I went into this experience entirely unsure of what to expect. Also, I might add, everything my siblings told me to expect was wrong. I was told (by my siblings) that chaperones got to sleep in the house. Not true. I was also told that the mothers and legal-age chaperones got wine after hours. Also not true. Actually, the disappointment of the truth in these matters was greatly lessoned by the fact that the chaperones were allowed to use the indoor bathrooms, unlike the poor campers who had to use porta-pottys. Ah, the simple things in life!
As I said, it was a wonderful week. Things were a little different this year, or so I understand. The group of 90 girls was divided into 8 teams, and each team had its own chaperone. I got the green team, which was pretty much an awesome group of girls. My biggest regret is that I wasn't able to get to know them all better, as we were very busy with things like olympics and silly olympics and talks, and drying out our tents.
Yes, we got rained on Monday night and Tuesday morning. Actually, it was more like poured on. I don't think there was a single dry tent in the place. I was lucky - only my blankets got wet. Many girls had there bags soaked, as well as sleeping bags and pillows. I didn't hear any complaints, though - other than those tempered with laughter. A couple of wonderful volunteers spend the day Tuesday drying everyone's things out, enabling dry beds by Tuesday night.
Activities of the week included Olympics, with competitions like a soccer relay and tug of war (green won the tug of war!) Silly Olympics, with a sack race, horseback riding, and a cooking contest. I did get to help with the cooking contest, and had a blast. Iron Chef, here I come! My team, as I said before, was awesome. We didn't win the cooking contest, but everyone made a good effort. Next time we'll get it!
The best part of the week was the talks. Everyday we had Mass in the morning, with a homily, and there was a formation talk after breakfast. We were constantly reminded of the dignity and importance of women, and how much we can teach the world. We are all called to be mothers, sometimes spiritually, sometimes physically.
One of the talks was on Our Lady of Guadeloupe. There is so much symbolism in the image that I never knew about! For example, did you know that the color of her veil was a color reserved for the Emperor, under pain of death? Or that the angel below her was one of the Aztec gods? I would go over all of it, but I think it may be better kept for another blog post :)
One of the greatest gifts of the week, I hope received by all, was the gift of good, true, friendships. I made new friends, got to see some "old" friends (who I met last month at the Sursum Corda camp,) and was blessed to be able to reconnect with a very old friend, whom I had not seen in about six years. I made some young friends, and some older friends, and the best part is knowing that these are people who will pray for me, (and who I will pray for,) and who I will hopefully meet again - if not here, than in heaven.
This is a prayer that one of my fellow chaperones shared:
Grant, O Lord, that none may love Thee less this day because of me;
That never one word or act of mine may turn one soul from Thee;
And ever daring yet one more grace would I implore:
That many souls this day, because of me, may love Thee more. Amen