Edmund Rice Camps is a movement that began in Australia in the 1990s. Since then it has spread across the world of the Congregation of Christian Brothers to Ireland, England, USA, South Africa, India and many other countries besides. It involves young people working with children in summer camps.
Having seen the life of day in the sunshine and surf of Australia, it was a big ask to translate the format to the challenging Irish climate. But Brother Chris Glavey, the current coordinator of Edmund Rice Camps Ireland, and others have responded magnificently. Today, Edmund Rice Camps Ireland is a vibrant expression of what the Edmund Rice vision is all about.
Having begun in Waterford with the poor children of the city, the vision of Blessed Edmund Rice continues to inspire people today. In Waterford local young people who are camp leaders have learned new leadership skills in their work with young children from a variety of backgrounds. Some children experience the challenge and gift of disability in their lives. Others are differently challenged and gifted. But all experience the love, joy and high octane energy of Edmund Rice Camps.
The children engage in a variety of activities, both indoor and outdoor, some of them entertaining, others challenging. Each day ends for the camp leaders with a moment of recollection and reflection. That’s where the growth takes place. What happens over the weeks of camp is that the young camp leaders and the children experience together the joy of working together and the excitement of discovering new personal resources in themselves.
Brother Peadar is a significant part of this story.