UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY
59th Year of Teenage Conference Encampments!
The second session of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Camping Ministry, Teenage Conference, convened at All Saints Camp from July 6 –19, 2014 forging into their 56th year! Campers and staff joined together in the spirit of "Faith, Fellowship and Fun", the TC motto, while exploring the 2014 theme, I AM.
The theme was woven throughout the fabric of the program from workshops, to games to the Ukie Olympics. Who is Christ? Where do we meet Him? What does this mean for salvation? These questions and more were explored, discussed and expanded upon. The camp welcomed guest speakers, Fr. James Barkett, Pastor of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church and Director of Faith Based Counseling at Mahoning County Juvenile Justice Center Youngstown, OH, Fr. Paisius McGrath (All Saints Camp Chaplain), R. Anthony Perkins (UOC Vocations Director), Michael Kapeluck (Iconographer), and Kira Senedak (MMDM Director). The speakers thoroughly engaged their audience with workshops related to the theme as well as interactive Hot Topics sessions OYM Director Natalie Kapeluck Nixon led the campers on a daily journey through the I AMs.
Many elements of Ukrainian heritage were explored through the discovery of Christmas customs. Fr. Bohdan Hladio introduced the campers to Ukrainian customs and simple village dances. Staff members led them through the process of creating beaded spider ornaments based on the Ukrainian folk tales! Christmas in July was then celebrated as a three-day event. The campers learned to cook/bake varenyky and borscht. These delicacies along with many other dishes were enjoyed during our Holy Eve or Sviat Vechir Dinner. The campers hung their stockings with care around our "fireplace" and the next day we all enjoyed Christmas Day with a grand feast and a wonderful night of dancing to live a Ukie band. Catered by Genia and Friends, (the ASC amazing kitchen staff) the beautiful and inspired Ukrainian Holy Eve and Christmas day boated authentic foods, decor, dancing and traditions. It was a wonderful way to support the I Am of I Am the King.
Many new games and activities excited and delighted the campers including electric garbage can, family photo night, capture the flag, early morning fishing, sunrise walk, the Sci-Fi dance, Moonlight Prayer Walk Trail and a wedding shower for our staff getting married! While old favorites such as Ukrainian Night, Skit Night, Basketball Tournament, and TC Unplugged were some of the best in years.
The Ukie Olympics, an integral and much loved part of the TC program celebrated 30 years. Ukie Olympic founder Michael Kapeluck was on hand to start off the runners during the track events. The Kozak Kup is being retired and a new cup will be unveiled next year and the team who could proudly walk away as the 30th Anniversary Kozak Kup winners were team Wisdom!
The campers also gave their all in giving back to ASC. They performed their annual upkeep of the prayer trail but in addition beautified the Dining Hall Washrooms, repaired parts of the prayer trail road damaged by weather, continued the build-out of the Borth-Giver of God prayer shrine, performed a thorough cleaning and organization St. Thomas Chapel and even weeded the volleyball courts!
Teenage Conference is a program for teenagers 13 -18 and will take place next year from July 5th - 18th. 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 is currently taking place until August 1st.