It is summer in Australia. It is also near the end of the year, just before Ukrainian Christmas which is on 7th January. Therefore it is time for Plast and SUM camps in Australia. This is a tradition which has been going on for about 65 years. These camps are usually held for about 7-9 days.
There are usually camps in the bigger cities. In Victoria, Plast has its annual camp at Sokil which is about a 45 minute drive from Geelong. The clergy from our Eparchy have always attended these camps, especially on Sundays to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with all the campers. The Bishop and priests also usually stay at the camps for a few days to relax and to be with the campers. This year Fr. Andriy from Melbourne is spending a week at the Plast camp with his family.
On 28th December, Fr. Ihor Bakay and Bishop Peter drove to the camp for the regular Sunday Liturgy. Plast members have split into two groups again this year. The older members and their leaders went on a long hike into the Grampians. They are away from the camp for better part of a week, living in the elements in the hills.
About 20 of the younger members have stayed at camp with their leaders and parents. About 50 people attended the Divine Liturgy at the outdoor chapel at the camp. The chapel itself is being refurbished at this present time as the elements have caused damage over the years.
Bishop Peter in his talk with the children reminded them that Christianity is an invitation from Jesus Christ to come to his banquet or to Heaven. It is not a command. As with coming to a banquet, so we are invited to come to heaven because our salvation is a gift of love, he reminded the children.
The common meals at camp are an opportunity for all to make new friends and meet old ones.
Everybody loves to go to camp.