Pope Francis visits the Vatican’s summer camp

By Vatican News

July 22 2020

Pope Francis surprises the children participating in a Vatican-sponsored summer camp with a personal visit.

The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, released the information on Monday evening that this morning, a little after 9:00, as the children participating in Estate Ragazzi (Summer Kids Camp) were having eating breakfast in Paul VI Hall, they received a surprise visitor. Pope Francis! He visited each table, conversing with the children. Then, he also visited the play areas set up inside the Hall.

A little while later, sitting down with the children, the Pope encouraged them to make new friends. “People who only know how to have fun by themselves are selfish. You have to be together, with friends, to have a good time.” Finally, before returning to Santa Marta around 10:00, he greeted the people managing the camp and thanked them for their work. 

About Summer Kids Camp

Summer Kids Camp opened at the beginning of July. It is taking place in the Vatican Gardens, the Vatican heliport and in Paul VI Hall. About 100 children of Vatican employees, ages 5 to 14, are participating in the camp that includes moments of fun, games, learning and prayer throughout the day. Activities include swimming; tennis, football, ping pong and basketball matches; sliding down an inflatable slide – with all anti-Covid precautionary measures being observed.

The Vatican Governorate organized the Camp desired by Pope Francis. Father Franco Fontana, the chaplain of the Vatican Gendarmerie, is coordinating the initiative. Giving the children the opportunity of “living their summer serenely” is how he summarized the motivation behind Summer Kids Summer Camp. Members of the Salesians of Don Bosco are collaborating in managing the camp, along with an association called “Tutti in una festa” (Everyone in one party).