From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
GOAA Largest Ever Pan-Orthodox Camping Conference Held
Worldwide Faith News <email@example.com>
Wed, 11 Feb 2004 11:35:53 -0800
GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
8-10 East 79th St. New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212) 570-3530 Fax: (212) 774-0215
February 11, 2004
Contact: Marek Simon
Phone 724 238 956
Largest Ever Pan-Orthodox Camping Conference Held
The 2004 Orthodox Camp Directors' Conference was held at the Life-Giving
Spring Retreat Center in Boulder City, Nevada from January 22 ? 25.
Forty-two clergy, camp directors, counselors, and staff from various
Orthodox jurisdictions (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Antiochian Archdiocese,
Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Carpatho-Russian Diocese of America, and the
Orthodox Church in America) met to discuss issues related to camp community
and life. Fr. Thomas Hopko, former Dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary, was
the featured speaker, giving three presentations on the topic "Camp Staff
as an Image of Christ".
Other topics covered included selection and training of staff, fundraising,
safety and insurance issues, worship, educating and nurturing the spiritual
lives of campers, and internet ministry for campers. Fr. Mark Leondis,
National Director of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for
the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and Dn. Constantine Lazarakis,
Director of Ionian Village, led fun-filled evening sessions where camp
ideas, activities, and songs were shared.
The conference proved to be a wonderful experience by helping those
involved with camps and youth ministry focus on what is most important ?
leading our youth to Christ. Fr. Hopko was deeply impressed with the
conference and with every person who participated in it. "Before coming to
the conference," he said, "I knew full well about the high level of
commitment that all involved in camping work possess. What I did not expect
was the superior level of competence. I was 'blown away' by all that the
camp leaders had researched and practiced and tested by experience in every
area of camping? It all was most inspiring and encouraging. Parents and
pastors should know, if those at the conference are typical, that their
young people who go off to Orthodox church camps are in very good hands
The weekend was a bonding experience for those that attended the
conference. Fr. Mark Leondis stated, "This year's Conference continued the
momentum set forth in 2003 of Orthodox camp directors gathering together
from throughout SCOBA jurisdictions to share and learn from one another. It
also provided an invaluable experience in learning more about our Faith."
This year's conference was subsidized with funds from The Order of St.
Ignatius of Antioch. The 2005 Camp Directors' Conference will be sponsored
by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
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