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21/7/2011 - RMG - Salesians in Europe: holidays … in North Europe
(ANS – Rome) – The second window which the Agenzia iNfo Salesiana (ANS) opens on the work of the Salesians in Europe in the summer months is devoted to the 15 Provinces making up the North Europe Region.

On 31 August 1876 Don Bosco gave the students of the school at Valsalice (Turin), ready to leave for the holidays, some pieces of advice which could be summed up with the words “Diverte a malo et fac bonum” – Turn away from evil and do good (Psalm 37, 27a). His was concerned lest the holidays, understood and spent as a time with nothing to do, would lead to the forming of bad habits and not be the occasion for growth and development.

In Salesian educational tradition and practice holidays have always been considered as an opportunity for further development and growth in human and Christian living. School camps, holidays, journeys and other similar arrangements have been planned by Salesian centres to provide healthy relaxation and enjoyable entertainment  and other useful and instructive out-of-school activities.

Once again this year the Salesians in the North Europe Region have been making ready to do the same.

700 youngsters and young people are involved in Salesian activities. Most of these, almost 400 of them, will be attending summer camps in Vienna, Linz, Graz, Klagenfurt and Unterwaltersdorf. Among other initiatives: about 100 children and teenagers between 6 and 18 are taking part in training camps, and another 70 will be taking part in a scout camp at Klagenfurt.

In addition to the traditional summer camps for about 450 children and teenagers, the “Saint King Stephan” Province has organised two camps for Youth Leaders, one for about 70 altar servers, the  “Ladik” Catholic Music Festival and the “Tanyatábor” outdoor survival camp where youngsters learn how to live in spartan conditions, without their normal comforts.

Great Britain
In Bollington there is a training camp for Volunteers, and about  a dozen young English boys ands girls left Bolton last week to spend 5 weeks on voluntary service in Tanzania

During the months of June and July about 50 young people between 18 and 25 have been attending courses of preparation for international voluntary service held at the Bonn Mission Office and the “Aktionszentrum” in Benediktbeuern. In addition, in this second centre, between 6 and 13 August, the days that is immediately before the WYD, there will be the XX European Youth Week “EUReka” involving about 50 youngsters from 9 European countries. Then thanks to collaboration with the Salesian “Don Bosco Youth Net”,  a score of young Germans have been involved in running summer camps  in Belgium (Heverlee) and Holland (Rijswijk), while another 100 or so have attended the meetings for youth leaders, “Playground Europe” at Maribor, Slovenia and “Meet Me” in Malta.

About 1,500 youngsters between 5 and 14 have been taking part in the summer holiday projects organised in Salesian oratories and parishes. However the Salesian Youth Ministry group in collaboration with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians have been responsible for producing a hand-book for summer camps also used in many diocesan parishes; this project will reach about 22,000 children and youngsters in 350 parishes around the country. Another 200 young people  between 16 and 25 are involved in training camps.

In addition to the traditional summer camps at Zagreb, Spalato, Rijeka, Zadar and Žepče attracting about 650 children and youngsters there are also other summer events planned: training camps both vocational and sporting  for about 200 youngsters; summer activities for the socially marginalised involving  70 young leaders; a pilgrimage to Međugorje; outings to the mountains, by ship and to the island of Brač.

In addition to these various activities, in every Province quite a number of sizable groups are being prepared for World Youth Day in Madrid.

Published 21/07/2011

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