450 young people from over 22 countries arriving in Bassano Romano (Viterbo)
Everything is ready for the Order of Malta’s 37th International Summer Camp for the young disabled, an event that has been held every summer for almost forty years. After the three-year break caused by the pandemic, and 11 years after it was last held in Italy, the International Summer Camp returns here. This week of vacation and volunteering will attract hundreds of young people from all over the world, meeting from July 30 to August 6 in the Monastery of San Vincenzo Martire in Bassano Romano, Viterbo.
Some 450 have registered, including staff, volunteers and young disabled guests from over 22 countries who will meet up to share in the fun and for personal and spiritual growth, guided by the theme: “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). To help this project take off, the Organizing Committee – comprising young volunteers from the three Grand Priories of Italy, in cooperation with the Association of Italian Knights of the Order of Malta and with the indispensable logistical support of the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps – has for the last three years been planning all the activities, trips, spiritual moments and accommodation down to the last detail. All in full logistic and health security, given the last two complex years characterized by the pandemic.
The Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Fra’ John Dunlap, greeted the many incoming guests and thanked the organizers: “I welcome all of you who come from outside Italy to participate in this experience which, I am sure, will remain in your hearts for the rest of your lives. My thanks go to the Italian organizers for the masterful work they have done in these past three years to set up the camp in the best Italian tradition. Being available to those in need reflects the highest ideals which have guided the Order of Malta’s action for over 900 years,” said Fra’ John Dunlap.
The week will be crowded with activities and entertainment. There will be workshops, shows, trips and excursions to learn about some of the wonders of Rome and its surroundings such as Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence, the Colosseum, the Borghese Gallery, and many other attractions in Rome and Viterbo.
On Tuesday, August 2, the entire group will meet in Rome for High Mass in the Vatican, celebrated by Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, the Pope’s Special Delegate to the Order of Malta. The Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Fra’ John Dunlap, will also be present. On Thursday, August 4, the young people will spend the day in Tarquinia, in the Riva dei Tarquini Adventure Park and will have the chance to take a swim in the nearby beach.
The International Summer Camp for the young disabled was launched in 1983 and has been held in several European countries, each year attracting an ever-increasing number of guests and volunteers. The international version in Europe is complemented by the numerous summer camps organised nationally and an annual edition that since 2017 has united the Order of Malta’s associations and delegations in South-East Asia.