By Jayne L. Buryn, Communications Coordinator, Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton
“We’re taking a renewed direction at Camp Oselia,” says Damian Rudiak, Camp Director. “We have fully embraced Pope Francis’ encyclical message Laudato Si (Praise Be to You). His message was a call to action for us, to re-establish our relationship with the Earth and the stewardship of the planet.”
Camp Oselia program planners have developed more opportunities to teach young people about the connection between their Ukrainian Catholic faith and caring for our common home. This emphasis incorporates looking after “the smallest of God’s creations while not forgetting our impoverished brothers and sisters.”
To this end the camp has established a program named Camp Oselia Restoration Earth (C.O.R.E.). The program is intended to establish good habits rather than simply leaving children to interpret the data overload thrust on them daily about environmental issues.
“In giving us the responsibility to care for the Earth and one another, God also gifted us with the ability to do so,” says Damian. “This doesn’t mean just recycling and turning lights off when you leave a room in your home – although these are pretty fundamental steps we take in illustrating what we mean in our camp environment. It means taking care of the least of our brothers and sisters. It’s a shift in focus. Instead of always looking toward the future for ourselves, it’s keeping everyone around us in our future vision, as well.”
Camp Oselia Restoration Earth (C.O.R.E.)
Living Laudato Si
On May 24, 2015, Pope Francis issued his encyclical Laudato Si, or Praise Be to You, his message about “care for our common home”. In issuing this message, the Pontiff reinforces that the issue is of sufficient importance and in need of our attention. At its core, this is a call to action to save the environment. The emphasis of the document is viewing our vocation as stewards of our planet from a holy perspective. Pope Francis calls this “ecological conversion”.
Working with Edmonton Catholic Schools (ECS) and Elk Island Catholic Schools (EICS), Camp Oselia developed a Grade 6 retreat program to align with the teaching of Laudato Si and the Grade 6 curriculum. Within a typical camp environment, students learn valuable lessons about how to keep the environment thriving and to always be aware of their impact on their surroundings.
C.O.R.E. is a two-and-a-half-day experience at Camp Oselia, located on the north shore of Wabumun Lake. It was offered as a pilot project in the 2015-16 school year to St. Catharine and St. Gerard schools in the ECS division.
Two programs were scheduled. Included in the activities were social justice activities, outdoor games, along with typical camp activities, such as archery and capture-the-flag.
With fun and interactive activities and games, students developed their leadership skills, worked as part of a team, and became closer to God in His natural playground. They learned the importance of growing natural and fresh food and explored the difficulties of trying to start a life in other parts of the world.
Plans are underway for C.O.R.E. 2017. “Just imagine how beautiful we could make our common home if we all strived to leave it a little better than the way we found it,” Damian notes.
Teachers: for more information about how you can get your school involved in this amazing program, contact Damian Rudiak at 780-619-0639 (cell phone), camp office: 587-525-7938 (camp office), 780-424-5496 (Chancery office) or by email at oselia [at] edmontoneparchy [dot] com
To emphasize the new direction, Camp Oselia’s branding has a new slogan: “Planting the Seeds of Change”. We have also adopted a new logo and official camp colour. We’ve added a cute little critter as mascot – George the Squirrel.
MORE OSELIA PROGRAMS
Hey, Kids! Want to spend some of your summer at the COAST?
Check out the Camp Oselia Academy for Superhero Training
July 9 to August 4, 2017
The world is in serious need of strong spiritual heroes and we need YOU! So, we’re offering several levels of training to help you to develop a new level of spirituality. Through our highly-effective regimen of daily physical training, intellectual exercises and teamwork provided by a highly-trained team of skilled leaders, you will be encouraged to enhance the skills you need to fulfill your role as a hero of the faith.
ALPHA TEAM TRAINING
July 9th – 14th
This week of camp is intended for youth going into Grades 10 – 12 and is a prerequisite for, but not limited to, summer camp counselors.
During our week together, you will participate in a number of rigorous exercises to establish your suitability as a hero of the faith. Training will include Strength, Agility, Endurance, Wisdom, Intellect, Determination and Teamwork. When you complete the week’s course, you will be prepared to take on the responsibility of being a hero of the faith and will set out on your mission to bring Christ to all whom you meet and to share your beliefs with them.
COBRA TEAM TRAINING
This week of camp is intended for youth going into Grades 7 – 9.
(If you are only available for one week of camp, please come to this week)
July 16th – 21st
During our week together, you will participate in a number of intermediate exercises to establish your suitability as a hero of the faith. Your exercises will include Strength, Agility, Endurance, Intellect, Determination and Teamwork. This training will encourage you to explore your talents and enable you to be comfortable with the strengths God has given you. We are not all suited for all tasks, so this week is focused on being comfortable in your own skin and learning how you fit in a team.
This week of camp is intended for children going into Grades 2-6 and those in Grades 7 – 9.
July 23rd – 28th
To keep up with the increased demand for our programs, we are introducing a crossover week between our intermediate and beginner trainees. The Cobras will help orient the newly-arrived Sparks and accustom them to the training program. This week will provide an excellent opportunity to assess Cobra Team skills and a head-start for Sparks Team trainees.
SPARKS TEAM TRAINING
This week of camp is intended for children going into Grades 2 – 6.
(If you can come for only one week of camp, please come to this week.)
July 28 – August 4
During our week together, you will learn the basics of what it means to be a hero of the faith and what to aim for to live the life of a hero. Your training will include Strength, Endurance, Intellect, and Teamwork and will help you live as a hero of the faith every day. You will be able to challenge your friends and loved ones to do the same.
The C.O.A.S.T. program is sponsored by the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton and will be led by a team of highly-trained skilled leaders headed by Camp Oselia director, Damian Rudiak, from July 9 to August 4, 2017.
Parents, Grandparents and Caregivers: This year we are proud to offer four weeks of summer camp as we train children and youth to become heroes of the Ukrainian Catholic faith. This superhero-themed camp will challenge your children/youth to be the best versions of themselves and to learn responsibility as stewards of God’s creation.
Registration deadline is June 30th, 2017. Early bird deadline ends June 21st. Because of planning requirements, NO LATE REGISTRATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED.
Be sure to visit the Camp Oselia website for details about ALL our programs or contact Damian Rudiak at
780-619-0639 (cell phone), 587-525-7938 (camp office), 780-424-5496 (Chancery office) or by email at oselia [at] edmontoneparchy [dot] com.
Printable Registration Form
Camp Oselia is located on the north shore of Wabumun Lake, 45 minutes west of Edmonton on Highway 16, then a few metres south on Range Road 53.
Visit Camp Oselia’s official www.camposelia.com for updates, news, program and registration information, photos, the Director’s blog, links to and from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and much more of interest to young people and their families. Be sure to check it out.
Raising School Program Awareness:
Camp Director Damian Rudiak attended both Greater Edmonton Teachers’ (GETCA) and North Central Teachers conventions (NCTCA) and received valuable feedback from teachers about the programs that would benefit their students. Teachers showed an increased interest in more school programs to run in May and June. The Oselia team is in the process of crafting programs for grades 3, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 12.
Summer Camp and Facility Rentals
A number of paid registrations for summer camp have been received. Several churches, including Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God, Holy Eucharist/Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Nicholas and St Josaphat, have reserved use of the camp for parish picnics or barbecues.
The Eparchial Youth Ministry office organized and successfully held two teen retreats, one in the fall of last year and another during the spring break this year. “Many of the participants … expressed a real interest in getting together more frequently for these types of activities,” says Damian. “We are planning to keep these going for each season.”
Family Retreat/Spring Work Bee
Also scheduled for this year are a family retreat (Living Laudato Si at Home) (April 21-22) and a spring work bee at the camp on May 6.
Oselia Gallery The Faith Experience: