Edmonton: St. John Bosco Parish Summer Camp

Edmonton Summer Camp

By Ms. Joyce Labelle

(Edmonton, AB – July 26) – St. John Bosco Parish hosted a one-week camp for youth from ages 6 through 12 from Monday, July 10, through Friday, July 14. There were 42 participants who enjoyed activities guided by three leaders (who were teachers) and several counselors (both youth and adults).

Fr. George Atok, SDB, a guest priest from Surrey, led catechism with Mass, prayer, and a discussion of our patron saint as we watched sections of the St. John Bosco movie. Fr. George shared with the children what the word joy means: "Love Jesus, love others, and love yourself." Fr. George also created a wonderful way to present messages to these children at Mass via messages in a bottle. These messages were—"to do ordinary things in an extraordinary way with love and joy" and "to leave a place better than it was, always."

This year’s camp theme "Following Jesus" was implemented in the various activities, crafts, and prayer time. The children were divided into two groups: 6-to-8-year-olds and 9-to-12-year-olds with specific activities created for them.

One of the fun events was the friendship tea hosted by the children for seniors, parishioners, and family members. The children made invitations that were handed out after one of the morning Masses. They decorated the tables with handmade flowers and placements and then created a banner that read “Welcome to our Friendship Tea.” Everyone who attended enjoyed the tea.

At camp, children enjoyed stations for playdough, word search, coloring sheets, Legos, games, and books. The younger children enjoyed painting birdhouses, participating in nature and church scavenger hunts, making a fish craft (from the story of the multiplying of the fish), and creating beaded crosses. The children also played basketball, volleyball, tennis, and badminton outside. Additionally, they drew with sidewalk chalk and made bubbles! Our parish was blessed to have one of the neighboring schools offer additional sports equipment (ex. hula hoops, a parachute, and skipping ropes).

The older group experienced the theme of “following Jesus” with activities related to their age. These include prayer puzzles, catechism, an escape room, ping pong, foosball tournaments, name that hymn, a scavenger hunt, praying in color, and matching the 12 apostles.

Our parish was blessed to have 6 wonderful volunteers—our “kitchen angels”—who created delicious meals and snacks for everyone at camp. Many happy smiles indeed!

On the last day of camp, each participant, leader, and volunteer created a banner made with crosses. Each person was asked to write on their cross what “following Jesus” meant to them. This work of art is so beautiful and featured true heartfelt reflections!

A carnival also took place with several fun activities for all participants. These included a football toss, face painting, fishpond, bubble center, frisbee tic tac toe, making s’mores, and chalk art. The big hit was the water fun activity and the arrival of the “trucksicle” loaded with all flavors of popsicles. There was lots of laughter and fun!

This team of dedicated volunteers, guided by the Holy Spirit, truly created this sense of community through prayer, friendship, and caring for these children. It is important for each child to know that they can do ordinary things in an extraordinary way with joy and love by following Jesus. It was through the generous and prayerful support from our St. John Bosco Parish, the Knights of Columbus, and the many talents of all our 20 volunteers that created this joy-filled camp for these children.

July 26, 2023 - 11:40am
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