Confirmation Camp at Cathedral of the Pines

Avery Reichel (Second from the lef) and Friends

Each year on the last night of Confirmation our current 8th-graders attend a service called "What I am promising." At this service, a current 9th-grader speaks about Confirmation Camp and their experience at Cathedral of the Pines Camp. This year Avery Reichel spoke at the Minneapolis Campus. Here is her message ...

"Hi my name is Avery Reichel and I’m in 9th grade at Southwest High School. I will not be afraid. This is sung over and over as we leave the chapel every morning and night. I will look upward and travel onward and not be afraid. This is a great reminder that God is always there and we shouldn’t worry because he will guide us. I want you all to think about this as you go to 9th-grade Confirmation Camp. Camp is the happiest place I’ve ever been. I can feel the positive energy around me. Camp is where I am the very best version of myself. I’ve had the fortune of going to camp every summer since I was going into 3rd grade. Two or three of my school friends and I always went together, but in 6th grade that changed when I found out they weren’t going anymore. I had no idea what to do. My mom decided to sign me up for a week with her friend’s daughter. I was so nervous and I told her there was no way I was getting on that bus. But I went, and the people I met that week are some of my closest friends today, and I have no idea what my life would look like if I hadn’t got on that bus. I understand that some of you are nervous. I’ve been there. But I want to let you know that camp isn’t a place you should be afraid of. It’s a place where you can strengthen and create relationships with new people and God. It’s a place where you can be at peace; it’s serenity. At 9th-grade week (Confirmation Camp), this idea expands immensely. You dive deeper into your relationships and of course have some fun in the process. Confirmation Camp may be the shortest, but it was by far my favorite, because it’s just your grade up there. This creates a more comfortable environment, so you don’t have to think about being cool or impressing anyone, you can just be yourself. Distinct friend groups just sort of merge together and by the end of the week, you have an incredible bond with everyone there. Going into the week I didn’t expect to make as many friends as I did. People seemed unapproachable, but that was all in my head. Everyone there is kind and caring, and I’m so grateful for the wonderful community that camp has to offer. This is a special opportunity because it creates a strong foundation for the relationships you’ll have at church. 9th-grade week is also a blast. There are more extravagant theme meals, crazy intense games with the whole camp, and dances so fun they’ll make your legs sore the next day. I will never forget going on nature hikes with Geoff, rushing to the education building when the dance bell rang, singing songs with Billy at Solitude, looking out at beautiful Caribou Lake, and making wonderful memories. I made so many new friends and I know you all will too. I fell in love with Cathedral of the Pines the minute we drove through the gates, I hope your experience there is just as amazing as mine has been. Thank you."

Avery Reichel