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Faith, fun and friends chance at youth summer camp

Faith, friends, good food and a lot of fun are promised at the Diocese of East Anglia Youth Summer Camp, to be held in late August at Eccles Hall in Norfolk. Rebecca Bretherton met Kerry Thorpe from North Walsham and Chrissie Storman from Great Yarmouth and heard how the weekend helps them share their faith.


Chrissie: Summer Camp gives children a terrific few days meeting other Catholics from across East Anglia. Children enjoy a weekend of fun and the opportunity to talk about their faith in a new way. I got involved many years ago when the camps were organised by the Catholic Women’s League. Times have moved on but the CCWL still support us, especially by praying for us all.

Kerry: I was 11 years old when I first went to Summer Camp and my sister Lauren joined me. I’ve been going ever since and I’m now one of the leaders. Summer Camp is special as I spend time sharing my faith with people who have become great friends. I didn’t go to a Catholic school so this is my chance to meet other young Catholics.    

The games and swimming and fun are mixed with learning new things about being Catholic.  Sometimes it clicks and you think, ‘Yeah I get that’. Being together means that you can chat about the sessions with other people over the weekend. You start having little discussions about what you have learnt, even in the dorms at night.

Having grown up through camp, I now see the younger ones responding to the sessions. It’s really strengthened my relationship with God. It’s different to being at home in my parish. When we have Mass at camp it’s a special sort of community. It’s really powerful to worship together.

Chrissie: Children’s confidence grows as they are able to read prayers and take part in worship in a way that is often difficult in their home parish. We have lots of upbeat child – friendly hymns to sing!

Kerry: There’s a sense of belonging and a chance to try things out. After the final Mass we can tell parents what we’ve done. It’s great to see children sharing their faith in God with their families.

Chrissie: The weekend is full of prayer in a relaxed way. We have prayers at bedtime and grace before meals; things that sometimes get forgotten at home become a natural way to live at Camp.

Kerry: The weekend has a theme. I will always remember the ‘Pilgrimage’ year. The groups were so creative and enthusiastic as they presented what they had learnt with handmade posters and poems they had written. This year’s theme is about being alive in your faith. If you want to know more you will have to join us!

Chrissie is handing over Summer Camp to a new team lead by Lorraine Furmedge.

Chrissie: I know Camp is in safe hands. The new team are planning a great weekend this year!

Summer Camp is at Eccles Hall, Norfolk Friday August 25 to Monday August 28. Ages 8-14 years.

For more information email: diocesansummercamp@gmail.com

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For those too old to come to the Summer Camp, there is the Ignite Youth Festival held every year in the spring. Click here for a full report of this year’s event, held in Swaffham.

Pictured above are Chrissie Storman, left, and Kerry Thorpe.

 

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