland, MT; and Detroit Lakes, MN. If you attended a CHWC with me this year please know that I consider myself so privileged to have had the opportunity to meet you, and that I hope your experiences were just as joyous as mine. I had a great time with so many of you getting to know your story! Thank you for the beautiful moments of song and prayer that you helped create, thank you for the love that you shared with others, and thank you for being open to the will of God, Who - through the Holy Spirit - called you to, "Go...and make disciples!" (Matthew 28:19).
I want to say thank you to some people that helped make CHWC 2016 such a great experience for me, and many others! Bryce, Brian, Fr. Brandon, Fr. Paul G, and Fr. Paul M, Marina, Pam, Tony, Emily, Misty, Amanda, Br. Jason, Sue, Sheila, and Dcn. Gary - thank you all for your leadership, dedication, and willingness to serve! You'll never know just how much of an impact your service has had upon others! Friend Youth Ministers, thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty to bring teens to this experience! As always, huge thanks to Steve, Lisa, and the CHWC Home Office Team for all that they do to help everything run as smoothly as possible!
Finally, I was blessed to work with an amazing group of people who made me a part of their team, and who became more like family by then end of our time together. Billy, Anne, Aaron, Jessica, Erica, Hannah, MJ, Matt, and Alicia; I am so blessed to have "worked in the fields" with you! May you continue to lead others closer to Christ everyday!
I've shared a few photos from my experiences with CHWC 2016 here, but if you click the link below, it will take you to my Facebook photo album with even more photos of the coolest people I know! ;) Check it out!