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Franciscan Immersion Experience At Camp Alvernia 2013

By Cheyenne Coco 13

Over Mid-Winter Break ten students attended the Franciscan Volunteer Program along with Mr. Vogelson at Camp Alvernia. They were joined by Saint Anthony’s High school from Huntington, Long island and Notre Dame High school from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The thirty one students spent their vacation serving others. Some of their service sites included The Inn which is a soup kitchen, Saint Joseph’s nursing home and Family Services which is a youth center. The students were broken up into groups where they worked together at a different site each day.

The week consisted of three days of service and a one day trip to the city. The students from Missouri had never visited New York before so we gave them a tour of the city we call the big apple. The day trip included a visit to the 9/11 Memorial, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. Taylor a student from Missouri described her experience as "A memorable and exciting trip that I will never forget".

Throughout the week everyone made friends and became a big family. Each night was full of activities. Brother Richard from Saint Anthony’s High School surprised the students on their last night with a karaoke session. The students sang the night away to songs they found enjoyable. Many students did not want to say goodbye on the day of departure and there were many tears and heartfelt goodbyes. Michael from Saint Anthony’s High School said, "This is not goodbye, it means we will all see each other later". As the students from Saint Francis Prep returned to school they carried the lessons, friendships, values and memories with them. All of the students remained in touch with each other and are planning on meeting again in the summer.