NOVO Youth Event Report
Novo, an event for high-schoolers from across the state, was held from September 6-8 at Timberlake Ranch Camp. While the weekend was not without its struggles, it is considered to have been a success by all.
As the 18 new participants arrived on Friday evening, there was a predictable amount of awkward tension; however, by the time they went to bed that night, the team could hardly get them to go to bed. As the weekend progressed, everyone became more and more comfortable with each other, and each participant and team member opened their heart to each other and to God.
Novo participants and team members took part in a number of activities throughout the weekend, including crafts, journaling exercises, singing sessions, and games – we even got to use Timberlake’s obstacle course, Armageddon Island! Every activity was centered on the Stations of the Cross, which we moved through sequentially. Each night, we concluded with s’mores around a bonfire, singing, and compline, and on Saturday night, we watched a movie!
Although we got off schedule, crafts went awry, and we almost didn’t have a sanctuary for the closing Eucharist, the weekend was absolutely fulfilling. The lives of so many were changed, and so many began a relationship with God. It was a beautifully humbling experience for all of the team members, who had labored though the summer to make Novo happen; an incredible adult team in the diocesan offices and at Timberlake also worked hard to guide the teenage team and make Novo a success. We are very fortunate to have a diocese full of such fun, loving, and Christ-filled youth that will continue to lead Novo in a brilliant direction in the years to come.
– Abbey Kotlarz