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Teens, community benefit from camp

With all of the troubling stories that seem to dominate the news these days, it was reassuring to learn last week that there also are plenty of good things happening around us.

That reminder came in the form of a visit from the Catholic Heart Workcamp.

More than 300 teenagers and adult leaders from many parts of the United States were in Steubenville June 20 through Friday.

Their mission was to complete about 90 work projects at the homes of low- and moderate-income residents who otherwise might not have been able to have the repairs done.

Those lists included everything from interior and exterior painting, landscaping, removing litter, cleaning and minor home repairs, which encompassed the installation of railings and drywall repairs.

Helping to coordinate the visit of the Orlando, Fla.-based organization were Bobbyjon Bauman of the Sycamore Youth Center and his wife, Pamela, the Ohio Valley Youth Network and officials with Catholic Central High School. The school served as the base for the campers, with classrooms turned into dormitory space and meals served in the cafeteria. It also offered a place for evening activities, which included dances as well as praise and worship.

Steubenville was one of four cities the organization visited last week. Campers also did work in Cumberland, Md., Montague, Mich., and Richmond, Va. Around 35 camps will be held across the United States this year, and the teens have to pay around $400 to be a part of the experience.

The week gives the participants a chance to do service work and learn about parts of the country that are different from their own. It also gives those who are recipients of the work the opportunity to know there are others who are willing to help.

Homeowners said the teens were very kind to them and were hard-working, while the campers said they enjoyed the opportunity to perform community service and to interact with the residents.

“I’m glad I came,” said Zach Deters, a first-time camper from Quincy, Ill. “It’s good to see how much you can get done, and see the look on the people’s faces when you complete the jobs.”

“It’s a blessing,” said John Miller, whose Maryland Avenue home was one of the worksites. “It’s great that young people are willing to do this.”

The week offered a chance for the teens to grow in and live their faith, while helping to improve the lives of those who live in our community. Those are lessons that will serve all involved well for the rest of their lives.

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