Recreation camp “Resurrection” in memory of Ukraine’s 25 years of independence, flew by like a dream from July 10th to 24th 2016, on the beautiful camp grounds of “Werchovyna” in Montreal. Head of the camp committee, Daria Hanycz-Marcotte picked a competent team, while the commandant, Zachary Kushnir (Montreal), took over the duties of the camp safely. Camp coordinators Tania Choly (St.Catherines) and Natalia Shturyn (Etobicoke) worked tirelessly, carefully creating a fun and creative program that would be enjoyable for all campers. Bunchuzhna Katia Bukalo (Passaic) kept order, while making sure the program ran smoothly. Nurse Christine Hanycz (Montreal) reassured the sick, wiping their tears and bandaging their wounds. Lifeguard Olena Kania (Mississauga) with her vigilance and loud whistle blowing capabilities was able to create a safe and fun swimming environment for everyone to enjoy.
Forty children under the careful watch of counsellors Cassandra Allaire (Montreal), Nicholas Hanycz (Montreal), Adrian Koretsky (Montreal), Lesia Kostiw (Etobicoke), Paul Kushyshyn (Ottawa), Nina Semchyshyn (Winnipeg) and Myroslav Shturyn (Etobicoke) who all lived, laughed, grew stronger and worked together for the good of God and Ukraine. They were assisted by three counsellors in training and six teenaged helpers, who are interested in become camp counsellors in thenear future. The name “Resurrection” was chosen for the 25th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence because of the Ukrainian Youth Association’s motto “God and Ukraine”, as well as the celebration of 70 years of the UYA around the world.
On Sunday, the camp began with a divine liturgy under the guidance of father Nazar Yuriv, Chaplin of UYA Montreal. After lunch and official opening parents had an opportunity to help their children settle into their cabins and give their final farewells. After dinner, everyone returned to the chapel to pray for the camps wellbeing. Zachary used holy water, blessed earlier by father Nazar, to anoint the campers, followed by a walk through of the camp grounds: cabins, sports fields, playground, and kitchen. That evening, the campers within their cabins played introductory games, picked the name of their groups influenced by different countries where the UYA is located. The girls chose France, England and America while the boys chose Argentina, Germany and Australia.
Every morning campers enthusiastically sang. Vira Kulycka (Montreal) made sure the children learned and sang partisan, folk and modern Ukrainian songs, ensuring each would return home with a better repertoire of Ukrainian music. Sporting activities were run by Andrew Lysovych (Montreal), whose positive and encouraging manner allowed the campers to burn off endless energy. Their favourite sporting event was a camp wide soccer game. The arts and crafts counsellors, Tanya Harasymowycz (Montreal) and Melanie Lysovych (Montreal), patience helped the campers show their hidden creativity and talent. The campers boasted about their embroidery and other treasures created during the two weeks and were excited to show them off to family and friends at the end of camp.
Interesting camp activities included: restoration of the baptismal vows of the chapel, a prayer campaign for Ukraine, vporyad, Olympics, scavenger hunt, camp Jeopardy, Zombie Apocalypse, celebration of Ivana Kupala and writing letters to the wounded soldiers in Ukraine. T.Choly had the honour of hand delivering these letters to the soldiers when she visited them in the hospitals in Ukraine later that summer. The themes of lectures included: the 70th anniversary of UYA diaspora, 25th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, 100th anniversary of the death of Ivan Franko, 125th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada, as well as wilderness survival and nature. There were two outings the campers enjoyed outside of the camp grounds including visiting a water park and climbing and zip-lining through the trees. Two dances allowed campers to unwind and dance the night away under the stars. Campfires allowed for entertainment not only for campers but for family and friends as well.
Folk wisdom says that children are our most precious treasures. It is because of this we encourage everyone at camp to speak Ukrainian remembering UYA’s slogan of the year “Ukraine starts with you”. The counsellors reminded them that every time we speak the Ukrainian language, we preserve our tradition and honour Ukraine, whilst building our love for Ukraine in our hearts. There is great hope, that these teachings will live forever in their hearts, until it is time to pass it along to the next generation.
More photos can be seen following this link: https://goo.gl/photos/dE5NXj7v6eZWuCaQ7
Честь України! Готов Боронити!
Tania Choly Natalia Shturyn