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ó   2004
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CYM Ellenville Attracts Cyclists for first Mountain Biking Camp Karpatski Velosypedy
Andrij Horbachevsky

Earlier this summer, the Ukrainian American Youth Association (CYM) introduced a new specialized Mountain Biking Camp at its Oselia in Ellenville, New York. This week long camp, aptly named Karpatski Velosypedy (Carpathian Bikers), was open to CYMs boys and girls in the 13 to17 age group, and took place from June 27 to July 3. Its motto and rallying cry, appearing proudly on the camp banner, was Together Swiftly Through the Forests. The camp staff included: Andrij Horbachevsky Komendant; Bohdan Bodniewicz Bunchuzhnyj; Roman Kocz, Bohdan Pryjmak, Ihor Stecko, Marta Matselioukh Vykhovnyky/Counselors; and Roman Kozicky Taborovyj Batko and Logistics.

After formal opening ceremonies which included the blessing of the mountain bikes by CYM Chaplain Father Mazurek, the camp staff and participants set out on an evaluation bike ride. This ride set the tone for the rest of the week, and biking became the prime mode of transportation for getting around Oselia CYM, even as a means of going to the pool or dining hall. Over the course of the week, mini-courses were held by instructors on topics ranging from first aid to map reading, bicycle maintenance and repair, as well as mountain bike riding skills. Each camper was required to learn how to change a flat bicycle tire. These skills served as a good foundation for the daily rides organized by the camp staff.

The first camp bicycle tours took the riders beyond the terrain of their Oselia and into the wooded trails of the surrounding Shawangunk Mountains. Here the CYM mountain bikers experienced crossing streams, riding up and down hills and even exploring waterfalls. Other rides took them to abandoned trails of the Delaware and Hudson Canal in Wurtsboro, Lake Minnewaska and Lake Awosting in New Paltz, and the Stewart Nature Preserve, located near Stewart Airport in Newburgh, New York.

In addition to mountain biking, the camp also included other activities usually associated with a CYM Tabir evenings around a vatra (bonfire), daily morning and evening prayer and flag raising, swimming and sports, publication of a camp newspaper and much more. As an exercise in team building, each days activities included team problem solving games and friendly competitions. Not only was this activity educational but was great fun for all involved. As the camp came to a close, all staff and campers vowed to keep cycling and all were eager to sign up again next year.

The idea for a mountain biking camp first appeared as a grass roots movement in local CYM chapters, and acting the proposals of those oseredky, the National Executive worked to organize this years camp. Because of the camps success and high praise on the part of its young participants, it will become a part of the Oselias permanent summer line up, and the Bulava is considering other similar specialized camps for the future. Interested in signing up for next year? Contact CYMs Summer Camp Commission at 212.477.3084 or email them at EllenvilleCamps@cym.org.


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