Imagine the perfect summer camping trip.
Here is what comes to my mind -- the company of good friends, old and new; the opportunity to swim in some sort of body of water, preferably a lake; delicious food; a few brewskies; the sounds of a guitar or ukulele around a campfire; and some dancing or field games in between.
Nature's Call is what some in the Midwest believe to be the ultimate camping trip with one extra ingredient -- a Catholic twist.
In 1994, Gregory Doring, accompanied by a few close friends, began what is now a large annual gathering of young adult Catholics from Missouri and beyond to celebrate the end of summer in Catholic fellowship.
Labor Day weekend marked the 20th Nature's Call at Lake Pomme De Terre in Missouri.
Campers from Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado and Illinois all made the trek despite the rain to participate in a fun weekend away from home.
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As the rain puttered out and the sun began to rise Sunday morning, a visiting priest celebrated Mass for all those present at the campsite. Following Mass, there was an opportunity to say confession or linger in prayerful worship.
Whether it was playing a game of ultimate Frisbee, participating in an afternoon Iron Chef competition, stargazing or some adventurous night swimming, all who went were guaranteed an unforgettable experience.
Nature's Call restores the body and spirit. As someone who went, I appreciated the Midwestern hospitality and Catholic camaraderie.
Sometimes a break from the political frenzy, the everyday grind and the silly things that just don't matter is the only remedy to make life a bit fuller. Nature's Call is a healthy reminder that God is certainly everywhere -- in the trees, the water, and in the people, all people.
For more information, visit Nature's Call online.