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National Camp 2002-2003

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Press Release 1 |
Press Release 1

It’s that time again. A new year is glanced upon as the end of the last is remembered. And what an end to the year it was! Of my 19 years of attending CYM camps, I have only ever missed one (through no fault of my own! Mama! Tato!) I am glad and proud, that this was not that one. “Kozatska Slava” (Cossack’s Glory) – those words flash a thousand memories through my mind of a great time and a great education.

Much like my first welcoming to ‘Hoverlya’ at the CYMnet Conference, the first day of camp, proved no different – first it was hot, and then it poured. I still can’t understand how we have the reputation for unpredictable weather. Anyway, this time I must admit I quite enjoyed pitching up our tents in the pouring rain. A great start to a great camp.

The first night maintained its traditions of no sleep. I took the logical approach and volunteered to do all night stijka for the evening. This proved quite smart as later through the tabir when we were asked to volunteer… “I did it on the first night” came in very handy. The druzhynyky were treated to a lovely Wine and Cheese night, as myself and my fellow volunteers did our best to keep some level of control. This was an interesting task. Needless to say it was tough, but it was done.

The next few days were jam packed with exceptionally well -planned programs. Throughout tabir our aim was to connect our activities into our theme of the Kozatska Slava. Starshe yunatstvo made life-like looking swords – just like the Cossack’s, while the molodshe yunatstvo made little horses to ride – just like the Cossacks. Kateryna Ostrowska drew a life like picture of a Cossack and his wife to highlight the fashions of the 16th Century Cossacks, which was then painted by our druzhynyky. A model of our tabir was created by our CYMinyata and molodshi yunaky which remarkable resembled a ‘Kozatskij Sich’. We truly were starting to get the feel of how and why they lived as they did.

Brilliant speakers educated us and enriched our minds with new knowledge. Michael Moravski indulged us with his expertise in Ukrainian history, while Natalia Moravski enlightened us with her knowledge of Ukrainian Cossack costumes and outfits, the history behind them, and how we incorporate these things into our dancing and cultural lives. Mary Duma gave us an interesting look ay our two cultures of being Ukrainian and Australian, while highlighting their similarities and differences. Father Zhdan Kolomiyets gave us a look at CYM and it’s relation to the Church in our lives, while Mr. Zenon Koval (a visit and guest speaker from Belgium), spoke of his life experience as a Ukrainian. Finally our Komandant Stefan Romaniw spoke to us about the importance of CYM and the future we create for it. We looked into its relation and use in our everyday lives and the organizational skills obtained in CYM which could be very beneficial in our future lives. Although a full program, each session was original and remembered in one-way or another.

In tradition of our theme, we tied our annual hike titled “Kozatskij Sich” (Cossacks Camp), into the story behind the famous ‘Letter to the Sultan”. The three day hike proved to be challenging but enjoyable for everyone. Andrew Duma and Natalie Ostrowska clearly put a lot of time, energy and passion into developing challenges for each group and it clearly paid off.

But lets not forget the molodshe yunatstvo. They too had a day full of walks and challenges such as archery and games of camouflage, certainly activities they would all remember.

One thing that was not planned however, was the skin discolouration. On the second day of our hike, just about each participant gave new meaning to the phrase ‘I love a sunburned country’. On the dangerously torrid day, the sun provided you with either a pinky flesh coloured burn, or a killer tan for the Malanka. Being as white as one can get – I went pink!

The hikers returned on New Years Eve, to a traditional Ukrainian Cossack welcoming. The hikers marched proudly in their CYM uniforms, as the Komanda and remaining campers welcomed them in full Cossack costumes, greeted them with the traditional Ukrainian bread and salt, and sat them down to a feast created by a wonderful and talented team in the kitchen. The mere sight of the participation and feverency in everyone sent tingles down my spine. This was one of the greatest ways we could show our respect for those who fought for their country and in turn for us, and we were doing it well.

Once dinner was over, we thanked the chef’s, washed our dishes – then ourselves, put our party cloths on, and danced the night into 2003. Great weather, great music, great people – what more could you ask for? By this point I must admit I was feeling a little home sick, but it wouldn’t be too long until I was eating mama’s food, hiding my hone bill from tato, and ‘promising’ my sister that I didn’t borrow her top. I would always miss this though.

One thing I would NEVER miss however, were those blasted crows. Where I live, I have managed to become immune to the sarcastic laughs of kookaburras at 5am. The annoying squawk of crows I discovered, I am not. Like clock- work they disturbed my uncomfortable slumber. The only time I half appreciated it was on New Year’s Day morning. Don’t get me wrong, the Lord knows I wanted my sleep, but I managed to avoid them just long enough to wake up in time for our morning Apel and prayer. Never have I felt so lonely in my life. It seems my fellow druzhynyky mastered the art of selected hearing and appeared unscathed but the sound pollution. So there I was. Myself, the Komanda and nine (obviously very dedicated) flag bearers proudly singing and raising our flags high for another morning and now a new year. Tired perhaps, but proud. It seems our druzhynyky however, did not master blocking out the sound of out Bunchuzhnij’s boisterous voice. Finally each one was woken up and got ready for Apel, only to see that we had finished already and gone to breakfast. At least they all had a hearty meal.

Throughout the last few nights of camp, we wrapped them up with a campfire accompanied by comedic sketches from our talented youth. Svyat Vechir brought an end to our lovely menu provided by the kitchen’s team of talented chef’s. With traditional borsch (almost as good as baba’s – almost), pyrohy, holubtsi and of course kutya, this was one of the final touches to tie into our Ukrainian theme.

But as all good things, our tabir came to an end too. Yet, I must admit at this point I was beginning to think “Kozatska Slava” didn’t seem to be the appropriate name for our 2002/3 National CYM camp in Sydney – “Boot Camp” sprung to mind. Over our 10 day experience we managed to hospitalise 6 patients. Not bad, hey? From sever tonsillitis to a badly sprained ankle, a knee the size of a golf ball to surgery even (angry appendix!) We collected three pairs of crutches, and I think the hospital staff was beginning to prepare a parking space just for CYM campers.

Leaving a place we called home for 10 days was difficult, however once home we became accustomed to the land of technology once again. I remember Justin Senko once saying early in the camp: “I’m going home to have a shower, because even when you shower here, you still feel dirty”. To be honest I laughed at that – and probably will continue to make fun of it in the future, but boy was he right! Nothing compares to a clean shower at home.

I wish to thank everyone who help and put so much effort into the running of our tabir. From those we saw to those behind the scenes, you should all be proud of what you achieved. This truly was a tabir we will never forget.

Between car alarms going off in the middle of the night, druzhynyky serenading eachother with the classy “Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport!”, typical but timeless ‘Galas’ jokes, cows which seemed to enjoy the food as much as we did and spotting windmills in the dark, I have one thing left to say:

Budmo! HEY! Budmo! HEY!
Budmo! HEY! HEY! HEY!
Bo my toho varti!

Juliana Moravski
Melbourne Branch

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