Orthodox Church Camps


Statement of purpose for bylaws preparation

1. Purpose

By virtue of the importance of the formative influence of the camp on all participants, the camp functions as an institution of the Deanery, and of the Archdiocese, and it has a para-parochial character. The camp exists to serve the children and youth of the parishes of the Deanery of Alberta, Archdiocese of Canada, Orthodox Church in America, by providing them with an opportunity to participate in an Orthodox Christian camping programme which includes: worship, instruction in the Faith, crafts, sports, day trips, camp fires, singing, various games and activities, eating together, living together, and many other activities, all under the supervision of trained and responsible staff. The staff members are selected from applicants from the deanery.

2. Camp Board

The camp board has the responsibility of overseeing the camp. It is made up of a priest-chaplain (assigned by the ruling bishop from the clergy of the deanery in consultation with the dean) and members (which could also include other clergy) from the deanery. The position of priest-chaplain is reviewed every three years by the Dean and the deanery, with the Chaplain and the camp board, giving opportunity to determine continuing stability, or time to change. The members are volunteers but are asked to commit to attending all the meetings of the board (usually about four or five per year) and if are not able to attend to notify the chairperson well in advance of the meeting. The meetings usually are held in a central location to make it as convenient as possible for members from the various regions of the deanery to attend. As in other situations, the Chaplain of the camp participates in the meetings and oversees the operation of the camp. An open invitation is extended to anyone interested in camp to sit on the camp board. We have made many efforts to include persons from as many parishes as possible. Often, after serving at camp as a staff member, persons showing interest in camp decide to participate further by becoming a camp board member. Many of our current camp board members are also former campers that have recognised the value of the camping programme and have continued their involvement in camp by becoming a camp board member.

The camp board chooses a chairperson, a treasurer and a recording secretary from its members. Minutes are kept of all meetings. Financial records are kept and reports are made by the treasurer at all meetings. Copies of these can be made available as requested.
The camp board discusses and plans all aspects of the camp. Policies are established, programmes are developed, safety measures instituted (including kitchen and health related, water safety, the OCA guidelines on Sexual Misconduct), topics for teaching discussed and decided upon, teachers arranged for, staff members for the next year sought out and decided upon and staff training conducted.

The camp board discusses and plans all aspects of the camp. Policies are established, programmes are developed, safety measures instituted (including kitchen and health related, water safety, the OCA guidelines on Sexual Misconduct), topics for teaching discussed and decided upon, teachers arranged for, staff members for the next year sought out and decided upon and staff training conducted.

The camp board has representatives in each of the parishes and parish groupings of the deanery who are responsible for communicating to the parishes about the dates for camp, providing applications for campers and staff, as well as making the needs of camp known and asking for financial and other support such as sponsoring campers and providing baked goods.

The camp board makes a report to the deanery meeting about the activities, needs and opportunities for involvement in camp. There is now a DVD about camp, prepared by the camp board, which was shown at the last deanery meeting and which is available to any parish. Camp board members are available to speak to any interested clergy and parishioners about camp and often do so.

3. Responsibility of Deanery to Camp Board

The deanery is responsible to support the camp board by encouraging parishioners from all parishes and missions of the deanery to become involved with camp in whatever capacity they are able - offering to serve at camp as a staff member, serving on the camp board, supporting the camp through prayers or donations of money or food or sponsoring a camper.

Parishes are encouraged to make the financial support of camp a line item of their annual parish budget and to collect special offerings for the support of camp.

The relationship and the involvement of the dean of the deanery to the camp priest and the camp board is the same as his relationship and involvement to the other priests, parishes, missions and mission stations of the deanery.