Catholic Heart Workcamp (CHWC) invites students who will be entering the 8th grade, high school students, college students, young adults, and chaperones. Over 50 one-week camps are set up all over the United States. Parishes send their teens to the city they choose for a week of fun, laughter, service, Mass, prayer, music, skits, the sacrament of Reconciliation and friendship.
At camp, the youth join a group of anywhere from 300 – 400 teens and adult chaperones. Sunday afternoon and evening are set aside for everyone to meet his or her work team – which is usually 4 – 5 teens from different parishes and their adult chaperone. They also spend that time to go through orientation, learn safety rules, and celebrate Mass.
A typical day at CHWC begins with a morning program or Mass followed by community service from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Later that evening the youth participate in an evening program, followed by free time until 10:30 p.m.
The teens who served the Little Sisters of the Poor are from Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota, Kansas and Oklahoma. They ranged from 14 – 18 years of age. Some participated in CHWC in previous summers, while a few experienced camp for the first time.
I am on staff at our local parish in Wheaton, IL as the Middle School Youth Minister and Religious Educator. The trip to Kansas City was my 20th camp … and I love it! It is such an inspiration to see our young people working and serving with such joy. Just close your eyes and you will hear the scraping of old paint drowned out by giggles, conversation, and cooperation. They are genuinely interested in the stories and lives of the people they meet. They share their stories and opinions as we gather for lunch, go through a set of questions (prepared by the CHWC staff), and pray for and with each other.
Many teens go home “on fire” to share their experiences and renewed faith. I have found so many of our teens who spend the week at CHWC are the ones we see active and enthused at home in our youth group.
For more information about Catholic Heart Workshop, visit www.heartworkcamp.com
Click here to view a photo slideshow from this event.