Youth grow in faith through the virtue of charity
Story and pictures by Logan Johnson
Catholic Accent Communications Intern
HARRISON CITY – St. Barbara Parish, Harrison City, hosted its annual Camp Virtue. The focus of Camp Virtue is strengthening middle school students’ faith while using virtues. The camp highlights a virtue each year and focuses on how that virtue exists throughout the year. High school students also get involved with the camp to gain leadership experience. Camp Virtue director Caitlin Novacek believes the camp helps the students grow in their faith and leadership.
“My hope for our high school counselors is they learn leadership skills and also learn how to spread the faith to other young people” said Novacek. “I hope the middle school students strengthen their faith but also understand that growing with the Lord doesn’t have to be boring and can be fun.”
Joey Aquino, a Penn Trafford 8th grade student said Camp Virtue helped him understand his faith better and how charity connects him with others. “We really learned through the guest speakers and musicians, which helped us love others and to love God through Charity” said Aquino.
Camp Virtue has small group discussions, prayer time, sports, guest speakers, and canoeing available for the counselors and students to connect with each other about their faith. Small group discussions allow these students to talk and reflect on what they learned.“
“Kids have the opportunity to talk with other teens about their faith, and I think that small group interaction is really nice for them to grow in their faith,” said Karen Longo, a teacher at Queen of Angles Catholic School, a volunteer at the camp.
“We started Camp Virtue back in 2017 with 30 campers and 10 counselors, since then the number of volunteers and campers have increased” said Novacek. This year, Camp Virtue has 35 counselors this year and 95 campers.
Parishioners involved this year were from the following parishes St. Agnes, St. Barbara, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Immaculate Conception, St. John Baptist De La Salle, St. Mary our lady of Lourdes, and Mother of Sorrows.