Make sure your kids aren’t caught bored this summer

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Although our wonderful state continues to surprise us with snow days and low temperatures, summer fun is closer than you think and registration for summer activities has begun. It’s not too early to plan ahead.

Here are some options for summer activities happening around the archdiocese.

Steubenville of the Rockies

For the 23rd year in a row, high school students are invited to join a powerful weekend at the Steubenville of the Rockies Conference held at the Crowne Plaza DIA in Denver.

It’s a weekend full of inspiring speakers, Eucharistic adoration, energizing music, fun and fellowship with over 2,000 other Catholic teenagers from across the country. If you’re not in high school but still want to attend the Steubenville Conference, you can be part of the Mercy Squad for young adults ages 18-25.

Registration for the Steubenville of the Rockies Conference is now open. Secure your spot and learn more at archden.org/eflm/conferences-retreats/Steubenville.

Highlight Catholic Sports Camps

Formerly known as Frassati Sports and Adventure Camp, Highlight Catholic Ministries has expanded their programs to include sports camps for both boys and girls.

Started in 2016 as a ministry of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Frassati Sports Camp is the boys’ division of Highlight that includes baseball, basketball, soccer and more. Badano Sports, named for Blessed Chiara “Luce” Badano, is the girls’ division of Highlight that was just launched in 2018.

All camps include prayer, drills, Catechesis, contests, games, Catholic mentoring, speakers, giveaways, and prizes.

For registration and details about the summer camps, visit highlightcatholic.org.

Annunciation Heights

If you’re looking for a place where you or your little ones can encounter God through the beauty of creation, Annunciation Heights is the way to go.

Annunciation Heights is a Catholic youth and family camp located in the heart of Colorado’s majestic Rocky Mountains. The Summer Camp programs include activities such as hiking, climbing and zip-lining, along with daily Mass, confession, formation and prayer.

This year, there will be six camps from June to July for campers in 4th to 12th grade, in addition to three family camps.

Registration for Annunciation Heights Summer Camp 2020 is now open, and space is limited. Register by visiting annunciationheights.org.

Totus Tuus

Totus Tuus (Latin for Totally Yours) is a fun and energetic summer catechetical program for first graders through 12th graders across the country. The program consists of sending college students and seminarians from across the U.S. in teams of four to host events to help youths develop a relationship with Jesus Christ and learn a vibrant example of faith from young adults.

This year will mark 20 years that the Totus Tuus program has been in the Archdiocese of Denver. Parishes can apply for a Totus Tuus program to be held at their parish, and young adults can also apply to be instructors.

For more information about registration and participating parishes, visit archden.org/totustuus.

COMING UP: Catholic schools plan to reopen for in-school learning this fall

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Having endured a rather challenging last few months of the school year, parents of Catholic school students can now rest easy with the knowledge that Catholic schools will be open this fall.

In a letter issued May 29, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila and Denver Catholic Schools Superintendent Elias Moo announced plans to reopen Catholic schools for in-school learning for the 2020-21 school year. At the forefront of these plans is the health and safety of students and faculty.

“We will carry out in-person instruction with increased health protocols and processes to ensure that our schools are going above and beyond to protect the health of every member of our Catholic school community, especially our most high-risk members,” said Archbishop Aquila and Moo in their letter. “We are confident our schools’ protocols and processes will keep our school environments as healthy and as safe as possible for all members of our communities.”

To help ensure healthy school environments are maintained, a task force composed of school leaders, nurse practitioners, doctors and a virologist has been assembled. This group is working with schools to identify the best health measures and policies in preparation for the coming school year.

For those parents who may not feel comfortable sending their children to school for any in-school learning, the archdiocese and Office of Catholic Schools are also formulating a virtual distance-learning option. Families who are interested will still be able to receive instruction in core content areas while remaining connected to their local school community. More details on this option will be available at the end of June.

Recognizing the unique challenges parents have faced over these past few months as schools have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Archbishop Aquila and Moo expressed sincere gratitude for their increased efforts in making distance learning a success.

“None of this would have been possible without the incredible efforts made by our parents to play an even bigger role in their children’s education,” they said. “While balancing your own work, caring for your families and other day-to-day responsibilities, you have stepped up to make sure we had a productive finish to the school year.”

Given the fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic, Archbishop Aquila and Moo said that Catholic schools will continue to abide by mandated health protocols while working to keep Catholic schools operating for the good of the communities they serve.

“Our Catholic schools are a critical part of the educational ecosystem and fabric of our state, and we remain committed to working in a spirit of cooperation with our local and state officials when possible as we all seek to advance the common good of our communities,” they concluded.

As plans for reopening Denver’s Catholic schools are continually developed, parents are invited to participate in a survey to help school leadership consider the needs of the community so they can open schools in the safest possible manner. The survey can be accessed by visiting denvercatholicschools.com.