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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
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!