Metropolis-wide GOYA Dance & Save the Date!

St. Demetrios of Elmhurst is hosting a “New Year’s Eve, Eve Party” for the Metropolis of Chicago GOYANS! (grades 6th-12th) Spread the word and reunite with friends, while enjoying a night of music, dancing food and fun!

WHEN? Friday, December 30th 7:30pm-10:30pm

WHERE? St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church 893 N. Church Rd. Elmhurst, IL 60126

COST? $15 entrance fee & all participants must stay until the end

QUESTIONS? Contact Anthony Ruggerio at a.ruggerio@gmail.com

Also, SAVE THE DATE: Information coming soon for…

Winter Camp 2017: March 10-12

Fanari Summer Camp 2017: June 18-24, June 25-July 1, July 9-15, July 16-22newyears

Fanari Reunion Dance

Holy Apostles GOYA is hosting a reunion dance for all Fanari Campers, this Sunday October 9th from 7:30pm-10:00pm. Cost: $12. Come enjoy an evening of music, dancing and refreshments with your Fanari friends!

For more information, contact Holy Apostles: 708-682-2744

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Saturday 7/23: Divine Liturgy & Goodbye

Just like that, 4 Sessions of Fanari Camp have come and gone. Our Orthodox faith has brought us all together, as we made new friends, strengthened bonds with old and experienced the love of Christ and His church as one family. All the campers have returned home and we fondly look back on another uplifting week of Fanari Camp and all the memories we created, in our short but meaningful week together.

We weathered the sweltering heat in our outdoor chapel under the tent, to conclude our Session 4 of Fanari Camp, by participating in the Divine Liturgy together. Deacon Chris Avramopoulos, Fr. Panteleimon Dalianis, Fr. Christodoulos Margellos, Fr. George Pappas and Fr. Ciprian Sas celebrated together and chanted a memorial for our beloved Fanari clergy, campers and counselors who have fallen asleep in the Lord. May their memories be eternal!

For those who experience a week of Fanari, there is an unexplainable bond that ties us all together. We pray that all our campers and staff take the memories, laughter and friendships that were created during our week and share the love and joy of Christ that they experienced.

A heartfelt thank you to all our Session 4 clergy and staff, who gave of their time and talents this week to guide and minister to the youth of our Metropolis. We appreciate all your hard work and love that you selflessly gave in our week together. What a blessing to have the lives of these beautiful, young souls in our hands.

Farewell from Fanari Camp 2016! We look forward to seeing you in 2017…God bless and be with your always. xoxo

Click here for Session 4 Day 7 photos!

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Session 4 Delphian Boys

Friday 7/22: Skit Night

After our last full day of Fanari Camp Session 4, it’s time to say goodbye to what we’ve called “home” for a beautiful week together.

We ended the week with our last evening activity, “Skit Night”. Our amazing Theater staff, led by Andrew Poteres, did an excellent  job all week long, coordinating the evening’s skits in Theater with endless energy and spirit! The campers had fun entertaining us with their hilarious performances and afterwards, we enjoyed watching a slideshow of all the memories we made during our week together.

Huge congratulations to the Athenians, the Session 4 Fanari Camp Spirit Winners! They truly embraced the Fanari Spirit all week-long with amazing counselors to lead them! Our staff, who served all four weeks of camp this summer, were recognized for their tremendous dedication to our youth and camping program. Ari Cussick, Andrew Poteres, Nick Kouracos and Peter Savas, worked both as counseling and program staff and we are so very thankful and blessed to have such loving young adults as role models for our campers.

To end our evening, we headed outside to our bonfire, for our last Closing Day. Deacon Chris spoke on what a memorable week we had together and to keep the “Fanari”, the beacon of light inside of us, long after camp has ended. Our 11th grade campers, Ari Psomas and George Djagov, who is here visiting this summer from the country of Georgia, were given a vigil candle as a momento for their last year at Fanari Camp. We hope they will keep the light of Christ within them always, and shine so bright for all to see!

We ended the night singing “Seek Ye First”, “Take My Hand” and the liturgical hymn “Lord of the Powers” around the campfire, as we were dismissed to go to our final devotionals in our cabins. Each camper was given a prayer rope, as a gift to remember their week at camp, and just as the theme of our week tells us, “Rejoice Evermore, Pray without Ceasing, In Everything Give Thanks!”

What beautiful memories we’ve made this week! Our hopes are that the campers take away something from their experiences here and share them with those at home. All is quiet in camp tonight. Goodnight from Fanari Camp headquarters…we’ll see you tomorrow for Divine Liturgy and our final goodbyes.

Click here for Session 4 Day 6 photos!

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Thursday 7/21: Picnic & Super Hero Dance

Picnic day at Fanari Camp is always a great day to relax, bond with each other and enjoy so many fun activities!

Our day started with some cloudy weather, and before we knew it, the rain came pouring down. However, nothing was going to dampen our spirits! We were able to get through one rotation of our scheduled activities outside: Scavenger Hunt, Orthodox Jeopardy and Liturgical Vestments. Thank you to Connie Savas, James Koustenis, Andrew Poteres  and Julie Tziolas for guiding our campers through the clues of our Scavenger Hunt. Everyone was running around, taking selfies, and using the Bible verses to figure out the clues. Next, Fr. Tobias, Fr. Sas, Fr. Margellos and Fr. Dalianis led a session on the vestments that a priest wears and the meaning behind each piece. We then rotated and Fr. George & Presvytera Kathy hosted an Orthodox Jeopardy game to test our knowledge about our faith. It was a fun way to learn more about the Bible and Orthodoxy and earn some spirit points! When the rain came down, we took cover and our counselors entertained the campers indoors, with some fun games!

After the storms had passed, the sun came out just in time for our delicious lunch of souvlakia, chips and watermelon, thanks to Deacon Chris and James Koustenis on the hot grill. Fr. George Pappas, from SS. Constantine and Helen in Merriville, IN gave the blessing for lunch to begin. Campers also had fun playing soccer, Octoball and swimming. Everyone got a ticket for “Maria’s Wacky & Wild Wagon Ride” with Farmer Joe, to visit the animals at the farm. The afternoon ended with an exciting Campers vs. Staff softball game! So much fun watching everyone compete with true christian athletic sportsmanship! Our campers and staff are having a blast together at Fanari Camp! What an extraordinary group of children and young adults!!!

Our evening activity was delayed due to the return of rain after dinner, but we stayed in the cafeteria and sang some songs to pass the time. Then we all went upstairs to the Main Lodge to dance the night away with our favorite Super Heroes! POW! KRASH! BOOM! Smiles, laughter, dancing and fun between friends filled our night. Downstairs in the cafeteria, Fr. Tobias also told saint stories and even though we couldn’t have a camp fire, everyone enjoyed delicious s’mores, made in the oven, thanks to Alex Magdalinos. So many special blessings throughout the day and chances to make memories to cherish, of our days at Fanari!

At Closing Day, Fr. Ciprian Sas told us a true story about his emergency bag that he kept in his car, containing Holy Communion, prayer books and a special cross given to his Dad by a priest in Romania. His car was broken into, his bag was stolen and he had a very heavy heart that he lost it all. He searched for the bag in garbage & pawn shops, but was unable to find it. 3 months and 3 weeks to the day that he lost it, he was doing Orthros at church and a man was standing in the middle aisle, motioning for him to come to him. The man handed Fr. Ciprian his bag and with weakness in his knees, he opened it to find all the contents. To his surprise, when he consumed the gifts during Divine Liturgy, they tasted just as they should. Ironically, it was also the feast day of SS. Constantine & Helen. Miracles surround us every single day! He told us to always give thanks with what we have. We were blessed to be able to venerate that very cross during our evening chapel service tonight. How thankful we are that he shared his story and cross with us all!

Spirit sticks were given out to the Olympians and for an unprecedented 4th time in a row, the Delphian boys won it once again! Congratualtions to both cabins for going above and beyond to show the Holy Spirit is dwelling within us, at Fanari Camp this week.

What a fulfilling day at camp! We are so very thankful for all God’s blessings today. Everyone will surely sleep well tonight. Goodnight, Fanari camp…we pray tomorrow will bring us another beautiful day, as we near the end of our week together.

Click here for Session 4 Day 5 photos!

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Wednesday 7/20: Prayer books, Saints & Sing-a-long

We can’t believe how time is flying by here at Fanari Camp. We’re halfway through the week but the fun and learning continues each day!

Today’s Flex was Arts & Crafts, lead by Alex Magdalinos, where we learned about the importance of prayer in our life, both personal and communal. Everyone made their own book with prayers for various occasions with beautiful icons to coordinate with each prayer. We pray our campers will make use of their books to enhance the frequency of their prayer lives at home.

To prepare us for receiving Holy Communion at Divine Liturgy on Saturday, our campers and staff received the sacrament of confession today. Fr. Dalianis, Fr Kearns, Fr. Margellos, Fr. Pappas and Fr. Sas were all on hand during our O.L session. What a beautiful opportunity to release all that burdens us and open our hearts to Christ.

The temperature is rising outside each day, but our athletic fields and courts were filled during free time. Other’s stayed cool inside the Main Lodge and enjoyed their 1 free ice cream bar per day, generously donated in honor of Nun Theologia.

Tonight’s evening activity was “A Night with the Saints”. Our first session with Connie Savas, showed how everyday people, who lived like us sinners, became saints and leaders through prayer, repentance and the sacraments. It was eye opening to read the story of their lives before they were marked for sainthood. Then we were blessed to venerate relics of St. Nectarios and St. Porphyrios, and be annointed with the Holy Myrrh from the relics of St. Demetrios, which were brought to us by Fr. Loukas Gikas. He told us about their lives and how we are all called to be saints. What a fulfilling night to nourish our souls!

Our voices filled the Main Lodge as we sang our favorite Fanari songs with Fr. George Lamberis, who made a guest appearance to lead us in song tonight. “Pharaoh, Pharaoh”, “Deep”, “I Will Magnify the Lord” and “Take My Hand” were some of our favorites. Fr. George also lead an energetic “BOOMBA, HEY!” to entertain the campers! Our spirit sticks tonight went to the Delphians and Spartans. What wonderful leaders we have this week to set an example for our younger campers.

Another spiritually uplifting day at Fanari Camp. All is quiet in the cabins, as we look forward to what tomorrow has in store for us all! Goodnight!

Click here for Session 4 Day 4 photos!

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Tuesday 7/19: Chanting & Fanari Games

Another blessed day at Fanari Camp! Campers are getting used to our daily schedule and comfortable in our surroundings.

Our Flex session today was Chanting. Alex Magdalinos taught all our campers the basics of byzantine chant. Campers also reviewed some of the beautiful hymns we sing in chapel. We definintely have some budding Psalti’s at Fanari!

Everyone found different activities to keep them busy during free time. There were plenty of visitors to the Camp Store, piano playing in the Main Lodge, soccer, basketball, Octoball, and an outstanding Uno tournament! What a fun day to relax and enjoy each other’s company!

Tonight’s evening activity was our annual Fanari Olympic Games! Our cabins made grand entrances, dressed in various themes! John Vranas from St. Nicholas in Oaklawn, did a beautiful job in leading us in singing the Greek National Anthem. Let the games begin!!! The energy was contagious and the campers really got into the spirit of the games! The competition was intense and the points were close until the final game: Balloon Tag! In the end the Athenians were victorious and received the trophy for earning the most points tonight!

Our Athenians and Delphians won spirit sticks for the day after showing so much energy and spirit all day long! The entire camp once again joined Leo in singing “Gloria” and “Pharoah, Pharoah” and then Alex taught us a new hymn, “Rich Men Have Turned Poor”, so that we could sing it before meals in the cafeteria.

At Closing day, Fr Christodoulos talked about the power of prayer and how important it is in our daily life. He also added that we must continue to pray for those who have fallen asleep in the lord. May their memories be eternal!

Today we created so many memories, with friends, new and old. Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with so many beautiful moments together at Fanari Camp.

Click here for Session 4 Day 3 photos!

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