Service projects and saints, along with some fun in the sun filled our day. More exciting things happening at Fanari Camp!
Diakonia was today’s Flex session, where we learned about Orthodoxy in Korea and Guatemala. Katerina Rallis shared her experience as a camp counselor in Korea and showed photos of the campers and their camp life, which is much like our own. We also saw pictures of the original St. John the Baptist church in Ixcan, Guatemala, and also a picture of the new church that was built with love and generous donations, through the grace of God. After hearing about Christ’s Great commission on Pentecost, we had the opportunity to put together the Feast day Icon books that have been made by campers in our other 3 sessions. They will be used as teaching tools and sent to St. John the Baptist parish in Ixcan, Guatemala and taken to Korea by Katerina, who will once again be volunteering as a camp counselor this year. Please, keep our brothers and sisters in both countries in your prayers!
With free-time came the most beautiful weather! The Delphians were the first to board the boats and canoes at the new Marina. Others took to the fields and courts to play soccer, kick ball, octoball and basketball. Connie set up all our tie dye supplies so campers could turn their tshirts into colorful apparel! A few campers went slippin’ and slidin’ down our giant water slide, while others were engaged in a captivating game of outdoor Connect Four, which was generously donated from our Amazon Wish list. So many things to do to keep us busy and entertained! Wrapping up free-time our Delphian and Athenian counselors played a competitive three on three basketball game to decide who could wear the color black at our games night tomorrow. Delphians were victorious!
After dinner, Archon Dr. John Fotopoulos, educated our campers on our Patriarchate, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the five key issues the Archons have been championing for many years and also, the challenges they face. We also thank the Archons for their donation of our campers water bottles for the entire summer!
Our evening activity, “Night with the Saints”, took a hold of our attention, as we heard the miraculous stories of the saints whose holy relics were before us: Sts. Nicholas, Raphael, & Irene of Mytilini; St. Nicholas; St. Irene; The Holy Unmercinaries Kosmas & Damianos; St. Patapios and St. George. We were also anointed with Holy oil from St. John Maximovitch and St. Demetrios of Thessaloniki. As we rotated to our next session, we discussed the Holy sacrament of confession. Campers did a trust fall to represent that we let go of our sins and trust Christ to catch us. They were also able to ask questions and have time to reflect in their journals and prepare for confession tomorrow. It was a truly humbling night to learn about the traditions and holy sacraments of our Orthodox faith and be in the presence of such holiness.
Wrapping up another blessed day, our Athenians and Olympians were awarded spirit sticks for all their continued enthusiasm and stepping up their spirit throughout the day! At Closing Day, our spiritual vitamin was provided by Holy Cross graduate and Delphian counselor, Nick Lionas. He spoke on how we develop strong relationships with one another at camp, which reflect our relationships with the saints as well. As we speak to and rely on one another in our lives, we too must speak to and rely on the saints of the Church and those relationships we develop with them. The saints are truly alive in our lives!
Finally, we ended the evening chanting the beautiful hymn, “Lord of the Powers”, as this hymn reminds us that in the end, no matter what happens, we will always have God. What a blessing to be here together, to let us learn more about ourselves, each other and our Orthodox faith! Campers headed back to their cabins to settle in for the night and do their devotionals with the clergy before confession tomorrow. We thank the Lord for another blessed day here, at Fanari Camp.