Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Camp Veritas- Part 4

The next morning I ran through my usual make-myself-look-presentable for the day stuff and then I moved on to say some prayers before Br. Joachim led the morning meditation. But before that, I realized I hadn't done something yet this week. Even though it had only been about 36 hours since I arrived, there had been  to Confession every second of the day, and I just hadn't. I let the fact there was a "big line" get in my way. But as I saw that Fr. Justin, a Priest I'm both close to and who was our chaplain 90% of the week, sitting in the back corner of our makeshift chapel, I figured I'd seize the moment and go. While I'm not going to go into a huge dissertation about it. Confession really is so amazing. When you go, even though there's a Priest talking, listening, and sitting next to you, you know Jesus is there as well. You feel so liberated and free afterwards that it's hard to deny then as well. That day my counselor, Nick needed to cover some fireman duties, and so I'd get Mike (aka slippy guy from yesterday) as my secondary counselor.

Mike is one fun guy. He's a pretty killer athlete, and his wife Heather (Ryan's little sister) is pretty good too. Another couple that was around from year one who have just been great people to know :)

Our days activities went all pretty well. I even had some fun at our cantina (snackbar) with some campers who are now counselors


If my family had been there, I swear I would've been in the midst of perfect family of people. Never a dull moment. Always a funny one.

As I'm sitting out on the porch there. Brother Joachim's head pops up under the bench (on the left) and asks me if  I want to serve mass. For those of you who know me that are in my parish, you know I live for Serving Sunday Mass. It's an amazing way to participate and I love it entirely. 

From there came some dinner and some good fellowship. I always love hanging with the guys from my group, but a couple times that week I'd sat with Father Justin and the sisters of Life that were there. They've always got good advice and stories to tell. Never mind the fact we tend to talk about 15 minutes after Dinner's actually finished :D

from there we had praise and Worship. That night, we sang a song that wasn't in the songbook they gave us, but I had heard it before. Never until I actually sang How He Loves Us by David Crowder did  I realized the beauty of the song and what truth it has. While I got teary during a couple really great songs over the week. the beauty of this song overpowered emotion. Check it out in the linked text or look it up on my playlist at the bottom of the page. 

From there, we had the first pool party of the week. They start out by having someone giving their testimony, followed by us hanging out in the gym or pool areas, or just chatting and socializing with other campers. That night was gonna change a lot of what the week would mean to me. Even though he has gotten to for every year so far, Brother Joachim gave his testimony again this year.

This year however, he ended it with a bang: he had all of the kids the Friars bring up with them from the Bronx join him at the head of the group. He told us how these special kids were his testimony for the rest of his life. He then said he even had one going into the Marines. My first thought was that something like that would have spread through camp by now if that person was there, but when I was talking with some of the kids afterwards, they told me that one of them that was at the camp was in fact who Br. Joachim had been talking about. This guy had been around since '08. He had been the big prankster, the funny one. Never would I have thought this would be his vocation in life. Slowly throughout the week I talked with him about what training would be like, what it would consist of, and what had inspired him. But this was going to be a part of something even bigger I'd take away from the week. By the end of the night, I had had a lot of fun. My whole "Touch somebody's life if God wills it" agenda was far away from my main consciousness, when, all of the sudden, it snuck up on me. I was waiting with the rest of my group for Nick (who was back by now) to come and pick us up when, all of the sudden, one of the guys said something that took me completely off guard. "Ya know, Caleb" he started, "at the beginning of the week, we had rain, I was homesick, and I wasn't finding any real friends. But I saw how you buddied around with all of us and kept your spirits up, and I knew I could do it if you could."

I was in complete awe. I managed a quick "Aw, thanks man, it means a lot," but beyond that I was dumbfounded. I swore god had just floored me. Then we got back to my cabin, and Nick dubbed me his secretary because he said I was always organized and on-schedule. To top it all off, I got asked by my group to play the song we were gonna sing on guitar. It was just perfect. Absolutely perfect. I was beyond overjoyed. A great end to a great day.   

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