|Eucharistic Adoration at Conquest Camp Texas|
Following are excerpts from the daily blog of the Texas Conquest’s camp,
Camp Texas, which took place on June 16-22, 2014. To
read all the camp blogs, go to http://texasconquestblog.blogspot.com/.
is the first day of Conquest Camp Texas, the beginning
of an exciting week of fun and formation while preparing
souls for the Kingdom of God. The counselors arrived to
Camp Cho-Yeh, which is the Alabama-Coushatta Native American word for
land of tall pines, and were greeted with a welcomed
afternoon shower to help cool the day. After the counselors
set up the facilities, the campers began arriving at 5
pm. After being dropped off, checked in and reminded to
drink plenty of water, the campers had free play —
which consisted of their choice of playing or participating in
Ga-ga Ball, Soccer, Volleyball, Carpetball or Ninja.
At our first gathering,
the campers were introduced to their team, team leader, given
a rundown of the rules and regulations via humorous skits
as performed by the counselors, and introduced to this year’s
theme -- Lone Survivor -- inspired by the courage and
virtue as demonstrated in the book Lone Survivor by Marcus
Luttrell, which gives an eyewitness recount of the lost heroes
of Seal Team 10 and during Operation Redwing.
Later on in
the evening, the teams chose names, came up with a
team chant or cheer, and made a team flag with
a coat of arms. The campers had a blast deliberating
and debating over what to call their team and what
to put on their flag. The camp dads had the
responsibility of judging the flags and team cheers, based upon
the creativity, unity of cheer, and awesomeness. The overall winner
of the team flag and cheer competition was the “Soldiers
of the Trinity” (S.O.T.).
The evening activity for the night was
Wolf, which is an ongoing favorite for Conquest camps. The
counselors each adopted their own wolf call and dashed out
into the grounds of Camp Cho-Yeh while the campers learned
the rules. Wolf is essentially a variation to the old
camp classic Counselor Hunt. The counselors hide, and the campers
hunt and find them, and points are awarded for each
counselor (wolf) captured.
The rest of the evening ran smooth and
ended with night prayer and benediction before hitting the bunks.
Tomorrow is a full day, and we can’t wait for
it to start!
Greeting from the land of the pines!
The day started off great. A handful of dedicated anglers
arose early and tried their skills in Lake Evelyn. Their
catch and release haul consisted of three catfish and a
perch. The remainder of camp was called to rise by
the rousing and energetic emcee, Adrian, singing “Rise and Shine”
through the camp microphone as he ran down the halls.
a whole, morning activities went without a hitch. Fr. Sullivan,
in his homily this morning, referred to Christ as a
Lone Survivor as demonstrated through every moment of His life
and exemplified through His Passion and death. He then challenged
the camp to emulate those virtues Christ demonstrated.
The scheduled activities
of the day consisted of shooting rifles, tomahawk throwing, rock
climbing, dodge ball, and swimming. During lunch the annual push
up contest took place... In the post push-up conference, (winner) Br.
Jared only had one thing to say, “Victory.”
Following lunch the
campers were treated to a series of formation talks based
around a number of themes of prayer, answering God’s call,
and living God’s call.
Before dinner, the campers were treated to
time in the adoration chapel and/or playing board games: most
took advantage of both. Many campers experienced the joy and
camaraderie of playing board games, and simply enjoying the fun
that comes with play. After dinner and board games, the
evening night activity was the “Mega-Ultimate-Neon-Dance-Jam” party. After getting dressed
in their brightest neon, the campers discovered that the dance
hall fell to a biological attack that turned the counselors
into zombies. Their new objective was to find a way
to defend against those “infected” and hold off until a
cure could be located and administered.
After saving the camp and
curing all the zombies, then came night prayer. The campers
and counselors retired to their cabins for processing the day’s
activities and sharing with each other their highs and lows
of the day.
Today was the third day of Camp
Texas. Though it was hump day to the rest of
the world, it wasn’t here. We are still climbing the
mountain and praying we don’t reach the hump anytime soon.
morning activity was Camp Olympics, and it went down on
the Cho-Yeh field. There, the camp rotated through soccer, steal-the-bacon
and dodge ball, and each team earned points for each
win. Later, the campers changed into their swim gear and
trekked down to the lake for a swim. They had
a blast playing on the “blob,” taking turns launching each
other into the air before splashing down into the water.
Also on the lake was a 40-foot tarp water slide,
a climbing wall that was suspended over the water, an
inflated pyramid that swimmers could hop inside or climb over,
and the ever-favorite zip line.
The day’s formation theme was “Training.”
They watched a short clip from a documentary on the
rigors and formation it takes to become a Navy Seal.
The camp was then challenged to embrace the necessary training
it will take to become “Saints for the Kingdom of
God, and to train more intently for the Kingdom than
the Navy Seals do. Two counselors provided reflections and formation
talks. The first talk was on reconciliation and the importance
of making a good confession. The other topic was discernment,
and its main focus was docility to the promptings of
the Holy Spirit’s call and how following the promptings of
the Spirit leads to one’s vocation. Even though God sometimes
leads us places we don’t want to go, this is
the place where God wants us to be -- an
important theme for students considering where to attend college in
the coming years.
We got caught in an afternoon
shower on our way to the Cho Dome for some
organized sports. Fortunately, none of us are made of sugar,
so we didn’t melt. Besides, what is rain but liquid
sunshine? While at the Cho Dome, we played basketball, half
court soccer, and jumped on the bouncing pillow, which Fr.
Sullivan has taken to calling the “bouncy bounce.”
After dinner, Fr.
Sullivan offered a prayer workshop that consisted of a holy
hour and guided meditation for whoever was interested. The workshop
closed with benediction and a guided meditation. Some of the
campers at the prayer workshop shop had the following to
say about their experience:
• “I didn’t want to stop praying.”
have never had an experience like this.”
• “This was the
deepest prayer experience I have ever had.”
• “I didn’t even
realize we had been praying for an hour.
• “My heart
and mind was full of the passion of Christ.”
did not participate in the prayer workshop went on a
hike through the surrounding woods. While on the hike, campers
were treated to tall tales. One group even ran across
a confederate graveyard.
Tonight’s evening activity was nighttime capture the flag.
Then after night prayer, everyone was given the option of
sleeping out under the stars. We are hoping the weather
We are just warming up.
We gave everyone
an extra hour of sleep, and it looked like that
was well received by the campers who looked refreshed, energized,
and raring to go conquer the day. We adjusted the
schedule a little to accommodate the extra rest, but no
amount of formation or fun was sacrificed.
The day was
jam packed from morning until after sunset. At breakfast, we
all got the run down and theme for the day,
which was Endurance. After being dismissed from breakfast, the older
guys ran off to the Messy Wars and the Muddy
Obstacle Course. Exactly how messy and muddy did the guys
get? Well, let’s just say that only thing not covered
in mud was the campers’ eyeballs.
The younger crew went to
practice their shooting skills as they took aim at one
another on the paintball course.
Bible Bob made a special appearance
on the grounds today. He looks, talks, and walks just
like Fr. Michael Sullivan, but don’t be fooled by his
appearance -- he isn’t. Bible Bob was sent to shake
up the campers and test their knowledge of the Bible
and basic Catholic Apologetics. Some of the topics discussed were
the Eucharist (as in John 6), tradition (as in Matthew
15), and Biblical inspiration (as in 2 Timothy 3:16). The campers
were engaged and interested.
After lunch, the camp made its
way to the Cho Yeh land lease, which is a
huge open field, and played some world cup soccer. This
was followed by a formation talk on Christian militancy, where
the Christian and the Soldier must have a similar mindset
if they hope to be successful in battle. Post talk,
the pool was opened and we swam, floated and dove
until Br. Drew made an appearance with some cool, sweet
watermelon and dinner.
One of our schedule shifts was moving Mass
to the evening. This was a good decision because it
allowed us to slide right into Adoration of the Holy
Eucharist and a holy hour for those who wanted to
attend. During the Mass homily, Father made a memorable statement
about prayer: “Until you are convinced prayer is the best
way to spend your time, you will never find time
When the holy hour was finished, the campers
were treated to a campfire and smores before hitting the
Hello again! Today we woke up to Adrian walking
up and down the halls making sure all campers were
awake, projecting through his loud speaker, “Good morning Camp Texas,
its Friday, Friday….”
When the crew and their fellow counselors had
finally woken up, we all headed to morning prayers and
Mass and a great homily by Fr. Daren explaining the
importance and the meaning behind “Thanks be to God.”
we discovered Fr. Michael Sullivan had been “kidnapped.” After a
scavenger hunt, the campers found him bound “underneath” the chapel.
The fun didn’t stop with a priest-napping! We all
hurried to enjoy refreshing watermelon by the lake before the
campers rushed into the water to enjoy a reprieve from
Even though it was only 1 pm, we had
already done a ton! The guys enjoyed some restful cabin
time before the older campers had formation time with counselors
Chad and Titus.
In the meantime, the younger campers met with
Fr. Sullivan. They submitted their own thought-provoking questions like: “Why
did the Lord make me when He could have made
anyone else?” and “Will mortal and venial sins follow you
After “Stump the Priest,” we all headed over to
the woods to play a game of capture the flag.
This was followed by dinner and then time for adoration.
Fr. Michael led everyone there through an in-depth meditation. Then
back to the mess hall for playing board games and
When everyone was done resting and praying, we played
a game of all trying to tag each other called
“Border Wars.” The game ended with almost everyone joining the
After everyone was exhausted, the older campers
headed for their their last activity. In the mean time
the younger ones headed for the mess hall to play
some card games and then hit the hay.
morning as Adrian roused the boys, we were all very
excited for another full day of faith and fun. As
the kids made their way to morning Mass, some gradually
shook off the yawns to experience the amazing graces present
in the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist.
While this was
the final full day at camp, the kids seemed to
dive deeper with every formation and talk. Each speaker seemed
to feed the fire within each of the boys’ souls
to give it their all to become modern day saints.
We also had activities like paintball and MESSY wars. Many
of the older boys arrived back to the cabins with
war stories for the ages! The younger boys came back
with few clean spots left on their clothes and huge
smiles on their faces.
One of the highlights of the day
was once again the lake with all of its slides,
inflatables and lifeguard whistles. The kids ziplined, blobbed and had
a great time. A few used the slide to test
out new methods of sliding which resulted in a tidal
wave splashs, drenching the lifeguard on duty. From here everyone
proceeded back to the dining hall for a meal of
grilled cheese and tomato soup while we watched special training
We had another formation time after lunch. The boys came
out awed and inspired, and Father confided in me that
he felt it was one of his best talks ever.
The younger boys met with Br. Jared for a quick
talk and some soccer behind the chapel.
Even after this packed
day we still weren’t done! The boys came together for
a moving meditation during adoration while many received the sacrament
Another highlight and camper favorite is CASINO TOWN! After
playing cards and carpetball, the teams headed back to their
cabins for winners circle and a well-deserved nights rest!
parents the staff here at Camp Texas, including our religious
and counselors, we would like to thank you for the
blessing of helping lead your young men to Christ. Seeing
them all grow in and share their faith has inspired
us all! Thank you so much, and we look forward
to seeing you all soon!