UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY
UOC Camping Season Begins with Diocesan Church School Camp!
Photos by Svitlana Lymar
The Camping Ministry of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA began a week ago at All Saints Camp. Our first session, Diocesan Church School Camp, offers an amazing program for children between the ages of 9 and 13. Over 70 campers and staff are enjoying fun-filled and faithful days.
The Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry theme, "Am I My Brother's Keeper", is being explored through several avenues including the daily church school classes. The theme coincided with the encampment beginning on the feast of Pentecost! The campers played several games and participated in activities during which they learned about the feast. A camper favorite was the Follow Jesus game during which they had to maintain keeping their "spirit", (a flame in the form of a Hershey kiss) on their head as they performed several tasks that challenged them. The day following Pentecost, Spirit Day, was also enjoyed as the campers delved into their relationship with the Holy Spirit and how this enables them to be their "brother's keeper".
The days, although rainy, have been filled with many activities such as special interest dancing, nature, art and crafts and cooking. The cooking class led by camp chef, Genia Walter, baked beautiful paska breads. Other activities included Boys/Girls Night, Human Foosball, Extreme Musical Chairs, campfire, and night swim!
One of the components of the camping experience is to be a caretaker of God's gifts. The DCSC Cares program provides the campers the opportunity to care for others as well as their beautiful camp. The campers mulched, weeded, planted flowers, rakes, cleaned the river walk icons, painted icon boxes and much more! They were also preparing their home for our visitors for the camp anniversary celebration.
The campers were thrilled to spend quality time with our hierarch who arrived early for the All Saints Camp/St. Thomas Chapel anniversary. His Grace Bishop Daniel along with several of our seminarians played Human Foosball with the campers. His Grace spent time praying with the campers, conducting a church school class, and just laughing and talking. His Eminence Metropolitan Antony joined us and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the campers.
The campers prepared for several days to serve as the choir for the hierarchical Divine Liturgy. They performed beautifully for the afternoon concert singing songs. Several of the older campers gave testimonials as to why they love their time at our camp. A camper from St. Peter & St. Paul in Youngstown, OH stated, "I love coming here because it makes me closer to God.". While another camper noted, "This camp is very important to me, it is where my parents met and well I guess that means that's why I am here!"
Our next session, Teenage Conference (for teenagers 13 - 18 years of age), begins on July 7th and runs through July 20th. Spaces are still available. You may contact the Office of Youth Ministry at All Saints Camp 724-867-5811 for information.
Please keep our campers and staff in prayer as we continue on our journey to become good "keepers of our brother"!