COLUMBIA—For a Catholic Boy or Girl Scout, a camporee weekend isn’t just about campfires, canoeing and sleeping in a tent.
More than 500 Scouts and their parents also spent three days focusing on their faith at the sixth annual Catholic Scouting Camporee held Oct. 15-17 at Lake Weston.
Scouts attended morning and evening prayers, answered questions in order to earn a rosary patch, and learned about vocations and the lives of the saints at religious stations set up around the camp on Oct. 16.
They went to Mass Oct. 16 concelebrated by Bishop Guglielmone; Father Jeffrey F. Kirby, diocesan vicar for vocations; Father Edward J. Kelley, leader of St. Michael parish at Fort Jackson; Father Brian L. Simpson, director of training at the Naval Chaplaincy School at Fort Jackson; and two priests from the chaplaincy school.
This was Bishop Guglielmone’s second year at the camporee, and the first time so many priests were present at one time for Mass, said Jim Weiskircher, chairman of the Diocese of Charleston’s Catholic Committee on Scouting.
Scouts and their families also participated in an outdoor living rosary, which has become an annual tradition, where each person broke open a glow stick as they said one of the prayers. At the end of the event, they formed a huge, glowing rosary on an open field.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is also part of the experience. In past years a tent has been set up for adoration throughout the night, and mostly adults participated.
This year, Father Kirby led an Exalt adoration service for young people, which included prayers, hymns, and praise and worship music.
Bryan Murdaugh, a musician who has participated in youth ministry around the state for several years, provided music for the Mass and the Exalt service.
Three seminarians attended the Camporee: Andrew Fryml and Stephen Beach from The College Seminary-St. Andrew Hall at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, and Adorno Brother Giovanni Nunez from the Clerics Regular Minor.
“The highlight was the seminarians being there, leading the prayer services and working at the religious stations,” Weiskircher said. “It was great for the kids because they were able to see and learn from young men who have chosen a vocation.”
Brother Nunez talked to the Scouts about his calling, and Fryml and Beach led workshops on saints and answered questions about vocations. During one session, Beach dressed up as St. Andre Bessette, who was canonized the same weekend as the Camporee, and talked about his life and explained the four steps toward sainthood.
Fryml and Beach also led a short discussion before the Exalt service about the meaning the Eucharist has for Catholics.
They told about 40 people who attended the service that the Eucharist is a way for believers to be actively present with Christ both at Mass and through adoration, and to reenact His sacrifice for humanity.
“The church teaches us that priests and bishops make Jesus’ death present again for us at Mass,” Beach said. “… By His body and blood we were saved.”
Fryml asked the youth if they understand how special it is to be in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
“Two thousand years ago, Christ was walking and 2,000 years later he is going to be in this room with us,” he said.
Bishop Guglielmone presented pins, kerchiefs and other awards to those who had earned religious Scouting awards and emblems.
Weiskircher said older Scouts will receive their religious awards in February at a Mass at St. Joseph Church in Columbia.