Summer camp sacraments

Summers are often filled with camps for young people determined to have fun and make new friends. The YSI Leadership Camp near Scranton, PA is no exception to this rule. An interesting distinctive element to this camp is its Jesus-focused component. Of course, many summer camps are Christian in their orientation, with classes in living as a young disciple, along with some forms of worship. YSI activities, however, place an emphasis on practical ways we can grow as Christians in the middle of the world today. So, each day begins with Mass, attended by just about everybody, as well as many opportunities for sacramental confession. As a chaplain for one of these camps I’m always amazed at how many adult staff members, parents and campers welcome the opportunity to get to confession while at camp. Perhaps it’s the fact that friends positively influence others in this direction, or perhaps they already regularly participate in this sacrament. It also seems helpful that since there are many openings available to them (like before Mass and during the Rosary) people don’t feel constrained by narrow time slots and long lines. Saint Josemaria, whose feast day is June 26, was a firm believer in the power of grace through confession, and encouraged priests to be generous in their availability to provide it. It’s great to see the fruits of his vision at the YSI camps, and it gives a lot of hope to us all! Why not join us, wherever you may be this summer, and see what opportunities for confession are open to you?

Classic (and classy) screen confessional in frequent use at the camp chapel. I love the carved St. Peter’s keys on the priest’s door!

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