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Youth strengthened by CYM camp, event grows in numbers


Stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong, 1 Cor 16:13, was the theme for the annual Stronger Teens Camp by Catholic Youth Ministry for high school students held at the Fairbridge Village in Pinjarra, from 2 to 4 October. PHOTO: Supplied

By Josh Low

‘Stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong‘ from St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians was the theme for the annual Stronger Teens Camp co-ordinated by Perth’s Catholic Youth Ministry held earlier this month.

Held at Fairbridge Village in Pinjarra, the event has steadily been growing in numbers every year, and was this year attended by more than 60 youth, CYM staff and a number of youth leaders from across the Archdiocese.

The weekend included talks from youth leaders from around the Archdiocese of Perth that covered topics on faith, facing insecurities to feel secure through Jesus and learning to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Among the talks was a fascinating demonstration by CYM Chaplain Father Brennan Sia, who spoke to a demonstration of mixing different liquids to create a chemical reaction as a symbolic representation of reconciliation and a reflection on sin and the healing power of God’s grace.

“It was really inspiring, and taught us many things about God that we may not have known,” said camp participant Lydia, from Bateman Parish.

Fellow Bateman parishioner Brian said that, for him, the camp was a great success.

“My faith was definitely strengthened through the inspirational speakers we had, with meeting other teens adding to the experience and making it a whole lot better,” he said.

Reconciliation was also available during the day on Saturday, with four priests, including Fr Sia, on hand to provide the sacrament to leaders and participants alike, with the evening also including Eucharistic adoration.

St Emilie’s Canning Vale Parish youth leader Matt Woodford, who gave a talk and led a Discipleship group for the weekend, says he was impressed with the response from those who attended and their enthusiasm.

“It was amazing to see everyone get really involved and make the most of this experience,” he said.

The camp also included adventure activities such as the giant swing and rock climbing as a symbolic idea to encourage those who attended to gain courage and strength from their faith and their peers.

Dynamic music, games, and a glow party were also incorporated as activities throughout the weekend. A session on making survival bracelets served as a popular take-home gift to remind the teens of the weekend to Stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.

“I felt that I could really show my faith, no one’s really into this sort of stuff at school and it’s hard to show it,” said Thao from Rockingham.

“It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever been to,” said Emily, Year 11.