Yesterday, children participating in the Vatican’s Estate Ragazzi summer camp for kids were surprised with a visit by Pope Francis.
As the children were eating breakfast a little after 9AM in the Paul VI Audience Hall, Pope Francis visited each dining table to talk with them. He also paid a visit to each of the play areas set up inside the Hall.
During his visit when he was sitting down with the children, Pope Francis encouraged them to make new friends, saying “people who only know how to have fun by themselves are selfish.”
He told them: “you have to be together, with friends, to have a good time!”
He also visited with the staff organizing the Estate Ragazzi summer camp and thanked them for their hard work, before returning to his Casa Santa Marta residence around 10 AM.
The Vatican provided an official biography for the 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 are 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).