Franciscan Footprints

The Diocese of Rockford is kind enough to sponsor an annual vocation camp for girls and young women.  We have been involved in it several years and it has been a great experience for us, and I think for the girls as well.  There was a great group of sisters there this year, and as always the women from the Diocese who are the backbone of the camp.  It was great having Father Romke there.  He was great with the girls. 

We tried some new things this year that really improved the experience, especially for the college students, and we have plans for improvements for next year as well.  The biggest improvement that we made this year was having a separate program for the college students.  This was mostly so they could have a more retreat like environment.  They slept in the retreat center instead of the youth center.  They had a separate schedule, a different theme with different talks.

They had more talks and prayer time but also more flexibility.  They could choose to attend some parts of the girls camp if they chose or do their own thing.  They could make a little trip to the ice cream shop, as I am told they did one evening.  Their theme for this year was Mary, mother of evangelization.

I think the biggest hit with the middle school and high school girls was the bread baking.  The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist wanted to teach them how to make bread and talk to them about the Eucharist.  We didn't have access to ovens to bake the bread so we ended up cooking it right on an open grill.  And you know... it was delicious!  We had a fun theme for this year, it was Princess, yes, I said princess.  May sound a little silly, but there is a lot we can learn about our deepest desires from the whole fairytale princess thing.  And those deepest desires were put there by God, to draw us closer to Him.  Now this is where we depart from Disney. It's not about Prince Charming; it's about the Prince of Peace, our Lord and Savior.  And the Fairytale wedding and the happily everafter is in heaven.

All in all it seems like everyone enjoyed the camp/retreat.  If you're in the Rockford area, you may want to look into joining us there next year.  The more the merrier.

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