Sunday, August 22, 2010

Camp Veritas- Part 2

So the rest of the posts on camp will be either the days or experiences I remember clearly. Some days were pretty normal, but some of them I'll always remember so clearly. The general run-of-the-mill day for me ran by waking up an hour before breakfast to get showered and get to some morning prayer before breakfast, then breakfast. Pool first period (freezing cold water on a freezing cold morning makes for EXCELLENT penance hahaha) then the lake (I could have spent my whole day out there. I LOVE being in and by the water), followed by lunch, two hours' worth of sports, then time for everybody to hang out at the canteen/snack bar before going to mass. After that we ate dinner, participated in adoration/praise and worship, a testimony around a bonfire at the lake (SO beautiful) and then some free time before hitting the sack and starting the cycle again. But let's start from day 1.

Day 1 is pretty much your orientation. For me and Elizabeth (she's gone with me since '09) that really meant getting to reunite and catch up with all our old friends we loved so dearly. It's a great way to kick off the week. Every year we've gotten sunny (if not a little hot and buggy at times) and beautiful weather every year for drop-off day so far. Oh, yeah except for this year...

Rain. It was coming down in such voluminous amounts for such a period of time it wasn't even funny. If it hadn't been for the fact I was majorly too hyped up on camp excitement I would've been SO annoyed. But I was in such good company and a spirit of reunion I didn't let it kill me or the fun. Once you've been there and experienced just how present God is that week, not even a bolt of lightning (more on that later) will get your spirits down. After giving us about an hour or so to get used to and/or reunited and reoriented with the campus layout, they got us into our groups for the week and we rushed to our cabins so we weren't all crammed into the big cafeteria. Once we got back to the cabin and I saw my group, I realized how much God was already blessing my week. I had two Firemen from Long Island for counselors who were going to run this place like we were a bunch of Long Island firemen trainees. I liked them from the start. One was a big, manly, hysterical guy and the other was a stocky, well grounded guy who was gonna make sure we were well taken care of and well behaved. My group consisted of some good old friends, as well as some new guys I found myself liking already.

So, without further ado, here's my group:

While this pic wasn't taken until Friday, It's the only/best shot of my group. You can see my two counselors on either end of the group, and the rest of us scrunched in between them. A truly great and invaluable group of guys. we weren't without our faults, but we got along well enough and had a great week.

From there, we went to the makeshift chapel for the week and heard Ryan give a talk.

What an inspirational and Godly man. I admire him so much. He's like family to me, and his kids are the most precious little quintet of kids you'll ever see (next to ours of course JK).

We got to hear him give the first talk of the entire week (as is tradition) and then his dad, Grandpa Young gave a little intro to the mass that would happen after dinner. Ryan's parents are EVERYONE'S grandparents. Every year they treat you like you're their grandchildren, and they are such a beautiful model for a married life in its fullest.

So after that, we had dinner and then mass. In the middle of mass, it hit me like a brick in the head; my family ISN'T HERE! While I was relieved to remember I did in fact have my sis there with me, I hadn't been apart from my family for more than about 6 hours at a time that whole summer. I wasn't sure how I'd make it through. So I simply put it in God's hands and said "God, I offer this pain up to counter my homesickness and maybe even use that emotion that would be wasted on too much worry to touch some one's life by my actions and deeds to make it worth it for them personally. Did I? Well, you'll have to read on a little bit later in the week to find out!

I went to bed that night feeling like I had a great week ahead of me and that I had goals to accomplish. I had a talent show to rock, sports to win, and lives that needed to be touched, however God might lead me to that. And what morning and the rest of the week would actually have in store,and how God would blow my expectations completely out of the water, only time would tell.

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