After 2 years of delay due to COVID, the Taiwan Catholic Scout Camp was finally held at Atayal Resort, Nantou County from 10th to 12th February 2023. More than 400 scouts from primary and secondary schools, and Catholic members from all over Taiwan participated in this event. Members of International Catholic Conference of Scouting Asia Pacific Region were invited to this Camp, we are honored to have Catholic scout representatives from Japan, Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong to join us in the Camp.
This event was hosted by the Taiwan’s Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference and organized by the Taiwan Catholic Scouting Committee. The Camp commenced with an opening mass presided by Bishop John Lee Keh-mien from Hsinchu Diocese and ended with a closing mass presided by Bishop Martin Su Yao-wen from Taichung Diocese. Bishop Lee encouraged the scouts to respond to the grace of Mighty God by doing a good deed every day.
The theme of Camp is to develop an international mindset for our scouts and broaden their horizons through promotion of experience sharing and building of international network.
Participants came from 10 scout groups and divided into 29 teams, they all enjoyed camping, tree climbing, first aid, building roman catapult, fire lighting, group games and activities arranged in the three-day Camp.
In addition to Catholic scout representatives from Asia Pacific Region, a 90-year-old Belgian priest, Fr. Toon Maes, also joined us in the Camp. Fr. Maes dedicated his life in serving the underprivileged group in Taiwan; he also found the scout group in the Holy Rosary Church at Wanda Road, Taipei, and has a close tie with the Catholic scouting in Taiwan.
The organizer planned a bible carnival using 20 well known bible stories, such as the birth of Jesus, Genesis, Noah’s Ark, crossing the Red Sea, David and Goliath, and Daniel in the lion’s den. Members used their creativity to design the props and songs, and presented the bible stories in a lively and entertaining way. Through the interesting performances, scout members can learn more about the faith and promote the beliefs of the Catholic Church. One team used Pietà by Michelangelo Buonarrot to express the sadness of Jesus’ crucifixion; another team made a horse to illustrate the story of Jesus’ birth in the manger.
One leader commented that he is unfamiliar with Catholicism, but he found it very interesting to participate in the Catholic activities and masses, and gave him a better understanding about Jesus and the love of God.
It has been a challenging task to organize this Camp during the period of COVID, when there are many uncertainties. Furthermore, the participants came from different background and age groups, it was a tough job to design activities that suits everyone. Having said that, we look forward to the next Catholic Scout Camp, and extend our invitation to all Catholic scouts around the world to join next time.