Author Archives: Fanari Camp

Fanari Camp 2019 Reminders

It’s beginning to look a lot like….FANARI CAMP 2019!!!

We’re just a week away from the start of our first session of the summer, and filled with excitement for another opportunity to create memorable moments and new friendships, as one family in Christ! As we anticipate our campers arrival, we want to remind you of a few important items, before your session begins.

NEED TO UPDATE HEALTH PROFILE INFORMATION? You can login to your CampDoc account, as often as needed before the day your session begins, to enter any last minute changes in your child’s HEALTH PROFILE. Make sure you have plenty of time to obtain current Immunization records from your physician and get them uploaded before you arrive.

WANT TO BRING SNACKS? The St. Iakovos Retreat Center is a NUT-FREE facility. Due to campers with allergies, please, refrain from bringing any food products/snacks that may contain ANY kind of nuts or were made in a facility that processes nuts.

GOT A MESSAGE TO SEND TO YOUR CAMPER? You now can by using CAMPGRAMS! To help combat homesickness, Campdoc is offering a one-way communication tool that allows you to easily send messages to your camper. Families can purchase tokens in bundles, in their online Campdoc account, for $5, $8 or $10. CampGrams will be printed and distributed to campers each day after lunch. CLICK HERE CampGram information!

FEELING FESTIVE? HO, HO, HO!!! This year’s Thursday night Dance theme is CHRISTMAS IN THE SUMMER! Break out your Santa hats and reindeer ears, and come dressed in holiday colors and themed apparel that exudes festive cheer, for a night of dancing and fun!!!

And lastly, we will be taking a Field Trip on Tuesday Night of camp to visit St. Mardarije, an incorrupt saint whose relics reside at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville. A full description of our field trip can be found in this video: CLICK HERE: Monastery Visit Info. (Note: Campers can wear the same modest church clothes that they are bringing for Saturday’s Liturgy)

There’s still time to donate through our AMAZON WISH LIST! For more information: CLICK HERE!

Looking forward to another blessed camping season at Fanari Camp 2019, What is Love? God is Love: Christian Agape!

A New Beginning | Fanari Staff Training 2019

by Demetri Maglaras

IMG_2401During these past two years, I have struggled with one simple idea; what was missing in my life? When I pondered upon this subject, I knew that what I was missing was directly coordinated to my spiritual life. Even after countless prayer sessions, visits with my parish priest and self-reflection, I still couldn’t find what was off. I discovered the hole in my heart when I was in the process of applying to Fanari Camp as a Counselor this summer. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Fanari Camp as a camper in Green Lake from 7th-8thgrade, and then at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center as a 9th-10thgrader. Through these years, I grew spiritually, culturally, and emotionally as a person and as a Greek Orthodox Christian. However, I attended Ionian Village in Greece instead of attending Fanari Camp for my last year. Becoming a counselor this summer, for the camp that changed my life for the better, has been a dream of mine ever since my days as a camper. At this moment, I knew that I needed my dose of Fanari Camp once again.



Even with all of this excitement for this summer, I was hesitant to attend this weekend’s Staff Training because I thought that many things have changed since I stepped foot on this campus. After these short three days, I quickly realized that I was severely wrong. The Fanari that I remembered was exactly the same. The camp still fosters the idea of growing the youth of the Metropolis of Chicago through our faith, culture, and humanity. What I was really excited about, especially for this summer, was the fact that I was on the opposite side of the spectrum. Walking onto campus, I was greeted by many other future Fanari Staff members with smiles, happiness, and excitement. Right away, these reactions helped transition me into the role of being a counselor this year for the youth of our Metropolis. As I entered the main lodge, I was greeted by old faces and new faces that resonated the same hype that I was feeling about Fanari. Following dinner, introductions were done by Fr. Kosmas, Maria, and the rest of the Leadership Team. They promised that this summer was going to be amazing, and they challenged each of us to get up every day, while counseling, and say to ourselves that this will be the “Best Day Ever!”.


With the discussions about the weekly schedule of camp, evening activities, and new additions to the camp, I knew that I would be able to wake up every day at Fanari Camp and make that statement a reality! Most importantly, through an Akathist Hymn and Vespers, I felt that not only my connection to God, but also the camp’s connection to God, was as strong as it has ever been! To grow closer as fellow counselors, our Leadership Team organized many team building activities and games that helped create a bond between me and my fellow counselors that will grow this summer! To test this bond, we were put into groups to go on a scavenger hunt. Through this hunt, we had to find ribbons around the camp’s most important sites. Finding these ribbons allowed us to work together as a team, which gave us valuable training for our future weeks at camp.


As the Staff Training weekend comes to a close, I leave St. Iakovos Retreat Center not only more excited than I was for Camp this summer, but more prepared to be the best counselor that I can be. I’m truly so thrilled and blessed that I have the opportunity to serve God and the people of this Metropolis as a Fanari Counselor, and I cannot wait for the summer to start.


Demetri Maglaras is a new counselor this summer and will be attending Fanari Camp during Session 3 and Session 4. He attends St. Demetrios Church in Chicago.

Fanari Camp 2019 Amazon Wish List

FANARI CAMP 2019 is just around the corner and we’re busy planning for another transformative summer for all our campers and staff!  Here is an opportunity to help us grow this ministry with a generous donation, as we strive to provide the most dynamic program and enrich the lives of our metropolis youth, all while being budget conscious.

Once again this summer, we have an Amazon Wish List, with a variety of supplies for our four-week summer camping program. Whether it be our daily sessions, evening activities, office needs or outdoor fun, browse our list and see if there’s anything that you would like to help donate, to make our wishes come true! Share our Wish List with your family, friends, or fellow Fanari Alumni, who might like to make a difference by supporting this ministry.

CLICK HERE: 2019 Fanari Camp Amazon Wish List!

  • At Checkout for Shipping, click on “St. Iakovos Retreat Center/Fanari’s Gift Registry Address” and your donation will be sent directly to us with the address provided.
  • You can then choose “Gift Options” and either send us your name on a Gift Message, which is printed on the receipt OR send us an email at, and let us know who you are and what you donated, so that we can thank you! If you would like a letter acknowledging your donation for tax deduction purposes, please contact the Metropolis Youth Office at

We thank you in advance for your consideration and for supporting Fanari Camp through your generous donation!


2019 Fanari Winter Camp, “I See You”, a Great Success!

Enjoy this reflection from Pres. Danielle Burikas, one of our Team Leaders from 2019 Fanari Winter Camp:

The room was small. It had tan floors, tan walls, and if my memory serves me correctly,  a tan ceiling. The kids arrived and grew comfortable with their peers and staff quickly. They offered up gunein thoughts and real struggles. We soon learned we had a room of athletes and a few writers.

Staff asked, “What if you were not good at your sport; are you still valuable to the team?”

Awkward beautiful silence ensued for one moment, two moments, three moments,

“No.” A camper replied.

We waded through the murky waters. We felt our way through the torrents of pressure to perform, produce, and impress. All this work for the singular goal that we might meet the expectations set upon us, and only when the expectations are met are we worthy of belonging and love, that is the world–so we thought.

We took a break from the serious stuff to participate the most intense relay race I have ever witnessed. However, a picture is worth 1,000 words, and I had the camera for that activity, so I can comfortably assert we have 1,000s of stories for your viewing.

In the evening we made our way back to our little tan AV room for a final Orthodox Life.

Staff asked,

“What if I cut off your arms and legs. Are you still you?”

Campers gave confused smiles,  

“Yes.” followed by a moment of silence, “And well, no.”

Staff asked,

“Why not?”

“If I have no arms and legs then I am no longer able to fulfill all my identities like basketball player, but I am still me. So, yes and no.”

Staff smiled back,

“Tell me more about that.”

The campers gave a group sigh. All eyes fell to the floor, none willing to catch my eye and be volu-n-forced  to share,

“I am me, at the core.” a camper offered, “My soul is me. That is the me God knows. The one that is hidden behind masks I wear, the many identities I have.”

I must say I was struck with this level of analysis from a group of middle school students. Like we discussed with the group, we do not have a children’s Liturgy because the soul knows God from conception. There is no need to provide a Liturgy written at a preschool level. Their middle school soul’s could sense God the same as mine, though I am roughly twice their age. We continued on with our session, participated in activities, watched thought provoking videos, and the kids concluded:

“It is really hard to live in the world and not wear masks.”

“The goal is to one day to be the YOU God made you to be.”

“He knows me. He loves me; even if I do not do things perfectly.”

“To Him, I am valuable, To Him I belong, To Him I am worthy of love. No masks needed.”

2019 Fanari Registration Update

We are so very thankful and elated for the tremendous turn out for Fanari Camp 2019 Registration! The level of excitement to attend Fanari is both humbling and exciting! In the first hour, we had over 700 campers registered for a session or on the wait list.

We know the registration process was frustrating for those of you who saw the availability of your prefered session disappear within minutes and we are truly sorry for the disappointment this caused. With over 700 campers registering right at 11:00am when we launched, it happened very quickly and sessions filled up immediately.

For those who are currently on a Wait List, please don’t worry. We will now assess the demographics of those enrolled in each session to determine where the openings are in each particular cabin. Within the next 30 days we will determine this and promote campers from the waitlist accordingly. While some may be disappointed that they will be unable to attend a particular session planned with friends, it is our hope that another session will provide the opportunity to make new friends.

If you are currently enrolled in a session, please login to your CampDoc account and enter the Health Profile information as soon as possible, as this will help us in organizing each camper in their correct age group and accommodate any roommate requests.

The Fanari Camp program has, for over 40 years, provided a special home to many campers, clergy and staff to grow in their faith, as well as, create bonds and memories that last a lifetime. We are humbled by the overwhelming response to our registration and strive to be the best camping program we can be for the Metropolis of Chicago families. Thank you for not only your support, but for your patience, as well.

+Rev. Fr. Kosmas Kallis

Registration launch TOMORROW!!!

Let’s get ready to registerrrrrrrrr!!!! TOMORROW 3.19.19 at 11am!!!! Here’s some last-minute reminders before we launch our registration for another amazing summer at Fanari Camp:

#1: If you have already established a CampDoc account, you can go directly to and sign in with your username and password to register. The registration link will not go live until 11am on both CampDoc and our website, so if you’re sitting on either page before 11am, you’ll need to refresh it in order to access it. If you are a NEW participant, you can go to for our registration link tomorrow or click on this link for directions on how to sign up for an account now: CAMPDOC ACCOUNT

#2: Once you are enrolled in a session and set up a payment plan or pay the tuition in full for all your campers, please, go back into each registration and fill in the Health Profile information under Patient Information in order for the registration to be complete.

#3: If your preferred session is full and you sign up for the Wait List, we ask for your patience, as we assess what spaces are open in each session based on the demographics of those registered. We will email you within 30 days of registering if you are eligible to be promoted from the wait list and enrolled in a session. You do not need to make any kind of deposit or payment if you only sign up for the Wait List.

#4: The “Add-Ons” section of the registration gives you the OPTIONAL choice to pay an additional $10 for a Camper T-shirt, which is PRE-ORDER ONLY through our online registration. It will NOT be available to purchase upon your arrival at Fanari Camp. Other swag consisting of different T-shirts, hats, sunglasses, etc.,  will be sold at the Camp Store during each session.

#5: You will notice in your registration that CampDoc offers a “Protection Plan” and new this year, “Oliver’s Labels”. Neither of these options are affiliated or sold by Fanari Camp. If purchased, you would contact CampDoc directly with any questions. Here are the two links to these options for you to learn more:



CONTACT: For any questions about Fanari Camp or our online Registration, please email or the Metropolis Youth Office at 847-264-8360.  For any technical questions concerning or navigating your online registration on, please call them directly at 734-636-1000 or email

Fanari Camp Registration FAQs

We are only 4 days away from Fanari Camp 2019 Registration launch! Here are some helpful answers to Frequently Asked Questions, before you register on Tuesday, March 19th at 11am on

What are the payment options for tuition?: The cost is $525 per child/$100 DEPOSIT IS NON-REFUNDABLE. Payment plans must be paid off no later than July 20th. You will have three options for payment at registration:

  1. Pay in FULL
  2. Pay $100 DEPOSIT and set up a monthly PAYMENT PLAN for remaining balance
  3. Pay any amount over the $100 DEPOSIT but under the total, and set up a monthly PAYMENT PLAN for remaining balance

What is the Refund Policy?: You will receive a full refund, minus the non-refundable $100, as long as you cancel 30 days prior to the start date of your camp session. If a cancellation is made within 30 days of the start date of your camp session, you will receive a $262.50 refund, which is half of the total amount of the registration fee.

How does the Wait List work if I can’t get into the session I want?: If your preferred session is full, you will have the option to sign up for the Wait List AND/OR choose to attend another open session. In the event you are eligible to be promoted from the Wait List and have simultaneously registered for another session, you can then choose which of the 2 sessions you would like to attend. All previously made payments will transfer over to your new session. We do our best to notify you within 30 days of registering, if your camper is eligible to be promoted from the Wait List. We can not tell you where you are on the Wait List, as campers are promoted from the wait list based on spaces available for each sex and grade range. Thank you for your patience ahead of time, during this process.

How are campers grouped for housing?: Our campers are housed in “Cabins”, which is the group that they rotate with in our different sessions each day. Demographics change for each session, however, we typically house campers in “Cabins” by adjacent grades: 6th/7th; 7th/8th; 8th/9th etc. because the content of what is being taught in our sessions are all geared towards their age group. You may list up to 5 roommate requests in your online registration, which we do our best to accommodate within the structure of our program.

Can I set up an account on CampDoc ahead of the registration launch?: Yes, if you are a NEW participant, you may use this link to sign up for a CAMPDOC account now, so you are ready to sign up your camper for a session when registration opens. CAMPDOC ACCOUNT LINK. (click SIGN UP not log in) Additionally, if you already established an account in the past, but would like to add a new camper to your account this year, you too may login to add them now.

What is the company name that will be on my billing statement?: To avoid any credit card disputes or confusion, please, make note that payments made through will display on your account statement as DOCNETWORK LLC, the parent company name.

Where do I direct my questions concerning registration?: We’re happy to assist you with any questions about your registration at If you are having trouble navigating around your CampDoc account, their support staff can help you with any troubleshooting at 734-636-1000 or