Camp Texas Conquest began with a jolt. The 25 counselors and staff—both high school and college—arrived a day early for training, bonding and setup. That night a severe thunder storm brought torrential rain and knocked out the power until the next morning. The sun arose and final preparations were made to receive the ninety-three campers who came to Houston from all around the lower half of Texas. Every day began with morning prayer and Mass, which marked the spiritual tone of the whole camp. Four Legionary priests and two brothers filled the camp with their joy and zeal, providing sacraments, deep discussions on real questions from the boys, and one-on-one spiritual coaching. Our team of dedicated staff and team captains took ownership of each day and led the boys in all the activities. The adventures included capture the flag, cross building, soccer, wolf, pool sports, water slides, and a paintball outing. Any bed is comfy after that! A team of dads dedicated their whole week to providing us with home-style cooking—for 120 people! No one had ever had better food on a camp. A generous patron of Texas Conquest from a local McDonalds even donated hamburger materials for one of the meals!
The climax of the camp came on Thursday—Mission Houston! Every evening of camp built up to this day. We closed night prayers on Wednesday with a torch-lit Eucharistic procession around the camp, preparing us for the next day when we would bring Christ to the world. Three busses took us down Thursday morning to Hermann Park and the medical district of Houston. The younger boys walked the park in small groups, gathering prayer intentions and doing a faith survey as they passed a large cross between the groups, pinning the prayer intentions to it. Meanwhile, the older boys carried their cross through the medical district and brought a message of hope to many patients, parents, and nurses. Several of these teams were invited inside by the hospital staff so they could reach more people. We were asked when we could come back! For many, missions were the highlight of camp.
The camp concluded with a Mass with all the families, during which many of the boys renewed their friendship with Christ. The award ceremony recognized the individuals who had displayed greatest virtue during the camp and the teams who had won the competition. All went home tired for sure, but hopefully with a greater friendship with Christ and a greater awareness of their vocation to bring him to others.
You can see videos and more pictures on the Texas Conquest website.