Teens take their faith to the next level at Camp Bosco

Camp Bosco (photo courtesy of Elvis Aguilar)

By Jen DeCoster

Tuesday morning of Camp Bosco, the excitement could be felt as the high schoolers arrived on campus, ready to take their faith to another level. Many had just finished working three weeks of Camp Savio and others had attended Camp Bosco last year. This summer marked the second year of Camp Bosco, the diocesan camp for High School sophomores to graduating seniors. The first day’s theme was “Worst Day Ever…Still Praising God.” Little did they know what was to come in the next 24 hours.

In the first 24 hours, campers experienced what it was like to really have the “worst day,” first by spending the day serving at DOVES, a nonprofit organization that provides help to victims of domestic violence in Atchison, KS. They completed chores such as sanitizing toys, folding clothes, gardening and landscaping, cleaning and sorting through donations.

That night, the first session was held outside on the football field. Dinner consisted of the nonperishable donations they had brought for the homeless, which they cooked on a campfire. But still, the worst was yet to come.

After Night Prayer, they were not allowed to go back to their rooms to shower and change. They would be sleeping outside in a cardboard box with only the blankets they had brought as donations. “Sleeping outside in the cardboard boxes, I learned how the homeless live and it was very eye opening,” said Katie McCubbin, Nativity of Mary.

“Whenever I will think back to the first day, ‘worst day ever,’ I’ll remember how much we suffered and to be thankful for everything we have and that God has given,” said Elizabeth Kehoe, Coronation of Our Lady.

The theme of the week was “Emerge,” and the Book of Job. They learned to emerge from loss and brokenness through their small group discussions.

Adrian Ampon, St. Therese, said “Camp Bosco goes a lot deeper than Camp Savio. We are able to connect more and we are able to talk longer and help each other out more.”

“I’ve learned different coping mechanisms and different ways to pray,” said Megan Galbraith, St. Columban.

Andrew Klepees, St. Francis Xavier, said, “I learned that when you open your wounds you can see people’s true identity and help them open their wounds.”

Taking their wounds into account, each small group chose a topic that High School teens struggle with, their job was to research and discuss to create a podcast that would help teens overcome these hardships.

Pete Haas, Annunciation, said “I thought it was a good way for our group to connect and help others. We discussed and compared notes before choosing a topic.” The podcasts can be heard at www.campsavio.com.

Other new activities included an Escape Room and Human Foosball. Klepees said, “My favorite part was human foosball. Watching everyone try to kick like a foosball player was funny.”

A Holy Hour was held every day. “Adoration was my favorite part because it really helped me to deal with my wounds and it helped me to say thank you to God for all He has given me and not to take it for granted,” said Sam Goulden, St. Andrew.

Camp Bosco is a day shorter than Camp Savio, but the level of depth goes beyond. Jeff Gardner, host and St. Pius X High School Religion teacher said, “I’ve never seen this amount of change in such a large group so quickly.”

Sofia Cucar, St. Thomas More, said, “I learned how to be more humble, offer things up and not complain as much.”

“I learned how to pray properly and that it’s okay to just sit down with Jesus. You don’t have to say anything specific,” said Katie Wheeler, St. John LaLande.

Ampon said, “I am going to be able to open up more to my parents and family and cope with my feelings.”

Bret Powell, first time chaperone from Sacred Heart in Eldon, Missouri said, “I was really impressed with the content the camp brought to the kids and the experience they had. It is stuff they will remember.”

“It has been beautiful, difficult, invigorating and exhausting. These kids are hungry for God and they want to know God. They have humbled me in their love for God. It calls me to have a deeper faith and to be a better man,” said Gardner.



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November 29, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph