Saint John Paul II is known for loving the outdoors and adventures. He would go hiking and see God’s hand in the beauty of creation. He would celebrate the Eucharist up on a mountain, or find a place to pray in nature. This inspired the theme for the ECYD girls’ camp at Camp River Ridge in Oldenburg, Indiana: John Paul II’s Great Outdoor Adventure.

ECYD is an international Catholic association for adolescents who make a pledge of friendship with Christ and with each other to build a new world according to the Gospel. Some ECYD members from Everest attended camp and had a memorable experience.

At the JPII camp, reflection themes included JPII’s favorite topics, such as the dignity of women and the Eucharist. Some fun activities celebrated JPII’s polish heritage, including a Polish dinner and polka dancing. The highlights for everyone were the nature adventures and Eucharistic adoration at the lake.

“I am so thankful for having had the opportunity of being a team leader at the JPII ECYD camp this summer. My favorite adventure would probably be hiking through a creek to reach a breathtaking waterfall. It was a great chance to experience God’s creation and bond with other campers. I loved how they focused on teaching us how we are a light to the world and we all have unique talents that can help contribute to fulfilling God’s plan. This is definitely a trip I would recommend.” – EC sophomore Sally McGrath

“Camp River Ridge was a really great experience, it was so fun. I though it was going to be different, but it was actually really fun. We had a bunch of adventures, we went hiking, we went kayaking, everyone went swimming in the lake. It was a very fun experience to have for the first time.” 7th grader Marianne Mata-Aguilar

“Camp was such a great experience. Before I got there I was super nervous, and I thought it wasn’t going to be fun and that I wouldn’t make any friends that quickly, but I did, and it was super fun. We went hiking, kayaking, and we did really fun activities. We had adoration, and Mass every day. It was super fun.” 8th grader Ana Carol Mata-Aguilar