UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY
Orthodox Christian Summer Camp
Teaching and Transforming Youth
Many adults have wonderful memories of the times they spent at summer camp. The friendships, the laughter, and even the difficult moments made for an experience they never forget. Now, there are more Orthodox Christian camping programs than ever. Orthodox Christian camps are still teaching and transforming the lives of youth with fun and exciting programs.
Orthodox Christian summer camps help youth grow and learn in four different ways:
Camping programs offer young people an opportunity to worship among their peers. But campers do more than just participate in the Worship of the Orthodox Christian Church. The campers learn Who we worship and why we worship. Campers also learn how to pray and are encouraged to make it part of their morning and evening routine. In fact, campers learn about services other than the Divine Liturgy.
In addition, campers also to worship through offering their gifts and talents through reading the Epistle, singing the hymns, and preparing the Prosforas for the Holy Eucharist.
Ultimately, campers are given the tools to transform into active and faithful participants in the Body of Christ. This appreciation and love for worship is something they carry with them back to their home parishes.
In any community, good leadership comes from those who know how to serve. At Orthodox Christian summer camps, young people learn that Service is not just something you do…it is something you live! As Christians, we are called not to be served but to serve. Therefore, campers learn how to serve the camp and serve each other. This might mean working on a project for camp beautification or setting the tables for their fellow campers during meal time. Many camps also have service projects and philanthropic activities in conjunction with their program to reinforce this important part of the Christian life.
Campers are given the tools to transform into individuals who constantly think of the “other.” With the seeds planted at summer camp, today’s campers are molded into tomorrow’s Christian leaders.
One of the most difficult aspects of being a Christian is truly being a Witness of what you believe. Part of creating true Christian witness is to educate about the Orthodox Christian faith. Campers have the distinct opportunity to learn more about their faith at summer camp. With Orthodox educational sessions and other learning opportunities, campers are able to ask questions about faith, traditions, moral issues, ethical issues, and much more.
Campers are given the tools to transform into fearless preachers of the Gospel, by word AND by deed. Most importantly, campers will know more about their faith in order to educate and inspire others.
Orthodox Christian camps offer young people a chance to have their own community of peers. Fellowship within a community comes with a few challenges, like getting to know new people and learning how to deal with different personalities. But the best part of this community of young people is the FUN! Camp is for the camper! Activities and programs are designed to provide entertainment, excitement, and joyful memories for each camper. These are the memories that they carry through t heir entire lives.
Campers are given the tools to transform into joyful human beings, who gain a fuller understanding that we are not alone. In a safe and fun environment, campers learn how work together, live together, and worship God together with their neighbor. This is a lesson they can use in every aspect of their lives (family, work, school, friendships, etc.)
To get more information about other Orthodox Christian camps from all SCOBA jurisdictions, please visit the Orthodox Christian Camping Association (OCCA) website, www.orthodoxcamps.org.