BIS #7183 Vocation Camps ‘Dare to Dream’ at DB Lonavla

By Cl Rohan D’Souza for BISMumbai

After weeks of preparation, the much-anticipated Province Vocation Camps kicked off on 2 May 2024, at Don Bosco Aspirantate, Lonavla. Aligned with the Strenna for the year, the theme of the camps was ‘Dare to Dream’.

The camps allow the Salesians to get to know those interested in joining the apostolic school and the aspirantate. The camp for the juniors (Grades 7 and 8) was held from 2 to 8 May while the camp for the seniors (Grades 10 and above) was held from 9 to 15 May. Before the juniors’ camp, tests in Mathematics and English were conducted across various regions of the province as a part of the selection process. 

The boys arrived at the house brimming with enthusiasm and eager to participate and learn from the camp and they received a warm welcome from the Salesians and the volunteers. 57 boys participated in the Juniors’ camp while 54 participated in the Seniors’ Camp. 

The days at the camp were replete with a variety of activities designed to help the campers understand the programme at Don Bosco Aspirantate better and to foster new friendships. Each day’s liturgy, input sessions, and group activities were based on the theme of the day which was carefully chosen to align with the purpose of the camp. In addition, games, recreational activities,  and competitions were held to help the campers express themselves through art, music, sports and dance.

Fr Velasli Bandya, the Province Vocation Animator, welcomed the boys and introduced the Salesians and the volunteers. He then conducted sessions on commitment, guiding them to reflect on their choices and the purpose of attending the camp. Delving deeper, he explored the concept of talents, inspiring the boys to embrace their God-given gifts and use them for service.

During his homily on the inaugural day of both camps, Fr Blany Pinto, the Rector, elaborated on the significance of the camp's theme, "Dare to Dream," drawing parallels to Don Bosco's dream at the age of nine. He encouraged the campers to seek God’s guidance in discovering their own dreams, urging them to pursue them with the same determination as Don Bosco. 

The Vocation Camps were quite a success, thanks to the amazing rapport between the Salesians and the animators. The animators comprised of the aspirants of Std 11 and the prenovitiate candidates. The campers were thrilled with all the activity and energy throughout the camp. They were very grateful for all that was done for them for the camp and were looking forward to the various opportunities that would be presented to them at Don Bosco, Lonavla.