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Turn to Jesus (Article)

“Souled Out” in Michigan
ECYD girls learn about leadership, true love, and navigating today’s media

girls on conventoin
A group shot of some of the girls on the convention.

By Kelly Luttinen

July 21, 2010. Oxford, Michigan. In early June, 57 girls from around the world spent 10 days of fun and friendship while growing in their relationship with Jesus Christ.  The young women from the US, Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Venezuela, Spain and Colombia participated in the 2010 summer ECYD International Convention at the Queen of the Family Retreat Center in Oxford, Michigan from June 30 to July 11, 2010.

This year’s convention was divided into three themes: Leadership, Beauty and Media, and Love.

Leadership Development

The fun began with the first event, the “Amazing Race,” in downtown Oxford.  The girls had to follow clues to various locations such as the public library or a Mexican restaurant.  In each place they were given a specific challenge and a leadership virtue to practice.  At the Casa Real assisted living facility, they learned flexibility by serving a meal to a difficult client.  At the local park they approached a “homeless” person and helped her to collect soda cans to recycle for the deposit money.  They also learned about the concept of teamwork visiting the local firemen.
The girls also put their leadership skills into action with their own version of “The Apprentice” television show.  They were divided into teams and sent to different businesses and organizations in the area to perform a specific project.  One of the teams was challenged to make a proposal for a Youth Night at the Cranbrook Science Museum.  Another team learned about the Right-to-Life organization and how to
amazon race
The start of the Amazing Race.
make calls to inform voters about candidates who respect life issues.  One of the teams designed a poster for a Celtic Catholic Book Store to attract the youth market, while another submitted a proposal for the remodeling the local Coney Island Restaurant.  Another team helped the Missionaries of Charity design crafts for their summer camps.  Finally, one the groups visited a Problem Pregnancy Center, where they were inspired with the stories they heard and designed a brochure for the center.

Teams also competed in a Marketing Virtue Project in which they designed T-shirts.  The winning team --with the theme “Christ in the City” -- actually had their shirts created.

They girls also learned the joy of service when they hosted about 60 children at the retreat center with the Missionaries of Charity sisters for fun water games, sports, crafts, skits and more.
True Love and True Beauty

During the convention the girls experienced the true love that only comes from Jesus Christ in Eucharistic adoration.  They also attended daily Mass and had lots of prayer time.

Several guest speakers provided the girls with testimonies. 

• Mike McLean discussed his experience in radio and encouraged the girls to bring their faith into life when they are choosing what they watch and listen too.
• Brigid Wilson, a junior at Immaculate Conception Academy, discussed her vocational discernment.
• Sister Davis from the Missionaries of Charity shared her vocation testimony.
• Betty Rivera, a Regnum Christi consecrated woman, shared her journey to discover God’s call and how the
cedar point
A refreshing moment at Cedar Point amusement park.
Lord conquered her heart.
• Christina Condit talked about the topic of dating and relationships.
• Amada Rosa Perez, former top model and actress in Colombia, shared her journey from the emptiness of fame and wealth to discovering true happiness with Jesus Christ.  She also gave the girls a personal beauty workshop.

After all these spiritual activities, the girls had several outings, including shopping at the Great Lakes Crossing Mall, celebrating the 4th of July with fireworks in downtown Lapeer, a day at Cedar Point amusement park and a trip to Niagara Falls.
“It was such a gift for me to work in this convention!” said Betty Rivera. “The girls went back home with so many life lessons.  It was not so much about sitting down and listening to information.  They actually had life-changing experiences and heard emotional testimonies that really affected them!”



Related links

LTP Philadelphia
Leadership Training Program
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