Heavy snow. Icy conditions. Limited visibility. Perfect weather conditions for Fanari Winter Camp, but not on the night that over 40 campers were making their way to the St. Iakovos Retreat Center. As check-in began, our entire staff wondered not when, but if the campers would make it at all considering those conditions. But then they did.
Certainly tired and worn out, parent brought their children for our Senior GOYA Winter Camp. Their trips lasted 2-4 hours longer than expected, but they didn’t care. They wanted their children to be here, to grow together, and to experience His mercy.
What stood out about our first of two Winter Camp sessions wasn’t the ways we learned more about Christ’s mercy. It wasn’t the amazing learning sessions, the trip to Wilmot, the exciting Winter Olympics and the Candle Cup. What stood out is that we truly experienced His mercy. This because abundantly clear as our campers so beautifully chanted Psalm 136 in Divine Liturgy on Sunday.
As we look back on Session 1 of Fanari Winter Camp, and look forward to Fanari Winter Camp Session 2, and Fanari Summer Camp I am reminded on the why of Fanari. Fanari is a place where we experience true relationships and connection. It is a place where we have unadulterated fun and joy. It is a place where we learn, through experience, what Christ’s mercy is all about.
As we look back on Session 1 of Fanari Winter Camp, please note a few house keeping items as we look forward:
- Camper & Staff Applications for Fanari Summer Camp open Wednesday, February 12 at 11am
- Campers can attend Fanari Summer Camp one year longer, now through the summer after 11th grade
- Summer Camp 2020 now has 5 Sessions, with the new session (Session 3) during the 4th of July Week, making Session 4 the former Session 3, and Session 5 the former Session 4
- Registration for Session 2 of Fanari Winter Camp (Middle School only) is still open, with about 10 slots left
See you soon!
Fr. Kosmas Kallis (Fr. K) is the Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministries at the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. He, with a dynamic team of young adult leaders, leads our Fanari Camping Ministries. For questions about Fanari Camp, click here. For questions for Fr. K, click here.