More than 80 children and volunteer staff had a great time at our annual Pacific Northwest Deanery Summer Youth Camp, June 20-23rd. Located on Raft Island near Gig Harbor, All Saints Camp is quiet, peaceful and leafy, surrounded by water.
Fr. Barnabas and Pda Lela Powell organize and lead the camp drawing on their many years of experience with the Rocky Mountain Youth Camp in Colorado. Each day follows a natural pattern of prayer, meals, spiritual instruction and activities for youth according to their various ages, with campfire singing and skits in the evening. After the younger campers head to bed in their various cabins, the teens have time around the campfire to ask clergy any questions they may have. It is amazing how quiet the camp became after that, the healthfully tired campers ready to hit the sack, especially by their second night.
Daily vespers and an abbreviated matins occur in the chapel, with the Divine Liturgy celebrated on the third morning, the last day of camp. This year, Fr. Stephen Soot presented a series of talks on the fiery and powerful presence of God revealed to Moses, to the children in the fiery furnace, and to the world in Jesus Christ. Fr. Stephen also led services in the chapel while our Dean, Fr. John Pierce, led both the choir and campfire singing in the evenings.
We were glad to have campers from Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Tacoma/Puyallup, St. Herman of Alaska Church in Port Townsend, St. Katherine’s mission in Kirkland, Holy Apostles in Vancouver, and St. Ann Church in Corvallis, Oregon.
In addition to the clergy already mentioned we also had Fr. Daniel Armatus from Holy Resurrection, Fr. David Lowell from St. Spiridon’s Cathedral and Fr. Joseph Ramos, the new rector at St. Susanna Mission in Sonora, California.
We have room for an additional 20 or so campers next year, so keep your eye open when we announce the 2017 dates. This is a great camp, and over all too quickly.
Glory to God for all things.