Each spring, hundreds of fifth- and sixth-graders from about 30 Catholic schools attend three- and four-day Environmental Education camps at CYO Camp Hamilton in Monroe. (These photos are from last May.) Rooted in Catholic social teaching and Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato Si’, the program engages students in scientific observation through lessons on subjects like water quality, forests and wildlife. Each lesson begins with a quote from the pope and poses the question, “As Catholics, how are we supposed to respond to this?” said Terri Schell, assistant director of CYO Camps. The program’s mission, she said, is “to guide each student in recognizing and responding to the Catholic Church’s call to be stewards of God’s creation.”
Students are asked to consider how their Catholic faith calls them to act in care of creation and others. Photo: Stephen Brashear
After a night hike, students sing songs, hear stories and participate in evening prayer around the campfire. Photo: Stephen Brashear
Campers plant, weed, harvest, taste and learn about sustainable practices in the garden. Photo: Stephen Brashear
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Northwest Catholic - April 2020