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Volunteer work part of camp at St. Rita's in Cottage Grove

It was a week filled with kindness and helping others. "Kid's Make a Difference Camp" at St. Rita's Catholic Church in Cottage Grove had mornings filled with learning earlier this month. After lunch, it was time for fun activities.

Kids in grades 3-6 put on skits using their imaginations and a box of props to act out "random acts of kindness."

Skits included a lesson not to cut down too many trees, giving someone money at a grocery store if they didn't have enough to pay and visiting people who are hospitalized.

Using a Harry Potter theme and wielding imaginary light sabers, Nathan Salmonson and Ethan Krohn pretended they were fighting. "At first we were fighting," Salmonson said. "Then, we stopped and I gave him my saber. It's about being a good friend."

The camp is just one of the youth activities the church is hosting this summer as part of fostering "faith formation." There was vacation Bible school and there also were activities for St. Rita's teens this summer.

Makayla Krohn, and more than 45 other teens, in activities coordinated by Amy Schroeder, did community service including picking up litter around the city, playing bingo with White Pine assisted-living residents and cleaning the banks of the Mississippi River.

In the afternoons, they did fun activities that included a trip to a water park and the Minnesota Zoo.

"Everything we do is about helping people," Krohn said, adding that it will help make them better adults. "It's also fun being with your friends."

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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