For those who have not experienced a CHWC work camp, it is hard to describe. Each camp is run by CHWC staff and a local coordinator. Camps vary in size. Magnolia was relatively small – about 250 teens (I heard) and sundry adult chaperones. (For comparison, last year’s CHWC camp in Virginia Beach, VA had 350+; it makes a big difference).
Where do we stay? We stay in school! We use the school facilities and sleep in classrooms. This year, our host was St. Thomas More Prep. Boys’ and girls’ sleeping quarters are strictly separated – which created some issues for us guys in navigating. We St. Francis guys were blessed with spacious quarters – a science lab with a ton of floor space, plenty of outlets, and AC. We shared our lab floor with guys from St. Norbert’s in Paoli, PA.
Before anyone arrives, CHWC staff assigns everyone to a work team. My team was Team 18. A team consists of one or two adult “team builders” and 5 or 6 teens. (Two adult teams would have more members, of course). Each teen chooses a role: reporter, leader, prayer/share leader, break coordinator, and tool manager. CHWC gives us work orders and off we go!
The Benedictines’ motto is “Ora et Labora.” CHWC is not just work – there is plenty of Ora. We pray through song; we participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; we pray the Rosary; we attend communion service; we pray unceasingly.
There is also plenty of free time at CHWC.
So that is what CHWC is. Check back tomorrow to learn about “A Beautiful Mess”” – this year’s CHWC theme.
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