Mission: Living it Forward…
Appalachia Trip 2018
We arrived safely home from the Big Laurel Learning Center in West Virginia on Saturday, August 4 after another amazing week on the mountain. This year, we had fourteen boys (ages ranging from 11 to 16) attend the camp. Many of these boys have been coming to our camp for at least two years and some even more. Our ten students and three alumni did an outstanding job in providing a fun week for the boys. Some of our students and alumni have also been coming to the camp for two or more years as well, which has fostered very strong friendships over the years. The students all keep in touch with the kids via Facebook and Messenger throughout the year. They are great at encouraging the boys to stay in school and to work hard so that maybe one day they can go to college or trade school. The boys enjoyed hearing from our students about their college experience. They spoke for an hour and not one of the boys seemed bored. It was quite impressive.
The theme for our camp over the years has been Camp or Respect, and so it seemed appropriate that on our camp shirt this year, student Jeff Lozano made sure to include the words "Always Humble and Kind!" Despite some rain and cloudy days, there was much laughter and joy in playing games, basketball, cards, swimming and even a country dance.
This experience truly is "transformative education" both for our students and the campers. We have seen the change in the boys over the years, and certainly our students experience an inner change as well. As Oscar Romero reminds us, "If you say you love the poor, name them." We certainly love these children that come to Big Laurel, and we can name them.
Many thanks for the many thoughts, prayers, and donations. We gave a check for $8,000 to Sister Kathy and Sister Gretchen in the name of the Molloy Community. They were beyond thrilled and will use this money for the work they do throughout the year with the people that live in Kermit, WV.
We can't wait until next year.
With love and thanks,