By the end of the week, what seemed to start out as a long week ahead of us, ends up flying by so quickly. The campers arrived on Monday afternoon and the next thing we knew, it was Sunday afternoon and time to go home. After many hugs and some tears, Fanari 2015 is complete and the campers have all gone home.
Ending our beautiful week with Divine Liturgy, was the perfect send off to a truly special week of Fanari-our first at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center. Fr. Michael Arbanas and Deacon Chris Avramopoulos celebrated the Liturgy together and chanted a memorial for the recently departed Fr. Bill Chiganos and all those Fanari campers and counselors who have fallen asleep in the Lord. We ended our service with the whole camp singing “Lord of the Powers” with their arms around each other.
Although the campers and staff didn’t know what to expect with the change of location and smaller numbers, it proved to be a success in every way imaginable. The smiles on their faces, the laughter in our activities, the many notes that were written to us stating, “This was my favorite year of Fanari!”, made it all worth while.
Campers, we hope you made new friends, had fun, and most importantly, learned more about your faith. We pray that you carry your Fanari agape with you throughout your lives, and that you cherish the friendships and memories you’ve made this week.
To our amazing counselors, staff, and clergy, we thank you for all of your hard work and love that you gave so freely this week. Fanari couldn’t happen without you! Your dedication to the youth of our Metropolis is so important to our ministry and we’re very thankful for the time you’ve given to our Fanari campers.
Can’t wait for Session 2! For the campers in Session 1, we’ll see you next year!