On 13 May, leaders of the Archdiocese Children’s Summer Camp – Camp Saint Sophrony – gathered for a day of fellowship and training at the Community Centre of the Midlands Greek and Cypriot Association, adjoining the church of the Holy Trinity and Saint Luke, Birmingham.
With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas, Camp Saint Sophrony will take place for a second year from 22 July to 28 July 2023. The leadership team have been busy preparing for another action-packed week of adventure and fun for the children of the archdiocese. The training day allowed the leaders to meet and get to know one another, plan activities and better understand their pastoral responsibilities towards the children.
All 108 places for campers at Camp Saint Sophrony 2023 were filled in less than two weeks after applications opened on 1 March. Likewise, the interest from youth leaders stepping forward to volunteer at the camp has been overwhelming. Presbyter Panteleimon Maxfield, Archigos of Camp Saint Sophrony, said: “The enthusiasm and interest in Camp Saint Sophrony is certainly a result of the great effort that His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas’ has put into building up and supporting the youth ministry of our archdiocese.”
27 leaders came from across the UK to attend the training day, making a great sacrifice of their time. Some travelled many hours from as far as Plymouth and Edinburgh. Alexia Papalexandrakou, safeguarding officer for the camp, said: “The commitment and dedication shown by the leaders towards the camp is truly humbling. I am very impressed with our leaders for Camp Saint Sophrony 2023. Parents of the campers can be assured that their children are in good hands. I know that they will work tirelessly to ensure the well-being and safety of the campers.”
After chanting the resurrection apolytikion, we began the day with an introduction to the camp theme and activity planning sessions. Then, after a delicious lunch of souvlakia, we played some baseball and cricket. Kyriacos Theophilou, Coordinator of Middle Camp, said: “We’ll be having some great activities this year. Everyone had a lot of talent to offer. It was hard to narrow down the shortlist.”
The event could not have been possible without the kind support of Fr Christos Stefanou – priest in charge of the Church of the Holy Trinity and Saint Luke, the hospitality of Yeronimos Nicodemou, manager of the community centre and his welcoming team. Thank you!
The day was very successful in strengthening the cohesion of the leadership team, and everyone returned home looking forward to the next time we all meet at the camp in July.