With the blessing and patronage of His Eminence Metropolitan Basilios, St. Nicholas East Melbourne held its annual parish camp from the 31st of January to the 2nd of February 2020 at Phillip Island. Nearly 120 parishioners participated in the camp. The general theme of the camp was “Trust in God”, with camp activities and lessons focused on this theme.

On Friday evening, the children enjoyed a variety of activities, then gathered together to pray the Little Compline. On Saturday morning, Sunday School children and the Youth Group had religious lessons that were based on passages from the Bible demonstrating faith and trust in God. They also enjoyed a variety of camp activities such as archery, climbing mechanical wall and giant swing.

His Eminence and the parish priest Fr. Georges El-Khouri joined the camp mid-morning. This was a cause of much joy and excitement.  His Eminence held separate discussion groups with the youth, the Sunday School children and parents. The discussions had a positive impact on all groups involved.

A Great Vespers service was held in the evening, followed by a demonstration by His Eminence to the Youth Group and Teens Group of the Archdiocese’s website and available resources. The evening activities were prepared and led by the Youth Group and included presentations by the Sunday School children based on the lessons that were previously taught during the day.

Led by His Eminence, everyone participated in the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning, with St. Nicholas Sunday School choir assisting with the chanting. After breakfast, the children enjoyed beach activities that were held by Life Saving Victoria, followed by a picnic lunch.

The camp was a wonderful way to launch the Sunday School year, Youth Month 2020, and the Youth activities for the new year. The presence of His Eminence provided all parishioners present with additional support, strength and commitment to the Christian Orthodox way of living.

Wishing you all a great Youth Month, a blessed 2020 and new decade!