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Praktychnyj Tabir
Our Camp | Bonticou Crag | Rappelling
Camouflage | Firestarting | Fishing
Liturgy | Drownproofing | Verkerdeer Falls
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Praktychnyj Tabir, Ellenville, 2001

The fun begins...
This year's Praktychnyj Tabir (commonly referred to by participants and alumni alike as "River Camp") began on 7 July 2001. The opening ceremonies took place near the Ellenville resort's "old" camp barracks and were led by National Executive President Yury Nakonechnyj and Camp Commission head, Andriy Bihun. Soon komendant Myron Soltys and his staff (Roman Fontana - bunchuzhnyj, Roman Iwaskiw and Olia Tsizh - obozni) were leading the troops back to their campsite-to-be to start construction on their home for the next two weeks.

Bonticou Crag
With each new day, the campers became more and more accustomed to the struggles of camping in the wild. They worked together to build a wooden gate, flagpole, tables and sinks, water gathering devices, standing lamps and many other necessities of camping life. The third day of River Camp brought our campers on a trip to Bonticou Crag Learning to find their way through the terrain, our campers led the way, showing their komanda that they could find the appointed target using just maps and compass. Of course, along the way they met up with a bit of a surprise -- a steep vertical wall of rock! But this did little to deter the now experienced travelers, who climbed the cliffs to reach the top in record time.

Quick - hide me!
On that same day, bunchuzhnyj Roman taught a course in camouflaging. After a discussion about motivation and techniques, each camper took on the task of masking his or her face, lest they be spotted by the enemy. The men in the group attentively watched the women applying the face paint, claiming that the ladies had much more experience in this particular art form...

I can't float...
The following day started with a lesson on the open water. The topic of the day - drownproofing and lifesaving! It's not that easy to stay afloat in your clothes and gear, yet you may some day face the need to help a buddy in trouble in just such a situation, hence the need for this particular lesson. Campers learned how to take advantage of air trapped between their skin and clothes, to stay afloat in those crucial first moments upon entering the water. They also learned to tie off their pant legs and fill that item of clothing with air, making a pillow to help them from going under... All in all, it was an excellent session in the pool!

You burn me up!
Fire has become a necessity for humans in the millions of years (or thereabouts) since we discovered its existence. Especially with this summer's strange weather patterns, fires were a must at our camp not only for light but also for their warmth. But how to light the thing without maches? River camp lessons included various techniques for lighting in a number of environments, with and without matches and other flamables. But fire can also be a dangerous thing, so we face the need to know how to safely put out our fires once they're no longer needed. One sure thing after that lesson - here'll be no firest fires in River Camp!

At the waterfall
A six-mile hike to a local waterfall was a magnificent experience to behold. After easily finding their way with map and compass, our campers relaxed and enjoyed the scenery, nature, and all the blueberries they could eat from bushes along the way! A surprise awaited them at the end -- how better to end such a journey that with a beautiful rainbow at their destination!

On Sunday, as we might expect from our sumivtsi (whose credo is God and Ukraine), a day of rest began with a Liturgy, celebrated by Father Ruslan Lyubeznyj. This was a first for River Camp, whic has in the past celebrated the Liturgy with the rest of oselia's civiliazation -- this year, our services were conducted in the wild, as the partisans did in the forests and mountains of Ukraine. Father Ruslan's reward for battling the elements with us was an official tabir T-shirt!

A fishing we will go
A beautiful morning. Again, we gather for travel. Where to? Today, our wanderings bring us to the lake for a ay or fishing. It's just like a fairy tale! The fish are fighting each other to jump onto our campers' hooks. Some of our youth use fishing poles and tackle, others simply fishing line and their hands, but success arises at every turn! After the day of instruction in this fine art, stomachs began to do the talking. The smell of grilled fish permeates the air and sighs of contentment sound in the breeze...

Another trip (this was beginning to become a trend!) Lake Minnewaska is a place worth traveling to. Of course, the rain that greeted our fearless campers might have discouraged other hikers, but not the CYM crowd! A total of 6 miles of trail lay behind them at the end of the day which saw River Camp trek from Minnewaska to Lake Awosting and back. On the way, a leisurely rise to Castle Point was in order, though the fog seemed to get in the way of a good view... By nightfall, those tents and sleeping bags back at oselia were beginning to look pre-t-t-t-y appealing...

Across the river and up the mountain
A day for learning to tie everything in sight into one of many new knots! The assignment: to get to the other side (of the river, that is)! Being the experienced campers that one might expect by now, everyone made it successfgully across by rope and by skill, and not a single sumivets or sumivka fell tumbling into the furious river rapids of the mighty river!... Having faced the river, rappelling from the tops of soaring mountains turned out to be no difficult challenge the same day! Our river campers have come a long way in the two weeks at camp, and have learned many a valuable lesson to take home with them!

And now...
...we'd like to share some of the experiences and excitement we had at camp! Click on the links at the top of this page to see photos of us!

Praktychnyj Tabir, Ellenville, 2001
This site in Ukrainian

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