Article Written By: Victoria Kostyniuk

Camp St. Basil, run by the Basilian Fathers, is located near Mulhurst Bay on Pigeon Lake, Alberta. For the last 70-some years, it has been a place for children to explore, learn new things, and make many long-lasting friendships. This year, over the first two weeks of July, Camp St. Basil welcomed more than 90 campers, aged 7-14 years.

There were over 60 campers who were children of families who arrived in Canada with the CUAET Visa. Camp St. Basil would like to thank the Ed Stelmach Foundation, Shevchenko Foundation, Ukrainian Canadian Social Services, and organizations of St. Basil the Great Parish, who provided grant money to help subsidize these children.

As in previous years, campers were able to regularly take part in outdoor activities including soccer drills and games, kickball, volleyball, nature walks, swimming, and canoeing. As well, they had the chance to improve their artistic skills with painting, drama games, and dancing.

During our catechism lessons throughout each week, the campers learnt about the Holy Mysteries, and how these “Signs of Life” help us to get into Heaven. Moreover, the campers learnt several valuable lessons on kindness and inclusion, with our #1 Camp Rule being, “Be kind to others.” (#2 Camp Rule is do not cross the train tracks without a counsellor!) Both campers and counsellors were able to experience a safe space where they could explore their faith and what it means to live life as a Christian.

A special thank you goes out to Fr. Thomas Kobak, OSBM and Fr. Yosafat Khaimyk, OSBM for their guidance and support. And of course, thank you to all of our counsellors and volunteers; this camp would not have been possible without all of your hard work and dedication. Finally, this successful summer camp would not have been possible without the guidance and leadership of our camp director, Victoria Kostyniuk, who ensured that Camp St. Basil was an outstanding success.