Living the summer in community: JAR’s activities in Spain

The Youth Ministry does not cease its activities during the summer holidays in Spain. The JARs continue to live their charism with young people in the camps of Madrid, Guadalajara and Granada

There are many young people who have known the Augustinian Recollect Youth (JAR) in Spain through their summer activities. The three camps organized by the Youth Ministry of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in Spain are one of the central activities of the year for young people who live the Augustinian Recollect charism. More than 6,000 young people have participated in the three coexistence that this year will take place in Madrid, Guadalajara and Granada from July 20 to 30.

Ten days of community life in which young people between eight and 17 years old, with a restless heart, share their life, their experience and their faith. It is the primordial base of the ten days in which leisure or sports are not lacking, as well as moments of community prayer and personal reflection.

Following the JAR itinerary -established by the General Secretariat of Youth and Vocational Apostolate-, the three coexistence receive Augustinian names: Tagaste, Cartago and Milan, in reference to the key cities of the conversion of Saint Augustine. Responds to the three stages of the Itinerary of the Augustinian Recollect Youths.

Thus, children between eight and 11 years old enjoy the Tagaste Camp in the Sierra de Baza (Granada). The little ones are introduced to the faith through initiation catechesis in which they are made known to God. In the Carthage Camp -between Guadalajara and Madrid-, for children between 12 and 14 years old, St. Augustine begins to appear as a reference in his faith. Through Augustinian content, the little ones have the opportunity to know God according to the Augustinian charism, beginning to internalize in themselves the faith. Finally, young people between 15 and 17 years who come to Camp Milan, already for teenagers, have the opportunity to reflect and consider the role that God should have in their lives. The latter is the Itinerant Camp, which runs through different parts of the Sierra de Guadalajara.

The JAR are marked for these activities three objectives: have fun; learn to live together, value and be a better Christian; and meet young people like them from other places and get to know oneself in an Augustinian environment. More than 200 children and adolescents from Granada, Guadalajara and Motril participate in the three camps that this year have the motto “Come and follow me”.

“The camps I consider essential”

In the oasis of summer vacations in Spain, the JAR camps are for many the island that allows them to strengthen their faith. Juan Pablo participated many years ago in his first camp. “It was such an important experience of faith, of maturity, a personal experience …”, he recalls. Since then he always comes back, now as a monitor. “The experiences are unrepeatable year after year and I consider them essential, I would not understand a summer without the JAR camps,” he explains.

The objective of these activities is for Emilio, a professor at the Colegio de Agustinos Recoletos in Motril and a monitor, “to educate in the Christian and Augustinian values ​​in which we have previously been educated”. The central element that distinguishes these camps -according to Manuel- is the feeling of community and fraternity that we create. An Augustinian family spirit is created. ”