It was immediately evident at vykhovno-vidpochynkovyj camp at Verkhovyna, Quebec, that camp staff would work extraordinarily well together, as cooperation and support for one another kept things running exceedingly smoothly. From the very first day, there was an unspoken understanding that, when something needed taking care of, the person on the spot would simply…do it.
In addition to this foundation, there were a cadre of vporyadnyky and their younger assistants who, worked diligently with their groups. Even at mealtimes the teens sat contentedly talking and laughing with their young charges; their devotion to the campers was obvious. Vporyadnyky were pod. Emilia Harasymowych, pod. Natalia Krupa, pod. Kira Pekar, dr. Lesyk Choly and pod. Julia Kiszczuk. The assistants were dr. Luka Karpishka, dr. Nykola Kuzyshyn, dr. Victor Kuzyshyn and dr. Matthew Kutash, who ran the sport activities during the second week. The maturity and self-discipline of these young people were remarkable, which allowed excellent communication with the senior staff.
Working closely with the staff on site in running several brilliant craft activities were pod. Tania Napora and pod. Melania Lysowych, who put great efforts into conveying the chosen teaching themes through art. Similarly, pod. Anna Kij and dr. Mark Rytchuk enthusiastically and painstakingly helped prepare the final camp montage. Pod. Serena Kiszczuk, with her customary energy and readiness to cooperate, solved every dilemma and fulfilled each frantic request.
The program of the camp was based upon chosen anniversaries of the Ukrainian nation and the SUM community. For the first week of camp the theme was the life of St. Olha, mother of Ukrainian Christianity, whose quality lives on in her spiritual descendants, blessed Omelan Kovch and Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky. The children learned that members of SUM continue to demonstrate moral leadership of their community by their generous charitable efforts. The camp presented a montage of the life of St. Olha at the end of the first week. Here, scenes representing the pre-Christian world, the marriage of Olha and Ihor, the destruction of Iskorosten’, her wisdom in ruling, her baptism and the still-present recognition of her matriarchy in the hearts of Ukrainian Christians were displayed. Following this, songs and skits around the campfire gave guests an opportunity to enjoy the creativity and talents of the children.
The theme of the second week was the
Final goodbyes, as always, proved very difficult, but the verdict of each one was the same: camp is a moment out of time, out of place, where impressions and memories can last a lifetime. Goodbye, Verkhovyno, for yet another year! Thank you for this one more glorious year of wonder!
For additional photos please visit our gallery: camp album.
Natalie Schturyn – head counsellor