Sometimes, even a small donation can become a solid investment into the future. Because of your generosity over the years, several generations of well-known priests, clergymen, laymen, and church singers, - who today form the foundation of ROCOR - have attended the Jordanville Summer Boys’ camp.
Summer Boys of the Past
When FFA president Mark Selawry was 16 years old, he, too, was a summer boy at the monastery. At that time, Fr. Luke Murianka was head of the camp. In the evenings, he would read a chapter out of the Bible or the Lives of Saints, and discussed it with the boys.
“Spending the summer of 1982 as a summer boy at Jordanville was one of the most memorable and meaningful experiences I ever had, and shaped me profoundly as an Orthodox Christian,” said Mark.
Protodeacon Paul Wolkow (St. Seraphim Church in Sea Cliff, NY), spent 3 summers at the camp: “The church became our second home,” he said. “We learned the Church rubrics, singing, reading, the peculiarities of a hierarchal liturgy, but most importantly – self discipline. Our amusements were healthy and wholesome: difficult and engaging physical labor. The brotherhood tried giving us all kinds of obediences: we worked in the apiary, the vegetable garden, in the fields, the trapeza, and made prosphora in the monastery bakery.”
Summer Boys of Today
Not all families can afford to send their sons for three weeks to Jordanville. And then FFA donors would come to the rescue. It is thanks to kind-hearted people like you, that so many boys acquired a taste for a truly Christian – and some for a monastic or clerical life.
Your generosity in 2015 allowed 16 young men and boys from different areas of the U.S., Canada, and Spain to attend the summer camp. In recent years, the camp has been headed by Priest Ephraim Willmarth, a recent Holy Trinity seminary graduate.
The boys worked at different obediences, and did a lot for the monastery: they cleaned up the burned-down apiary, cleared overgrowth around the monastery lake, helped with making incense, cooked for the brotherhood, and more.
“You gave me the opportunity to talk to and learn from the wonderful people at the monastery. They taught me a great deal and helped me achieve some of the inner peace that they have,” said Ilya Besancon from Washington, DC.
Of course, there was always time for outdoor activities: volleyball, ping-pong, swimming and fishing. Every week, the boys held Lenten barbeques.
If you wish to give the boys in your life 3 weeks of wholesome work, spiritual development and rest away from the world, remember that your gift to the Summer Boys’ camp given through the FFA would be an investment into the future, and the education of young Orthodox men, who are so needed by our Church.