UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Annual Sts Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church School Camp in Palos Park, IL!
By Fr. Vasyl Sendeha
The Annual Sts Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church School Camp took place on 21-22 June, 2012 in Palos Park, IL. Fourteen youngest parishioners of Sts. Peter and Paul parish family and four teenage helpers took part in the event.
This years Sunday School Camp started with the Divine Liturgy, celebrated by His Grace Bishop Daniel. Last year Bishop Daniel surprised the kids as he suddenly showed up on one of the days of their camp activities. This time however, the bishop was surprised by the children. His Grace was at awe, as the youth of the parish’s camp along with participants of Altar Server Retreat showed up at the steps of the rectory in the enthusiastic procession with the cross, candles, fans and flowers. It was prayerfully delightful to have Bishop Daniel over for the first day of School camp and the last day of Altar Server’s Retreat.
As our spiritual father, the bishop enhanced the Divine Liturgy with his charisma. Even though, people usually think of a bishop as a non married and childless man; yet, he indeed has been blessed not just to be called a Father, but has been a father to many, by providing father’s care to countless number of his spiritual children. His reading of the Gospel, during Divine Liturgy surrounded by kids holding candles was truly inspirational and overwhelming. It was an honor to have His Grace in our midst on the first day of camp.
Of course, delicious brunch prepared by Nina Coker and Maria Iordanov flavored up the start of the first day of camp.
The children had a great time of fun and learning about God and the Church, due to the diligent work of the organizers of the Camp Vicki, Aileen and Amber Rak, as well as Pani-matka Olena Sendeha. They have done a terrific job of preparing and leading the annual Church School Camp. Since summer time is here and Sunday School is over, kids of the parish enjoyed each other’s company by praying together, doing crafts, and going on outings, baking, learning and just having fun.
The theme of the Camp was “Noah’s Ark and the Flood”. Children learned how Noah responded to God’s call and played an important role in preserving animals and humanity of the planet. The outing to a near by Farm and Learning Center, were kids could visit and pet the animals, helped out in the learning process.
One of the fun activities was making their own lunch. On Friday, just as Noah had to prepare food on the ark, the children made from scratch their very own personal pizzas. The new talents were discovered, as the youth of the parish formed the dough, spread the souse, made and designed pizzas. It was truly a delight to see them having fun making pizzas and then munching on them in a circle of peers.
The days of fun ended with a hayride, custom water balloon throw and popsicles. Everyone left for home with great memories of a time well spent together with friends from the parish family.
All of the participants, including children, teenage helpers and adult leaders had a great time. We encourage parents, grandparents to save the date for next year’s Parish School Camp and find time to bring the kids over for a few days of learning fun. We, as parents always try to provide and choose the best things for our children - the best doctor for our kids, the best school, the best food, the best place for them to spend time during summer. Those parents, who sent their kids for Church School Camp this year, have done one of those best choices.