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Northville, NY: St. George Pathfinders of America "Tsarskoe Selo" Chapter accepting Camp Registrations

After the three-year pause, the "Tsarskoe Selo" Chapter of St. George Pathfinders of America in Northville, NY is glad to announce that the camp territory is being cleaned, bonfires are being built, and children and counselors are preparing for summer camp!

Who can attend camp?

  • Only children ages 8 and up who speak fluent Russian and are Orthodox Christians may attend.
  • Young people over 14 years of age who are not members of the organization are not able to end.
  • "Cub Scouts" (ages 8-10) attending for the first time come for two weeks, while others are expected to stay for all three weeks of the camp program.

How do children join the organization?

  • By taking part throughout the year in meetups, hikes, and other organization events. You need only reach out to the counselors running the meetup, local troop, or event, and express an interest.

What is my child doesn’t speak Russian well?

  • You are not alone. But a child must be able to speak well enough to understand the substance of the lessons, to understand and carry out orders and instructions, and learn the songs, Scout laws, and prayers by heart.
  • The study materials that children must learn in order to advance in rank are available to all, so they can prepare BEFORE the beginning of camp.

What is camp like in general? How will my child be spending his summer vacation?

  • To be honest, your child will not be doing much "vacationing" in camp. Our scout organization is engaged in extracurricular supplementary bringing up of children according to a scouting ethic in a friendly and familial setting. They get up early every morning and set out on a busy scouting program.
  • Of course, there is much fun to be had at camp ‒ sports, swimming, hiking, games, shouting and laughter. But children will also undergo a program of study, which includes four major subjects:
    • Religion encompasses the Law of God (age-appropriate) and prayers. During camp, children will attend church on Saturdays, Sundays, and feast days, and observe the fast on the appointed days.
    • History will acquaint children with the major events of Russian history, and touch on Russian culture, geography, and current events.
    • Scouting lays out the history of the scouting movement, its goals, ideals, and organization structure.
    • Praxis covers an entire set of knowledge necessary for life among nature, including first aid, building shelter, knots, signs and signals, and many other scouting skills and abilities.

We heard that camp is practically military in nature, with formations and strict discipline!

  • No, our camp is not military in nature, always bearing in mind that we are working with children and youths. However, a scouting ethic includes discipline and motivation, so your children will learn in a few weeks’ time how to get up early in the morning and on time, exercise, wash, get dressed, make their beds and undergo inspection, raise the flags, and read morning prayers ‒ all before breakfast.

Isn’t this all very exhausting? My child will get worn out!

  • During these invaluable three weeks, your child will get worn out and wear down, he or she will get cold and hot, clean and dirty, wet and dry. But all of this will be accompanied by happy shouting and laughter, and all of our counselors and helpers will strictly abide by the safety rules and pedagogical norms. We will warm up a cold child and dry out a cold one.
  • But more important than all of this is that your child will no longer be afraid ‒ not of the rain, nor of the dark, nor of getting dirty. The scouting ethic prepares children for self-sufficiency, courage, independence, and selflessness.

Got it! And we’re ready to stay a few days to help our child acclimate!

  • Go home! You are leaving your child in a scouting family, where all of the counselors and troop leaders treat the children like brothers and sisters. Some first-timers are homesick at first, but this passes very, very quickly. They are immediately united with other children who not only share a tent with them, but also all of the adventures of camp life. And more than likely, they will make lifelong friends.

Our program is available in more detail in the Russian-language publication "Tsarskoselsky Koster," available here

If you are interested in discussing the potential attendance of your children at camp, inquire by e-mail at opiopinformation@gmail.com.

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Eastern American Diocese | Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia