BORING (BUT ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL) BUSINESS STUFF:
INSURANCE: The need to make sure you have proper insurance cannot be overstated. While talking about insurance seems so dry, we know you are aware of the risks faced when bringing any number of people together. Our society seems more litigious than ever and taking small steps to protect everyone involved is important.
Depending on your location the event will probably be covered by either the parish’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance. However, many facilities that you may want to rent will want to see a certificate of insurance before the event. Your parish’s insurance might extend to an outside location but you will need to find out.
If you can’t get it through your parish or home and you are a registered club, you can apply for the insurance through our Behold Publications insurance company. We can apply for a certificate on your behalf and while there may be a small charge for this from the insurance company, we would let you know that cost before going forward.
COST: This is determined by what is needed for your chosen location, food and craft supplies. You can make an expected budget including rental costs, menu and crafts dividing by either each attending camper or families as a group.
Each attendee (both parent and child/ren) will need a name tag, necessary patches, craft supplies and whatever else you are offering such as a t-shirt, bandana, string backpack, etc.
Do not overly burden your own family’s budget nor see this as a time to make a profit. Easy and low cost craft supplies are found
Be sure to keep track of costs and ensure you are paid in a timely manner. Above covering all costs, you might be in a position to ask families to go above and beyond what is asked to help off-set the cost of families in need by way of scholarship, or simply offer donations to the family hosting, the church you use or the religious who give of their time to visit the camp.
We all know that costs can easily skyrocket so keeping detailed records, receipts and staying in touch with the families expected to come can help make the camp affordable to all.
You could also find a beneficiary or two for your camp. Does your local Knights of Columbus, parish education fund, youth group or parish women’s group cover sponsorships? If so, they may be interested in sponsoring your camp.
(based on feedback from Carol (and others) we are considering designating a 2020 Theme which you would be free to use. Look for an announcement about this within the next week or so.)
Past themes for camps having included Mary’s Garden Party for the 100th anniversary of Fatima to 2019’s Feminine Genius which explored the Doctors of the Church with emphasis on the women. Finding a theme will help in deciding everything from the patron saints, badges, games and crafts. You might ask the families you intend on inviting if they have any ideas or explore themes from our programs as well as the Church.
Ideas might include:
-A dedicated time to really get into one or two of any of the virtues from our wreaths
-Any anniversaries of importance either within your diocese or the Church as a whole. For example, 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Pope St. John Paul the Great which might make for a great retrospective on his life and papacy.
-Biblical Themes such as Women of the Bible or the Traveling with Saint Paul
-Corporal and/or Spiritual Works of Mercy
PATRON SAINT BADGES & THEME BADGES –
We have over 20 patron saint badges which come with their own requirements, each of which easily becomes an activity session during your camp.
Perhaps you chose the theme of The Holy Family – Making Our Families Like Theirs. You then have the St. Joseph badge. One of its
Another theme could be Going into the Wilderness; a theme on the life of St. John the Baptist. You then can do St. Camillus de Lellis, patron saint of first aid and health care workers; as first aid when outdoors is always important. This badge allows for learning basic first aid which could be done by a parent who might be a health care worker themselves, and have those attending construct basic home first aid kits.
An exploration of the life of Pope St. John Paul would have to include the drama badge as he was a playwright!
In other words, our patron saint badges are the perfect answer to the question, “But, what would we do?” as each one has something active, something creative and something more spiritual as a requirement.
SPIRITUAL STUFF –
This is the easiest part of all as we are all familiar with the various prayers, meditations and devotions we have in the Church. You will pray together when you gather, before each meal, as a part of each patron saint activity and more. We have by way of tradition our Morning Offerings, the Angelus, Grace before Meals, Evening Balance and so much more.
If you are using a secular site, inquire about being able to bring in a picture of Jesus or a statue of the Blessed Mother to help everyone realize that your camp is also a time of retreat. You might ask a family to take on the task of creating a lovely Mary altar or place of prayer for everyone to gather around during times of prayer.
Be sure to schedule a group rosary. You can plan either a living Rosary with each attendee taking one prayer around the campfire or a more solemn one before the tabernacle at the Church.
If a priest is available, consider asking if he would be able offer Confession or maybe even a short talk. If there are other religious available in your area, perhaps one could come by to join in a meal or share their
If any of your patron saint badges have a specific devotion (Litany of St. Joseph, Brown Scapular, etc.), be sure to make time to share its history and pray it as a group.
A Spiritual Communion can be planned in lieu of daily Mass but being able to attend Mass as a group for either Daily Mass or a Sunday Mass is a real blessing for every camp.
COMMUNITY SERVICE –
Asking the campers to remember the poor and those in need is as easy as asking everyone attending to bring food for a local food pantry or donations to a local pregnancy center. Having this as a part of your event helps remind us that we are serving Jesus when we serve others (Mt. 25:45). These works of love could be a part of your entire theme or just a request as a “thank you” especially if you are using a church space.
While we know that charity and love prevail, but ‘charities’ are those items each girl would make at home and bring to exchange with other attendees. As a part of the welcome activities they make a great
GROUP CRAFT –
While each patron badge has its own suggestions for a craft, everyone making the same craft as a group will give each attendee a memory to take home. These are easily done as a part of the welcoming activities. For previous camps, we have always done a type of shirt that the girls then wear at the final Mass or gathering.
We’ve tie-dyed shirts, and “painted” shirts with sharpie markers and rubbing alcohol. You might decide to have their girls do autographed tote bags or pillow case which everyone signs or something similar. Ideas galore for such a kick-off craft can be found on-line.
To help reduce costs you can ask each attendee to come with their own pre-washed white t-shirt or pillow case for dyeing, embellishment or something similar.
I hope this is helping you as you plan a camp for your group/area. Tomorrow’s post will include ideas for FOOD, FUN, and TEAMWORK