“My kids look forward to this all year long.”
Maria Bear, May 28, 2013 on Facebook.
Thekla Waucheck, August 26, 2014 on Facebook.
Saint John’s 2017 Family Camp is in four months! July 17-21, 2017!
The St. John the Wonderworker Family Camp is a retreat for Orthodox Christians — families and singles — in a beautiful lakeside natural setting a half-hour from Eugene. The Camp offers unique opportunities to Orthodox Christians, especially those throughout the Northwest, for prayer and fellowship together. The campsite, a Kiwanis camp, offers cabins and full services for participants.
Each day of the five-day camp includes the Divine Services (Matins, Vespers, and Compline with a mid-week Divine Liturgy), talks for adults, creative activities for children, and both special activities and talks for young adults. Afternoons consist of family recreation time, including swimming, hiking, and playing games. Evening events include folk and line dancing and special presentations.
For Christians, pilgrimage — a journey to receive blessings, either by venerating a holy place associated with the life or miracles of Jesus Christ, the relics of a saint, or holy church or monastery — is important. During pilgrimages, Christians pray, confess, and both deepen their relationship with God and their understanding of the Faith. As places of continuous prayer and spiritual sobriety where one can venerate relics and seek counsel from experienced spiritual guides, monasteries are typical places of pilgrimage. Yet, when one has a family — especially a young family — pilgrimage is often more difficult (but not impossible) to make. For this reason, the St. John the Wonderworker Family Camp was conceived as a place where families can be together in prayer, fellowship, and joy.
The St. John Family Camp is a vacation that is also a pilgrimage.
Part of the experience is belonging to a community that forms at Camp. For five days, we live the “village life” together, praying, eating, learning, and recreating together, but also cleaning and cooking together. Just as at a monastery where one participates in “daily obediences” (daily tasks), at the Camp, we have found that we forge deeper relationships by working alongside one another; it also keeps expenses down because Camp participants are part of the “staff.” Everyone from seven or eight-years old or older assists with three or four tasks during the week.