In early May, Y2AM (the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and Office of Camping Ministries) held a Be the Bee Retreat (“BeeTreat”) at Holy Trinity Church in Carmel, Ind., a suburb of Indianapolis. It was organized under the leadership of Frs. William Bartz and Lucas Christensen, with the assistance of many parish volunteers.
The Indianapolis BeeTreat was the seventh and final BeeTreat that the team has conducted during this season, which began in August 2016. Earlier this season, the team hosted successful BeeTreats in Binghamton, N.Y.; San Jose, Calif; Richmond, Va; Pittsburgh; Atlanta, and Minneapolis. Altogether, about 500 youth, young adults, youth workers, and parents have participated in BeeTreats this season.
The 2016 BeeTreat season has seen growth and changes from earlier years. The general format remains the same. Youth sessions are led by Steven Christoforou, director of Y2AM; and Katrina Bitar, director of YES (Youth Equipped to Serve, of FOCUS North America); young adult and parent sessions are led by Christian Gonzalez, Young Adult Ministries coordinator of Y2AM; and Melissa Tsongranis, associate director of the Archdiocese’s Center for Family Care.
The Minneapolis BeeTreat, held in March, added sessions for youth under the age of 12.
With the help of parish volunteers and parents, children from ages five through eleven were able to partake in a field trip to a local zoo.
This initiative also allowed parents who wanted to attend sessions the ability to do so, without having to worry about child care.
Last month’s BeeTreat, which took place at St. Nicholas Church in San Jose, introduced a new abbreviated format, a Mini BeeTreat.
The sessions took place over the course of two nights; one night was dedicated to youth, and the other was for young adults, youth workers, and parents.
Both of these developments to the program were very successful and allowed BeeTreats to be enjoyed by even more participants.
Y2AM has begun planning for the next BeeTreat season.
If your parish is interested in hosting a BeeTreat for the 2017-2018 year, please reach out by email at [email protected], or by phone at (646) 519-6780.