Summer Youth Choir Camp
Posted in General on September 24, 2013

As told by one of the camp counselors:

Over the past few years, my younger sibling attended the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest's Choir Camp, and each year when she returned home, she would eagerly give a glowing report of how much she had enjoyed it. This year, however, I was able to witness firsthand the transformation the camp brings about in the campers.

Under the direction of Mr. Nick Botkins, Mr. Kevin Allen, Abbe Matthew Walter, and Mr. Joseph Reidy, camp-goers learned vocal technique, music theory, the history of Gregorian chant, and the fundamentals of Latin. Through these classes, campers learned about the beauty, art, and tradition that make up our Catholic Faith, whether by playing Latin Jeopardy in Mr. Reidy's class or expanding their repertoire and vocal ability in Mr. Botkins' class. 

While the camp was music-intensive, the hard work was well-balanced with many recreational activities. Camp-goers spent the afternoons playing a group game of capture the flag, soccer, volleyball, hand-clapping games, and tag. On the final evening, the children showcased their artistic ability in a talent show, which included piano numbers, religious songs, a fairytale skit, and gymnastic feats. Throughout the week, friendships grew and blossomed among the children. Even though they had only a week together, many of the children remain pen pals and look forward to next year's camp when they can see their friends again.

In the evenings, Canon Raphael Ueda led campers in the Litany of the Sacred Heart and a rosary walk around the peaceful grounds of the Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Kentucky. Canon also offered daily Mass for the campers and was available for daily confession. Campers prayed the angelus before meals and processed with a statue of the Infant of Prague before Mass.  All of these things served as a reminder that our Faith is not something we keep separate from our "normal" lives, but is interwoven in all of our actions. 

For the beautiful closing Mass on Friday, the children's hard work throughout the week was made evident. They sang the Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Kyrie, and other pieces they learned over the course of the week. As their voices echoed in the chapel, I couldn't help but think of the loving effort the children put into their performance for God. The progress the children made over five short days is remarkable. Under the guiding hands of the faculty members, the pieces and high notes campers had struggled with on Monday coursed easily from their mouths and swelled into a beautiful harmony.  

I was incredibly blessed to be able to witness this transformative week. In five days, the campers' musical ability had blossomed. And as everyone waved goodbye to their new friends and beautiful grounds, it was obvious that the camp had brought about a deepening of the children's Faith and Friendship too.  

Emily Wichmer, Choir Camp counselor

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Summer Youth Choir Camp
Summer Youth Choir Camp
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