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Sumeniata Rule Oselia CYM (for two weeks)
by Chrystyna Bihun and Oksana Tomaszewsky

Tabir Sumeniat, Ellenville, 2001 Where do you go when you want your child to have a great time, meet new friends and learn all about his/her Ukrainian heritage? The answer for many Ukrainian parents is the Tabir Sumeniat at Oselia CYM in Ellenville, New York!

Tabir Sumeniat has been in existence for almost two decades and each year the fun and excitement just keeps building momentum. The theme for this year's two-week camping adventure was "Kazky Ukrainy" (Ukrainian Tales) and over 50 participants between the ages of four and six enjoyed the activities planned by the dedicated camp staff. The sumeniata were divided into five groups (royi) and each was given a name from a Ukrainian kazka such as Ripky, Vedmedi, Kolobky, Rukavychky, and Metelyky.

The camp program consisted of two one week sessions.. Oksana Bodnar was the Tabir's energetic "komandantka" and her equally exuberant and experienced staff included: Oksana Bartkiv, Chrystyna Bihun, Halya Ficarella, Halyna Shepko, Oksana Tomaszewsky and Marianka Wasylyk. The program consisted of morning and afternoon routines. The morning program consisted of five rotating sessions which included hutirky (educational lectures on various fascinating topics), arts and crafts, story telling, music, and organized games and playtime. The sumeniata were escorted through newly renovated rooms by their enthusiastic vporiadnyky Tania Zajac, Marusia Drobenko, Katia Royovska, Tusia Vyrsta, Katia Panchyk, and Oksana Lashchuk. Each room was decorated by a vychovnyk to create a kid friendly atmosphere. The decorations included giant dancing elephants, a life sized Ukrainian pich (stove) in a reproduced Ukrainian home and story book characters from the kazky Ripka and Kryvenka Kachechka.

In the afternoon the sumeniata took part in various planned group activities. These included planting flowers and painting rocks and wooden figures to add to the existing flower beds. The painters even got carried away and painted one the oselia's work vehicles in hand prints and the CYM greeting Hartuys' (with the oselia administration's blessing). Other activities included a hike to the oselia's river, which included a nature scavanger hunt with swimming or wading in the river afterwards, an indoor "Carnival of Kazky" , campfires with entertainment provided by the vporiadnyky, vychovnyky and even members of the oselia's administration and workers. There was an afternoon of rabbits complete with live floppy-eared cuddly bunnies, and a terenova hra celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Ukrainian independence.

In addition to the sumeniata there were other denizens present on the camp ground. Vychovnytsia Halyna Shepko brought her bunnies and two Icelandic sheep to stay for the second week of the camp!

At the midpoint of the two weeks, Oselia CYM sponsored a children's carnival complete with rides, games and prizes - this has become a highly anticipated annual summer event!

At the end of the two weeks the sumeniata, parents and the komanda of the tabir left with a renewed resolve and energy to continue the work started here in their respective CYM oseredoks.

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