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St. Eugene’s Orthodox Youth Camp is a place where you meet new people and leave with a strong bond and connection, knowing they are going to be in your life forever. You can find St. Eugene’s at Sugar Pine Christian Camps at Timber Mountain, nestled high up in the trees in Oakhurst, California. The location is beautiful. The campsite is surrounded by woods, and the temperatures rest in the high 80s during the day, coming down to the 50s at night. It is the perfect weather in which to learn, play, and pray.

From July 7th through July 13th, over fifty campers, nine clergy members, and thirty volunteers from across the diocese and even across the country, gathered to spend time together dwelling in the beauty of God’s creation. The theme for this year’s camp was “Life in Christ Today” where we spent the week reflecting on how we can all give our talents and time to our communities and be present to see how Christ comes into our lives in the twenty-first century.

We spent our days with prayer services in the morning and evening, singing as an entire camp, and celebrated a beautiful outdoor Divine Liturgy to close out the week. We enjoyed Christian Education classes once a day where we delved into the week’s theme. We answered bible questions and recognized each other for random acts of kindness. Many hours were spent in the pool swimming or at the lake canoeing and paddle-boarding in the cool water. The entire camp united throughout the week to play games, culminating with our team Olympics that never fails to get the campers smiling and cheering. Four evenings ended with campfires, where we all joined together to sing, laugh, perform skits, and eat s’mores.

It truly was an unforgettable and holy week together as Orthodox Christians, spent prayerfully, joyfully, and lovingly. Thank you to all of those who prayed for us and gave your time and effort to make our camp a home to so many Orthodox youth. We were blessed to receive donations to our camp fund so costs could lower for our campers from several parishes from the Pacific Central Deanery like St. Christina of Tyre in Fremont, Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, St. Nicholas in San Anselmo, and Nativity of the Holy Virgin in Menlo Park. We encourage you to consider donating so that each summer St. Eugene’s Orthodox Youth camp can continue being an affordable option for our campers. We hope to see you next year for another fun-filled week!

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