2019 Fanari Winter Camp, “I See You”, a Great Success!

Enjoy this reflection from Pres. Danielle Burikas, one of our Team Leaders from 2019 Fanari Winter Camp:

The room was small. It had tan floors, tan walls, and if my memory serves me correctly,  a tan ceiling. The kids arrived and grew comfortable with their peers and staff quickly. They offered up gunein thoughts and real struggles. We soon learned we had a room of athletes and a few writers.

Staff asked, “What if you were not good at your sport; are you still valuable to the team?”

Awkward beautiful silence ensued for one moment, two moments, three moments,

“No.” A camper replied.

We waded through the murky waters. We felt our way through the torrents of pressure to perform, produce, and impress. All this work for the singular goal that we might meet the expectations set upon us, and only when the expectations are met are we worthy of belonging and love, that is the world–so we thought.

We took a break from the serious stuff to participate the most intense relay race I have ever witnessed. However, a picture is worth 1,000 words, and I had the camera for that activity, so I can comfortably assert we have 1,000s of stories for your viewing.

In the evening we made our way back to our little tan AV room for a final Orthodox Life.

Staff asked,

“What if I cut off your arms and legs. Are you still you?”

Campers gave confused smiles,  

“Yes.” followed by a moment of silence, “And well, no.”

Staff asked,

“Why not?”

“If I have no arms and legs then I am no longer able to fulfill all my identities like basketball player, but I am still me. So, yes and no.”

Staff smiled back,

“Tell me more about that.”

The campers gave a group sigh. All eyes fell to the floor, none willing to catch my eye and be volu-n-forced  to share,

“I am me, at the core.” a camper offered, “My soul is me. That is the me God knows. The one that is hidden behind masks I wear, the many identities I have.”

I must say I was struck with this level of analysis from a group of middle school students. Like we discussed with the group, we do not have a children’s Liturgy because the soul knows God from conception. There is no need to provide a Liturgy written at a preschool level. Their middle school soul’s could sense God the same as mine, though I am roughly twice their age. We continued on with our session, participated in activities, watched thought provoking videos, and the kids concluded:

“It is really hard to live in the world and not wear masks.”

“The goal is to one day to be the YOU God made you to be.”

“He knows me. He loves me; even if I do not do things perfectly.”

“To Him, I am valuable, To Him I belong, To Him I am worthy of love. No masks needed.”

2019 Fanari Registration Update

We are so very thankful and elated for the tremendous turn out for Fanari Camp 2019 Registration! The level of excitement to attend Fanari is both humbling and exciting! In the first hour, we had over 700 campers registered for a session or on the wait list.

We know the registration process was frustrating for those of you who saw the availability of your prefered session disappear within minutes and we are truly sorry for the disappointment this caused. With over 700 campers registering right at 11:00am when we launched, it happened very quickly and sessions filled up immediately.

For those who are currently on a Wait List, please don’t worry. We will now assess the demographics of those enrolled in each session to determine where the openings are in each particular cabin. Within the next 30 days we will determine this and promote campers from the waitlist accordingly. While some may be disappointed that they will be unable to attend a particular session planned with friends, it is our hope that another session will provide the opportunity to make new friends.

If you are currently enrolled in a session, please login to your CampDoc account and enter the Health Profile information as soon as possible, as this will help us in organizing each camper in their correct age group and accommodate any roommate requests.

The Fanari Camp program has, for over 40 years, provided a special home to many campers, clergy and staff to grow in their faith, as well as, create bonds and memories that last a lifetime. We are humbled by the overwhelming response to our registration and strive to be the best camping program we can be for the Metropolis of Chicago families. Thank you for not only your support, but for your patience, as well.

+Rev. Fr. Kosmas Kallis

Registration launch TOMORROW!!!

Let’s get ready to registerrrrrrrrr!!!! TOMORROW 3.19.19 at 11am!!!! Here’s some last-minute reminders before we launch our registration for another amazing summer at Fanari Camp:

#1: If you have already established a CampDoc account, you can go directly to CampDoc.com and sign in with your username and password to register. The registration link will not go live until 11am on both CampDoc and our website, so if you’re sitting on either page before 11am, you’ll need to refresh it in order to access it. If you are a NEW participant, you can go to fanari.org for our registration link tomorrow or click on this link for directions on how to sign up for an account now: CAMPDOC ACCOUNT

#2: Once you are enrolled in a session and set up a payment plan or pay the tuition in full for all your campers, please, go back into each registration and fill in the Health Profile information under Patient Information in order for the registration to be complete.

#3: If your preferred session is full and you sign up for the Wait List, we ask for your patience, as we assess what spaces are open in each session based on the demographics of those registered. We will email you within 30 days of registering if you are eligible to be promoted from the wait list and enrolled in a session. You do not need to make any kind of deposit or payment if you only sign up for the Wait List.

#4: The “Add-Ons” section of the registration gives you the OPTIONAL choice to pay an additional $10 for a Camper T-shirt, which is PRE-ORDER ONLY through our online registration. It will NOT be available to purchase upon your arrival at Fanari Camp. Other swag consisting of different T-shirts, hats, sunglasses, etc.,  will be sold at the Camp Store during each session.

#5: You will notice in your registration that CampDoc offers a “Protection Plan” and new this year, “Oliver’s Labels”. Neither of these options are affiliated or sold by Fanari Camp. If purchased, you would contact CampDoc directly with any questions. Here are the two links to these options for you to learn more:



CONTACT: For any questions about Fanari Camp or our online Registration, please email fanari.camp@gmail.com or the Metropolis Youth Office at 847-264-8360.  For any technical questions concerning or navigating your online registration on Campdoc.com, please call them directly at 734-636-1000 or email support@campdoc.com.

Fanari Camp Registration FAQs

We are only 4 days away from Fanari Camp 2019 Registration launch! Here are some helpful answers to Frequently Asked Questions, before you register on Tuesday, March 19th at 11am on Fanari.org.

What are the payment options for tuition?: The cost is $525 per child/$100 DEPOSIT IS NON-REFUNDABLE. Payment plans must be paid off no later than July 20th. You will have three options for payment at registration:

  1. Pay in FULL
  2. Pay $100 DEPOSIT and set up a monthly PAYMENT PLAN for remaining balance
  3. Pay any amount over the $100 DEPOSIT but under the total, and set up a monthly PAYMENT PLAN for remaining balance

What is the Refund Policy?: You will receive a full refund, minus the non-refundable $100, as long as you cancel 30 days prior to the start date of your camp session. If a cancellation is made within 30 days of the start date of your camp session, you will receive a $262.50 refund, which is half of the total amount of the registration fee.

How does the Wait List work if I can’t get into the session I want?: If your preferred session is full, you will have the option to sign up for the Wait List AND/OR choose to attend another open session. In the event you are eligible to be promoted from the Wait List and have simultaneously registered for another session, you can then choose which of the 2 sessions you would like to attend. All previously made payments will transfer over to your new session. We do our best to notify you within 30 days of registering, if your camper is eligible to be promoted from the Wait List. We can not tell you where you are on the Wait List, as campers are promoted from the wait list based on spaces available for each sex and grade range. Thank you for your patience ahead of time, during this process.

How are campers grouped for housing?: Our campers are housed in “Cabins”, which is the group that they rotate with in our different sessions each day. Demographics change for each session, however, we typically house campers in “Cabins” by adjacent grades: 6th/7th; 7th/8th; 8th/9th etc. because the content of what is being taught in our sessions are all geared towards their age group. You may list up to 5 roommate requests in your online registration, which we do our best to accommodate within the structure of our program.

Can I set up an account on CampDoc ahead of the registration launch?: Yes, if you are a NEW participant, you may use this link to sign up for a CAMPDOC account now, so you are ready to sign up your camper for a session when registration opens. CAMPDOC ACCOUNT LINK. (click SIGN UP not log in) Additionally, if you already established an account in the past, but would like to add a new camper to your account this year, you too may login to add them now.

What is the company name that will be on my billing statement?: To avoid any credit card disputes or confusion, please, make note that payments made through CampDoc.com will display on your account statement as DOCNETWORK LLC, the CampDoc.com parent company name.

Where do I direct my questions concerning registration?: We’re happy to assist you with any questions about your registration at fanari.camp@gmail.com. If you are having trouble navigating around your CampDoc account, their support staff can help you with any troubleshooting at 734-636-1000 or support@campdoc.com.


Fanari Camp New Participant Sign Up!

We’re almost a week away from our Fanari Camp 2019 Registration launch on Tuesday, March 19th at 11am on fanari.org! Once again we will be using CampDoc.com as our online registration host. Are you NEW to Fanari Camp or know of anyone looking to register a camper for the first time this year? Please, pass on this important information!

In order to expedite the registration process for those who are NEW to Fanari Camp, you can now SIGN UP for a CampDoc account ahead of time, so you’re ready to go when our registration link goes live at 11am!

If this is your FIRST TIME registering for Fanari Camp, please use this link to create an account now: CAMPDOC SIGN UP

  • You will be prompted to use a current email address, create a password and click on SIGN UP (not login)
  • Next, you will enter the parent/guardian name on the account and confirm a phone number and address
  • Finally, you can click on “NEW PARTICIPANT” and enter the name, sex and date of birth of your camper. If you are entering multiple campers into your account, you will click on “NEW PARTICIPANT” to add each camper individually
  • Once your account is set up with your participants, as Fanari Camp Registration launches on March 19th, you will register your campers one at a time by clicking on their name, selecting their session and completing the payment process, so be sure to have your credit card or checking account information ready. When completed, you are then able to go back in and enter the important HEALTH PROFILE information, in order for each campers’ registration to be complete

Already have a CampDoc account and need to add another camper for this summer? Go ahead and login to your existing account and click on “New Participant” to enter their name now. That’s it! You’ll be all set to register for our upcoming 2019 camping season! We can’t wait to come HOME to Fanari Camp this summer!!!

Questions about registration?: email fanari.camp@gmail.com

Fanari 2019 Registration and Staff News

Summer is right around the corner…we have two NEW exciting staff opportunities, and information for our 2019 Registration launch!!!

SAVE THE DATE: CAMPER and COUNSELOR 2019 Fanari Camp Registration opens Tuesday, March 19th at 11am at FANARI.ORG!!! All sessions run Sunday through Saturday for campers in grades 6th -11th in the fall of September 2019. This year’s camp fee is $525 per camper. More details coming soon:

Session 1: June 16-22

Session 2: June 23-29

Session 3: July 7-13

Session 4: July 14-20

For anyone NEW to Fanari Camp this year, please subscribe to this blog to keep up on pertinent camp information. All you have to do is enter your email address to the right on our blog page, and receive email notifications when a new entry has been posted. Don’t miss out on all the excitement, fellowship and fun that Fanari Camp has to offer!!!

NEW Staff Opportunities: While Girls/Boys Counselor Applications open on March 19th, here are two other Administrative openings, available to apply for NOW…

MEDIA COORDINATOR: This application is for qualified candidates with experience in photography, videography, and social media. This role requires leading the execution of the daily media submissions at Fanari Camp, in collaboration with the Programming Team of Fanari Camp. Applicants will be required to commit to at least two of the four weeks of Fanari Summer Camp (June 16-22; June 23-29; July 7-13; July 14-20).


CAMP SCHLEPPER: Although we gave this role a fun title, this application is for qualified candidates with experience in programming, working with his/her hands, & problem solving. ‘The Schlepper’ will work together with the Program Director to ensure a smooth daily execution of all camping activities. Applicants will be required to commit to at least two of the four weeks of Fanari Summer Camp (June 16-22; June 23-29; July 7-13; July 14-20).


We’re looking forward to another uplifting and transformational summer together at Fanari Camp 2019!

Fanari Camp Goes to the Chicago Wolves Game!


Fanari Campers, Parents, Staff, Alumni and Families! Let’s come together with family and friends for a night of fellowship and fun!!! The St. Iakovos Retreat Center is teaming up with the Chicago Wolves hockey team. Witness our very own Metropolitan Nathanael drop the puck as the Chicago Wolves challenge the Manitoba Moose on Saturday, February 2, 2019 7:00pm at Allstate Arena!!! Proceeds from ticket purchases will benefit Fanari Camp’s beautiful home, The St. Iakovos Retreat Center. Please read below for all of the information. If you have further questions, contact events@gosirc.org.

1. STANDARD TICKETS: Purchase these tickets directly through the Chicago Wolves, (Cost between $12-$40) BUT be sure to use code GREEK at checkout and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the St. Iakovos Retreat Center.

2. NEW! PREMIUM TICKETS: For a cost of $59, this ticket includes the following:

  • Seating in premium Greek Section
  • Ice time after the game! (bring your own skates)
  • Gift of special WOLVES scarf
  • Parking at both Cafe La Cave (for ticket pick-up) and Allstate Arena *TAILGATING PARTY NOT INCLUDED*

Purchase PREMIUM TICKETS by CLICKING HERE (Limited number available)

3. PREMIUM TICKET PACKAGE: For a cost of $100, this ticket includes the following:

  • Seating in premium Greek section
  • Tailgating party at Cafe La Cave at 4:00pm (2777 S. Mannheim Rd. Des Plaines, IL) includes a variety of foods, drinks and fellowship before the game
  • Ice time after the game! (bring your own skates)
  • Gift of special WOLVES scarf
  • Parking at both Cafe La Cave and Allstate Arena

Purchase PREMIUM TICKET PACKAGE by CLICKING HERE (Limited number available)

*Pick up PREMIUM TICKET & PREMIUM TICKET PACKAGE TICKETS ONLY at Cafe La Cave from 4:00-6:00pm 2777 S. Mannheim Rd, Des Plaines, IL

GROUP TICKETS AVAILABLE for purchase!!! Goya, Yal, OCF, Philoptochos, Seniors and Parishes!!!! All are welcome to join us!!
For groups of 10 or more, contact John Brooks JBrooks@Chicagowolves.com

Hope to see our Fanari Families there!!! THANK YOU in advance, for your support of our home, The St. Iakovos Retreat Center.