Be strong and keep your heart firm: Empowering youths to face challenges of today

The Youth Camp is an annual programme which began in the year 2016 under a rotation system. This year it was the turn of St Peter Pamol, Zone Nangoh, under the parish of St Martin Telupid who successfully organised the 2nd Youth Camp.

Jul 13, 2017

TELUPID: The Youth Camp is an annual programme which began in the year 2016 under a rotation system. This year it was the turn of St Peter Pamol, Zone Nangoh, under the parish of St Martin Telupid who successfully organised the 2nd Youth Camp. The programme themed Strong and Strengthen Your Heart (Deuteronomy 31:6) was conducted June 5-8, 2017. A total of 139 youth participated which also included 43 members from the Executive Committee.

The participation in Youth Camp 2 was unique because, not only did it have seven participants from the Chapel from Zone Nangoh, but 23 youth from Paitan, St Francis of Assisi, Sukang and St John the Baptist also joined the programme. The objectives of this Youth Camp 2 were to reinforce and empower the youth to face the challenges of today, to encourage the youth to involve themselves in service to be ready to become leaders in their respective chapels, to strengthen friendships and to expose them to the prayer experience.

The programme began with registration, recitation of the Rosary and Lecto Divinia before listening to the Word of God. In the evening, the opening ceremony of the Youth Camp 2 began with an invitation to the Blessed Trinity, Mother Mary and the Heavenly hosts to participate in the programme.

The second day began with morning prayers, ‘Body Prayers’ and aerobics. One of the talks was given by Anna Teresa Amandus, a Youth Coordinator from Sandakan Diocese who spoke on ‘Commitment.’ The youth were then divided into two groups: youth groups and children aged 9-14 years. Even though there were two different sets of young people, the title of the talk was still the same, except that the methodology used for the groups was age-appropriate. Anna explained that we need to be responsible and committed and the only way we can do this is to have a deep love for Jesus. “You must use your intelligence and skills as servers, but if you do not have any love in the ministry, then the service you give will be just a job.”

Later, there were various activities, such as games, Praise and Worship and a quiz on Bible Knowledge. The participants had to read the Bible to look for the characters and through this activity, they learned more about their faith. In the afternoon, they participated in a prayer tour or Youth Walk, with the theme Call. They had to walk 2.4 km through five stations where each station had activities, such as writing a prayer in response to His call and to be more committed. Throughout the Youth Walk, they were guided in how to reflect and pray through reading of the Word of God while singing his praises from one station to another. The Prayer Book emphasised the call to commitment arising from their reflection during Holy Mass at the close of the fourth day of the programme.

In the evening, Anna Teresa and her team gave another talk on “Youth Reality.” Initially, the participants found the talk fun but, by the end of the session, they saw the reality of what is happening to youth today and what could happen to them. After a team building session, the youth were again divided into groups of youth 13 years and above and children aged 9-12 years. The same talk was delivered to the two groups but tailored to be age appropriate.

The third day of the programme was filled with more rugged activities. There was an Outdoor Training Group (LDK), an Explore Race and a Night Expression Concert. In the Outdoor Training Group programme, the participants trained in groups with fun activities such as creating songs based on the word ‘Creation,’ practising how to dance and other games.

In the afternoon, the participants set off on the Explore Race which is a 2.4 km run through eight stations. During the Race, leadership, group solidarity and the responsibility of each person in the groups is important. This is because each group was tasked with searching for clues to find the face of Jesus, as well as performing the activities required at each station, such as eating and drinking, making a monument and other muddy activities. Furthermore, throughout the Explore Race, participants were challenged by ‘Lucifer,” two women from KWK.

The highlight of Youth Camp 2 was the Night Expression Concert where the participants were given the opportunity to express what they had learnt while at camp. They could express themselves in the form of song and action, in a choir or by acting it out. Apart from the participants, the members of the Executive Committee also presented their songs. The Night Expression Concert was the highlight of the programme as it was also a way for those who are still passive to come forward and express what is inside them without feeling any embarrassment.

On the final day, there were sharings, evaluation of the programme by the participants and the closing Holy Mass by Fr Jasery. Prizes and souvenirs were presented to the participants. There were also awards for the best male and female youth, best boys, best girls, the most sporting youth and the best group. Special thanks were given to the speakers, Anne Teresa, Martinus Hera, Fr Jasery, Gabriel Sundang and everyone who provided or assisted during the programme. Certificates of participation were handed to the participants. Members of the Executive Committee were given Certificates of Appreciation. -- By Louissa G. Sundang and Team AJP Youth Camp 2

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