The Vatican

Young people invade the Vatican for their "Summer 2022".

The children between the ages of 5 and 13 of Vatican employees are starting their summer camp. They have the good fortune to do so in the papal gardens themselves.

Giovanni Tridente-July 1, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes

Photo of the summer camp at the Vatican

Not everyone knows that during the month of July some areas of the Vatican City, including the Paul VI Hall, are transformed into a large summer center to accommodate children from 5 to 13 years of age, children of employees of the Holy See.

Children's Summer in the Vatican, as the initiative is called, is now in its third edition and this year's theme will be "dreams", to help young people "rediscover the value of looking a little further ahead", explain the organizers.

The leitmotiv will be the figure of St. John Bosco, "a boy who believed in God's dreams, became a priest and dedicated his life to educating his children to be masterpieces." The book by Roald Dahl The great gentle giant will be the focus of the activities. The objective will be to become aware of the beauty of "growing together" and that "we should not be afraid to be a giant", as Jesus or the saints were.

The program

The daily program is very detailed, divided by age group, and includes group games, sports activities, art workshops, along with daily challenges, educational activities and performances. It starts early in the morning at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 6:00 p.m., except on Fridays, when it is brought forward to 2:00 p.m. 

After the welcome, there will be a breakfast in the Paul VI Hall and the opening of the day with the hymn of Estate RagazziThe event will be followed by a moment of prayer and the presentation of the programmed activities. At 1 p.m. there will be a lunch followed by educational activities, team games and shows, interspersed with a snack. 


The backdrop will be the characteristic Vatican gardens. Team games and outdoor activities will be held in the heliport area, while guided tours of the green areas of the small state are also planned. Water games with special pools will take place in the eastern part of the city, where there are also tennis courts and indoor soccer fields.


The staff is made up of professional educators coordinated by the Director of the Salesian Community at the Vatican, Father Franco Fontana, who is also the Chaplain of the Gendarmerie and the Vatican Museums. In the 5/7 age group there will be one animator for every 7 children, every 10 children for the 8/10 age group and every 14 children for the older children.

The Pope's visit

In 2020, Pope Francis paid a surprise visit to the summer oratory hosted at his home and encouraged the boys to make new friends: "people who only know how to have fun alone are selfish; to have fun you have to be together, with friends".

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