Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Cl. Michael Gaikwad

MUMBAI, MATUNGA,APRIL 18, 2011: Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS), Matunga organized two camps at Boscowadi, Uttan from April 5 - 8 and 12 – 15. In all one hundred and twenty five boys participated in these BOSCO SUMMER LEADESHIP camps. The focus of the camps was to lead one’s life with the grace of Jesus in the Don Bosco way and to grow in leadership skills. While the oratory at Valdoco was a Church, a Home, a School and a Playground, we too at Boscowadi modeled our camp on Valdocco. This was our guiding principle during the camp to accompany the youngsters to be good Christians and responsible leaders.

As regards the spiritual aspect, there was daily Eucharist in which the youngsters were challenged to thank God for all His blessings and also to see the hand of God in their lives. The boys reflected on the camp prayer praising God and also reflecting on the theme of the International year of the Youth, “Our Year, Our Voice”. Daily creative mediations were conducted by Fr Brian and Fr Glenn. The most liked spiritual activity was the Labyrinth Prayer Garden experience. It offered the youngsters a time of gifting themselves with sacred silence, of going deep into self and to make an ‘outward journey’ to accept life and live it fully. At the end of each day, the boys were given the traditional Salesian goodnight after praying the rosary under the starry sky on the beach with the rhythmic sound of the waves. The theme for the camps was: “Leading with Christ the Bosco way.” The boys were introduced to the Salesian Youth Spirituality by Fr. Glenn.

For many campers, living out in camp style was a first experience. The campers were divided into teams which helped them to grow through group work and team bonding. Each team had responsibilities for the camp that helped them to be efficient leaders and strong team members. The food in the camp was from Mr. Tolouse’s Kitchen flavored with special Uttan masala and spices. The camp had no IPL, TV, air conditioned room and internet but a wonderful time to live close to nature and live with new friends. The Vadocco spirit created a new family.

The camp also helped the boys intellectually with quizzes on the Bible, lives of Saints, and facts of Mother Mary. During the trek and treasure hunt, the campers were quizzed on the sermons, talks and the quotes that challenged them to put on their thinking caps. Each day the boys used their time during the spare time activity to learn to make colorful and attractive wrist bands and key chains.

The camp also catered to the physical dimension of growth. Daily animated games, lightening tournaments and competitions such as talent search and fancy dress competition were organized. These activities kept the boys lively and cheerful, participating in healthy fun making and lot of joyful noise. There was a football match between match between the campers and the animators. The campers’ team ‘Dicky Boys’ played with great vigor and sportsmanship while losing 2-0. The boys also went to see the light house to see the beautiful Arabian Sea. There was also a trip to the vegetable field of Mr. Tolouse.

The animators of the camps were Fr. Brian, Fr. Glen, Br. McEnroe, Br. Mavron , Br. Michael. They were ably assisted by twelve young volunteers. One of the interesting highlights of the camp was the sharing and interaction with the Salesians and getting to know their vocation stories.

The Camps were windows for holistic growth. At the end of the camp everyone would rightly say, “It was good for us to be here.”

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