Summer Camp for Girls at Saint Benedict’s Monastery

Because of COVID, our 3G camp (God, Girls and Good Times) had to be cancelled the past two years. Even though the directors knew they’d probably attract fewer girls this year, they decided to go ahead. Thus, even though the numbers were definitely down this summer, the enthusiasm of the young women was as great as ever.

As a community, we do not see the campers very much because, for one thing, they are housed in Margretta or Lottie Hall on the college campus. However, we know they are on campus because of table talk and participation by some of the sisters. For example, I love to help on craft day, which occurs on the first day. Approximately eight or nine tables in our monastic dining room are set up for a variety of crafts. They have the choices of sand art, rock art, cards of various sorts, framing a picture of their groups, and a birthday balloon card, among others.

The sweet and innocent enthusiasm of the girls is catchy and fun. I like to do something fairly simple, so they have time to take in more than one activity. My table had mini cards (2.5″ x 2.5″ square) that have been stamped with flower designs in a bouquet or such, and they color and decorate the card with tiny jewels and finish by putting them in a tiny envelope (3” x 3”). Some even write a tiny note in the card, ready to deliver to “mom” often. It’s great fun!

While they color, they chat or answer questions I may ask about the camp or favorite activities and such. Some have been to the camp a second or even third year! It’s so delightful to be the recipient of their enthusiastic stories.

The end of the camp can include the entire community as the girls prepare all the ministries needed for the farewell Mass. For both camps, the girls show off their abilities and competence as readers and servers.

I look forward to this event each year in July because I love children and the delight they spread all around.

Mary Jane Berger, OSB

Photo: Sister Mary Jane Berger (left) with two 3G campers working on crafts