By Bro. James Nam Nguyen, SDB
(San Luis Rey Parish – Laredo, TX) – Camp San Luis Rey in Laredo, Texas concluded its second week of summer camp this past Friday, July 15th. The theme for this year is “Be Who You Want To Be” based off the recent Disney movie “Zootopia.” There are a total of 226 young people this year: 156 campers and 70 counselors. The campers are divided into four “houses” according to their age and grade: Funky Monkeys, Honey Badgers, Iguanas, and Lava Bears.
Each day begins with a Salesian “good morning” given by a counselor. Breakfast is provided afterwards by the local school district. Next, all the campers are dismissed to their assigned houses for “family time” where the counselors animate the campers with creative games. An hour later, everyone gathers together for “all camp” where the counselors animate a large game or activity for all the campers to participate in. This is a wonderful opportunity for the campers to meet and compete against each other, as well as counselors learning how to animate games that are suitable for all ages. After the large group activity, the campers have the opportunity to participate in three of eight activity sessions for the day: music, dance, theater, reading, baking, outdoor sports, arts & crafts and game room. Once the three rotations are finished, the campers are given lunch, and dismissed for the day. Throughout the camp season, the campers have special days planned for them, such as water wars (water-game circuits), “Zootopia theme day” where they come dressed as any zoo animal, movie day, and “olympic games” the last week of camp, in honor of the 2016 Summer Olympics taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Camp San Luis Rey has been a tremendous success thus far, with a great sense of Salesianity and joy from the campers and counselors. The young people of San Luis Rey bring a positive and energetic ambiance to the camp, and look forward to being with each other every day. The creativity that these young people possess is remarkable, which is a beautiful gift for the parish community here. In this past week, the community of San Luis Rey has also been blessed with the presence of three Salesians who are spending time with the parishioners and campers. Among them is the Provincial, Fr. Ted Montemayor, along with Fr. Tom Juarez, and Fr. Jose Lucero, who has been animating and promoting vocations.
Please keep all the campers and counselors of Camp San Luis Rey in your prayers, as they embark towards the remaining two weeks of this camp season! May the Lord continue to bless this camp, as well as all the summer camps occurring in our province.