ANTELOPE — There was a buzz at Washington Family Ranch in late June when a Catholic sister and six young women in formation for the Society of Mary visited this Young Life camp as adult guests for a week.

Given their clothing, the West Linn-based young women stood out among more than 250 high school students at the ecumenical camp, but their fun-loving spirit helped them blend right in as they sang and danced with the students, played basketball, soared Frisbees, careened down zip lines and raced go-karts.

The Society of Mary aims to evangelize, serving on college or high school campuses in Argentina, Uruguay and Oregon.

“Similar to Young Life leaders, they seek friendship and help guide the unchurched and the disconnected to the feet of Jesus,” said Sherri Nee, associate director of Young Life Catholic Relations. “We spent much of the week discussing our shared mission."

“Nothing provides an understanding of Young Life like a week at camp, and I hoped our guests would grasp how and why we do what we do in Young Life,” said Nee, who hosted the young women. “What I didn’t expect was how our guests would bless the camp itself. Before any of the sisters said a word, their clothing announced them as Catholic and sent a powerful message to students that Protestants and Catholics serve the same Jesus.”

Nee said the sisters’ presence also sent a strong message of belonging to the Catholic volunteers serving at the Young Life camp.

The sisters rose early for Mass each day and prayed for the staff and volunteers as well as the students. Mass was possible because one of the volunteer Young Life leaders from the town of Sisters — appropriately enough — was Father Sibi Poulose Palluppetta.