UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF YOUTH AND YOUND ADULT MINISTRY
Teenage Conference - We're 55!
The second session of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Camping Ministry, Teenage Conference, convened at All Saints Camp from July 7-20th celebrating their 55th year! Campers and staff joined together in the spirit of "Faith, Fellowship and Fun", the TC motto, while exploring the 2013 theme, Am I My Brother's Keeper?
The theme was woven throughout the fabric of the program from workshops, to games to the Ukie Olympics. Who is our brother and sister? How do we love them? How do we serve them? What does this mean for salvation? These questions and more were explored, discussed and expanded upon. The camp welcomed two gifted and relevant speakers, Louie Zagami, Development Director for International Orthodox Christian Charities and Paul Abernathy, Director - FOCUS NA Pittsburgh Site. The speakers thoroughly engaged their audience with the Christ-filled work of their organizations.
Many elements of Ukrainian heritage were explored through the discovery of wedding customs. Fr. Bohdan Hladio introduced the campers to Western Ukrainian customs and simple village wedding dances. Staff member Megan Neal led them through the process of creating beaded necklaces and leather embleshied belts to be worn at the Big Ukrainian Wedding Event! Catered by Genia and Friends, (the ASC amazing kitchen staff) the beautiful and inspired Ukrainian wedding reception boated authentic foods, decor, dancing and traditions. It was a humid but enjoyable event for all.
It is a blessing to be able to celebrate the feast of St. Peter & St. Paul during TC. This year on the eve of the feast, campers learned how to bake Mandivky. A traditional festal pastry from western Ukraine. The delicious treats were enjoyed by all at the festal breakfast.
Many new games and activities excited and delighted the campers including electric garbage can, capture the flag, Boys v. Girls night, the Flintstones dance and the delicious Cupcake Wars! While old favorites such as Ukrainian Night, Skit Night, Basketball Tournament, Ukie Olympics, and TC Unplugged were some of the best in years.
The encampment concluded with a visit from His Grace Bishop Daniel and several seminarians from St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Bound Brook, NJ). Through out the encampment the 55th anniversary of TC was celebrated and will be continued through out the year with the "I'm 55!" photograph campaign. The campaign is requesting all TC camper and staff alumni to submit their photo holding a sign stating "I'm 55!", thus sharing in the history of Teenage Conference initiated by its longtime benefactor Wasyl Pysh on behalf of the Western PA Region UOL. Current submission may be seen in photo galleries on the OYM Facebook page (UOC Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry).
Fr. John Harvey, TC Spiritual Director and pastor of Ss. Peter & Paul parish in Youngstown, Ohio stated, "This has been one of our most enjoyable years with a delightful group of young people. Very filled with the Holy Spirit!"
Teenage Conference is a program for teenagers 13 -18 and will take place next year - 6-19 July, 2013. For more information contact the Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org. The third session of our camping ministry, Mommy & Me/Daddy & Me takes place – 29 July – 2 August, 2013.