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Author Topic: St. Seraphim Camp in PA?  (Read 1379 times) Average Rating: 0
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Mariama
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« on: December 24, 2011, 06:07:48 AM »

Does anyone have experience going to or having your child go to this camp?  A young friend recommended it as a good first overnight camp experience for my daughter and the website (http://www.stseraphimcamp.com/) looks promising.  I would like to hear some other thoughts about it, though.

Thanks in advance.
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2011, 10:02:51 AM »

Mariama,

Don't know anything about the camp, but one of the priests involved with it - Father David Straut - is a longtimr on-line friend. I've yet to ever have an opportunity to meet him in real-life, but I think very highly of him and have to believe that, if he's involved with it, it has to be a worthwhile venture.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2011, 11:06:34 AM »

I never went to an Orthodox Camp - but I've been to camp and was later a camp counselor.  I had a blast - well worth the opportunity for children to get to know nature and other peers from different parts of the country.  I'd recommend it in a heart beat.  Most children love it - some get home sick - some hate it.  It's all up to the child.  You'll know on the return.

This camp doesn't seem to be for too long. I wouldn't do a whole summer - that's too long.  But a week or two is perfect. 

Hope yours enjoys!

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Mariama
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2011, 11:14:24 AM »

Thanks for the feedback.  Smiley

Quietmorning, it would only be for a week since it's hard enough to convince my husband that she should go at all, even for one day!  We generally keep very close tabs on our children, so going to an overnight camp is a HUGE step for all of us. 
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quietmorning
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2011, 11:33:29 AM »

Thanks for the feedback.  Smiley

Quietmorning, it would only be for a week since it's hard enough to convince my husband that she should go at all, even for one day!  We generally keep very close tabs on our children, so going to an overnight camp is a HUGE step for all of us. 

How old is she, Mariama?
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Mariama
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2011, 11:40:44 AM »

She's nine.  I honestly am on the fence about her being a bit too young to go, as she's very mature in some ways but can be a bit immature in other ways.  I'm only fine with her going because it's Orthodox, and hopefully a trustworthy place.
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2011, 11:49:12 AM »

I went to day camps until I was 10.  Camps that the children went home at the end of the day every day.  Then at 10 I went to either one or two week camps.  I was always ready to go home and stay home by the end of two weeks. . .even as a counselor.  Not because I wasn't having fun - but because I was tired. Smiley 
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Mariama
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2011, 11:52:54 AM »

I went to day camps until I was 10.  Camps that the children went home at the end of the day every day.  Then at 10 I went to either one or two week camps.  I was always ready to go home and stay home by the end of two weeks. . .even as a counselor.  Not because I wasn't having fun - but because I was tired. Smiley 

My daughter would LOVE the time away from me, I bet.  I do think she'd be ready to stay home after a week of camp, though.  She's a homebody like my husband.

In your opinion as a counselor, do you think the 9 year olds do ok at camp?
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2011, 12:03:25 PM »

Camp Nazareth in Mercer, PA has over thirty years of experience. http://www.acrod.org/organizations/campnaz2 ACROD manages the camp with three summer sessions and the Greek Metropolis of Pittsburgh hosts four sessions as well. During the ACROD sessions, they will try to accomodate non-Diocesan children if room permits (and it usually does.) Here is a video I did a few years ago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEP3WJ5Is9Y and a virtual tour. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0lTcnjXmJM  Camp Nazareth is fully accredited by the American Camping Association and been so for years and years.

The New Jersey deanery of ACROD usually charter a bus for their session each year and your pastor is part of the Youth Commission and loves to go each summer. Talk with him and start making plans!

My children were all campers and during and after college, they were counselors as well as the Head Counselor for several years. As you can see from the videos, nine and ten year olds abound there and do very well! I am sure the same would hold true at any other well run Orthodox camp.
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quietmorning
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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2011, 12:19:18 PM »

I went to day camps until I was 10.  Camps that the children went home at the end of the day every day.  Then at 10 I went to either one or two week camps.  I was always ready to go home and stay home by the end of two weeks. . .even as a counselor.  Not because I wasn't having fun - but because I was tired. Smiley 

My daughter would LOVE the time away from me, I bet.  I do think she'd be ready to stay home after a week of camp, though.  She's a homebody like my husband.

In your opinion as a counselor, do you think the 9 year olds do ok at camp?

Yes, I think she would not only do fine - but it will give her a lift in maturity department.  She will begin to see that she is maturing and therefore trusted to do things a maturing child can do. 

I think too young for a week camp would be 7 - with 8 pushing the envelope.  But I think 9 would be fine.  If the camp is safe - and well run. . .then especially 9. Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2011, 01:55:59 PM »

Does anyone have experience going to or having your child go to this camp?  A young friend recommended it as a good first overnight camp experience for my daughter and the website (http://www.stseraphimcamp.com/) looks promising.  I would like to hear some other thoughts about it, though.

Thanks in advance.

I had two kids go as campers and my daughter and son-in-law go as camp helper/cook and counselor/choir director (respectively).  My son-in-law has been going since he was a kid and he loves it.   My kids that went as campers also loved it but they were already teens when they started so they haven't been back.  I'm pondering sending my youngest child with his big sister.  It's only a week long and I think that's about his speed at his age (will be 11)
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« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2011, 03:52:46 AM »

For years, my 3 eldest kids all attended 2 week day camps with one overnight and loved it (for a few years, they got to do every session because their Mom was camp nurse those years). All of them went on to be junior counsellors. The 2 youngest (10 and Cool have done it now for the past two years, but this summer was the first time that they elected to do the optional 1 overnight. Conor (10) was ok with it, Caelin - just turned 8 at the time - was in tears at the last minute, but stayed and enjoyed it. As a matter of fact, they then went on to a 1 week overnight camp and both enjoyed themselves thoroughly (no tears at all).

I only know Camp Nazareth, of which David wrote, from reputation, but that reputation is excellent, as he's said. If there is at least one other child attending whom your daughter knows, I think it helps tremendously, particularly if she's a bit on the shy side. I can sympathize with Dad's hesitancy - I had the same with each of mine the first time, especially my little princesses, but they all loved it, thankfully. (And, yes, there are kids who won't - not at all sure that I would have at the age, but I never had that opportunity, so I'll never know.)

Many years,

Neil
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Mariama
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« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2011, 08:14:15 AM »

Thank you all for the replies.  I have heard of Camp Nazareth, and in fact, the young friend who told me about St. Seraphim camp mentioned it to me, plus I noticed some folks from my parish in the camp pictures.  It's a possibility, too, but I do think it's a bit more expensive than St. Seraphim, and since cost is an issue, we might have to choose the cheaper of the two. 

David, I'm trying to watch the videos but YT is loading so slowly for me this morning.  I can't wait to watch since I'm sure your video gives a great account and overview of the camp.  Thanks for sharing it.  Smiley

Just had a thought about St. Seraphim -- do mostly Russian children attend that camp?  That might rule it out since we don't speak Russian. 
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