Ten Things to do with your Kid(s) during Quarantine from Annunciation Heights 

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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 LiveStreamIt 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

COMING UP: Five reasons to send your child to summer camp at Annunciation Heights

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Luke Hlavin is the Assistant Program Director at Annunciation Heights.

Summer is quickly approaching.  School will soon be drawing to a close. Alongside the excitement and anticipation that the change in seasons brings, there also comes the perennial question every parent faces: “What is my child going to do to stay busy and active this summer?”  With the ever-present reality of video games and phones dominating every free moment of the day, there are so many things that might fill your child’s free time.

But what if summer could be a time of adventure and transformation, faith and friendship?  What if your child could experience something new and different in the Rocky Mountains, right in your backyard?  With the inaugural season of Annunciation Heights Summer Camp, that indeed could become your child’s reality!

There are at least five ways your child or children could benefit from a week of camp at Annunciation Heights.  Here they are:

1. Adventure in the great outdoors
Annunciation Heights sits in the Tahosa Valley, at the base of Twin Sister’s Mountain, with a full view of Long’s Peak. At this unique location, AH offers your child an opportunity to get outdoors and have some good, old-fashioned fun.  Always mindful of creating a safe and supervised environment in which your child can grow and play, we offer a 40-foot climbing wall, a high ropes adventure course, a 1000-foot zip-line and a hiking trail on the property!   On our lake, we have kayaks and stand-up paddleboards!  Not to mention the amazing day hikes we have planned for our campers!  Your child will truly be able to experience all that the Colorado Rockies have to offer.

2. Growth in friendship
Relationship is at the core of the camp experience! The pace of life is often overwhelming, and at times it is difficult to find time to intentionally deepen friendships. With a week spent sharing the intense and powerful experience of summer camp, deep and lasting friendships easily form and grow, friendships founded on genuine encounter with one another.  Your child just may come out of camp with a lifelong friend.

3. Role-modeling
How better to guide your child’s growth than by putting good role models in their life? This year’s summer staff team is full of faith-filled, energetic, and dedicated men and women excited to spend the summer with your child.  These college student staffers come from all over the country, excited to contribute to the unique mission of Annunciation Heights: to encounter the Creator through the beauty of creation, and to share that with others.  What an opportunity for your child to have an older brother or sister in Christ!

4. Disconnect from technology
Annunciation Heights has the unique privilege of truly being off the grid. Without cell-coverage or Wi-Fi, your child will be encouraged to meet others in direct, personal ways.  While technology can easily become the wall every child or teenager hides behind, here at AH, there are no walls, because there are no phones!  With this comes the real potential for personal encounter with others, with God, and with oneself.

5. Deepening of faith
Most importantly, Annunciation Heights exists to provide a space to deepen one’s relationship with Christ. Each member of the AH family is motivated by a desire to share the love they themselves have received from God with others. The ultimate goal for all involved at Annunciation Heights is that your child walks away from camp a better follower of Christ, more in love with the Church, and more committed to the Christian values at the core of your family life.  Christ is at the center of this camp, and we want Him to be the center of your child’s life.

Yes, this summer can be full to overflowing with all this and more!  It only takes one week for an experience to galvanize the faith and friendships already planted deep within your child’s heart!  It only takes one week to begin a yearly tradition, a tradition that will have life-giving impact on the life of your child and your family. This is indeed our first year, and with it comes the potential for you and your child to help shape and create the culture that will become a mainstay in the Catholic life of the archdiocese.

Annunciation Heights’ staff are getting excited, the mountains are beginning to thaw out, and Annunciation Heights is ready to welcome this year’s campers to a summer unlike any other!  Register today, become a part of the Annunciation Heights family, and discover what summer camp can do for your child, and your family.

Visit annunciationheights.org to register for summer camp.