To the Core: Youth Camp 2017 - The Bigger Picture

For over 30 years, the Kristus Aman Youth Ministry has been ministering to the young people of the parish. One of the annual events, and a longstanding tradition of the ministry is the Youth Camp, held annually. This event marks one of the largest camps in the history of the ministry with a total of 67 participants and a large committee of 14 people. The venue was set for the SUFES Campsite in Tapah, Perak. The speaker this year was Fr Simon Yong, a Jesuit. The event was held on the 24th-27th of June, during public holidays. 

Q Aaron

Day 1

day 1 1

As participants accumulated at the parish early in the morning, they were greeted by Fr. Michael Chua, the parish administrator, who gave his best wishes and also shared a little information on the feast of the day in the Church’s calendar- the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. After our priest imparted a blessing, the entire group boarded the buses and departed. A long journey due to traffic conditions pushed back the schedule drastically. As the group arrived, the programme commenced with stream trotting- jungle trekking up a stream to a waterfall. Holy Mass was offered simultaneously at the campsite where a small group of facilitators stayed back. After dinner, the speaker delivered the introductory session, where he challenged the participants on what really drives our everyday behaviour as individuals. A summary is that each decision and act are driven by factors that we are often unaware of, meaning ideas and schools of thought which dates back centuries into the history of mankind. The talk left many of the participants intrigued and curious about the rest of the camp’s content.

Day 2

day 2 1

day2 2

The day was kick-started by an exercise session led by Florence, a facilitator. The talks were held after breakfast, where the speaker immersed the group into history to identify the ideas that have developed into today’s culture, from the time of the Enlightenment philosopher; Rene Descartes. The individualistic culture of the present era was challenged, where the needs and feelings of men are placed at the centre of everyday life. Another view that was challenged was relativism, the idea that no absolute truth exists, where every idea or view is validly equal, which develops into most modern usages of the notion of “opinion”. The speaker also briefly introduced the meaning of the Sacraments and its way of communicating grace. Games were held in the evening, with an intense bout of “Capture the Flag”.  At night, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered in the hall, followed by Exposition and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament to end the day.

Day 3

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The third day began with a praise & worship session held outside the hall, in the cool morning air. After breakfast, participants prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated. The talk of the day included a meditation on death, followed by tackling controversial issues the young are forced to face in this age such as contraception and LGBT. The evening was kept as free and easy, where participants could finally relax after three long days. An absolutely magnificent talent night was then held, where many youths came forward to showcase their talents. Even the older participants and facilitators who’ve seen their share of performances during their lifetimes remarked that the talent and energy shown during that night was special, the youths being incredibly gifted. The large amounts of laughter and applause made a happy and fitting end for the day.

Day 4

The closing event for the camp was the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, offered a while after breakfast. The votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary was used together with the rite of sprinkling of holy water, a reminder of our baptisms. The sermon was on the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and on the Most Blessed Sacrament, culminating all the talks of the camp powerfully. After Mass, participants were invited to share their testimonies and after lunch, the entire group packed up and left for Kristus Aman, concluding the KAYM Youth Camp 2017.

Q Mariel

One can safely conclude the Camp’s focus on the core of what it means to be a Catholic has widen our perspective. The speaker spoke of the atomisation of consciousness and the result of this can be observed in many of the trends affecting us as young and modern Catholics. It was as if we were awoken from our stupor so that we now are able to see better and with the help of God and His Church, we may be able to effect the change we want to see in society.

An exhilarating four days it was indeed, full of fellowship, fun and of course, deepening our knowledge of the true faith. Truly indeed, the KAYM Youth Camp 2017 was nothing short of a brilliant success. And now we, the youths of Kristus Aman, are once again sent out into the world, a torn-up world full of the snares of the enemy to bear witness to Christ, to be catalysts for change and to be warriors for the faith. May Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ reign in the hearts and lives of all that He, the true and eternal king of the universe, may reign in our society, nation and throughout the entire world, bringing union and peace to all people.

Q Steph

Q Henry

Q Carlos