The Don Bosco Youth Camp in Gawler has been an exciting success for six years now, in no small part thanks to our fantastic and enthusiastic leaders.

I have always enjoyed our annual camp and loved seeing my friends there for a hectic few days. However, given it was only for a short time it began to leave me without a place to share the Salesian spirit very often.

When I am out in the world, or at university, it can be hard to find my faith amongst the clutter of life. I wanted a place for it to stretch its legs and run around and so after attending OzBosco 2019 I decided to make it happen.

Grace Slattery and Chelsea Halford and myself began the South Australian Salesian Youth (SASY) as a group of leaders from camp, as well as friends from the parish and Xavier College.

As busy young adults (aged 15-24) we meet every 3-4 weeks in the parish hall. We share funny stories of our lives and check in on each other. We share difficulties and ask each other for advice and prayers.

Every meeting someone from our group gives a talk on any topic they like. These have been personal stories, inspirational quotes and challenging ideas. Everyone has a unique experience and wisdom to share. We have discussion groups afterwards and always write notes of thanks to the speaker.

Food is a must and a so we must give a big shoutout to Chelsea, for bringing some amazing feasts! Of course, we also have plenty have games and fun too. Camp games, board games, watching movies, laser tag, cooking challenges, an exam-time relaxation night and a camping trip have all been wonderful experiences!

Unfortunately, like most things our meetings have been impacted by the COVID-19 situation. However, we continue to meet up using zoom and even managed to play some Pictionary, charades and mafia! Sadly, our camp was planned to occur just after Easter and was therefore cancelled due to restrictions on gathering of people.

To make up for this, Gabby Bakker organised a zoom meeting for every single day of the ‘camp week’ for the leaders from SASY. The schedule was: Monday – a hot drink, chat and craft of your choice, Tuesday – Jackbox evening, Wednesday – Kahoot, Pictionary and mafia, Thursday – Bracket night debating the best item of clothing, Friday – quiz night (including a section with a question on everyone in SASY).

>"I'll see you on Zoom" - who would have known that would become the most common phrase of 2020?!

In true camp style, we had some dress up themes - hats, yellow, camp shirts, fancy dress and pajamas. Everyone had a great time and it was so good to be able to do something to keep smiles on our faces. For anyone wondering, the optimal item of clothing was determined to be a blood pressure cuff, a very up and coming fashion statement!!

It is important to stay connected during a difficult time like this, but also in everyday life. I reached out to fellow leaders from my camp and now we have a great group full of joy and sharing of faith that we can’t do anywhere else.

Gabby reached out to pull together a great camp week that could have been simply sad and disheartening. I have never felt so overjoyed as when someone reaches out to meet me, and so I encourage everyone to reach out to those you may not have spoken to for a while because I guarantee it will make their day!

Miriam has been extremely involved with the Salesian Youth Movement in Australia for many years now, travelling all over the country to take part in various events!

During Mary's month of May, Salesian Youth Ministry is inviting you to take part in an arts and crafts challenge dedicated to Mary!