Programming for youth ministry tends to follow the academic calendar for students in the parish. But when school gets out for the summer, that doesn't mean that opportunities for our young members to practice their faith and grow spiritually cease. In fact, with summer programs, middle and high school age students are able to apply much of what they learned in ministry to serve others while continuing to grow in their faith and form lasting friendships outside the classroom. Here's a list of opportunities available for students.
Register: If you would like to register a youth ministry student or adult chaperon for one of the following opportunities, please contact Paul Sifuentes, Director of Youth Ministry at 873.2885 ext. 106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Middle School Youth (7th and 8th grade)
Summer Dayz July 10-12, Central Indiana
This three day camp brings together students from both the Carmel deanery and Archdiocese of Indianapolis parishes. Together students make a difference by serving throughout their own communities of central Indiana. Students will stay overnight at Guerin Catholic High School in Noblesville throughout the three day program. They'll be served meals, share in various team building activities, have time for prayer and celebrate Mass. Between breakfast and dinner, the students will break off into various groups and travel to different organizations to help serve others in need. Last year, participants helped with a community garden, served at a food pantry, and worked with elderly among other projects. "This is a chance for students to participate in a summer program without being too far from home," explained Paul Sifuentes, Director of Youth Ministry at the parish. "They get to see and learn about organizations locally run by teams of volunteers and witness the significant impact they have on the community." Following each day of work, students are refueled with a large dinner and a fun activity such as a bowling or water park outings.
High School Youth
Catholic Heart Work Camp June 17 - 23, Toledo, Ohio
High School youth members take an exciting adventure to our neighbor state to serve in communities during this summer experience. Catholic Heart Work Camp is a Catholic organization that works with youth throughout the country planning opportunities for them to take part and serve the elderly, disabled and others in need. This year's youth ministry participants will travel to Toledo together and stay overnight at a school facility. During the daytime they will work on the projects at hand. By the end of the adventure, the group will make a pit stop at Cedar Point on the return home. "It's about faith in action," Sifuentes says to describing Catholic Heart Work Camp. "Our youth have this special opportunity to serve the face of Christ through helping others in need. "
Notre Dame Vision (ND Vision) June 25 - 29, South Bend, Indiana
Before June wraps up, the parish youth will have the opportunity to visit Notre Dame and take part in their renowned program for Catholic youth, catechists and parents. This trip offers a specialized conference filled with activities, Mass, music and sessions for students to learn more about their faith, how to apply it in their lives and grow spiritually. The entire program focuses on the theme that God is calling each and every young person ... and how they can answer that call.
There will even be a special parent, youth minister and catechist conference track separate from the students. Those sessions will engage adults while focusing on how to help young people grow in their faith and take part to teach them whether in home or a classroom setting.
"God has blessed and called us to do great things for Him, " said Sifuentes. "It reminds youth that they are loved and in love they can answer that call when using their gifts and talents." The event is led with the help of college students serving as small group leaders and keynote speakers. Oh ... and we heard the food is pretty fantastic too!