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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Eleven Girls Who Gave Their Summer to Serve
Samantha Cox tells the story of her summer as an ECYD volunteer in Ireland.

ECYD coworkers
Ready to roll! ECYD Mission Corps volunteers at the center in Ireland.

July 28, 2009. Dublin, Ireland. Every summer, the ECYD Mission Corps program gathers girls ages 15-16 from all over the world for a volunteering experience as counselors at summer camps and conventions around the world. Some ECYD members volunteer in their own country, while others go abroad. Wherever their summer assignment takes them, they live and work alongside Regnum Christi coworkers and consecrated women.

Samantha Cox, a 15-year old ECYD member from Nebraska, gave her summer as an ECYD volunteer in Ireland. Her chronicle of the summer’s activities gives a glimpse of what ECYD volunteers do, what formation they receive, and how the experience helps them grow in faith and friendship.


When eleven ECYD members from Spain, Ireland, Mexico, and the United States were called to be ECYD volunteers in Ireland for the summer of 2009, none of us knew exactly what to expect. All we knew is that we were giving our summer to Christ out of love for Him and for wanting to make a difference
ECYD coworkers prep treasure hunt
ECYD volunteers organize a treasure hunt for the campers.
in ourselves, others, and the world.

Upon arriving in Dublin the team started to discover more and more about their mission for the week that followed. We learned that we would each be in two camps, with all of us involved in at least 2 weeks of the month long Wingfield English Camp at Woodlands Academy.

Our other summer missions included being involved in one of the week-long events such as: Challenge Fashion Camp, Challenge Adventure Camp, Ireland Galway Missions, and the ECYD Convention, all of which lasted one week. We were all excited to run these camps, eager to give Christ.

Our Mission

With today’s society, what young girl could not benefit from being taught that she is beautiful? That was exactly the goal of the Challenge Fashion Camp during June 28th to July 5th.

During the last week of June, girls ages 10 to 14 learned how to do their hair, makeup, and put together an outfit. They learned what color goes best with their skin tones and treated themselves to a spa day. Throughout the entire week they learned dances to various songs related to inner beauty and at the end of the week, the campers’ parents came to watch a fashion show that they had been preparing throughout the camp. Although learning about how to enhance your outer beauty is fun, we emphasized that
with fashion campers
Young fashionistas put on a show at the Challenge Fashion Camp.
inner beauty is the most important.

The next camp was the Challenge Adventure camp from July 5th to the 10th. Every day, the girls had two activities that challenged them to do something extreme, from swinging from a swing that is as tall as two telephone poles or climbing up a gorge in water a little bit colder than comfortable. Daily morning and night prayers brought them into constant contact with Christ. Consecrated women shared stories of the faith and helped the girls to learn how to pray.

The volunteers involved were delighted to meet even more ECYD girls throughout Ireland and from other countries in Europe that had flown in to participate in these events.

The ECYD Convention, a camp dedicated to giving young teens an experience of Christ through ECYD activities, kicked off July 19th to the 26th with fun activities for 30 girls on the grounds of the convention at Woodlands Academy.

Missions in Galway, the western part of Ireland, was an opportunity to share the faith uniting our efforts with other missionaries who gathered together from various dioceses in Ireland. The week-long event was held in the 2nd week of July.

Our Preparation

In order for us to be able to form the girls in
ECYD coworker prepping activity
An ECYD volunteer gets campers ready for their night activity.
our camps, we had to form ourselves. With the help of the consecrated women at Woodlands Academy we received daily classes with weekly themes including the needs of the world, the Church and apologetics, our mission as apostles, the temperaments, the spiritual life and prayer, and ECYD so that we could transmit our love for Christ and ECYD to our campers… Each day we also had a gospel reflection about our apostolate and as a team we said morning and night prayers, a mystery of the rosary, and went to daily Mass with the camp and the consecrated women who were working with us in the various events.

Every day we would all gather together for lunch apart from the campers and share stories from our day. Three times a week the entire camp would go on an outing and at least one of those outings, we would go off on our own and be able to do something together, just the eleven of us. Sometimes we would climb a mountain and visit tourist sites and many times we went shopping. That time with each other was precious and every minute of it brought us closer together. We learned what interests each
ECYD coworker and two girls
An ECYD volunteer with two campers on an outing day.
other had in books and music. We discovered each other’s talents and abilities to sing, dance, play the piano, and we talked about how awesome it is to be Christ’s apostles, united together this summer, and so much more. And whether we were supposed to be up talking or not, at night in our coworker rooms is where we bonded most…

Our third week of our summer, the eleven of us were all together in the Wingfield English Camp. We knew it would be a special week because we went on our own outings and had special activities; but the thing that was most memorable about that week was our retreat. Starting after night prayers one night, we were in complete silence until two o’clock the next day. This retreat was to build our relationship with God but because the eleven of us experienced that together, it helped build our relationship with each other as well. The theme was generosity and Christ’s Love. I think after that day every one of us understood His love in a deeper way than ever before and we learned how we could start to give selflessly in every aspect of our life. Additionally every Saturday night while the campers were watching a movie, the coworkers would watch a movie of their own that had a faith-based topic. Afterwards, we all had the chance to share our thoughts.

In order for any reader to truly understand and feel what the Dublin ECYD volunteers of 2009 felt, they would have had to have been there. It was the little moments of everyday that made the summer what it was. The precious times that we will remember forever. We will miss our ECYD sisters but we have found comfort in the fact that no matter where we are, all of us are connected through this summer, ECYD, though our mission as apostles, and through Christ, and that is a bond that will last forever.



Related links

LTP Philadelphia
Leadership Training Program
Pure Fashion

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