Back from a recent weeklong Salesian Leadership Camp on Lake
Vineyard in Brooklyn, Mich., Paul VI Catholic High School
student leaders Laine Davison, Andrea Mueller, Peter Braun
and Margaret Cornejo shared their life-changing experience.
The students - all members of Paul VI's student government or
student ambassadors - were accompanied by Eileen Hanley,
assistant principal for admissions and student life, and
Katie Tinsley, director of student life.
At the camp, the Oblates presented talks that focused on the
teachings of St. Francis de Sales and how they apply to being
a leader. Each day started with morning prayer, was followed
by afternoon Mass and concluded with evening prayer. The
prayers and Masses were planned by the campers.
During the week, the students grew in their faith, gained
valuable leadership skills and met students from across the
country. They also enjoyed a variety of team-building
activities including a challenge course, a scavenger hunt and
relays. Campers also went boating and tubing.
They all agreed that the camp was transformative.
"Coming together with leaders from other schools that
practice the teachings of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane
de Chantal like PVI was not only fascinating, but exciting,"
said Davison. We were all so different, yet so similar. My
fellow campers' enthusiasm about our faith is what helped me
to grow closer to God. We encouraged each other to step out
of our comfort zones, and 'participate not anticipate.'
Living in the present moment can change your life forever."
Mueller also came back changed from the experience. "The
difference between Salesian Leadership Camp and other camps
is that it gives you more than just memories, it gives you a
way to live your life and that is not something that can be
easily forgotten," she said. Saint Francis de Sales once
said, 'Be who you are and be that well.' This quote really
resonates with me because the only way we can be the best
version of ourselves is by being the person God made us to
be. Once you understand that, you realize that following
Jesus is the only thing that will make you happy. I plan to
bring Salesian spirituality back to PVI and everyone I meet."
Cornejo came away with an increased appreciation for prayer.
"We were taught about St. Francis de Sales' form of prayer
and how we can introduce that to students at PVI - the
Direction of Intention," she said. At PVI, we say it at the
beginning of each day and each class. It helps us call to
mind God's presence and center in on our goals for the day.".
"Another focus was our call to live out the Salesian now -
reminding ourselves that this present moment is good and the
people that surround us are good," Cornejo said. "As leaders,
we learned to accept that even though the past may be over,
the future is not yet written - a future in which we are
called to live out the motto of Paul VI Catholic High School
- as said by St. Francis de Sales - 'to do ordinary things
Welcoming the newest Panthers
Each year, upperclassmen from student government and student
ambassadors run Freshmen Fun Days filled with activities to
introduce new students to Paul VI. This year, members of the
class of 2020 played games to help them meet their classmates
and share information in a fun and interactive way. Games and
activities included the Human Knot, a scavenger hunt and a
tour of the school. This year about 175 members of the Class
of 2020 attended.