Franciscan Sister Mary Teresa Bettag and Sister Hannah Johnecheck share on their recent experience serving at CYSC (Catholic Youth Summer Camp) at the Damascus Camp in Centerburg, Ohio.
Sister Mary Teresa: Sr. Hannah and I were invited to participate in CYSC (Catholic Youth Summer Camp) at the Damascus Camp in Centerburg, Ohio. We arrived on Tuesday evening and stayed through Friday, the final day. The camp is designed with a daily schedule that includes prayer lab, lake time, activities, Mass, skits, and time for adoration, praise and worship. Sr. Hannah was able to take part in the giant swing, the rock wall, and archery tag; while I was able to do bread making, the water obstacle course, blobbing (being launched into a lake off an inflatable), paintball, and the high ropes course.
I was so impressed at the way that prayer was at the center of all that we did at Damascus, with the various staff teams alternating times in the chapel to pray for the mission of the camp, and the campers getting coached in prayer during our prayer lab time, and offered the opportunity to encounter the Lord in Mass and adoration. It was beautiful to watch it bear fruit in the lives of the campers; and it was a delight for me to also have that time and location to encounter the Lord and get to interact with other young religious from a variety of communities. It was a wonderful week.
Sister Hannah: This camp was inspired by two families who wanted to help make the faith more real to the Youth of the Catholic Church. It was named Damascus because it was on the road to Damascus that Saint Paul encountered Christ and his heart was changed. It was a true blessing to be part of this camp. There were about 500 campers and 150 staff. The campers were in Middle and High School. The staff was made up of young adults in their 20’s and 30’s. I was inspired by the campers’ openness to God and the working of the Holy Spirit. I was even more inspired by the young adult staff that was so willing to work extremely hard and be so positive in order to share Jesus Christ with the youth. Our Church is alive and God is still changing hearts!