By Josh Low
‘Stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.’ 1 Cor 16:13 was the theme for the annual Stronger Teens Camp by Catholic Youth Ministry for high school students held at the Fairbridge Village in Pinjarra, 2-4 of October.
The event has been growing in numbers every year, this year the camp had over 60 people attending including more than 40 teens, 15 youth leaders, 3 CYM Staff members and the youth chaplain.
The weekend included talks from youth leaders from around the Archdiocese of Perth that covered topics on faith, facing insecurities to feel secure through Jesus and learning to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Among the talks was a fascinating demonstration by CYM Chaplain Fr. Brennan Sia, as he mixed different liquids together to create a chemical reaction, using it as a representation of reconciliation and a reflection on sin and the healing power of God’s grace in our lives.
“[It] was really inspiring, and taught you many things about God that you may not know,” said camp participant Lydia, a Stronger youth group member from Bateman Parish.
Fellow Bateman Parish youth group member Brien believes the camp was a great success.
“My faith was definitely strengthened through the inspirational speakers we had, with meeting other teens adding to the experience and making it a whole lot better,” he said.
Reconciliation was also available during the day on Saturday, with four priests including Fr. Brennan on hand to provide the Sacrament to leaders and participants alike, with the evening also including Eucharistic adoration.
Matt Woodford, a youth leader from Canning Vale’s St. Emilie’s Parish who gave a talk and led a Discipleship group for the weekend, says he was impressed with the response from the young people and their enthusiasm.
“It was amazing to see everyone get really involved and make the most of this experience,” he said.
The camp also included adventure activities like the ‘Giant Swing’ and rock climbing which got the adrenalin going, and encouraged the teens to gain courage and strength from their faith and their peers.
Dynamic music, games, and a glow party was incorporated throughout the weekend. A session on making survival bracelets, was a great take-home gift to remind the teens of the weekend to ‘Stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.’
“I felt that I could really show my faith, no one’s really into this sort of stuff at school and it’s hard to show it,” said Thao from Rockingham.
“It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever been to,” said Emily, Year 11.