By Diego Buenrostro (Camp Counselor)
(St. Dominic Savio Church, Bellflower) – Welcome to the first week of Camp Savio! We are overjoyed to have about 328 children attend our summer camp this year. We, the counselors, are thankful to the parents who are trusting us with the job of giving their little angels a fun and safe summer.
Overview of our weekly activities at Camp!
For some children, Camp Savio may be a completely new experience to them and for others, it is their yearly ritual of an epic summer full of faith, fun, and amazing food! Along with many new campers, we also have received many new counselors who were once campers the year before. They are now old enough to be responsible for campers of their own and to grow in leadership skills.
Week one of Camp was full of first experiences for both campers and counselors. Our counselors started off each day at 8:30 by gathering for a morning meeting where the Headmaster, Taaj, and Camp Director, Jc Montenegro, informed us about the events that will be taking place throughout the camp day. The day starts for the kids at 9:00 and a carefully planned schedule is given to each grade so they know where to be at certain times. During the week there are several main events that we look forward to everyday. “Whole Camp” is one of them in which an hour is dedicated to a set of stations organized across the campus that have games both campers and counselors can participate in. Each day’s Whole Camp is planned by our Rec Crew months in advance.
Another activity that the campers look forward to during the day is pool! Pool is an hour long session in which two grades at a time walk over to Saint John Bosco high school and spend time in the refreshing water. The campers also enjoy the Liturgy session which is basically arts and crafts that incorporate God and reflection in each activity.
This past Thursday, the entire camp enjoyed their first field trip to Seal Beach. The upper grades were able to walk around Main Street, visit some stores, and just explore. Now at the end of every week, instead of Whole Camp, we have a time called Spirit Rally. This is when all the grades have a cheer off for a chance to win the Spirit Stick. Each grade practices daily in preparation for the rally and the only way to win is to show Rec crew how spirited and unified they are as a grade.
This week, I’ve noticed that the new campers have really opened up to their counselors and to their new environment. One of the many reasons that our counselors come to Camp Savio every summer is to help these kids come out of their comfort zones and to be a kid again, in a safe and welcoming environment. As a result, these children are growing in self-confidence and in their faith. We are ready and looking forward for the second week!