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Backpack Mission Trip in the Keene Valley
19 boys combined camping with service projects in upstate New York.

boys hiking
A moment of rest at the top of a mountain.

July 7, 2011. This past June 27 - July 3, 12 ECYD Mission Corps volunteers and 7 boys from the DC area set out for the Lake Placid area in upstate New York for a hybrid camping and mission trip. Along with four days of camping and hiking in the wilderness, the boys also took two days to help out the local pastor by painting his parish and working on the parish gardens, visiting neighborhood homes on door-to-door missions, spending time with the elderly in a nursing home, and helping move tables and desks at the parish school.

“As one of the leaders, I was impressed with the boys,” said Br Andrew Gronotte, LC. “After having pushed themselves going up the mountains for 3 days, when the parish priest asked them to paint and clean up the yard and move
moment of work Keene Valley
Hard at work fixing up the parish garden.
desks they all did it without hesitation and worked hard for the day.”

“I saw this once again when we visited the nursing home. No one was off in his corner talking with his friends but all were interacting with the elderly and did it with a smile on their face,” he said.

For the boys, the mix of camping and service work made the experience a valuable time-out from ordinary life.

“The most enriching part for me was the combination of spiritual and physical work in order to better ourselves and those around us,” said Mikey Hochstein, a camper. “It showed me how much it takes to stay true to yourself and your Catholic morals."

He added, "I also saw how much God has to love us to create this wonderful world for us when we said Mass atop a mountain with amazing views all around us."



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