Green Grove Camp

A summer camp for Ukrainian Orthodox children ages 7-13

President’s Report 2017

by admin - March 9th, 2018.
Filed under: Announcements, Reports.

The Green Grove Youth Camp session 2017 was enjoyed by 57 campers; an increase of 13 campers from last year.  Director, Marnie Howlett, and Assistant Director, Ashley Halko-Addley, along with the 10 counselors and 4 volunteer counselors, did a fabulous job in ensuring the two week camp session was filled with educational and entertaining activities.

A typical weekday consisted of language and religion classes.  Counselor, Tanner Prychak taught two beginner Ukrainian language classes and Counselor, Polina Maisheva taught two advanced Ukrainian language classes.  Splitting the campers into four groups enhanced their understanding, speaking and writing skills.  The language skills of the campers were demonstrated during the final concert when six campers recited two Taras Shevchenko poems they had studied during language class.  Religious classes were taught by Fr. Michael Lomaszkiewicz, during the first week of camp, and Fr. Peter Wasylenko, during the second week.  The religious classes provided an opportunity for the campers to engage in discussions about the Ukrainian Orthodox faith.  On July 12 the campers participated in a Divine Liturgy in honour of St. Peter and Paul and on the final Sunday, all campers and staff were able to participate in Holy Communion.

Crafts and sports were scheduled during the afternoons.  The campers worked on a variety of crafts and were blessed to participate in cooking bees in which they made (and later ate) scuffles and varynyky; thank-you to the volunteers who came out to the camp and taught these campers the art of cooking these delicious foods.  The days also included special activities such as field trips to Poplar Beach and the Pioneer Lodge in Wakaw, “star of the day”, campfires, a fashion show, movie nights and 2 zabavas.

The days also included activities, which further enhanced the campers development of the Ukrainian language.  Every day had a Ukrainian “word of the day” which was related to the theme of the day, which was also incorporated into the daily “Culture Talk”.  Topics discussed during the “Culture Talks” included the Holodomor, Ivano Kupalo, regions of Ukraine, Ukrainian food, and Ukrainian holidays.  Similar to the religion classes, these discussions provided an opportunity for the campers to engage in discussions about the Ukrainian culture.

This year’s camp session featured special activities.  The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) supported the “Youth Engaging Youth – Canada 150 Project” activity with the campers. Nykole King (UCC Animator) and Marion Mantolla, author, spoke with the campers, as well as, provided a canvass to each older camper on which they painted something related to Canada 150.  The canvases were placed on a plywood board shaped as a maple leaf with a tryzub in the center and is currently displayed in the hall.   Director, Marnie Howlett, coordinated a Pen Pal Program with the campers.  All campers wrote letters in Ukrainian to orphans in Ukraine.  Marnie then delivered the letters during her trip to Ukraine post camp session. Many campers provided their addresses in the hope a pen pal friendship will flourish.  Camper Viktoriya  and her father Volodymyr Cheremshynska created another special event when they brought their own musical instruments and sound equipment and provided live music at the zabava.  This was an incredible treat for the campers.  Volodymyr also provided his sound equipment for the final concert.  The final concerts at Green Grove Camp continue to impress.  This year’s concert incorporated many of the campers’ and staffs’ musical talents and further demonstrated language skills by having two camper MC’s; a Ukraine-born camper presented in English and a Canadian-born camper presented in Ukrainian.

Every camp session experiences challenges and this year’s challenge was the heat, which may have contributed to some of the campers feeling ill at times.  But overall, Green Grove Camp 2017 was another successful session and I have received numerous positive comments about the progress the camp has made.  A huge thank-you to all who have contributed to the camp’s success.  The success and continuation of our camp relies greatly on volunteers and those who share their time, whether that be by providing help during clean-up, providing assistance during the camp session, providing financial assistance and/or being a Board Member.  I know your time is precious and we are blessed you choose to share your time for a such a great place.

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