highschool1Now completed its 5th year, the annual High School Summer Program at Christendom drew 74 high school juniors and seniors from across the United States and abroad. For the first time, Christendom’s Admissions Office organized two separate sessions of this most anticipated program, thus enabling even more teenagers to attend. In fact, the students came from 28 different states, with 11 traveling from the Lone Star state of Texas.

Thirty-four teenagers participated in the first session, which began on June 22 and ran through July 3. The “campers,” as they are often called, spent two weeks soaking up the Catholic Faith and culture in the sometimes hot and always Catholic climate found at Christendom College.

The daily schedule was packed with both edifying and fun events, including classes in the mornings, attendance at daily Mass, and a variety of afternoon activities. But studying theology, English literature, philosophy, and political science was only part of the curriculum during the two week program.

The other part was comprised of trips down the Shenandoah River in canoes; hikes through Skyline Drive; exciting softball and volleyball games; attendance at an Orioles baseball game in Baltimore at Camden Yards; a trip to the Nation’s Capital to visit the John Paul II Cultural Center and the monuments and museums; and a special evening of fun and comraderie at President O’Donnell’s house.

hs_in_class The second session, which ran from July 13-24, drew 40 more “campers.” (who are pictured above at Dr. O’Donnell’s house at the Barn Dance)

Shalon Spring, Admissions Counselor and High School Summer Program coordinator, could not have been more pleased with the outcome of the two sessions.

“I think that the additional 40 high school junior and seniors that attended the program because of the availability of having a second session this year were deeply impressed with Christendom and what we offer,” she said. “Each session seemed to have its own character and feel to it. But, regardless of which session they attended, all of the teenagers really made a good impression on the counselors and me. We can’t wait for them to be freshmen!”

With their minds and hearts engaged in the classroom and in recreation, the students came to a deeper love and understanding of their Catholic faith. These convictions were reinforced in the numerous budding friendships that arose as they aided each other in the pursuit of Truth. In fact, an excerpt from a letter written by one of the “campers” may sum up the overall feeling the best:

The two weeks that I spent at Christendom were the best weeks of my life. I grew and learned so much, especially spiritually. Now I try to go to daily Mass, adoration, and pray the rosary daily. I had my faith before, but Christendom strengthened it so much. I guess that I used to take it for granted—now I have a new perspective on everything and my priorities have changed dramatically. I see the importance of my faith rather than what I had viewed as important before. It is so incredible to have such a new outlook on life. Of course I am grateful for all the friendships that I have made and the amazing professors that I have had, but as I see it now, my ultimate goal is to get to Heaven and the only way to do that is through Jesus. I can’t thank you enough for everything and I can’t wait to go to Christendom. I miss all of you and I pray for you everyday.

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