Our first full day of Fanari Camp was Greek themed, and it was filled with food, dance and our beautiful Hellenic Culture! OPA!
We began our morning with an Agiasmos service, led by Fr. Ted Poteres from SS. Constantine and Helen in Merrillville, IN. Following the blessing, we introduced the campers to “Alone with God”, where we spend a few minutes each morning spread out in silence, to be alone with our thoughts in prayer and begin our day focused on Christ. A beautiful way to nourish our minds and souls.
What a great day we had in our “Flex” session, Greek Culture! We kicked it off with a bit of dancing and learned about Ancient Athens, Olympia, Sparta and Delphi. Outside, campers participated in an Olympic pool noodle javelin throw and Spartan “military” training. We also designed our very own Delphian ruins with play-dough. Finally, we learned dances from Crete and Pontos that we will be dancing on Thursday night at our camp dance! In Bible Study and Orthodox Life, we were introduced to our theme of camp this year, “Four Doors to Christ: The Four Evangelist” where we will explore this week who the Evangelists are, what a door to Christ is, how the Evangelists are doors to Christ, and why that might be important in their lives. While in Theater, we did some ice breakers and then started brain storming skit ideas. What a fulfilling day, as we grow in our faith and culture!
At free-time, this breezy, sunny day invited some campers to play volleyball, soccer and basketball outside, while others relaxed in the Main Lodge, playing games, making friendship bracelets and visiting the Camp Store. So many different activities to choose from, there’s fun happening everywhere we look!
We rounded out our last meal of the day Greek style, as Plateia Mediterranean Kitchen in Glenview, IL and the Papadatos family, generously donated our entire meal! Pastichio, Greek chicken, potatoes, briámi, spanakopita and Greek Salad! You would’ve thought Yia Yia was back in the kitchen herself! What a great meal to wrap up an amazing day, celebrating our heritage and culture!
Tonight’s evening activity was the game show, “Let’s Make A Deal!” Our talented campers came dressed up and ready to play games for prizes and tried to avoid the dreaded ZONK! Even a few of our counselors got into the spirit and participated in a dance off with their campers. Then it was time for Fr. George Lamberis to lead us in a sing-along! Everyone jumped to their feet and clapped their hands for a few of our favorites, Deep, Pharoah, Pharoah, I will Magnify the Lord, Seek Ye First, and Take My Hand.
The Athenians and Olympians were honored with spirit sticks tonight, as the Holy Spirit shined through them, all day long! At Closing Day, our Program Director, Alex Magdalinos, spoke about how Fanari doesn’t have to end when we go home. If we take one or two things from this week, make them a reality and do them every day, like prayer, worship, participating in the sacraments, going to youth group, etc., then we’ll be the light on the hill, the Fanari, so people will see what we do and we will be an example to them by our actions.
So many new experiences today, helping us to grow and learn. Glory be to God! We can’t wait to see what new adventures will await us tomorrow at Fanari Camp. Kali Nixta!