Troparion — Tone 4
First-enthroned of the apostles, teachers of the universe: Entreat the Master of all to grant peace to the world, and to our souls great mercy!
After a long school year, and end of the year finals and exams there is no better way to celebrate and begin the summer adventure than with your best friends and a well-organized church camp. Our congregation here at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg Florida knowing how much both our children and parents look forward and enjoy this God-pleasing practice held its annual two-week summer camp from June 12th through June 21st, three days a week. In today’s internet and phone obsessed world this is a time where our children are able to connect with God, their culture, and each other through prayer, fun games, and activities. Each day is started at church with prayer offered by Rev. Dragan Zaric. Following the prayer, a small lecture and discussion are held on many different topics an example of one being the benefits of practicing gratefulness. This year’s father Dragan’s right-hand helpers, lecturers and volunteers were John Keller a first-year theology student from Jordanville, Milica Antic first year Saint Petersburg College student, as well as popadija Izvorinka Zaric. After church prayer and lecture children are welcomed to free time to socialize and are offered refreshments and snacks prepared by dedicated moms Vanja Radovanovic, Milijana Zdralo, and Branka Nedic. Some of the activities after refreshments were coloring, table tennis, as well as outdoor soccer. Children six and under enjoyed musical chairs. In the afternoons we had back to the church for a short choir practice where children were able to practice on their vocal cords and prepare for Vidovdan with the song “Crven Cvete” by Sv. Vladika Nikolaj Velimirovic. Father Dragan also took the opportunity to take the children to the fig tree next to Sunday school building where John Keller talked about what happens to us if we don’t offer any good deeds, referring to Luke 13-6, “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any”. However, we were all blessed with our fig tree and had the privilege of enjoying some freshly ripened figs, teaching us all a very important lesson. The last day of camp children enjoyed their day at the pool with refreshments and a pizza party. Overall, memories were made, and children are looking forward to the next year summer camp.