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This site in Ukrainian Ukrainian Youth Assembles for 1999 East Coast Regional Zlet

Under a scorching sun and the slogan of "Stand Against Evil, You Will Achieve Well-Being" over 400 CYM members flocked to the Ukrainian American Youth Association's 40th Annual East Coast Regional Zlet (Spring Jamboree) at the CYM resort in Ellenville, NY, 29-30 May. Under the direction of the New York Oseredok, this year's Zlet was, by all accounts, a resounding success.

Group Photo Children between the ages of 6-17 began arriving early Saturday morning, 29th May, ready for a weekend chock full of competitive activities to participate in. Included in the Oseredoks represented were Boston, Jersey City, Binghampton, Irvington, Hartford, Goshen, Whippany, Philadelphia, New York, Passaic and Yonkers.

Registration began at 7:00 a.m., yet even at that early hour, there was a certain and definitive sense of excitement and anxiety among the registrants. At 8:30 a.m. Opening Ceremonies marked the beginning of the weekend's activities and it was off to the races!

From the youngest to the oldest, the spirit of competition and an intense desire to win 1st Place prevailed. While some challenged their intellectual skill in Konkurs Znannya (Knowledge Competition), others demonstrated their flair for the dramatic in Konkurs Slovo (Poetry Recital). Others still validated the benefits of teamwork when they showcased their projects for Konkurs Roiv (Team Project Competition). In addition to these competitions, a variety of athletic events were Group Photo taking place on the sports field. Included among the competitions were the long jump, shot put, volleyball, relay races, and a host of other foot races, such as the 1/4 mile, the 1/2 mile and the granddaddy of them all, the glorious mile. Despite the sweltering heat, fierce Sumivski competitors were grabbing gold, silver and bronze victories at every turn.

On the sidelines, nowhere to be missed, were the nervous, nail-biting parents, anxiously awaiting their children's scores. With their children, they rejoiced the triumphs and grieved the defeats; always cheering loudly, they mobilized their youngsters to play hard and win big.

By Saturday evening, everyone was thoroughly exhausted. As the sun set and the day came to a close, young and old alike relished the cool evening's respite. To end the day a camp vatra, or bonfire, took place, complete with Ukrainian songs, entertaining skits and a traditional round of "Nich Vzhe Ide" ("The Night Comes"). Finally, everyone retired for the evening, hoping to rejuvenate for the big day of activities that still lay ahead.

Sunday began with an Apel and Holy Liturgy, led by Father Ihor Midjak, a CYM member originally from of Philadelphia, PA. Following the Liturgy, everyone gathered for a group picture in honor of the 50th Anniversary of CYM in America. Shortly thereafter, the children began another grueling day of competition, this time knowing that the end, along with their medals, was clearly in sight.

The closing ceremonies of Zlet began at 7p.m. on Sunday evening. It was an informal gathering during which time all of the Group Photo weekend's medallists were announced. Hundreds of medals and certificates of achievement were distributed in recognition of all the hard work and effort that went into the competitive activities of the last two days. Scoring the most points and gaining recognition as the top three Oseredoks at this year's Zlet were Yonkers, Passaic and New York. However, not a single loser went home. A tribute to all, this year's Zlet -- the fervor of competition, the passion of victory and the will to achieve -- undoubtedly defined the character and the spirit of CYM.

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