The Power of the Salesian Community 

By Juan Carlos Montenegro

The annual celebration of Mission Day The Salesians in Bellflower, California, are hard at work creating a safe and welcoming environment for young people by offering training to become a Salesian Missionary volunteer at Camp Savio. The five-week program runs from the end of June through the whole of July in 2023, and training has already begun with around 160 young people present at St. Dominic Savio Church.

These young volunteers are committed to attending training sessions every Friday for the next 15 weeks to learn how to become effective camp counselors. As part of the training, they’ll review topics such as growth mindset, burnout prevention, best practices for counselors, child psychology, child development, and comfort zones, among other leadership topics. The ultimate goal of this training is to help young people grow as good Christians and honest citizens while also developing skills for their summer experience.

Camp Savio has been a fixture in the community since 1966, with over 500 participants each year, including campers and counselors. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the camp remained open and continued to serve those in need, albeit with fewer participants.

In addition to providing a fun summer camp experience, Camp Savio is also helping young people develop important social and emotional skills and strengthen their mental health. As we’ve seen lately, youth mental health is a continuing struggle among some of our young people, and Camp Savio is stepping up to offer a unique opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery.

By training young people to become Salesian Missionary volunteers at Camp Savio, the Salesians in Bellflower are positively impacting the lives of young people in their community. They’re creating a safe and nurturing environment that helps young people grow as individuals and community members. We can’t wait to see this program’s positive impact on the lives of the young people who participate.