Chat Tuesday – Aaron Richards, CYSC

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Time For Chat Tuesday! Tonight we’re chatting with Aaron Richards, Program Director for CYSC (Catholic Youth Summer Camps). Aaron is also Youth Minister at Saint Agatha. Welcome Aaron!

Aaron Richards Thanks! So Excited!

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: How did you get involved in CYSC?

Aaron Richards Well, to make a long story short, I rose through the ranks of servitude… About one month before the first year of CYSC, all the way back in 2001, a man named Bob Moraine called to ask if I’d be interested in serving as a counselor that summer, and the rest is history. I feel like the Holy Spirit may have had something to do with it as well. I’ve been involved since the founding, and loved every second!

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: What’s your current role with CYSC?

Aaron Richards At camp, I work in the role of Program Director. This means that what you experience after walking through the doors for our evening program is my responsibility. I work with a crew of incredibly talented post high school staff members to make Club, whether through music, drama or testimony, an all around incredible experience. Throughout the year I work with our staff and board of directors to keep everything running smoothly, and to create events that will keep us fed in between summers.

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth And those events are Jesus Jams and Holiness Revolution?

Aaron Richards Yeah, that’s right. For the past 7 years, we’ve run events through the school year that keep our campers in contact and plugged in to their own local ministries, and Jesus Jam and Holiness Revolution have been it for the past few.

Aaron Richards Get ready for some really exciting changes next Fall, however!

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth He’s teasing us …

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth the anticipation will build until fall, we guess!

Aaron Richards Yes… i mustn’t reveal too much however.

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth How about a hint?

Claire Turnbull You’re not going to tell?

Aaron Richards let’s just say we’ve booked the columbus convention center for a number of dates next season.

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Wow! Sounds like huge gatherings!

Lori S Stevenson Is Holiness Revolution still happening? The website gives VERY little information.

Aaron Richards Ah yes… well let’s just say you’ll hardly be able to recognize holiness revolution. and we’ll take care of that website issue in short order.

Claire Turnbull Do you manage the websites?

Aaron Richards among other things. yes.

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: Tell us how you figured out your path in life.

Aaron Richards God led me in a very strong way through my work in ministry. He actually called me to marry my lovely wife when we met in our first summer at camp together! Yes, CYSC and the two of us share an anniversary. God built upon what he’d started in a very clear way that led me to the work and vocation that I’m living today!

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: Can you tell us the basics about CYSC?

Aaron Richards ‎6 days & 5 nights focused on building a high adventure faith through high adventure activities. Doesn’t get much more basic than that. Jesus wants to meet us at our best. Camp gives us the opportunity to get there!

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: How much does it cost?

Aaron Richards A week of camp costs $495. Now, before you freak out and sign off, keep in mind how much it costs to feed your little habit of eating food three times a day! In all seriousness, the experience is well worth the price. When we say high adventure activities, we aren’t bluffing. It costs a lot to feed those thirsty octane-loving jet skis.

Aaron Richards For those who might be interested in attending this summer, but for whom finances may be in issue, we have many generous individuals and parishes who help to sponsor those who might be unable to come otherwise. (If you’re one of those generous individuals, WE NEED TO TALK!)

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth So there are numerous reasons to talk to Aaron …

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Do those generous parishes and individuals contact you to give?

Aaron Richards haha. I’m a very talkative guy…

Aaron Richards Yes. Quite. Or go ahead and sign on to the website at www.cysc.com to find more information about support and giving!

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth http://cysc.com/Click on donations & support to give to CYSC

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth
Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: What makes CYSC different from any other summer camp?

Aaron Richards Activities: No where else will you find Jet Skis, Paintball, High Ropes, Rock Climbing, The Blob (Heavyweights anyone??), Zorbs (Think giant inflatable human sized hamster balls), Tubing, and Canoeing, among many others, at the same place at the same time with hundreds of your closest friends. It just is not physically possible.

Aaron Richards Faith: CYSC is led by a group of individuals who know and love high school and middle school ministry and who are open to the work of the Holy Spirit. Our messages are clear, consistent, challenging, and up-building. Whether you are seeking to strengthen your relationship with God, or jumping in for the first time, CYSC is where I see young people living the Gospel and experiencing the Sacraments. And it is not by accident.

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: How would you describe CYSC in three words?

Aaron Richards Jesus. Church. Mass-Monkey…

Aaron Richards Well fine. I suppose I should go back to our tagline, taken from the words of our great Patron, Blessed Pope John Paul II: LIVE THE ADVENTURE

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: Which do you like better … ziplining or paintball?

Aaron Richards Well, I would have said paintball until having the opportunity to lead paintball for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks, for 3 years! I have never experienced so many welts before… so, my decision is:

Aaron Richards Paintball. The CYSC speedball course is renowned in all the world. No amount of pain could keep me away.

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: Daily rosary or Eucharistic adoration?

Aaron Richards Wow, Don’t make me pick between momma and JESUS! I love Mary and the Rosary is one of my favourite prayers. I believe that I will cheat and say that the Rosary is one the best ways to dive into Jesus in Adoration. Is that fair?

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Fair enough!

Lisa Ann Black Ludwig Amen brother

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: Who are the camp counselors? Anyone we would know?

Aaron Richards Our camp counselors are an incredibly dedicated group of high school and college students (and a few pros) who dedicate a week of their life to giving our campers every ounce of their love and attention. (and this is no easy task) There are a group of seminarians each year who serve as counselors and staff members as well. We had over 75 applications for camp counselor positions this summer alone!

Aaron Richards Paintball!

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Love it!

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Looks serious …

Aaron Richards quite.

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: If someone can’t make it to camp this summer but is interested in the CYSC organization, how can he/she get involved?


Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: If someone can’t make it to camp this summer but is interested in the CYSC organization, how can he/she get involved?

Aaron Richards If you can’t make it to camp this summer, I pity you…

Aaron Richards Yes! You can get involved in CYSC in all kinds of ways. If you’re in high school or middle school check out our website www.cysc.com to see what programs we’ve got coming up next school year that will help to Live the Adventure in the off season.

Aaron Richards If you’re a parent, go to www.cysc.com to learn all the ways you can force your son or daughter to be involved, and how you can help us to Build the Adventure of CYSC.

Aaron Richards If you are a millionaire, or a person who happens to own a camp site who is looking for a large(ish) tax deduction next spring, head to www.cysc.com, or better yet, just call me.

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Or message you on facebook?

Aaron Richards yes!

Claire Turnbull What do you do to keep it fresh for returning campers?

Aaron Richards We’ve got all of our program on a 6 year rotation. So only the super hard-core will ever see anything twice!

Claire Turnbull and they probably wouldn’t remember anyway!

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: We understand CYSC is all in the family for you.

Aaron Richards Yes… As I said in an earlier post, my wife and I met at our first year serving at camp together (she wasn’t my wife yet at that point). Our two lovely little children have also been huge advocates of camp in their combined 40 months of life. Leah, our oldest was approximately (exactly) 4 days old when she attended her first 3 weeks of camp. That’s right, at one, our daughter Leah had spent over 3/4 of her life at CYSC… And our son Digory was just a few days shy of being born there, but decided to go for the slightly more comfortable hospital route.

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Chat Tuesday ? To Aaron Richards: Last question—who is your favorite saint?

Aaron Richards Ah, well, I hate to be cliché, but Blessed Pope John Paul II is my hero! Aside from being the biggest advocate for youth ministry the world has ever known, and the man who wrote our motto (Live the Adventure), he also put together the Theology of the Body, my favourite thing EVER.

Aaron Richards John Paul’s challenge and guidance set forth in the Theology of the Body is the answer to EVERY challenge to our faith. (I may be slightly biased) I could, have, and would like to go on for 10 hours minimum on this stuff but for the sake of our Chat Tuesday, will keep it brief for now. Rather than preach here, I’ll let you ask me in person. When I see you. At camp. Register @ www.cysc.com

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth Yes, Theology of the Body is an excellent guide … God’s intent for how we view the physical body he gave us. Deep but simple at the same time.
Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth This ends Chat Tuesday! Many thanks to Aaron Richards for being our guest this evening!

To all attending CYSC this summer: have a blast … aiming at Aaron on the paintball course!

Lizz Turnbull kk

Aaron Richards curse you!

Aaron Richards haha no I’ll take it. and love it.

Lizz Turnbull lol

Lizz Turnbull wait does that mean that its over?

Aaron Richards yes… sadly.

Lizz Turnbull awww i didnt even know about these….is there gonna be another one next tuseday?

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth The chat may be over, but you will be able to find Aaron at camp for three weeks this summer!

Aaron Richards four. unless i die.

Lizz Turnbull i know im going to week 2

Lizz Turnbull DONT GO TO THE LIGHT AARON!!!!

Aaron Richards haha

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth We will chat with Father Noble next Tuesday … tune in Lizz!

Lizz Turnbull kk

Next week (May 24) will be our last Chat Tuesday before the summer break. Check in and chat with Fr. Noble as we discuss Ordination and also summer plans.

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