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Rome Reports

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Vatican offers space for summer camp


For the first time in history, the large, imposing spaces of the Vatican are being used to host a summer camp for the children of Vatican employees.

It's called “Summer at the Vatican.” About 125 children are participating.

FRANCO FONTANA
Coordinator, “Summer at the Vatican”
“In the morning, the kids participate mostly in athletic activities. Then they can play in the swimming pools. They can also play basketball, volleyball, tennis and other team sports. In the afternoon, after lunch, they have free-time in Paul VI hall. There they can play anything from ping-pong to soccer. The kids can choose whatever they want.”

In the meantime, a team of over 20 camp counselors are supervising to ensure the kids can have fun while respecting health security measures during the pandemic.

MARCO MAIOZZI
Staff, “Summer at the Vatican”
“The kids are very calm despite the COVID restrictions. They always wear their masks and disinfect their hands after activities and before meals. Kids under six years old aren't required to wear masks, but those over six are. Despite this, we can see that they're calm, smiling and having fun.”

Since camp started, many have been wondering one thing: if they'll get to see the pope.

FRANCO FONTANA
Coordinator, “Summer at the Vatican”
“I think it's normal that the kids want to see the pope. If the pope wants to come, he's at home. If he wants to drop by at any moment, we'll welcome him, be it in Paul VI hall or here. I think it's easier in Paul VI hall, because it's right next door to where he lives.”

The theme of this summer camp is “Life of a Champion.” Beyond playing sports, the kids can learn about values like friendship and charity.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: CT