By Matthew Quattrocchi ‘21

In nearing an end to a hectic school year, and in the spirit of approaching a longly awaited summer break, the Edmund Rice Camp team prepares to make its final push in preparation for the summer camp ahead!

ERC is a classic Brother Rice tradition filled with the quality of service and philanthropy, which affords an annual free summer camp for marginalized kids around the Chicagoland area.

Since the beginning of the school year, the leadership team has been meeting almost weekly and has pushed its fundraising efforts onto the Brother Rice community by selling Albanese Gummy Bears, selling candy and water at football games, and hosting dress down days for the school.

Mrs. England, a faculty director of ERC, said “the leaders successfully sold 360 bags of Albanese gummies this year, so they decided the counselors would easily sell a box of candy, too. At the moment, we are shy of our goal, but we hope to sell all of the candy before the end of the school year. Coupled with the proceeds from a dress down event in the beginning of the semester and the funds from last year, we should be in decent shape for this year’s camp.”

Gummy bears have yet to be sold, and the leaders are in the process of planning another dress down day, but the future’s looking bright in hopes of an ERC camp.

The ERC team also held its third counselors meeting on Sunday, April 25, and by the looks of it, the meeting was a huge success!

During the meeting, a presentation of Counselor Intervention was given, prayer and music demonstrations were presented, an ERC t-shirt design was voted on, and a parent meeting was held to get parents involved in the process.

Senior Chris Staszak said, “For the upcoming agenda of Edmund Rice Camp, we are working hard to put together our plans that we have idealized for so long into reality while preparing the counselors for the management of campers. Everyone is working exceptionally hard to give these campers a fun summer camp that was deprived of them last year, and everything is coming together smoothly.”

With the theme of this year’s camp being “Be the Light,” the leaders have planned for ways to incorporate the theme into various camp activities.

Mrs. England said, “Our theme this year, ‘Be the Light,’ will help us to focus on all of the light in our lives and all of the ways we can bring light to those in need. The camp leaders have been working hard to prepare excellent activities from art to prayer to sports. We also have a few special visitors lined up, including the Traveling World of Reptiles and the Measner Magic Show.”

Even with the difficulties of COVID, the ERC team is making a strong effort to put together a normal agenda for camp, filled with sports activities, art projects, magicians, reptile shows, and science demonstrations!

The date of camp is set to be June 14-18, and the schedule for camp is already starting to be made.

Unfortunately, due to COVID and the date of camp, St. Margaret of Scotland will not be able to attend camp this year; however, ERC still anticipates a good turnout of campers from other neighboring schools.

Senior Quinn Clifford said, “Edmund Rice Camp will look different this year due to the ongoing pandemic, but our goal to provide a summer camp experience for children from marginalized neighborhoods has not changed one bit.”

Despite the difficulties presented throughout the year, the Edmund Rice Camp team remains hopeful in hosting a successful summer camp and looks forward to continuing a long term Brother Rice tradition!

In the meantime, and in the anticipation of a successful Edmund Rice Camp, get involved, Be the Light!