May I Cut In.. Columbus Day Weekend 2011 at Camp Nazareth

Over this past weekend a special work crew arrived at Camp Nazareth to spend a few days laboring to improve the Camp.  They arrived on Friday and departed on Monday after tackling some necessary projects. The crew of 8 was organized by Dn. Jim Phifer of our Phoenixville parish, Holy Ghost Orthodox Church. The crew came from near and far; from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Virginia. 7 parishes in 5 states were represented as well as both our diocese and the Greek Metropolis of Pittsburgh. It was the start of what is hoped to be a series of work weekends throughout the year at the Camp. In all it was, as one of the worker's put it, "Like a retreat with work; a working retreat."

And that is exactly what it was. In short, the team of "retreat" participants sanded and stained the entire back porch of the Lodge, cleaned every cabin, scrubbed the Staff Lodge, finished the new St. Nectarios Shrine in the front of the Church, cut down all the trees and shrubs in the residence front yard in preparation for the residence addition, and cleared all the debris from that portion of the Camp lawn. Whether they were "cutting in" before staining the entire 1500 square feet of lodge porch, or whether they were shouting "timber" as the locust trees fell to the ground, the crew worked very hard for the sake of our Camp. Stepping back to think about it, the crew realized how much they had accomplished over the weekend, thanks be to God for everything. It really was a great work weekend in which several important improvements were made at the Camp.

More than that however, those who came to the Camp (some of whom had never been to the Camp before) not only devoted their time and talents to work, but also to praying morning prayers together, celebrating the Divine Liturgy with one another on Sunday, and enjoying each other's company and conversation until the early morning hours. It was a work "retreat" but each of the workers also had opportunity to share and hear stories from other Orthodox parishes and enjoy great fellowship in the quiet of the off-season at Camp. Those stories were often told at mealtimes. The Camp provided 3 meals each day and of course lodging for the workers. The meals themselves were a time to rest, but also a time to fellowship and share some part of our lives with one another.

The Camp is grateful to all of the weekend's workers. They included Rose Greenawald, George Dahulich, Eleni Geanon, Dn. Jim Phifer, Harold Harrington, Richard Vislocky, Stephanie Betsa, and Phyllis Tarasovich. They did excellent work and a lot of it. We hope that this event will encourage others to organize work weekends (or weekdays) for the Camp. We will happily have you "cut in" on the work that always needs to be done here. At first we thought that with only a few workers, we wouldn't get much done, but with just a few much can be accomplished by the grace of God. We encourage parishes and deaneries to follow this example. Get 1 person from each deanery parish, call the Camp, set up a weekend to work, and come enjoy a work "retreat" with one another. Alternately, send just a few from your local parish. We'll treat you right and the Camp will benefit from your time and energies. Feel free to "cut in" anytime at Camp Nazareth.

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