The acronym HOPE stands for Help Our Parish Evolve. HOPE Catholic Summer Camp started in Limavady Parish in August 2013.The concept was designed by Fr James Devine and Leo McCloskey.
The ethos of HOPE is summarised in the HOPE slogan, Faith - Fun - Friendship. HOPE aims to reinvigorate the faith lives of the youth of the parish. Primarily this is done through daily faith formation activities but also through healthy social interactions in Sport, Art, Team Building etc.
HOPE is a parish event. Volunteers of all ages assist in the delivery of the programme. It requires partnership with local businesses and the prayers of the parishioners to succeed.
HOPE is for all children aged between 9 and 16 in the parish. If it is financially and logistically viable all children should be permitted to join HOPE. To facilitate this it is important to remove barriers to enrolment especially cost. The challenge the HOPE steering committee faces is to organise a camp which is inclusive, affordable and self financed. Children and leaders from other faiths are very welcome in HOPE.
HOPE Sports Top
The Sports Top is a key element in HOPE. It gives the camp a unique identity and helps create a sense of team/parish between the campers and the HOPE project. HOPE colours are green,dark blue and white. The colours are deliberately neutral and have no connections with any GAA, Soccer or Rugby clubs. Each year the tops should be styled in a way that is appealing to both genders and can be worn by campers at any sporting or social event.
Sport is a key element in HOPE. Healthy competition is encouraged and through the sporting competitions children are taught to win and lose with dignity. Trophies and medals are provided for the major sporting events to ensure children try their hardest to win each competition. Not every child likes contact sports and it is important to provide a menu of other fitness and well being activities e.g. Cardio Dance, Spin etc. Each afternoon in HOPE team building games are organised.
Art, Drama, Cooking etc
To appeal to the interests of all children a variety of activities are offered each year in HOPE Limavady. Local volunteers provide lessons in Art, Drama and cooking during HOPE. Visits to outdoor pursuits centres provide an excellent chance to participate in Fun and Friendship challenges.
Volunteers are key to the success of HOPE. It is important to actively recruit volunteers of all ages and all backgrounds. Prior to the camp volunteers will be trained in child protection issues and given basic First Aid advice. When discussing the plans for each major event Risk Assessments will be shared with the leaders.