2010 Summer Programs in Review

What didn't we do at the Thomas More Collegiate Summer Program and the Catholic Leadership Institute? Would that I'd done a photo essay! There were of course, the excellent classes and service projects. There were the trips to Boston and the coast of Maine. However, I'm making a mental note of the activites we did in the down time, many of which have been featured already on Christian Integration, such as making bows and arrows, watching fireworks, digging a fire pit, playing poker, baking cookies, a water balloon toss, Extreme Scrabble, croquet, a scavenger hunt, paper airplane competition, house-of-cards-building competition, Mafia, capture-the-flag, tug of war, three-legged race, a table decorating competition using only natural materials, bonfires, swimming, skits, and unexpectedly--right in the middle of a dinner--the ghostly apparition scene of Banquo at the feast from Shakespeare's Macbeth . . .

We learned these songs: Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley, As I Went Down to the River to Pray, The Parting Glass, The Wild Rover, The Minstrel Boy, Sweet Pea (Amos Lee), Man of Constant Sorrow, Hard Times, and Non Nobis, Domine (William Byrd's version).

We watched these films: The Mission, Twelve O'Clock High, High Noon, On the Waterfront, Monsieur Vincent, Henry V, Master and Commander, Twelve Angry Men, and Casablanca.

We also invented some things that worked wonderfully, including:
  • A drama exercise: have students choose a short sentence from a novel of their choice. Do not tell them why. Then have all the students go in turn, reading their sentence with great fear, then anger, glee, sadness, etc. This shows a lot about a student's acting ability, besides being very funny and entertaining.
  • "Father needs some wine to say Mass." A blackrobe (we actually had a wonderful Jesuit priest to play this part) desperately need a 1/2 glass of wine to say Mass for the three Catholic Native American tribes of the Winnepesaukee, Penacooks, and Sokwakis. Each tribe had a wine-glass filled to the top with red gatorade (oh, well). They had to race to the good padre through woods and dales without spilling more than half the glass. They could not put their hands on top of the glass. What were their fellow tribe members for? Unfortunately, some rather anti-Catholic foes lurked nearby, armed with water balloons. This was a rather wild game, with lots of yelling, but enthusiastically endorsed by one and all.
  • Tribe secrets. The Winnepesaukee, Penacooks, and Sokwakis were competing over the weeks to gain points for their team, and one major way to gain points was to discover the other tribes' secret. Espionage was rampant!
And one thing we did not do, but should try next year, was a kite competition! At York Beach and on the top of Mt. Monadnock where the winds are high, people were flying beautiful kites in the dog-days of summer.

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