Overnight Camp - August 5 & 6, 2002
The Fourth Annual St.George Church Overnight Camp was held in Carmichaels on August 5 and 6, 2002. The St.George Serbian Orthodox Church is one of several churches in the Eastern American Diocese having a summer camp. Mildred Bezjak has coordinated the camp since its inception at the St.George Church in 1999. Sixty-four campers from a variety of locations have participated in the camp. This year fourteen campers benefitted from the experience.
Five of the campers were from Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Pittsburgh. Cathedral Dean Reverend Father Rajko Kosic and Popadija Vera Kosic have helped with the St.George Camp each year. Three campers were from St.Mary Orthodox Church in Masontown, Pennsylvania. Reverend Father Aleksandar and Matushka Marina Tandilashvili started to help with the camp in 2001 and continued this year. Two of the campers returning for the second year were from the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. Very Reverend George Yatsko, parish priest in Monongahela, was ordained deacon in the St.George Serbian Orthodox Church in Carmichaels, his home parish at the time.
Three of the campers attend the St.George Church and the fourth remaining camper now lives in Cambria County but was baptized in the St.George Church and has family members here.
Following registration on Monday evening, the campers and camp staff attended an Akathist to St.George in the church. Immediately thereafter, Mildred Bezjak had the campers actively participating in a play that combined the history of the St.George Church with information about St.George the Great Martyr.
An icon project, kolo dancing, an evening meal, a video about St.George and a marshmallow roast at the parish picnic grounds completed the evening activities.
Campers and staff had the opportunity to spend the night at the parish house.
On Tuesday morning, the campers and staff attended Matins, had breakfast, and had a class on the prayers of the Church with Father Rajko and Father Rodney.
Campers completed their icon project mounting an icon of St.George and watched a video about St.Elijah during the day on Tuesday. They received an official welcome from Parish Executive Board President Nick Yackovich and learned from Diane Brozik of her experiences in the Peace Corps in Panama. Father Aleksandar and Matusha Marina described life in their native county of Georgia which has more than three hundred churches dedicated to St.George.
Soccer, kickball and other outdoor recreational activities were interspersed in the Tuesday schedule for this lively group of youngsters.
In addition to the people mentioned, the following adults were involved with the camp project: Mitzi Hunchuck, Kathryn Sage, Dorothy Bozik, Dolores Zivkovich, Anna Mae Knezovich, Mildred Belch, Mary Trbovich, Linda Porter, George Ben Gapen, Tony Mirales, Cindy Rose, Molly Torbic and George and Richard Rodavich. Stan and Karen Brozik of Dolfi’s Restaurant sent over pizza for lunch.
The camp is a highlight of the summer at St.George Serbian Orthodox Church in Carmichaels and serves to involve youngsters and adults with a broad range of experiences.