Jesuit Novitiate
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus

A signature to remember

by Mirko Fischetti

After a year of preparations and of waiting, finally the time to leave for the summer camp with the guys from MEG has come. After one year in which, together with the other leaders, we have followed a group of teenagers between the ages of 11 and 12, now we are ready to leave for the final experience!

We get on the bus and besides our group there are also the kids of the seventh grade… this creates some anxietes in the hearts of the responsibles of the groups: will the two groups manage to integrate and to get along? Will the responsibles manage to collaborate? Small questions that cannot get an answer before leaving for this adventure; So the only way is to get going…

The younger kids sit together, while the older ones get together as they sit in the coach’s back seats. We, the responsibles, immediately start to mingle in with the guys to try to know each other a little bit better.

We are all very excited to leave for “Celle di Macra”, not only to escape the stifling heat of Genoa, but also to experience the much anticipated summer camp.

The days pass quickly while the theme that we prepared, inspired by the book “The Little Prince”, immediately breaches the hearts of the guys. During the sharing sessions, the barriers of shyness and embarrasment fall down and the guys, both young and old, begin to open up to one another.

In the blink of an eye, a week has passed since our arrival. I stop and look at the guys as they are preparing their backpacks and I cannot but notice the collaboration that exists between them. How nice it is to see that the two gropus have been able to blend… but did we, the responsibles, manage to do the same?

I enter the room of the responsibles and realize that we’re late… we haven’t even started to do our backpacks. We start to put some order in our stuff and to do our backpacks and it’s really great to see the collaboration between us. You can breathe the air of good friendship bonds… we also managed to collaborate and to “tame” each other, just as it happened between the Little Prince and the fox. The time spent together, the sharing, the preparations have allowed us to unite and to create strong friendhsip bonds.

Before leaving, we feel the need to leave a small memory, a small sign of us to our friends; so that each time they will see this sign, they will remember us and the experience that we’ve lived together… exactly as the Little Prince did with the fox and the aviator. The sign is decided by the kids: it is their signature on the t-shirts of their friends. In this way a simple signature on a white shirt has become for each of us an unforgettable memory of a wonderful experience of sharing, collaboration and friendship.


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