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Ministry Spotlights
August 24, 2023

"What I Did This Summer:" A Back to School Report from College Ministries

by Walt Buzzini, College Missioner

Ahhhh, summer. You might presume that a campus missioner spends the summer season in the pursuit of relaxation and leisure - college students have gone home, and campuses are empty, right? However, just because our students were on vacation doesn’t mean the work of our ministry stopped! Over the past couple months, Tami and I have enjoyed meeting with our young adults and students, creating memories, and cultivating the connections necessary for sustaining a relational ministry like College & Young Adult Ministries.

In May, we ventured into the Texas Hill Country to meet the staff at Camp Capers during staff training. The weather was hot, the food delicious, and the staff beyond amazing. Then we flew to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and hung out with the gracious Duncan Park staff as they prepared for another exciting season of hiking, climbing, and rafting. Kicking off June, I returned to Camp Capers to support the staff and meet rising college freshmen attending their final summer camp session, Senior High A. Tami and I drove south to Mustang Island Conference Center a week later to get to know the already tan Family Camp team.

Next, we attended the Episcopal Young Adult and Campus Ministries Conference, flying west to San Diego, California. We learned a lot and made connections with our young adult and college ministry peers from across the United States. I am excited to connect our students attending universities outside the Diocese of West Texas with these wonderful chaplains and missioners. Closing out the month, Tami went back to Camp Capers as a member of the Dean-Chaplain-Teacher (DCT) team at Intermediate Camp A.

July 1st I joined the Christ Church, San Antonio young adult group for a little roadtrip west of West Texas. We spent a couple days appreciating God’s creation from the heights of the Guadalupe Mountains and from the depths of the Carlsbad Caverns. Following our Bishop Coadjutor’s consecration I had the wonderful opportunity to join the Rev. Chris Cole and the Rev. Jay Buzzini’s DCT team at Camp Capers Senior High Camp B. It is safe to say that I learned a heck of a lot more than I taught. Sprinkled throughout June, I attended young adult devotionals and dinners hosted by Christ Church, San Antonio and St. Helena’s, Boerne. It was exceedingly refreshing to not be the oldest person in the room for a change!

The first week of August I had the privilege of aiding the Mustang Island FamilyCamp staff host their second-to-last summer session. It was not only a great opportunity to serve and get to know the staff, but the attending families as well. I even got a little tan (i.e. sun-burned). After that, it was straight up to Camp Capers for their last session and  camp closing. What a pleasure it was to bounce around our three amazing diocesan camps this summer, and fill in as needed, even if that meant getting more tan (burnt) and chasing rogue kayaks down the Guadalupe River.

So there you have it. The College & Young Adult Ministries staff has traveled from Gulf Coast to West Coast, Hill Country to Rocky Mountains, and back home again. We’ve reconnected with old friends and made many new ones. Now, as classes resume and our students go near and far, we are excited to get back on campus this fall! Something tells me that this semester will be just as fun, if not more so, than the summer.

~Walt Buzzini
Campus Missioner

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