Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.
— St. Augustine
Captivenia is an incredible Catholic medieval adventure camp for girls, with exciting theatrics, forest missions, medieval crafts, archery, tournaments, and a magnificent banquet. Throughout the week, the girls receive formation talks and the sacraments through Mass and confession.
I have had the incredible privilege of being part of the team since its founding in 2011, and have been involved in much, from designing promo materials, acting as various theatrical characters, sewing costumes, giving talks, and even directing theatrics.
This summer, I attended once again to play the character Princess Genevé. I left behind a stressful world of emails and half-finished design projects to spend a week in the bush in a long dress. There is nothing quite like this fantasy realm nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where in the course of a single day, one might rescue a village from an evil villain, attend a royal ceremony, compete in a tournament, and then process with candles through twilight woods in a Eucharistic procession.
This painting is based off one of the scenes from this year, just after the girls had their mission leader unexpectedly captured by Dröch. As the girls rushed back to the portal, they were met by the beautiful Illyria who held in her hand the Light of the King. In his name, she cast away the dark creatures that pursued them and led them safely back into Captivenia.
This scene, like all the others, was intended to teach a valuable lesson—not least of which is the power of good over evil. For darkness cannot exist where the light of Christ is present.
I have seen lives transformed by this incredible camp—watched as shy young girls learned of their own beauty and dignity and strength. Watched them grow into confident women now taking on roles of leadership and bringing Christ to others.
Nowhere else have I experienced such powerful female community among women from all age groups and walks of life. I mean, it's a difficult week of late nights and early mornings, trekking up and down steep hills, lavishly decorating only to dismantle it all immediately afterwards—and all the while praying for and journeying with the girls that are attending the camp. Yet I have been amazed, over and over again, by the genuine kindness and endless patience of the incredible women who volunteer there and all the ways they so generously give of their time, talent, and treasure. And the laughter... oh, so much laughter!
For all the ways I have tried to serve this camp over the years, I have been blessed by it a thousand times over. Which is why, for as long as I am able to sell it, 50% of the proceeds for every print of "Light Bearer" sold will be donated to Captivenia. It is but small thanks for the impact this camp has had on me and continues to make on the world.
If you would like to learn more about Captivenia (or its brother camp, Arcãtheos), just click the button below!
Watch the time-lapse video for "Light Bearer"
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Thank you and God bless!