Fanari 2019 -Monastery Trip

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(Click above for pictures)

Camp so far has been amazing! I am lucky to have such fun kids as my campers. They love to have a lot of fun and are full of energy, but they are also old enough and mature enough to have talks with at night. All of these kids have such great ideas for things like different games to play, things to do or say for our skits, and so much more. Overall we  have really started to feel like a big family.

We woke up Tuesday morning and got the kids in the showers and ready for church and the rest of the morning activities. The other counselors and I love to sing with the kids to fully wake up. They are a big fan of the Byzantine hymns that they hear in chapel everyday.

During Orthodox life (OL) we talked about the Prodigal Son and a modern take on it. Then we would discuss what the story is about and how it shows God’s love for us and our love for God. The most popular answer was that God loves us and will always take us back without question, just like a dad would his son. After OL, we went to bible study where we talked about the different words for love in the Greek language and what each word meant. Then we read various passages from the Bible and looked through different parts to see what some examples of each kind of love are. After we read parts of the Bible, the kids would then try to make a modern example of these different stories.

Before we went to St. Sava Monastery, I had a talk with my kids about what they thought about saints and if they had any questions about going to see an in-corrupt saint. Many of them had the same question, “What does a saint look like?” And we discussed what we would see in regards to the relics and the rest of the church and monastery.

During devo, we started by talking about what we saw at the monastery and what impacted the kids the most. The majority of their responses to seeing an in-courpted saint was, “I thought he was going to look different. I think that a lot of the campers didn’t realize that he looked like just a normal human.” The biggest reaction was seeing that saints are normal people and aren’t some mythical creature. Next the staff and I talked to them about what they would be doing today (Wednesday) which is confession. We asked them if they have ever heard of it, have they done it, what it feels like going in before and walking out after, and answering questions if they had any.

It has been an amazing start to the week with already so many memories and so much to talk about.

– Charles Cassis

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