MERIDEN, CT (07-13-2020) -The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist successfully finished their first week of summer experiences for children and look ahead to the next session. The goal of these outreaches is to create a positive space for children and youth to encounter nature, each other and themselves.
The campus in Meriden was filled with the sound of laughter as children explored the gardens, fields and animal enclosures. The Sisters worked hard to make it just as fun and exciting as previous years while upholding important health precautions. Handwashing was consistent and closely monitored. Children and leaders observed social distancing and wore facemasks when necessary. Some games had to be creatively altered to avoid close contact while new games and activities were invented. “It was a good, worthwhile time,” one child commented, “It gave me a chance to learn and have fun, especially during this virus.”
Each summer the Sisters have a particular theme that weaves activities and discussions together. This year’s theme is Laudato Si’; on the Care of Our Common Home. This encyclical letter from Pope Francis emphasizes the Christian responsibility to care for creation as a way of caring for the poor and underserved. In addition to building confidence and leadership skills through games, attendees learned about the developmental cycles of plants and animals. “It’s important for them to see the process of seed to seedling, seedling to plant, plant to fruit,” said group leader Sister Mary Mercy, “they realize that everything in life needs time to grow and it takes patience and dedication to see it through.” Crafts, sports and campfire activities were also a part of the summer experience.
The next session of the Franciscan Land-based Summer Experience for Children is July 20- 24, 2020.
“This experience was super fun. I got to play lots of games and had to complete challenges. I also learned what makes a great leader and how to be one.” Youth participant