Saturday, 21 April 2012

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Homeschool Camp- March 2012


Our First Catholic homeschool camp, done and dusted. Yeah!! A great success.
t was a magnificent week: A very Blessed and peaceful Camp.
The lake where we canoed
A lovely bunch of families all came together to enjoy a week together, in friendship, fellowship and community.
It was a small camp, but exactly what God had planned. There was no mistake who  He chose for the camp.
We had 5 families, a young Marian Priest, from the Marian Valley and a Seminarian from Lismore dioceses.
The rooms with the parents hub directly ahead
We all met at Lake Ekala Nurra, a youth camp site 20 minutes north of Taree, Monday lunch time.
Every day we had a different activity for the children to do, ranging from canoing, bushwalking, cricket, but the most successful one was the Grand Piano that the children got to use every day. They played danced and encouraged each other.  We even had one of our Mums play for us for hours. Very Blessed.
Our focus for the week was the Stations of the Cross as we knew we were heading into Holy Week the following week. The aim was to reinforce the Stations in order to the children and for each child to make his/her own kit. We started with painting a box in Lenten colour, discussing the Passion of Our Lord, Colouring in each Station and acquiring a symbol to go with each Station.
To complete this we asked the children to find sticks and we made Crosses to place around the area, so we could say the way of the Cross for children, with Fr. It seemed to work.
We asked Fr to speak on Confession and the Passion of our Lord at Catechism each afternoon. He also chose to speak on a few wonderful Saints including St Maria Gorretti, St Gemma Golgali, and several others. He had the children captivated.
We celebrated Mass daily, Divine Office throughout the day and the Rosary before Dinner. As we were a small group and the kitchen was close by the chapel area, we said the Divine Office several times a day with Fr. Some of the  children joined in as well. This was a very special time for us all. Each psalm seemed to resonate in our hearts.
As our age range was under 10, we tailored our day and evening activities accordingly.
Games and campfires, a performance and presentation night were highlights of the evening activities.
We announced on the Tuesday that we would be having a campfire that evening, so in between activities the children very quickly rounded up the kindling and logs we would need to keep the fire going for a couple of hours. Marshmallows were a great hit.  The children went off to bed quite content.
One evening, Fr P and I tested the children’s knowledge of the Catechism through a fun game highlighting areas of the Catechism. The parents had a game afterwards.
The other children expanded their knowledge on general trivia.
a close up of the rooms
The adults could have had lots of sleep, but we decided to use this time to catch up and chat with like minded Catholic homeschoolers. This was made possible as ‘the parents hub’, was in very close proximity to the bedrooms.    
We had a mums morning and a dads afternoon encouragement session. We had no real agenda, but asked the Holy spirit to be with us and guide us. The men were Blessed to hear Fr Ps’ witness talk. Very inspiring for them.    
Its been a huge build up to a fantastically Blessed Homeschool camp.
Did I say that the food multiplied on the way there. We catered ourselves and we are certain the food multiplied in transition from our home to the camp.
We ate very well and every person joined in to either help prepare, cook, serve or clean afterwards.
Will we do it again next year?  Looks like we will. Will you come and join us.

Photos to follow later in the week.