California St. Michael’s Boys Camp
Posted in General on August 20, 2015

The 3rd Annual St. Michael’s Patrol Camp for Boys in California took place from Aug. 5 to Aug. 8 near the city of Alamo situated in the rolling hills surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. It is the latest of many camps sponsored and directed by the Institute of Christ the King, both in California and in Wisconsin, that continues the tradition of bringing children from near and far together with the goal of developing all virtues in order to became saints, but in particular the virtue of charity, which is given a unique opportunity to grow in this setting. The 26 boys at “les Quatre Mousquetaires Farm” in Alamo this year learned, in all the different activities of the camp, of the necessity to look out for each other, rely on one another, and to work together as a team in order to succeed.

As a visiting Institute seminarian at St. Margaret Mary’s Apostolate in Oakland, CA this year, I had the great pleasure to assist with all the events of this camp. After witnessing the great things done by the youth of Wisconsin in past years, I was greatly impressed once again in California. Under the timeless experience and unfailing direction of Canon Olivier Meney, Canon Raphael Ueda, and Abbé Kevin Kerscher, the boys divided up into 3 teams, each with a patron saint and motto, that would compete in the “Olympic” games – which included a swimming race and the challenge of traversing a rope maze – and the well-known Flag Wars, as well as complement their fellow teams in the daily tasks of cooking meals, serving them to hungry campers, and washing up the dishes. The teams would come together for Holy Mass which always holds the central place in these camps, not to mention morning prayers and Rosary processions.

The mornings and evenings were particularly beautiful as the boys raised the American flag in singing the Salve Regina and making the Pledge of Allegiance as the sun rose and then lowered it in the same way in the evening. As night came on, all gathered around the campfire which cast its warm light on many fun games, skits, and songs that each team would prepare for each evening. The parents and families of the campers this year had a special opportunity to see the campers in action on the evening of Aug. 7. All the boys came to St. Margaret Mary’s Apostolate and formed a choir, which I had the great honor of directing, to sing the Mass of the Angels for the First Friday High Mass. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a campfire and s’mores in front of the rectory.

It was indeed a great week for campers, counselors, and clerics alike. I certainly hope that the news and photos of each of these Institute camps will inspire even more of our youth to join us in the upcoming years. 

- Abbé Bryan Silvey, seminarian

Click the images below to enlarge them.

California St. Michael’s Boys Camp
California St. Michael’s Boys Camp
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California St. Michael’s Boys Camp
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California St. Michael’s Boys Camp
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California St. Michael’s Boys Camp
California St. Michael’s Boys Camp
California St. Michael’s Boys Camp