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What do we do at camp?

23 Feb

The time flies at Campamento! This post should give you an idea of the daily schedule. This is just one day from last year’s daily schedule, so it is a rough idea for you. When we are down there, a lot of things can side track us from the plan, anything from a car crash (one Sister had to head in to the City with another Sister who was injured) to waves acting up in the afternoon (suggesting we go to the beach in the morning, then do camp in the afternoon). So, we all stay flexible and remember the Dwight D. Eisenhower quote, edited for our use:

“In preparing for campamento <he really said “battle”>  I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

We plan 4 days per week. The fifth day (which could be any day of the week) is an excursion or a special event of some kind. We develop a VBS curriculum on the theme “Women of the Bible”. We also work lessons like health, community building/self-esteem, science/engineering, environment, or other topics that travelers want to share with the girls. Here is the Day 1 information from last year.

Daily Woman of the Bible Mary, Mother of Jesus


Theme Word Campamento – “Accept”

Retraito – “Vision”


Bible Passage Luke 1:26-38


Memory Verse Psalms 37:38 “for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Craft Angel Gabriel
Skit Mediana Pecena


9-9:45 Worship ritual/group discussion altogether (at at the beginning of this schedule)

To prepare for the group discussion and the journal work, see the paragraphs below and the next few pages. Read through these as part of the preparation meeting the night before.

Daily Devotion (for Adults’ reflection)

For camp – Mary is a role model for us all because she accepted God’s call. Who knows, maybe others were called, too, but said “no” or did not listen to God. We should always be listening for God’s will, God’s plan for us.

For retreat (the older girls) – Mary is a role model for us because she had a vision for her life – she was going to marry Joseph, a carpenter. Then angel Gabriel visited her with a whole new idea for her life. It’s not just having a baby, it’s having the Son of God. She stayed with him his whole life – from the first miracle to the Crucifix to Pentacost. We should have a vision for our lives, and be open to God’s plans for us.



Time Pequeñas Medianas Pequeñas Medianas
9:45 -10:10 English Math Journal
10:15-10:40 Journal English Math
10:45 -11:10 Math Journal English
11:15-11:40 Craft Craft Craft

Math – cards, dice, and dominoes games to reinforce math concepts see math packet.

*Journal – write down your reflections based on group discussion

 1:00 Lunch

*Perform drama after dinner that night. Share reflections on the day.

We (St. Ed’s volunteers) should meet before or soon after dinner to review the past day, and prepare for the next day.

  • See the list of things to do before the Tuesday Schedule start.

Decisions Decisions

14 Feb

Many of you are deciding whether to join us this year. Here are some thoughts that might help you make the decision.

Everyone has gifts to share! This is a wonderful way to use them.  Although the trip is challenging at times, we learn so much and benefit from the trip spiritually, personally, and culturally. I think I’m a better parent when I return from Campamento. The picture above is a 6 year old doing her morning chores – mopping. Do you think my kids mop at home? Well they do after camp! It’s great because the kids contribute to family life and learn how to take care of a home themselves.  Every girl in the hogar has chores to do. They feel like a valuable member of the family. They accomplish something themselves. Wow!

Your Own Goals

If you are interested in taking this trip or contributing in another way, please think about what you’d like to get from the trip.

Walk with Us in Our Search

Help us discover our own riches;
Don’t judge us poor 
because we lack what you have. Help us discover our chains; Don’t judge us slaves
by the type of shackles you wear. Be patient with us as a people; Don’t judge us backward simply
because we don’t follow your stride. Be patient with our pace; Don’t judge us lazy simply
because we can’t follow your tempo. Be patient with our symbols; Don’t judge us ignorant
because we can’t read your signs. Be with us and proclaim the richness of your life
which you can share with us. Be with us and be open to what we can give. Be with us as a companion who walks with us neither
behind nor in front in our search for life and
ultimately for God!
Written by Bishop Bienvenido S Tudtud
Prelature of Marawi,Lanao del Sur, Philippines

“I have realized that mission trips give us the opportunity to step out of our comfort zone and out of our seemingly ‘busy’ lives to reach out to others and discover another dimension of life.” Ami Peacock Florida/Mission Trip to Dominican Republic

Questions for you, the traveler or volunteer:

Why are you thinking of doing this?

What is your purpose in going?

What are your hopes and dreams for this journey?

How do you feel about traveling so far from home?

What might it mean to you to offer a hand, not a handout?

How do you think you would receive a hand on your shoulder?

Whose needs are you meeting?

How will your needs be met by this venture?

How do you respond when things veer away from a plan?  Do you get upset or do you roll with the punches?

How will you contribute to the trip? Do you have specific talents, experience, or career you can share?

Learning or Brushing up on Spanish

8 Feb

Tres chicas en la playa

The girls used to have real challenge communicating with us. They used to think we were deaf, so would repeat themselves loudly and slowly. Now they understand the situation better. They are great with charades, props, Spanish/English dictionaries etc. If none of this works, they grab a bilingual interpreter who resolves the situation!

Here are some ideas on how to learn the basics of Spanish or how to brush up on Spanish. Please use the “Comments” section for your recommendations.

Spanish for Dummies – The book includes a CD that you can listen to while driving around.

Coffee Break Spanish – 20 minute or so lessons on podcasts. You can listen on your iPod or computer. The format is a (Scottish) college professor with a college student who’s studied French. I guess that’s why I get a kick out of it. She has similar questions that I do.

Check out these free websites, some are all free, some give a free demo enticing you to buy more.

The library has books and audiobooks to help you learn Spanish basics.

Community ed classes are a great opportunity to learn if you prefer interactive learning.

Bring your own Spanish/English Dictionary. Use it with the girls to figure things out.

The translation apps on our smartphones are so cool! But, we can’t count on 4G connections when we’re in Azua!

Take some time to study these Campamento Vocabulary and Phrases. Practice with a Spanish speaker while you’re here. To hear how to pronounce a phrase, copy and paste the phrase into 

Must know phrases

Please/por favor
Thank you/gracias
Greetings – Buenos dias, Buenas tardes, Buenas noches, Hola
My name is/me llamo <name>
What is your name?/Cómo se llama usted? Cómo te llamas?
Nice to meet you/ mucho gusto

Classroom & craft vocab

Salón de clase/ Taller de clase – classroom
Tijeras –Scissors
Lapicero- writing utensil
Lápiz- pencil
Saca puntas- pencil sharpener
Barro- clay
Hilo- string
Pucas- beads
Diario- journal
Papel- paper
Crayones- crayons
Drama- skit/ play
Pretty/Lindo or linda, bonito or bonita
How many? / Cuántos? or Cuántas?


Red/ roja
orange/ naranja
yellow/ amarilla
green/ verde
purple/ morado
Pink/ rosa

Household Chores

hacer los quehaceres – do the chores
lavar los platos – wash the dishes
barrer el piso – sweep the floor
fregar el piso – mop the floor
lavar la ropa – do the laundry
planchar la ropa – iron the clothes
aspirar el piso – vacuum the floor
sacudir los muebles – dust the furniture
sacar la basura – take out the trash
arreglar – neaten, straighten up
hacer la cama – make the bed
poner la mesa – set the table
quitar la mesa – clear the table
tender la ropa – hang out the clothes to dry

Helpful verbs

Escucha- listen (singular)
Escuchen- listen (plural)
(No) tengo- I (don’t) have
Necesito – I need
Tengo que – I have to
Tienes?- Do you have?
Vámanos- let’s go
Llegar- arrive
Llegamos/ Llegaron- we arrive/ they arrived
Espérate- Wait
Dame- give me
Dámelo- give it to me
Préstame- give it to me
Quiero- I want
Quiere- she wants
Peinar- to brush
Péiname- brush my hair
Listo/ a- ready
Están listos/ as? Are you ready?
Jugar- to play
Pintar- to paint
Hace calor- it’s hot
Lo siento- I’m sorry
Siéntate- sit down (one person)
Siéntense- sit down (many people)
Silencio por favor- quiet please
I understand/Entiendo (no entiendo)
I have/Tengo (no tengo)
We make/ hacemos,
We will make/haremos
I found/ Encontré
I lost/ Perdí

Other vocab

Fondo- background
(Un) chin- a little bit
Guagua- bus
Cosa- thing
Basura- trash
Hogar- home
Casa- house
Trenzas- braids
Pelo- hair
Biblia- Bible
Maleta- suitcase
Small (shoes)/ pequeños  (zapatos) Medium/ medios,  large/grandes
Children’s small/ niños pequeños,  Ladies small/ señoros pequeños
I have one/three son/sons daughter/daughters. Tengo un/tres hijo/hijos hija/hijas.


Desayuno- breakfast
Merienda- snack
Jugo- juice
Galletas- cookies
Almuerzo- lunch
Cena- dinner
Comemos- let’s eat


hoy -today
mañana – tomorrow
ayer – yesterday
el contorno para la semana – the outline of the week
esta semana – This week
la semana pasada – Last week

Beach Vocab

Playa- beach
Olas- waves
Honda- deep
Flotar- to float
Arena- sand
Suéltame- let me go (when floating)
Vidrio del mar- sea glass    vidrio = glass
Concha(s)- shells

First Campamento 2012 Meeting

15 Jan

Sister Parish Mission Trip Kick-Off Meeting Monday, February 6, 7-9 PM Auditorium

The Sister Parish Committee is planning our tenth two-week long “Summer Camp” at the Hogar Teresa Toda, a girls’ home, in Azua, Dominican Republic in July 2012. We have openings from July 14 through July 22, and July 21 through July 27 for travelers interested in sharing a spiritual experience with young women and girls from another country. The format is similar to our own Vacation Bible School. We do skits, music, crafts, and other activities. We pray, exchange stories, share love, and spend time with the girls. Through the activities they learn English, enjoy crafts, and build self-esteem. Each trip is deeply touching and spiritual. Special gifts you may share are Spanish skills, crafting and beading talents, or your professional experience (esp. healthcare, tourism, retail, scientists, government, education, and other industries). At this time, the dates are subject to change. If you are interested in traveling with us this summer or helping out from Minnesota, please contact Ann McGuire, the moderator of this blog.

Note on this picture: Whenever we bring out the pucas (beads) I think of traveler “Laura”. Laura is an avid beader and loved to share her passion. Before Laura came to Campamento, one of our signature sounds was the sound of beads spilling from the table onto the floor. When Laura joined us, she unpacked the vast collection of beads she brought but made us all wait on the beads until we gathered towels. She put the towels on the tables so that the beads wouldn’t spill. This genius move has virtually eliminated that sound and mess of spilling beads for Campamento!

Please share this post if you know another person who might be interested. Everyone has gifts to share!



Principles of Sister Parish Partnerships

22 Nov

1. Emphasize relationship over resources
A true partnership builds and nurtures a familial relationship over a period of time, a relationship that transcends any single act of working together (such as a project) or of sending a check. If the partnership is based on resources, then the partner with little material resources is excluded from fully participating in the relationship except as a receiver. But when the relationship is valued above all, it allows for mutual participation and transformation. All are invited to participate equally; we all have the ability to love, pray and be present to one another.

2. Practice mutuality and equality
True mutuality allows each of the partners to function from a place of strength rather than weakness. We each must acknowledge the wholeness of the other. We must be alert to the historic imbalances of power between developed nations and poor countries and how that inequity plays out at all levels of a relationship. We need to intentionally incorporate opportunities for dialogue, planning, assessing, challenging and reflecting together in order to not to fall into the trap of the giver and receiver, of the superior and the inferior.

3. Seek to give and receive, learn and teach
In fact, our poverties are an invitation to another to share their gifts, affirming their value and contribution. This requires a spirit of humility, recognizing that we are mutually interdependent and in need of each other.

4. Work to change unjust systems and structures
If we mindfully focus on the relationship, ask open-ended questions, and learn from our partner, they will invite us in to see and understand their reality – their joys and celebrations, as well as their sorrows and struggles. We begin to recognize the unjust structures and systems that often keep people in poverty and are challenged to gently confront our own role and contribution to this injustice, whether through our inaction (e.g., when we allow important legislation to pass or fail unchallenged) or more actively though our consumer choices, our level of consumption, etc. We are called to work to change those systems and/or our own personal habits and activities for the sake of those we have come to know and love as well as for others who share the same challenges.

5. Deepen our faith by experiencing the universal, catholic church
Our partnerships calls us more fully into St. Paul’s image of the church as one body of Christ, with many unique parts offering different gifts yet unified in Christ. As the Reverend William Nordenbrock of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood explains, “If we approach tour partnership as a mutual sharing within the body of Christ, then in our desire to evangelize, we receive the gift of being evangelized, of having our faith renewed.” We are challenged by our partner’s witness of faith amidst adversity. As we come to know brothers and sisters of faith from a culture other than our own, we learn new ways of understanding the Scriptures, and we see new models of being a parish community. We concretely experience out oneness in Christ and are encouraged to expand our sense of shared humanity, not only with our parish partner, but with all God’s people in the universal church.