For the second year in a row, the second week of June saw two vans packed with youth from Holy Trinity parish in Carnegie, PA, travel ten hours to the irresistibly placid waters of Saranac Lake, in the rustic Adirondack Mountains of upstate NY. Hidden between the mountains and shrouded in the solitude of the forest is a gem known as “Camp Guggenheim,” owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg, NY. There our parish youth spent the better part of a week praying our liturgical services in worship of the triune God, learning about God’s plan for them through daily catechesis, and growing in virtue through a common life of activities, shared meals, chores and excursions.
Popular activities this year included a hike to the summit of Mt. Baker and its panoramic view of thevregion’s mountainous topography, a canoe trip throughout Lower Saranac Lake along with island hopping and plenty of (safe) cliff-diving. We celebrated the Divine Liturgy at a very welcoming RC parish in fabled Lake Placid before exploring the Olympic sites and taking in all the village. had to offer. Another day was spent at a nature center where we had the distinct pleasure of walking a rope course through the forest canopy. There were daily volleyball games, interspersed with swimming, fishing and paddle-boating. Days often closed out with singing and conversation around the large bonfire located between the dorm building and beach. The youth were treated to a surprise visit to Niagara Falls on the way back home. Despite all the prayers and activities, many noted that the best memories were made on the long road trip to and fro, wherein each drew closer to the other and found in a friend a true sister, in each companion a true brother, and found oneself to have become a better disciple of Jesus Christ.