Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Posted in General on September 21, 2013
Catholic Boys Camp

Of the various summer assignments I have received during the last four years as a seminarian, the boys' and girls' camps held in Wausau, Wisconsin were among my favorites. Camp provided many opportunities, not only for prayer, virtue building, music, fun and games, but also a great opportunity to meet many wonderful families from around the United States and beyond.  

Daily Mass and Rosary, as well as frequent Confession at camp were, without a doubt, the most important part of the week. As a seminarian, wakeup call at 6 AM is a normal part of daily life, but witnessing the devotion of the campers who assisted each morning at 6:30 Mass was very edifying. The graces received at the morning Mass or confession flowed into the rest of the day, helping to give all the competitions, games and fireside skits or concerts a pronounced Salesian atmosphere, with Charity reigning over the camp spirit. 

Mass and thanksgiving were immediately followed by the raising of the colors, which was for a patriotic American living most of his time far from home, a very uplifting and memorable experience. The campers did their country proud standing at attention, marching to the beat of the drum roll and high pitched patriotic melodies, and concluding by the Pledge of Allegiance. 

The many different sports played at camp were a welcome form of relaxation after a demanding year of academics. On several occasions, my modest (to put it mildly) athletic abilities provided the double benefit as a chance to practice humility for me, and as a laugh for the boys! The boys' first competition allowed them to demonstrate their great carpentry potential. It consisted in the construction of sixteen benches for the campfire circle at camp. As a team captain, I was very proud of the young men on my team who won first place for their fine craftsmanship! The girls, in like manner, impressed us by their great culinary expertise at a cooking contest, where each team strove to excel in not only in the quality and originality of the food prepared, but also in presentation, hospitality and live entertainment!    

Each team represents a different country with a patron saint corresponding to that country. My team was assigned Scotland, with the great honor of having the only post-reformation Scottish saint as our beloved patron, Saint John Ogilvie. Some of the other patron saints included St. Brigid of Ireland, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Nicholas von Flüe, St. Zita, and the twenty-six Martyrs of Nagasaki. Each team is normally composed of about 11 campers, with a total of 8 teams.  Each takes great pride in their respective national identities and patron Saints, leading to a healthy competitive spirit.

Football, horseback riding, cross country racing, archery, tug o' war, capture the flag and flag wars were among the numerous sporting events held at camp and provided many occasions for the campers to learn team work skills, as well as to display their own personal athletic prowess. Seeing the many talents, both musical and theatrical of the campers, Canons and confreres around the campfire each evening was certainly the most enjoyable part of the day for me. Each evening, a show is organized, with campers, seminarians and priests alike performing various skits and classical or folk concerts. This convivial fireside spirit was the perfect way to finish each day. 

I had the pleasure of meeting many parents who volunteer at the camp helping with support, transportation, preparation and cooking as well as many young men and women who volunteer as counselors. These volunteers combined effort allowed for a first rate camping experience which could not have been more meticulously planned, prepared and executed. 

Finally, camp provided me with a unique opportunity of meeting many excellent Catholic families from around the United States and beyond. The kindness and generosity of the many volunteers at camp were outstanding. It was great encouragement for my vocation to see the goal towards which my seminary formation is directed.  Seminary life leaves little time for corresponding with the priests stationed in the American province. Camp allowed me to become more acquainted with the priests serving here in America, and to reminisce about seminary years gone by with the younger Canons.

My hopes are already high for returning to help at camp in the coming years. The experiences I had at camp will provide many fine topics of conversation at seminary! I am very grateful to God and my superiors for the opportunity of coming to Wausau this summer for camps. 

Abbé John O'Connor, Seminarian 

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Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin
Summer Boys Camp in Wisconsin