GO FLY A KITE: St. Matthew's parish in Voorheesville just had an ingenious idea to draw not just young parishioners, but even adults: building kites and then flying them on the church lawn. 
Three members of the parish's teen ministry, HOPE (Helping Out People Everywhere) — Marco Loccisano, Morgan Campbell and Jeff Dorman — ran the event.
Here, Ronan Haggerty and Madeline Taylor work on their kites. (Emily Benson photo)
GO FLY A KITE: St. Matthew's parish in Voorheesville just had an ingenious idea to draw not just young parishioners, but even adults: building kites and then flying them on the church lawn. Three members of the parish's teen ministry, HOPE (Helping Out People Everywhere) — Marco Loccisano, Morgan Campbell and Jeff Dorman — ran the event. Here, Ronan Haggerty and Madeline Taylor work on their kites. (Emily Benson photo)
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Nothing says summertime like hanging out at camp, and parishes and groups around the Albany Diocese are offering summer fun with camps and programs. The Evangelist spoke to several about what’s in store for kids and teens in the coming months.

SUMMER NIGHT OF WORSHIP

On July 1, St. Joseph’s parish in Greenfield Center held its first “Summer Night of Worship.” The teen ministry group organized the event for youth in grades nine through college as a way for teenagers to connect with their faith.

Young parishioner Kevin Cronin came up with the idea after attending a Chris Tomlin “Worship Night in America” concert with friends in the parish’s teen ministry.

Kevin said the group took the energy of the concert and brought it to St. Joseph’s. The summer event kicked off at 7 p.m. and included music, led by Kevin on guitar, a talk on worship and a Bible study. There were also s’mores and a kickball game.

“We had one simple hope in planning for this, and that was to bring the people there closer to Jesus,” Kevin told The Evangelist.

(Another worship night is in the planning stages for August. For information on future teen ministry events at St. Joseph’s, contact kevint16cronin@gmail.com.)

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN

Holy Trinity parish in Cohoes is cooking up a summer treat with a “Kids in the Kitchen” program, teaching children ages eight to 12 the basics of cooking and food decoration.

The program begins July 6, 2 p.m., followed by dinner and a movie at 5:30 p.m. For the first session, kids will make a “family picnic,” with pasta salad, potato salad, hamburgers and dessert.

“Why not learn [how to cook] now, not when you’re on your own and in college?” said Marge Stockwell, faith formation coordinator at the parish.

The program will be led by parishioner Kathy Paulus, a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Several sessions of the program will be offered throughout the year.

(For more information, contact Mrs. Stockwell at 518-237-2373.)

INTRO TO PROGRAMMING

Saratoga Central Catholic High School in Saratoga Springs is preparing students for the future with an “Intro to Programming” camp. The computer programming camp is open to students in grades six-11, and meets July 30, Aug. 1 and Aug. 2 from 9-11:30 a.m. at Saratoga Catholic.

Stephen Larson, a Saratoga Catholic alumnus, wanted to teach the summer course after finishing his first year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. RPI coursework made him realize the significance that computer programming will have in college and beyond.

“As technology progresses, its important kids get knowledge and experience in technology,” Mr. Larson explained.

Pre-teens and teens at the camp will learn Visual Basic (VB), a tool used for customizing software applications, and will learn how software programs like Excel are able to sort and organize data. Students are to bring a personal computer to the camp that must have Microsoft Office and Excel.

(For more information, contact Mr. Larson at 518-421-7910.)

JOURNEY RETREAT

The Journey retreat program, to be July 26-29 at the Dominican Retreat and Conference Center in Niskayuna, is an opportunity for teens in grades 10-12 to learn about their faith and about how to become a leader in their parish community.

The program is led by students, with adult supervision. It spun off from the Cursillo retreat program for adults, which began in Albany Diocese in the 1970s. Cursillo retreats started in Spain 30 years prior to that; the movement’s goal is to aid Catholics in living a Christian life in everyday situations.

Journey retreats are “an opportunity for high-school students to get together and talk about their faith,” said Audrey Carlton, a spiritual director for the program.

Participants will discuss faith-related topics like values, obstacles and God’s place in friendships, and enjoy activities like creating skits, doing crafts and hanging out with friends.

(For more information, contact audreysabatini@gmail.com.)