By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
Crooked Creek Christian Camp in Washington, Iowa, will host a smaller version of the National Catholic Youth Conference scheduled this November in California. “Walk on Water,” or WOW for short, will take place Nov. 12-13 for high school youths, youth leaders, youth ministers, parents and spiritual ministers.
Youth ministers Michelle Montgomery of St. Thomas More Parish in Coralville and Angie Goodwin of Holy Family Parish in Riverside said they loved the theme for the California event. The success of last year’s NCYC 2.0 in Iowa City inspired them to offer another local event, this time in Washington.
“Last November the Iowa City Deanery put on NCYC 2.0 in conjunction with the National NCYC convention. We were able to incorporate parts of the live convention into our retreat virtually,” Goodwin said. She described the event as amazing. “None of us anticipated where it would lead.” The high school youths “wanted more ‘Jesus moments’ and in true Holy Spirit fashion, we were led to answer the call to put on a local retreat for our youths.”
“This is a great opportunity to live our faith,” Goodwin said. “Since our NCYC 2.0, our youths have been fired up. Their hearts were set ABLAZE last November and they want more. We are so excited to be able to come together, discern, work, plan and offer this retreat experience. It’s been a great opportunity and a ton of fun to work with other youth ministers to plan this event.”
All high school youths in the Diocese of Davenport are invited to attend the retreat, which begins Nov. 12 at 10:30 a.m. and concludes Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. Families are invited to attend the closing Mass at 1 p.m. Nov. 13, Montgomery said.
Crooked Creek Christian Camp, a first-time venue for this event, offers a country setting with beautiful scenery as a backdrop to outdoor activities, Goodwin said. “The accommodations are great, offering an environment for making friends. There is an awesome recreational facility where the kids can play volleyball, shoot hoops, play billiards and even do a little rock climbing,” she noted.
During the retreat, local youths, adult leaders and spiritual leaders will share their personal testimonies of the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives. “We will focus on trust, risk, courage and Walking on Water,” Montgomery said. The retreat also offers large and small group activities, discussions, prayer, icebreakers, reconciliation, adoration, fellowship, liturgy, music, hayrack ride, bonfire and Mass.
The event fee is $135 per person, which includes overnight accommodations and meals, and is due Oct. 7. Scholarships are available. The October deadline allows planners to secure accommodations, plan meals, order supplies and arrange for chaperones.
The event’s planners represent the Iowa City Deanery parishes of St. Thomas More-Coralville; Holy Family of Riverside, Richmond and Wellman; and St. Patrick-Iowa City. Youths from Coralville, Iowa City, Riverside, Solon, Lone Tree, Nichols and Washington have already committed, Goodwin said. Other youths and adults interested in attending should contact their parish’s youth minister or Mont-gomery at email@example.com or Goodwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations to offset scholarship costs can be made by contacting Katie Schneider at St. Thomas More Parish at (319) 337-2173. A brief video on the retreat experience is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgU2zajQx68