31 Young Men, One Monastery, and A Transforming Summer Camp.
This summer your generosity made it possible for the 2019 Summer Youth Program, at Holy Trinity Monastery, to accept a record number of 31 young men. These young men came from as far south as Florida, and as far west as Michigan. Over the course of two weeks, at the monastery, the young men were able to grow in their faith and experience the joys of monastery living.
While it would be an unusual site to see a church full of young men, at 5 am, this became a common site at Holy Trinity Monastery during the course of the Summer Youth Program. Not only did the youth attend early morning liturgies but they also participated in all other church service, over the course of their two weeks stay at the monastery. Outside of church the youth participated monastery obedience’s including making candles, incense, and bread. They also dug a foundation for a new building at the apiary, helped with grounds maintenance, cooked in the kitchen, and much more. Some of the summer boys were even able to have a unique experience: cutting grain with a scythe and tying up haycocks! Not only did the participants help the Holy Trinity Monastery, but they also helped the sisters at the new convent the Icon of the Mother of God “Quick to Hear.”
During the program, the youth were able to also learn more about their faith by participating in numerous lectures and discussions on the following topics: missionary work in prisons, Orthodoxy and the preforming arts, assumption of atheism, developing virtue in a military context, defining real manhood, a history of attitudes towards the sexes in Eastern Orthodoxy vs. Western Roman Catholicism, monastic ideals and commonalities with laypersons, why we love the Church calendar, technology and the modern age, and so much more! Outside of these talks the youths also went fishing, swimming, played chess, soccer, and just spent time building their friendships.
This year’s amazing program was special not only because of its large pool of participants but also because of its wonderful counselors including HTOS Professor of Philosophy Edward Novis, graduate seminarian Priest Daniel Franzen, Former summer boy and seminarian Evan Nalitov, and former summer boy and former seminarian Andrey Slivin. Additionally, the participants were able to hear form the notable guest speaker Andrei Doohovsky.
While the program managers were overjoyed at the prospect of 31 participants, they were worried about how they would accommodate this larger group of attendees. Thanks to your kindness, the program was able to rent an additional van at a substantial discount from Rich Nimey’s Sales and Services, now called Nimery’s the next Generations, an Orthodox Christian-owned and operated auto business in Utica, New York.
You’ve made it possible for the program to afford not only transportation, but you also
made the program accessible to those who want to come, not just to those who can afford the program fee. By supporting the Summer Program, at Holy Trinity Monastery, you are helping the Monastery educate the next generation of ROCOR. You’re also making it possible for young men to discover a love of Christ and the Church, which for some inspires them to stay at the monastery, as seminarians. Even this year, one serious young man has decided to join the seminary, in the fall. Glory to God!