Friday, October 30, 2015


It's early Friday morning as I'm writing this. It is very quiet outside. It's really quiet in the teachers' cabin also...I seem to be the only one who wakes up at 5:00 every morning. I guarantee that will not be the case tomorrow morning, however. I may not get out of bed all day!

Yesterday was quite a long day for everyone, teachers included. The kids had their second long hike of the week, followed by electives (but not gaga ball) and CLEAN UP! After their electives they have about an hour to pack, clean their cabin, AND prepare their "gift" for Celebration. Each cabin prepares a skit or a song that celebrates their experiences at Caritas this week. After dinner, they present their gifts to the entire camp. It's always a lot of fun, especially when the naturalists who act as emcees are as funny as Joey and Max were last night!

After the skits, the entire camp sits in a circle on the floor for the candle pass. When you receive the candle, you get to say whatever you'd like about your week at Caritas and what it meant to you. It's a very reverent and peaceful activity. And long! When you have about 80 people in the circle, each taking a minute or two to talk, it can be a very long evening. And did I mention we were sitting on the hardwood floor of the lodge.

A very long evening.

But my students handled it beautifully, speaking their minds, sharing what Caritas has meant to them. Most kids from all three schools mentioned Wednesday night's New Eyes serendipity and how much closer they feel to their classmates after that experience. That serendipity really is one of the most powerful moments of the entire week.

And now it's Friday. Our week here is almost complete. But we have a lot to do before we get on those buses around noon. Everyone has to be packed and have their baggage out on the basketball courts before breakfast. Then the kids will prepare the various parts of our prayer service which we will hold in the beautiful outdoor chapel. After the prayer service, we will have some class time where we will talk about how we will take what we have learned and experienced this week back with us so that we can continue to live "Caritas style."

After that, it's lunch, goodbyes, and get on the bus!

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