St Peter the Aleut Summer camp Group Picture
(from Elizabeth Whiteford)
I just finished my third St Peter the Aleut summer camp at "Camp Grady Spruce". (June 28 – July 2 2010 ns) This is a wonderful camp and I highly recommend it. A few reflections (in stream of consciousness order)
1. It was not so hot! Last year it was 100 degrees almost every day. This year was for the most part very comfortable.
2. The food is good and it is very easy to fast. I love cherry peppers and halapenos and ate a zillion of them.Peanut butter and sunflower seeds were always available.
3. The coffee was bad, as in last year, but this time I was prepared! I left that part of the camp experience far behind.
4. I ate peanut butter and jalepeno and banana sandwiches for breakfast. This is quite good, and I started a trend, as one morning almost all of the "Eggs" (E group) ate them.
5. I was a very busy camp nurse (along with Uli, from near Austin), counselor for the 8-12 y/o boys, and of course served, conducted discussions, preached and was one of the clergy at the campfires.Other than that, I just chiiled.
6. One of the boys made my day when he asked me to write down the "Four bows" (Give the first fruits of your day to the Lord The "Four Bows" ) which I had previously talked about with him and several others as we walked to chow. I think he was really interested, and it is always good to get a little feedback. A priest gets very little. ,
8. I got to go to "Little Mount Athos" three times! This is my favorite part. It consists of a boat ride to a rock peninsula (left in the picture) not too far from camp. We walk up it,passing lots of cactus on the way, and have a wonderful view from the top. We meet a "holy elder" who "gives us a word". I hope we canoe to it sometime.
9. Another child made my day when we were eating lunch on the way home and asked me in confusion "we are not supposed to eat meat today are we?" as she had observed what I also saw – most young people were observing the Friday Fast. I told her that since we were commemorating St John of Shanghai and San Francisco (it was the anniversary of his repose, celebrated in the same day by old and new Calendar alike), we could have fish, and she was quite pleased. So was I.
10. We have good youth, but most do not fast very much. There is much that is good about them – they are truly good kids – but this is a shortcoming that does not help them with the temptations of youth. I have no solution for this except to teach when I can (in my parish), fast myself, and pray. By the way, I kept the fast, and nobody said boo to me about it and I never went hungry.
11. The boys I was with with were a blast. They are at the age where I am still "smart". They are with me on the bottom middle row, and the first two on the left of the row above.
12. The most fun I had in group discussions was with the little girls. They are very lively and animated, and many of them were well informed.
13. As in the last camp, after some of the group discussions we did pushups. I did them too. This may be a tradition.
14., As is usual for our camp, things were peaceful and there were no "incidents". These are all good kids.
15. The talent show was good, but things got a little out of hand – we took too long and the campfire that night was very short. I think a lot of people really look forward to the campfires. Also, I vote against Karioke! Just one man's opinion. I recognized a Taylor Swift song, but am quite proud to state that I have no idea about the other ones.