It was on the 13th of July … a dull, dreary and wet Saturday afternoon. But for the 37 Youth, Confirmandi and Animators in the St. Mary’s School bus, the mood couldn’t have been more upbeat and cheery. And why not? It was Camp-time at St Mary’s Villa, Khandala and the campers were supercharged with energy, enthusiasm and excitement, looking forward to the high voltage sessions with Deacon Ivan, the rock-star of the Archdiocesan Youth Ministry and the opportunity to build bonds of a lasting friendship with each other. The enthusiasm was justified when our first session post-dinner had all of us wrestling with an intriguing real-life situation that was put to us. A bit of a sing-song followed before everyone got back to the dormitory. But sleep was far from everyone’s mind, as St. Mary’s Villa rocked through the night to the sounds of wild laughter, stifled giggles and “parables” told by master raconteur Leon (Da Costa). Animators Sangeeta, Clinton and Michael too finally decided that if “one couldn’t beat them, join them”.
A Leadership Camp For The Youth
The sun was up before most campers settled down, with many others deciding that time, was too short to waste on sleep. Breakfast and mass set the tone for our next session with Deacon Ivan who led us through our reaction to situations as a child, as a person guided by rules, regulations and societal pressures… and then as, a mature, thinking person. Post lunch, with batteries recharged and emotions running high, there followed a dorm-session on matters equally close to the hearts of our Youth … inclusion, discrimination, ethics and temperate demeanour. The journey back was just as high spirited as the journey to Khandala, with music blaring from multiple speakers, games of charades and good-natured banter all round. Our arrival at St. Anne’s was timed to perfection, coinciding with the exodus of people after evening mass, leaving them wondering at this happy band of the youthful and faithful in the big yellow bus. Our sincere gratitude to Fr Albert and Deacon Ivan for being The Mover and The Shaker behind the camp (not necessarily in that order) Bosco who was, quite literally, ” the driving force” and Fr Arun for his wholehearted cooperation that made our Youth Leadership cum Team Building Camp so meaningful and our Core Team members Keagan & Simran who worked with great commitment to motivate our campers. Cheers to our youth. – Hugo D’Souza