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Summer Camp 2010 - Aptos, California

So it all started with an advert for soccer coaches to go and work at a summer camp in America (and yes I had comments regarding playing footy – being a girl) but I was really excited to work at a Salesian summer camp in America and get the chance to play football for most of it. Along with two Kerridge brothers (Martin and Patrick, I wasn’t sure how I was going to survive 6 weeks with the pair of them!) I headed out to California on the 25th June. Our adventure started with a week’s training at the Salesian house in Berkley, this gave us the chance to meet all the other camp leaders and other staff involved with the camp. During this week we were also joined by Tom Sellars and Fr Bob, and we all got the chance to go to the Salesian school and parish there. Towards the end of the training week we got the opportunity to take part in the ‘BIG SAN FRANSISCO CITY HUNT’! For this we split into smaller teams and had to negotiate our way around the city finding all the main tourist sites and locations. It was a very long day and involved A LOT of walking, but it was well worth it, what a great city.

So then it was time for camp to begin and everyone was very excited. Each week the camp had a theme, so the dining room and outside area were all decorated to fit it, and throughout the week a story related to it was also acted out by the team. The themes were –

Week 1 = The Legend of Avanti: Beyond the Fortress of Shadows (Alice in wonderland style)

Week 2 = The Misadventures of Rogue Agents 007 1/2: The Runes of Fate (James bond style)

Week 3 = Knights of Pendragon and the Quest for the Lost Prophecy (Camelot style)

Week 4 =Sigma 6: The Fall of the Etisarap (Avatar style)

I got the great pleasure of playing the characters of a giant ‘evil’ Green snake, an ‘evil’ 2 faced agent, an ‘evil’ green faced witch and Mother earth (who turned ‘evil’!! I think they were trying to say something). It was also hilarious to see Martin and Pat dressed as tribe’s people, a giant dragonfly, Women, a scientist and many other characters.

During the weeks of camp we spent most mornings playing football (or, soccer) with the lads on the camp, it was really good fun and many of them had some pretty cool skills to show off. We also got the chance to try out some of the other activities including – archery, BB shooting, Arts and crafts, skateboarding and the games rooms. All the young people on the camp were fantastic and some really good relationships were developed over the four weeks.

We also got the opportunity to help out with Music, good mornings and good nights along with daily prayers. I loved teaching everyone ‘Jesus you’re my superhero’ and ‘come let us go’ – which everyone couldn’t stop singing.

Every day the camp went down to the beach after lunch, this was a great time to chill out (and if you went in to the sea it was more like freeze than chill out! Who would have thought that the sea in California was so cold in July!?) I turned blue every time I went in, was really good fun though, boogie boarding and such likes.

There were so many highlights of the camp, too many things to mention – but along with activities in the day; there were night time activities that included Talent Shows, Movie Nights, Casino nights and Game Nights. The craziest things we did during the camp were ‘CRAZY FRIDAYS’, these were basically massive, water fights, with lots of water bombs and flour bombs, these always turned into madness and many of the camp staff ended up covered in flour by the end of it.

Everyone that took part in the camp was great and all 3 Brits made some great friends across the pond, who I hope to keep in touch with for a long time to come. I’d like to say thank you to Brother Al, for his huge welcome and for looking after us so well during our time in California. I’d love to go back and work the camp again in the future. Also I want to give a big thanks to Martin and Pat for making the trip so enjoyable and for not being to annoying!!

DON BOSCO TODAY

Spring 2019

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