Under the guidance of Fr George Elkhoury, the St Nicholas parish, East Melbourne held its annual camp in the picturesque Yarra Valley, on the weekend of 27 to 29 January 2023. Over one hundred parishioners attended the camp, including a large cohort of St Nicholas’ youths alongside, the Sunday School children and families.

The camp theme was “Antiochian Saints”, campers took part in lessons and activities and learnt about a number of saints of Antioch including Isaac and Ephram the Syrians, Christina of Tyre, Barbara, Thekla, Luke the Evangelist, Daniel the Stylite and Joseph of Damascus. Also, parents of the Sunday School children participated in a workshop titled “Christ Centred Homes” and shared ways that are grounded in the Orthodox Christian tradition of prayer, fasting and giving to raise children in our homes where clearly Christ is the foundation of the home.

The camp offered an opportunity for all to participate in daily prayers, including Little Compline and Vespers, and the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning, Fr George Elkhoury’s sermon highlighted the importance of faithful participation in church life in order to achieve healthy and spiritual upbringing.

Camp attendees enjoyed a wide range of camp activities, such as a 110m water slide and flying fox. Our youth group entertained all age groups with fun competitions that they ran for us on Saturday night.

The camp provides an ideal setting to launch both the Sunday School year and Youth Month each year.