2014 Shadeland Camp season begins
As the school year comes to an end and the summer days approach, every child that has ever experienced St. Sava Camp, Shadeland, begins to fill with anticipation of reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, and guessing who their counselor will be. During that same time, DeeDee Baskot and Millie Radovick are busy making plans for the camp, taking applications, restocking supplies, finding volunteers, and working with the diocese to make the camp year the most fulfilling for every child, counselor, volunteer, priest, and visitor that takes part.
Week One of camp began on Sunday, July 13, with veteran and rookie campers excitedly arriving before noon and clergy representation by V. Rev. Dr. Rodney Torbic, Rev. Milan Pajic, and V. Rev. Djokan Majstorovic. Once the children were registered and dinner was served, the counselors took all of the children to a camp fire to learn the camp rules from our awesome head counselor, Alexis Vranesevic. Campers introduced themselves and told something special about themselves, were paired with their ‘kumovi’ for the week, and made smores. To demonstrate the rules, each of the counselors dressed ‘how not to dress’ with Slobodan dressing in a skimpy bikini, Savo with a short, tight dress (Saturday night Three-Day dress), and Alison and Thea dressing in boy’s garb. As in past years, the counselors also dressed in a theme for this opening night, and this year was camouflage. There were hats, shirts, and pants, but voted the best attire were new counselors Nick Brady (aka Brick Nady) and Slobodan Males (aka Slobs, Bob, or Slurburdurbur) that had an entire camo ensemble that looked like a tree. That gave the young campers much to laugh about and set the stage for a relaxing, fun-filled, entertaining bonfire.
Daily prayer services and classes were headed by the clergy using the theme ‘Standing Up For Jesus.’ Tuesday morning the children were greeted by His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrophan. He shared in morning prayers, breakfast, and met with the children, opening the floor up for honest and candid questions. Tuesday evening brought the campers to the local bowling alley. Half way through the evening Čika Lala Stevanov surprised all by coming to the bowling alley in full Šumadija attire, opanke and all, carrying a six-foot Serbian flag. Everyone flocked to greet our favorite camp Čika. Čika Lala has been a camp volunteer for several decades, teaching dance when his children were younger, and now volunteering on weeks one and four while his grandchildren participate. However, Čika Lala was unable to come to Week One, but that wasn’t going to keep him completely away. Čika Lala drove five hours from Windsor directly to the bowling alley to surprise all of his friends and family, and then came back to the camp to make food for the counselors and volunteers. After all were satisfied with his delicacies, he packed back into his Mercedes convertible and drove the five hours back to Windsor leaving campers, counselors, and volunteers with full bellies and smiles.
A new event for the campers was introduced on Wednesday afternoon – a huge, long slip and slide. The campers were so excited racing down the slide, and even the volunteers participated by using dishwashing soap to make them go even faster down the slide as to not lose the race to their opponent. You could hear the children laughing in the next county with all of the fun that was had.
Thursdays are always filled with much anticipation. After fasting the previous day and taking communion on Thursday morning, the campers had a hearty breakfast and headed to Waldameer Park, which is a combination water and ride park located about a half hour away from camp. As the father’s prepared dinner at the park, one father pulled out his accordion, and everyone began to dance.
Friday was a day of mixed emotions: campers know it is the last day and their week of fun and friendship will end, but the big dance was that night and excitement built throughout the day as little campers ask big campers to the dance, and big campers ask little campers. Shadeland Olympics were held in the afternoon where children complete challenges with their Kumovi groups and the winners get to ‘pie’ the counselors. This year the counselors surprised the children and ‘pied’ them instead. At the dance, counselors mixed the children’s favorite tunes combining Serbian and American music, kolos and rock-and-roll. The campers enjoyed this time dancing and taking final pictures of everyone to remember them until the next year. Counselors lead the way by dancing, singing, and getting the children into the grove.
Source: Eastern American Diocese