Click here for daily updates.
The 2022 Malta Camp USA, a summer camp for disabled young adults, opened on Sunday, June 19th with celebration at Siena College in Loudonville, NY. Eleven guests and 28 volunteers, including one to one helpers for each guest, are taking part in the first Order of Malta, American Association Malta Camp. Every hand on deck waited in front of the residence hall to herald each guest’s arrival, playing music, waving banners, flags, and handmade posters, and gathering the newcomers into the growing group to greet the next arrival. The welcome and love poured forth was explosive and fun!
The opening Mass was celebrated by our Upstate New York Area Chaplain and Bishop of Albany, the Most Rev. Edward Scharfenberger, who reminded the camp goers that together “we are one body,” each with abilities to serve our Lord in one another. The camp theme, “Wonderfully Made”, from Psalm 139 was revealed on Sunday, the Feast of Corpus Christi. Upstate New York Area Chairs Peter and Jean Maloy and Camp Directors Christopher Lee and Luisa Majnoni d’Intignano led the Daily Prayer of the Order and the Malta Camp Prayer, which was crafted for this year’s camp.
After lunch, Mary Elizabeth Sell and Andres Zuniga of the NYC Ballet’s corp de ballet taught graceful motions directly from the choreography of Balanchine’s “Serenade” and Jerome Robbins’s original “West Side Story.” Both guests and volunteers were moved from surprise to joy as they learned how they could move and perform great ballet sequences.
The camp song, “Home”, and a camp dance the volunteers developed for the song and which all the Malta Campers could learn, kicked off a dance party and games on the Siena College quad. Laughter and games set the tone for an evening of folk music and contra dancing, as everyone paired off for each dance getting to know and befriend one another. The night closed with a slideshow of the day’s highlights and prayer together.