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National Camp 2002-2003

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Press Release 1 | Press Release 2 | Press Release 3 |
Press Release 2

On the 26th of December the Uki youth of Australia met in Sydney in great anticipation for the tabir of 2002 – 2003. We came from all over, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Geelong and Sydney and used all sorts of transport to reach this much a waited for camp!

The first day was spent catching up with friends not seen for a year and exchanging the goss! The opening was held in the main hall as we experienced some very temperamental weather that the Sydney people assured us was not normal! And sure enough for the rest of the camp we had boiling hot days where even the people from sunny Perth experienced sunburn!!

As each day went by the Starshe Yunatsvo learnt more and more about the Cossacks and what it meant to be an Australian of Ukrainian descent. With help from Mrs Moravski we learnt about the Cossack way of life and their history and many trivial things like why they wore such big sharavare!! We made Cossack swords that were a big hit with the guys. With Marijka Duma we compared the old traditions, steeped within the ancient culture of Ukraine to the new traditions of Australia. With Stefan Romaniw, we learnt about different types of communities and from Mr Koval a Diplomat we were informed on various issues of Ukrainian interest.

‘Survivor’ was a much-anticipated event for this year. We all went into it with different emotions. Some felt that two nights was too long, others couldn’t wait to get started. Rumors had been flying across states about ‘elite’ groups and activities we would be doing. Once the groups had been decided people were still feeling unsure whether it was going to be a hit. But when the morning came we all awoke dutifully at 6.00am, unlike the poor challenge group who had to leave at that time!! With two groups heading to their campsite by foot and the other two going by canoe ‘Survivor’ was underway. When groups one and two arrived they found their campsite occupied by four rather large cows. We were quite surprised and looked to one of our leaders to make sure we would be safe at night. We soon discovered that these beautiful creatures had left ‘presents’ to welcome us to their home. We quickly moved them and continued with making the campsite as homely as possible.

The challenges the challenge group prepared were often met with mixed emotions. We were all tired from sleeping on centimetre thin mats and eating endless amounts of baked beans. The challenges we encountered were rescuing our sleeping gear from the other side of the river without getting our sleeping gear OR ourselves wet, a fire drill that was met with much disgust when we found out it was a drill. We protected the lester Sultana from the challenge group with all sorts of tactics from making decoys to hiding them between peoples legs. We slaved away at our tasks with as much positive energy we could muster and continued like Cossacks till we reached the end of ‘Survivor’, all alive and still in great spirits as we awaited for the great traditional Ukrainian dinner that we had been promised, and for the fun of New Years Eve.

That night, after showers and hours of preparation, we were ready to party the night away. The festivities kicked off in the hall and, with everyone looking and smelling clean we were ready for a big night! It was a night enjoyed by all as we left 2002 behind and headed into the new exciting year of 2003. As 12.00 arrived and people made their new years resolutions, and everyone was much looking forward to the kolomaika that would end the night. With everyone getting involved, from the Molodshe to the parents, it was sad when it ended with people still asking for more music. We headed off to our tents where some of us continued the partying

The rest of camp went smoothly with no more than half a dozen trips to the local hospital in Windsor for tonsillitis, hurt wrists, asthma, fractured ankles; it was a fantastic time never to be forgotten. The last day came far too quickly and people were rushing around trying to find paper to write their friends contact details. As the camp came to a close and everyone headed off in different directions, we left that great place beside the Colo River, that now holds so many fond memories. Who can forget the pink g-string? The broken tent? That wonderful Ukrainian version of do-wah-diddy?

We will continue this great tradition of Ukrainian camps in Australia for many years to come, with the next to be held in beautiful sunny Western Australia. Hope to see as many familiar faces as possible!

Raine Gorter
Perth Branch

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