Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, credits his vocation to many of his experiences at Saint Viator High School. High among them was his involvement as a leader with the unique Service & Song Camp.

Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, encourages students during an opening icebreaker.

This year’s camp opened today and for the first time, Br. Lamick is directing it. Assisting him as adult leaders are Viatorian Associates, including Randy Baker, Barbara D’Urso and Ann Perez, as well as Br. John Eustice, CSV, and other teachers and supporters.

Teens divide up into groups and spread out to serve at social service agencies located across Chicago’s Northwest suburbs. Each afternoon starts out with a reflection on their service and people they impact, as well as a song led by student musicians and choral members.

Br. Peter Lamick welcomes students on the first day of camp.

“This week, we’re going to build community by responding and reaching out to people in need — in a lot of different ways,” Br. Lamick said at the outset.

This is the eighth year for the camp, which was started by Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, to directly involve incoming students into service, and give current students a chance to serve as leaders.

Associate Randy Baker is one of many Viatorians to participate.

Over the course of five afternoons, groups will sort food at area food pantries, collect canned goods in surrounding neighborhoods, make hospice blankets, do light maintenance and yard work at the homes of senior citizens, help at resource centers for the homeless and at another for victims of domestic violence, as well as working in two local gardens — including the Viatorian Community Garden — that raise fresh vegetables for hungry families.

“That’s why so many of you come back each year,” Br. Lamick said to the 90 teens assembled, “you’re living the vision — and putting faith into action.”