Monday, September 4, 2017

Camp Magis: My First Experience of Being Away

Hello this is Rylie, it's been  a while since I wrote something on my blog.  Thanks Mom for letting me.

I am so glad we are off today. I am so stuffy and not feeling so well. I just got done with my homework and I thought of writing about my experience at Camp Magis. This was the very first time that I was away from my family. I have never gone to any sleep overs or anything like that so I didn't really know what to expect without my parents and brother with me. We do everything together so I was a little nervous embarking on this journey.   I have to say though that I had so much fun with my friends out there.  We had three parent chaperones  that came with us so I felt  like my  Mom and Dad were there with me.  Fr. Dennis and Deacon Vince was also  with us.  
Let me tell you about Camp Magis a little bit.   Camp Magis is a program put together by the  the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s  for all seventh graders in West Virginia Catholic schools. This  awesome journey is held at at the Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center in Morgantown.  According to the information provided to us, Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center  is a 1400-acre property centrally isolated in the heart of West Virginia. It is operated by the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.  The center is a place set aside to help young people like me to  fall in love with Jesus Christ and His Church.​   In this 3-day adventure, we have learned about our faith and encountered God through the line up of high-adventure activities, prayer, fellowship, and liturgy. The place was beautiful and very relaxing.  
The morning we left school
The four main goals of  Camp Magis includes:

  1. TO PROVIDE STUDENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO FALL DEEPER IN LOVE WITH JESUS CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH.
  2. TO HELP STUDENTS LEARN MORE ABOUT THEMSELVES THROUGH NEW EXPERIENCES, STEPPING OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONES, AND OVERCOMING THEIR FEARS.
  3. TO HELP STUDENTS SEE HOW THEY FIT INTO THE LARGER BODY OF CHRIST BY SPENDING TIME IN A NON-CLASSROOM SETTING WITH OTHER STUDENTS AND RECOGNIZING THEIR SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES IN NEW WAYS.
  4. TO INSPIRE STUDENTS TO RETURN HOME AND FIND THEIR OWN UNIQUE WAY TO BE AN ACTIVE, CHRIST-LIKE SERVANT IN THEIR COMMUNITY.
We left  on Wednesday, August 30.  I packed all the things that I needed in the camp during the weekend.  I  used the army roll technique in packing all my clothing, bedding, towel, and pillow so it won't take a lot of space in my suitcase.  I packed  my stuff very neatly so I only  needed one  medium size of suitcase.  I was excited and nervous at the same time.  I woke up  very early on Wednesday.  My Mom and Dad were already awake.  Mom cooked breakfast, we ate, and my Dad dropped me off at school at 5:45, he waited until we departed from school.  I can tell, both of my parents were anxious.
It took us about 3-4 hours on the road before we arrived at our destination.  Our very first activity was a team of two  challenge.  One has to lead  the team while they are blindfolded.  My friend Jules was my teammate and I was the one who led her the way.  We learned how to trust each other on this activity.
I have learned a lot on this camp experience.   I told my Mom she would have been so proud of me if she were there because I did  house chores just like I do at home.  We  cleaned dishes and  other things.  Some of the fun  activities  that we did includes archery, farming, canoeing,  swinging up high on a tree, and we did  a lot of self reflection activities.  On our camping list supplies, we were asked to bring a journal and a pen and we used it to jot down our thoughts and  emotions.  
Only few of my classmates  did not go on this out-of-school activity.  I wish they would have gone with us because they missed out on a lot of fun and learning experience. 
I think my Mom would have loved it there, because of the  fresh vegetable in the farm and the animals like the pigs and bunnies.  I love bunnies, so I was happy to see a lot of them there.  I felt bad that one of the pigs escaped the pen when  my friend and I went inside.  Even though the  guy did not show it, I could see that he was displeased of what happened.  It took him a while to catch it and I felt guilty.
The photo below   was taken on our way back home.  We were all exhausted.  I think the lack of sleep  drained my energy because I felt terrible the next day.  I went to our volleyball practice and when I came home I was having chills and body ache.  My Mom made and gave  me  some ginger tea and Daddy gave me a shot of medicine.  I fell asleep and stayed in bed for hours.  I felt fine  on Sunday but today I am feeling bad again.  
One of the motivational speaker during one of our group sessions  shared his personal experiences about his life.  He told us that if plan doesn't go as we hope it to be, we shouldn't let it  drag us down but  instead, take it as a  stepping stone to move forward.  My question is, what if we don't have a back up plan?  I guess, I will figure this out when I get a little older but it definitely made me think.    

Here is the video that one of our chaperone's took of me when I was on  the swing.
video
As much as I would love to elaborate more, I have to go because I have piano in an hour and I need to practice. I wasn't able to really practice this week because of the camp and volleyball practices. I hope that I would feel better soon because we have our very first volleyball game tomorrow. Speaking of which, we have so many volleyball games line up this year. We are now teamed up with St. Paul so I am learning new techniques. I am trying to really strengthen my serve outside the court. I am not there yet but once in a while, I get lucky with my serve. Anyways, I really have to go. By for now. Until next time.

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