Ukraine – “Summer Youth Camp” online on Telegram

(ANS - Lviv) - From 1 to 22 July, from the Salesian parish in Lviv, the Salesians carried out the "Summer Youth Camp" online, on Telegram, with the religious who helped over 70 young animators, divided into 22 teams, to animate several hundred children and young children. "Every day the kids discover something new about love, hope and faith," explains Fr Taras Bayovsky, Director of the Oratory and of the Catechetical School of St Domenico Savio, who today presents us with this daring experiment, which has had a lot of success.

Fr Taras, we know that the "Summer Youth Camp" took place online this year. Were you ready for such an experience?

Certainly! For us Salesians, children and young people always come first. And we try to work with them even from a distance, accompanying them with prayer, to bring them, with divine help, to the Lord. Together with the Oratory Council we decided to do this event online ... We assumed it could be ineffective, it was a challenge ...

But we had more than 300 followers on Telegram and the peculiarity was that each youngster had to do a creative home-based task and share it on Instagram or Telegram. They posted their photos where you could see how they danced inside the house, participated in the workshops, worked in the garden, played with their parents ... Many parents are happy for this summer camp!

Did children far from the faith also participate?

Our main task is to educate the child as a good Christian and upright citizen, not to limit ourselves to dancing and games. Non-believing children also come to our summer camps or from families from other confessions. The most important thing is to get the child to God. Through games, dances and catechism. We have to get the kids to God and we usually manage to do so. But the person is always free in his or her choice; we simply sow and the rest is done by God.

How did it all go from a technical point of view?

Our young people, about 70 animators, divided into 22 teams of 4, made videos with their devices. In addition, there was a team that directed and assembled everything. Each team had a specific program: what they had to do on that day, prayer, dance ... The "how", however, they chose for themselves. The only rule is that it was cheerful and creative. And everything went very well.

Also, throughout the day the animators, from 11 to 5 pm, organized quizzes, chose the cartoons and films, took funny pictures ... They were always next to the kids, keeping them busy with the various activities.

What are the results of the online "Summer Youth Camp"?

It was a new experience for us. We are learning to work this way. And at the end of July we will make a comparison, a sharing to understand what went well and what we still need to improve. However, we are very happy because we managed to reach, involve, our kids. Of course, it's not an ideal method. But we have tried to do good to our neighbor.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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