Kyle Mills is the CEO and Executive Director of Annunciation Heights Youth and Family Camp in Estes Park.
Our mission at Annunciation Heights is to serve youth and families. It’s a joy for us to do this! The family is — more than ever — under attack in our culture which is why in all the programs we offer we attempt to reconnect parents to their kids and kids to their parents. Health family relationships are the bedrock of society and the basis from which the individual human person can thrive, or not, in life. Even with our youth programs where parents are at home, we are trying in a variety of ways to get kids to engage their parents anew and help them appreciate all that their parents and guardians do for them.
We have always followed the conviction that the most effective youth ministry is done within the context of the family. Our mission is the same now during a global pandemic as at any other time and maybe even more important now when the coronavirus crisis has forced us to “stay at home”! May I encourage you in this time of global uncertainty, with all the real anxieties that accompany that, to truly STAY AT HOME! I don’t just mean don’t go out, but truly be at home with your family; be present to the needs of your loved ones, look for ways to grow with your spouse and kids. Seize the moment of being at home, don’t let this opportunity pass you by!
Towards this end we are trying to offer a few things that can help people out. Maybe you’ll find something helpful in the 10 things to do with your kids during quarantine listed here. Other resources we offer you can find in our weekly newsletter and video Scripture devotion, or via Facebook and Instagram. We also have a place on our website where you can confidentially enter a prayer request. Each day, under the leadership of our Chaplain, Father Donatian Kaigoma, we are praying for these intentions.
Finally, I want to tell you that we are fully planning on having both our youth and family camps this summer! We will continue on this course until it becomes absolutely impossible to do so. Please do not hesitate to register your son or daughter for our youth camps and your family for family camps. All summer camp fees are refundable if we have to cancel.
Whether you have been to Annunciation Heights or not, please be assured of our prayers for you and your family. And please pray for us too!
Tune in to the Annunciation Heights Instagram Story: Join missionaries/staff each week to get a sneak peak of camp life, summer camp preparations, and the like. All found at https://www.instagram.com/annunciationheights/
Take a Virtual Tour of a National Park, including our own Rocky Mountain National Park: It’s hard not to be able to hike…but you can do it virtually online! Check out this page for all the details: https://www.insider.com/national-parks-america-virtual-tours-3d-visit-2020-3#a-digital-visit-to-wind-cave-national-park-offers-serene-prairie-views-29
Participate in a Mass via LiveStream: It is so difficult to feel separated from our faith communities. But many churches are broadcasting their liturgies on LiveStream. Check out the list from the Archdiocese of Denver here: https://archden.org/coronavirus/ locallivestream/
Do a Handicraft: In the tradition of Camp St. Malo, we love doing hands-on crafts that are productive, fun, and old-school. And while you may not have all the supplies to do it in the old-fashioned manner, you can still have fun! Something like building a candle from old unused wax (http://livethefancylife.com/diy-making-new-candles-out-of-leftover-wax-and-oldcandle-jars/)!
Write a letter: We all know how meaningful it is these days to receive a handwritten letter! And we all have those people that we have wanted to contact for months but haven’t had the time! Take time with your kid to write a letter, draw a card, or simply send something meaningful to those you love!
FaceTime: While we are all locked away in our homes, we still have access to one of the greatest marvels of modern technology…FaceTime! Take time with your kids to video chat with close family and friends. You can even play games on FaceTime, like Pictionary or even charades!
Cook with your Kids: You know how they are constantly asking for Pizza?! Why not make a homemade pizza together! You can enjoy a meal together and the fruit of your communal labor!
Learn about the many wonderful parts of Creation, even from inside: Watch a nature show, or even watch the LiveStream Video of this watering hole in Africa: https://explore.org/livecams/african-wildlife/african-watering-hole-animal-camera
Catholic Saints Trivia: Learn more about the heritage of our faith by quizzing yourself or your children. There are plenty of websites online, but here are a few: https://www.britannica.com/quiz/saints or https://www.funtrivia.com/playquiz/quiz30277522a9ad0.html.
Make a Rosary: Do you happen to have any twine around your house? Or can you get some from Amazon? Follow these directions to make a single strand knotted rosary: https://www.jeffgeerling.com/articles/religion/how-to-make-knot-rosary
Featured image: Annunciation Heights Facebook