By Josh Low
Being witnesses of the Catholic faith in everyday life situations and standing up courageously for the truth was at the heart of the message at this year’s Teens Camp run by Catholic Youth Ministry (CYM) Perth.
Held from 25 to 28 September at Manjedal Activities Centre in Karrakup, the fourth annual camp for high school students saw more than 40 teenagers from Years seven to 12 attend.
The theme for this year’s camp, ‘Heart of a Champion’ was based on the verse from the prophet Isaiah, ‘Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.’ (41:10)
The Bible verse was broken down into sections, with presenters at the Teens Camp addressing different parts and relating them to everyday life.
CYM Youth Worker Matt Lim said the aim of the camp was to help participants deepen their relationship with God and create an environment where they could be themselves.
He added that the thought process behind the selection of this year’s theme came from realising the challenges young people face in living out their faith in the world.
“We know that teens are faced with a lot of challenges these days, especially in terms of standing up for the truth and for the Catholic faith.
“The key message behind the camp was to not be afraid, a common theme seen throughout the whole Bible, which I believe is so important for all of us.
“Our hope was to encourage the teens to not be afraid of deepening their knowledge of the faith and relationship with Christ, while also of being witnesses of the Gospel,” he said.
Teens Camp volunteer Keshia Rodrigues said today’s society makes it hard for teenagers to stand firm in their beliefs, adding that she hoped attendees were inspired to continue to deepen their Catholic faith.
“In school, they are faced with peer pressure and decisions which can lead them either to God or away from Him.
“This camp was just the beginning of a wonderful faith journey and a growing relationship with Christ.
“I hope they continue to attend events like this camp where they can learn more about their faith with other young people who are longing for the same knowledge and experience,” she said.
“Together with Christ all young people can have a ‘heart of a champion’ and with this they can overcome any obstacles life may throw at them.”
Year eight student Hannah from Iona Presentation College, said she particularly enjoyed the time during Eucharistic Adoration where attendees were able pray together with leaders in small groups.
“Having others to pray with you and for you was nice because it made you feel like you weren’t alone and didn’t have to be afraid as there were others to support you,” she said.