DIOCESE OF EASTERN AMERICA AND NEW YORK: July 15, 2008
Washington’s “Putivl” Summer Camp Closes
On July12, this year's Summer camp held by “Putivl,” the Washington chapter of the Organization of Young Russian Pathfinders [ORYuR], came to an end, and its 60 participants – “belochki,” “zaichiki,” pathfinders, scout leaders, and volunteers went home. As in past years, camp was held outdoors, under the open sky in a picturesque spot in the Virginia hills practically on the West Virginia border.
The daily schedule included reveille, assembly, washing up, tidying up the campsite, raising the flag, morning prayers, breakfast, lessons, lunch, relaxation, games, talks, swimming and trekking, dinner, lowering of the flag, evening prayers, and a campfire. As remote locations far from civilization and “the vanities of the secular world,” far from big cities and highways, are always chosen for the campsite, the camp maintains a GPS connection.
On July 3-4, Protopriest Victor Potapov, rector of the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Washington, DC, visited the camp. There, amid the wooded hills an open-air chapel was erected, and Divine Liturgy was served. Almost all of the campers went to confession and took Communion. In his homily, Fr Victor emphasized the importance of obeying Christ's commandment to love both God and man, and he mentioned as examples of such love ORYuR's heavenly patron, Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer St George, and also Holy Hierarch St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, who was celebrated on the dates of Fr Victor's visit to camp.
After the Liturgy, the Russian Tricolor, and then the American flag, were raised. After the flag-raising, each of the campers received a wooden pectoral cross that had been blessed at the Holy Sepulcher.
Despite their mosquito bites and periods of rain, everyone left the camp satisfied, and eager to get together at the next one.