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30 participants from 4 Salesian schools in Hong Kong

By Mr Philip Yu, ASC

Hong Kong, 1 January 2019 -- The first “experimental” wild camp run by China province Salesian Cooperators was held in Cheung Chau (Hong Kong) for youth and their families, from 30 December to 1 January, 2019 with 30 participants from 4 Salesian schools.

An across-the-year program included also the New Year's Eve countdown to midnight 31 December. In fact the preparation work began almost six months ago, according to Ms Teresa Lam (CIN Provincial Coordinator) with a very challenging and very meaningful theme “Listening and Accompaniment” in response to the Strenna 2018!

The camp started on 30 December afternoon with almost no briefing but playing African drums and other musical instrument, in a big circle, led by “Top Teen” leader Evan… well directed by senior Salesian Fr Luk.

There were some 30 participants in the camp, consisting of three groups: the teenagers and their parents coming mainly from 4 Salesian schools, youth animators and Salesian Cooperators. All families were given tents, cooking sets and some basic necessities. They were grouped into 4 zones on the soccer field at Don Bosco Youth Camp in Cheung Chau, sleeping on the soccer field outdoors instead of the rooms. Many families said it was their first time to do outdoor camping. It was also very challenging, as temperatures dropped to 9°C on the first evening but it was very warm in the tent as I experienced myself, sharing the tent with two other youth leaders, Alex and Peter, Don Bosco Friends from Tung Chung.

A teenager’s mother said to me that she really didn’t want to join but couldn't refuse her son’s begging. She still felt bad at first but after all she found it was a very special experience for her and her son with so many different kinds of games and activities. She also appreciated the selfless contribution of Salesian Cooperators and their hard work. They want to come again if we do it again!

Yes, we have practiced “Listening & Accompaniment” over these 3 days: obviously the parents had practiced it with their children, the Salesian Cooperators with the families as well as the youth leaders, and with Fr Luk who is the “quiet” engine driving the whole program. I really appreciated Teresa Lam and some core members with incredible patience and love working behind the scene. Finally, it turned out to be a successful experiment.

Thanks be to God! Happy and Blessed New Year 2019!




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