This year’s recreational overnight camp taking place at the oselya CYM Veselka was named “Chervona Ruta”. Named after Volodymyr Iwasyuk’s popular Ukrainian song of the same name, the camp celebrated 70 years of Iwasyuk and his wonderful work. ‘Tabir’ ran from July 13th to August 3rd. Throughout the 3 weektabir‘, campers were kept busy and entertained, whether it was through day rotations that included: art, singing, sports, and swimming; or though working as a ‘palanka’ to perform evening events. Additionally, members from each ‘palanka’ were organized into teams that contained members from other ‘palanky’, which helped campers meet new people, create new friends, become familiar with each other, and promote inclusivity and diversity between ‘palanky’. These teams were all given a colour, they also had to come up with a cheer, a name for their team that reflected a Ukrainian city, and decorate their coloured bandanas. 

The first week consisted of events such as a pirate-themed scavenger hunt where teams raced around the ‘oselya’, looking for treasure chests which contained a clue and a secret treasure. Sports Night, which allowed campers to release their energy, have fun, and play together with their friends. 

For the ‘vatra‘, there was one on the girl’s side and one on the boy’s side, which allowed for the ‘pidtabory’ to become closer with each other.

Vechir Shtuk‘ was a series of games that the children would compete in to win points for their ‘palanka’. The event finished off with the campers “decorating” the ‘obozni‘ in chocolate sauce and whipped cream, creating two human «ice cream sundaes».

‘Ivana Kupala’ was run as different stations: one station had blue ‘vodyanyky‘, that played water games with the kids, the second station had mermaids tempting the children into the water, a third station with green ‘lisovyky‘, who challenged the kids to a game of tug-of-war, and jumping over a mini fire, and the last station contained fortune tellers that went around to tell the children’s future. ‘Ivana Kupala’ ended off with the girls throwing their flower wreaths into the water, while the boys threw their crosses into the water, in hopes that they would find a match. After the kids fell asleep, the oldest were woken up to find the flower of happiness (квітка щастя), one was hidden for the boys and one for the girls. Whichever lucky girl and boy found the flowers would be wed the following week.

A costume themed забава ended off the first week. As a special treat the oldest also left for a 2-night stay and 14km hike to Rockwood Conservation Area.

The second week began with a family ‘vatra‘ on Sunday, where the kids got to show their families songs they learned, and skits they prepared. The camp also went to the zoo, had a movie night, did tie-dye, learned water aerobics, had a water balloon fight and participated in an ‘Olympiada’ that contained CYM ball, basketball, water sports, a bouncy castle, 100m sprint, and an obstacle course. 

Buduchnist Credit Union was kind enough to sponsor the event and even brought a blow up ‘Lys Mykyta’ to take pictures with, and sunglasses for all the kids! There was ‘Pan and Pani Veselka’, which is a pageant, where the ‘palanky‘ had to come up with a character that a member of sklad would become. They then dress them up in evening wear, swim wear and present a talent. 

In preparation for the wedding, the girls had a traditional bachelorette party, while the boys had a bachelor party, which ended in a pool party for all. The second week ended off with a traditional wedding ceremony for the young bride and groom who found the flowers the previous week. A ‘zabava’ followed to celebrate the newlyweds, where the campers danced the night away!

The third week of camp began with a talent show for the parents, and continued with a pool party. A soccer tournament took place, where teams got to play against their friends, and compete to win the tournament. A ‘vatra‘ displayed creativity, and a karaoke night let kids sing their favourite songs. To mark the ending of camp, on Friday a ‘terenova hra‘ was planned. This was an elaborate and modified fun game of capture the flag for the kids and sklad to partake in. The kids had to complete obstacles, solve clues, and find hidden objects that would be used to free Volodymyr Iwasyuk. The game promoted team work and exercise between ‘palanky‘. The week ended with “Прощальний Вечір”, which was a final farewell zabava, where everyone got dressed in embroidered blouses and shirts. 

‘Tabir’ ended off with a final concert for the parents, where the campers got to present a song or skit for the parents, a camp montage video was played, and a final ‘apel‘ was held before packing up began and goodbyes were said. ‘Tabir’ is a great experience for children, it allows for the making of many memories, while promoting Ukrainian heritage and culture, and making lifelong friends. The kids already cannot wait to come back to camp next year!

Follow these links for fotos from all three weeks of camp: week#1week#2week#3 and the camp video.

Ariana Spytkowsky