How good to be a member of CYM, because when summer comes we have so many camps to choose from. Let me share some memories and success stories about this year’s All-Canadian adventure camp.

Although CYM does not necessarily excel in this type of camp, hiking or adventure camps have been going on for decades in different parts of Canada and outside Canada.

This year’s adventure camp invited youth who were ready for the challenge of canoeing in the wild and beautiful Algonquin Park. Although it was a rather small camp, the youth that enrolled, gained valuable experience and leadership skills.

We first met at camp Veselka, where the boys and girls, led by ‘komanda’, checked everything that was meant to be brought along and as a result the backpacks got much lighter. This camp requires compactness and minimalism. When they said goodbye to their parents, they set up tents and officially opened the camp.

The next morning, we folded everything and got ready for the bus ride to Algonquin Park. This Sunday, I had to return to my parishes, which is why we held the Divine Liturgy at Veselka’s chapel, in the middle of the night under the starry sky, and by candlelight. How easy and sweet it is to pray when your youth is singing and praying fervently. Again, a small group but devout and persistent!

Having arrived in Algonquin Park, everyone was feeling happy and full of expectations despite not having any experience. For some this being the first time on a canoe or in a wild forest, they had to learn and adapt to the new conditions very quickly. The first sail was long, and it was difficult to keep the group together because many did not yet know how to control their kayaks. When we arrived at the first sub-camp, komanda patiently explained how to setup the camp in the forest, how, and where to look for firewood, how to  build a fire safely, cook, fasten canoes, etc. Each day, they camped, set sail for a new place, and set up a new camp. And on the third day the campers already conducted and prepared everything themselves.

Between practical sessions there was a lot of time for fun, swimming in the lake, fishing, eatig and resting in a hammock. Until late in the evening, there was laughter and singing. The most popular song was “Pysanyy Kamin”, and when they sang “Oy na hori dva duby“, they usually chanted for more than an hour.

Our daily canoeing trips intertwined with valuable discussions on various topics, for example, about the history of CYM and what our values ​​were then and are today; everyone shared what he or she are grateful for; how to support one another withing CYM and in society at large; how to make knots; had a Day of Ukrainian Language; discussed the ideals of CYM; the importance of knowing one’s identity as a Christian and a Ukrainian; our role in supporting the will and justice of all Ukrainians around the world. Equally, they strengthened their leadership skills in prayer and morality, in fun, in conversation, in respect for one another. How good to know that our youth is proud of their Ukrainian identity and wants to fulfill their role in supporting a free and independent Ukraine as much as possible.  

From all the organizers and komanda, we are grateful to God for bringing us together to grow in our common thoughts and thank the parents who enrolled their youth in this camp. We look forward to God giving us the opportunity to re-organize another adventure camp next year to strengthen the spirit and identity of our youth. We ask the congregation to pray for the continued success of our camps and for the work of CYM and all youth organizations so that work and success may be to the glory of God and the people.

For additional pictures, please visit the following link: Adventure camp’19.

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Hartyjs! Father Andrij Figol