Story By Br. Luke Gill, LC
Fun and faith: Camp Christ the King attempts to help middle school boys see that the two things can go together. The camp combines sports, crafts, roasting marshmallows and many other activities that the boys enjoy with opportunities to experience Christ and to receive a lasting formation in their faith. The boys are given the chance to see that living their faith and being normal, happy kids can and should go together.
Camp Christ the King is a weeklong overnight camp for boys from grades 5 through 8. This year, the camp was held at Maple Grove Christian Retreat Centre near London, Ontario. Twenty-one campers participated with three high school counsellors and one of the camper’s father, Jim Graziadei, helping to run the camp. Br Nathan Wayne directed the camp, and Fr. Thomas Murphy provided the spiritual leadership. Br Luke Gill contributed by mentoring the boys, speaking with them one on one.
The week was full of exciting and fun activities including capture the flag, soccer, basketball, football, airsoft, go-karting, archery and more. The boys were divided into four teams that competed to end the week as the champions of Camp Christ the King. The competition was intense, but the boys were often reminded that in the end the system of points is not what counts; rather, it is only a means to help the boys form lasting virtues.
In addition the boys received great opportunities to grow spiritually. Fr Thomas celebrated mass for the boys daily. On Thursday he led the boys on a three-hour walking pilgrimage which culminated with a mass in Sacred Heart Parish in nearby Ingersal. Fr Thomas was also available in the evenings for confessions. Br Nathan and Br Luke offered the boys daily guided meditations with the goal of teaching the boys how to deepen in their relationship with Christ. The boys were also challenged in several competitions involving questions about their faith.
Fun and faith: The week in Maple Grove proved that one does not exclude the other. The smiles and the gratitude of the boys on the closing day of the camp are evidence that growing in their faith did not diminish, but actually added to the enjoyment of a week full of fun.