What TEENS are saying about Summer Servants:

  • “An amazing week that lets you actively give back to you community and grow in your faith with God.”

  • “A camp that helps people to become stronger servant leaders.”

  • “The best thing I’ve ever done.”

  • “A fun, eye-opening experience that can change your life.”

  • “A home away from home; faith goes to work through service.”

  • “A week-long camp where you volunteer around Syracuse, but have lots of fun doing it.”

  • “The best week of summer.”

  • “An amazing time with amazing people giving back to our community.”

  • “For one week, you have a second family unlike any other.”

Check out these testimonials...

Anything but Ordinary

The theme of Summer Servants was “Anything But Ordinary” and that it was. At first I did not want to participate, but once I was there I had a lot of fun. We separated into different groups such as the Vincent House, Minor Home Repairs and other locations. I worked at the Vincent House which is run by Catholic Charities, and in located on the near westside of Syracuse. I am glad I got to work with kids because they really inspire me. Jesus once said, “To enter the kingdom of God, your mind and heart must be like a child’s”. In other words, children see the world in colors and shapes; while most others see it in ones and zeros. Though, I knew this for a long time I realized I was the exact opposite of them. It was nice to make connections to little kids because they have less worries than we do and are generally overall nicer than most others are. It’s sad because there is a point where we lose our inner child, and it was nice to gain it back. We answered a few questions every day and meditated upon them by putting them on puzzle pieces, connecting them on the last day, and sharing with other groups what our day was like. When we weren’t working, we were playing volleyball, spending time at Jamesville Beach, listening to Kevin Frank – who was the trip speaker and director of Brady Faith Center – give amazing speeches, and much more. I think my favorite part was having silent time and being able to meditate on our day. All this and of course making new connections with others made the camp “Anything But Ordinary”.

Diving Deeper

There are instances in each of our lives that we can remember instantaneously and immediately say, “That’s it… that is the moment everything changed.” It can be so many different things, whether it’s when you met your best friend or maybe when you started high school. For me, my moment happened this July during Summer Servants. If someone had sat me down a year ago and told me I would find my moment while spending my days out in downtown Syracuse and spending my nights in the downstairs of a church I had never stepped foot in before, I would have laughed in their face. Yet, that’s where it was… my life-changing moment just waiting for me to finally seize the opportunity and discover it.
At Summer Servants you do a lot of volunteer work as you help play with kids or help out by doing manual labor like minor home repairs or gardening. As the week progressed these little responsibilities changed more and more in meaning. Each weed I pulled, each meal I served, each small child I swung onto my back and ran around with opened my eyes just a little wider. I was stunned. I had lived in Syracuse my entire life, but somehow I had never seen these beautiful people with even more beautiful stories and struggles all around me. I had been living for 16 years with my eyes closed and I never even knew it. Simultaneously as I dove deeper into my relationships with these incredible people that I served and served with, I dove deeper into my relationship with God. It was when I walked and talked with His children that were struggling the most that I truly came face to face with Him.
It’s crazy to me that these people I helped during Summer Servants helped me even more. They helped me open my eyes, and when my eyes were finally wide open that’s when I had my moment. That’s when I saw God. So to everyone reading this I urge you to come to Summer Servants, start to open your eyes. I think you’ll really like what you see.