On July 14-15, 2023, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel joined our teenagers from across the country for the final days of the Teenage Conference Program at All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Camp of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA in Emlenton, PA. Teenage Conference, the longest running camping program of the UOC Camping Ministry, ministers to our teens aged 13 -18. It is a joy to have our hierarchs visit and always leaves a special memory with the campers and staff.
The final days of TC, as it is fondly referred to, revved up to a fever pitch of excitement and activity. His Eminence Archbishop Daniel arrived just as the campers were enjoying a heated competition in the Basketball Finals for the Ukie Olympics. While watching some truly amazing displays of athleticism, he was afforded the opportunity to meet and converse with campers and staff who were not active in the game.
Following the Olympic games, the campers joined His Eminence Archbishop Daniel in St. Thomas Chapel for a session of Living Orthodox. These daily sessions guide campers through the choices and challenges of living their faith in the world. At the start of the session, he surprised the campers with a small gift from his recent trip to Australia. The campers were delighted with little koala and kangaroo keychains.
His Eminence spoke then to the campers on the topic of living their faith. He encouraged them to not be afraid, knowing that the Holy Spirit is always with them. He offered several personal examples from his time serving as a military chaplain and in his worldly travels during which he has witnessed young people living their faith unabashedly.
The day concluded, after enjoying a relaxing afternoon and evening on the beautiful property of our All Saints Camp, in Emlenton, PA. His Eminence Archbishop Daniel led the campers and staff in their final prayer service on Saturday morning. At the conclusion of the service, he presented the campers with an icon of St. Nicholas, reminding them that St. Nicholas is called upon to intercede for those who are travelling. He asked for the saint's intercession for the campers and staff as they returned home, thus closing the 67th season for this long running program of the camping ministry.
The TC program is led by Spiritual Father – Very Rev. Fr. Bohdan Hladio, Director Natalie Kapeluck-Nixon and Assistant Director Missy Sheptak.
For more information about the Camping Ministry of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA or All Saints Camp visit uoyouth.org.