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Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain
The Greek Orthodox Youth of Great Britain (GOYGB) is an organisation dedicated to nurturing the faith of all Orthodox Youth in the UK.
GOYGB has been running since 1992, with the blessing of Archbishop Gregorios, and is dedicated to St Silouan the Athonite. It was originally founded by a group of young Orthodox Christians who attended the Essex Monastery of St John the Baptist. The founders recognised that for Orthodox children, it was necessary to provide the correct environment for them to grow in their Orthodox faith.
What does GOYGB do?
GOYGB runs several activities throughout the year, the main event being the GOYGB Summer camp. In addition to this, there are camp reunions, leadership meetings and fundraising events.
Every Summer, for two weeks, the GOYGB Summer camp allows young Orthodox Christians to live in a loving environment in which they can learn more about their faith and develop close, life-long friendships with their Orthodox piers.
This years GOYGB Summer camp: Tues 26th July- Thurs 4th Aug.
What happens at GOYGB Sumer camp?
During the Summer camp the children share a tent with other Orthodox Christians of their age. They attend lessons on the teachings of the Orthodox Church with a range of people, including our clergy members, Fr Stephan Maxfield, Fr Luke Holden and Fr Christodoulous Christodolou, and also with Nuns, Presbetyras and the leaders from the camp. Recent topics have included â€˜The Liturgyâ€™, â€˜What makes us Orthodox?â€™, and â€˜The Resurrection.â€™
At camp everybody prays together, morning and evening and at mealtimes. We also have the Blessing of a visit from Archbishop Gregorios and the opportunity to celebrate the Liturgy together. Since children from a variety of backgrounds attend, most of who have grown up in the UK, the primary language used is English.
In addition to attending to the childrenâ€™s spiritual needs, the camp provides an environment to nurture confidence and skills and to teach participants valuable tools for everyday life.
There are many opportunities to take part in a variety of activities, such as Quad biking, white water rafting, football tournaments, camp Olympics, a variety of arts and craft workshops and archery. Other fun activities include performing in St.â€™s plays, designing a stall or activity for the rest of camp to utilise at the Summer fete, providing entertainment during the talent show and having a sing song around the campfire.
All participants are expected to perform daily duties with the other members of their tent, as well as being responsible for maintaining their tent. In this way they learn the necessity of team work and the importance of each member of the community.
Who organises GOYGB?
GOYGB is run entirely by a team of volunteers, who give their time throughout the year to organising the camp and other GOYGB activities. Many of these volunteers, all of whom are devoted Orthodox Christians, give two weeks of their time to provide leadership for the Summer camp. In addition to this, they go to great lengths to ensure that all activities adhere to Health and Safety and Child Protection policies, in order to provide a safe environment.
These volunteers, known as â€˜leadersâ€™, act as role models and guardians for the Orthodox Youth who attend the camp. They each have a variety of duties, from leading a particular tent of children or a workshop, to cooking the three meals a day which the entire camp eat together. Other designated duties include camp nurse, responsible for the health and wellbeing of the participants, and logistics team members, who ensure the campsite is well maintained.
Leading the GOYGB Summer Camp are a team of co-ordinators:
Zoe Holden (Camp Director)
Simeon Bates (Junior Co-ordinator)
Basem Haddad (intermediate co-ordinator)
James Marcelo (Senior co-ordinator)
Paul Holden (Logistics co-ordinator)
Volunteering for GOYGB
The leaders and others who volunteer throughout the year are lay people, some of whom may attend your parish. GOYGB is always looking for new, enthusiastic, faithful people to get involved. COULD THIS BE YOU?
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If you wish to find out more about volunteering for GOYGB contact Zoe Holden: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where does GOYGB Summer Camp take place?
The Summer Camp takes place near Much Wenlock, Shropshire, in a field acquired with the Blessings of Archbishop Gregorios. GOYGB acquired this site for use a few years ago, and has strived to nurture Godâ€™s creation by using environmentally friendly products, planting a range of fruit trees and trees for coppicing, and by allowing sheep to graze on the field, encouraging a range of wildlife to flourish.
At present EVERYTHING is under canvas or mobile (including the kitchen and toilet/wash facilities), and therefore needs to be erected at the start of camp and carefully taken down and put away at the end of camp. Whilst this is great fun, and allows members to experience life without the luxuries of modern day living, it is extremely time consuming and means that at present the camp can only admit a limited number of participants. We are therefore aiming to erect a building that will provide kitchen, toilet and wash facilities, as well as an indoor area that can be utilised during extreme British weather conditions.
The proposed building will aim to be self sufficient and environmentally friendly, utilising solar energy (at the moment the campsite does not have any electricity).
This building will, of course, cost money, and WE NEED YOUR HELP!
GOYGB already organises a range of fundraisers, but we also need to consider the needs of families who can not afford to pay the full cost of camp, but who equally deserve to attend. We are therefore appealing to YOU- the families and parish members of Orthodox Youth in the UK, to help us with our building fund.
â€¢ Can you afford to give a few pounds?
â€¢ Are you able to organise a fundraising event in your parish or area?
â€¢ Are you able to organise a collection for GOYGB?
The youth are the future of the Orthodox Church, and it is vital that we nurture their faith and love and understanding of the Church.
For more information or to make a donation:
Contact: Zoe Holden
Or check out our website www.goygbcamp.org.uk
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