On Sunday, July 22, an especially motivated group of 13 teens and three chaperones from Our Lady of Grace parish in Pepperell and St. John the Evangelist parish in Townsend hit the road at 4:30 a.m. destined for Oil City, Pennsylvania, to share their time and talents with Catholic Heart WorkCamp.

The WorkCamp is a national organization that runs more than 40 camps for over 11,000 campers annually to serve the marginalized and inspire participants through service and connection to Jesus Christ.

Our team comprised students from Groton, Pepperell, Dunstable and Townsend, attending Groton-Dunstable Regional High School, North Middlesex Regional High School, Nashoba Valley Technical High School and Notre Dame Academy.

Throughout the week, the team participated in daily Mass, followed by service in the form of painting, gardening, general maintenance and some larger projects for area residents who are older or less fortunate and unable to handle these tasks on their own.

The evenings were filled with fun and inspirational activities, lots of dancing, and plenty of time for reflection, including eucharistic adoration, Reconciliation and other prayerful interactions.

Most nights capped off with our group getting together to share their experiences and hopes, followed by free time where the teens played cards and other games, got to know each other, and made new friends from all over the country.


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Overall, the Oil City camp included nearly 200 participants who were able to help 50 area residents throughout the week.

The experience was incredibly rewarding for all who attended, and everyone who participated from our parishes said that they would like to go again next year.

If you, or your child (who must have completed eighth grade by June 2019), are interested in joining us, or would like more information about the program, contact Tom Fitzpatrick 978-337-7641, or at tfitz@alum.mit.edu.