A Ukrainian Summer: where to go, what to do...

SUM resort in upstate New York strives to offer something for everyone

by Peter Kosciolek

ELLENVILLE, N.Y. - In 1955 the National Board of the Ukrainian American Youth Association (SUM) purchased a tract of land in the Shawangunk valley of the New York Catskills, between the villages of Spring Glen and Ellenville. Turning into the property from Route 209, one noticed the large green fields and a few run-down buildings, then a dirt road that led to a beautiful lake and stream.

Today the property is dotted with monuments, many newer buildings, including a children's camp built in the style of a Zaporizhian Sitch fort, two chapels, an Olympic-size pool, sports field with a 1/4 mile track, tennis and basketball courts and playgrounds.

The summer season transforms the resort, known as "Oselia SUM," into a perfect vacation spot or weekend getaway resort. For some, the tranquil setting of the mountain stream is reason enough to stay; for others, it's the atmosphere at one of the social events or the music at an outdoor dance-zabava. The mix of young adults, teenagers, parents with children attending one of the many SUM camps and not-so-young adults escaping the hot city summer, gives a newcomer the impression that the resort is a place with something to do for everyone.

This year's summer season kick-off will prove just that with an all-day pool party that offers something for everyone. In the plans are children's activities and games, live music, a barbecue, a beer and wine tasting, an arts and crafts fair with vendors and a zabava. The June 30 pool party will take place rain or shine.

The following weekend's Saturday night zabava with music by Legenda will be followed by the annual commemorative "Sviato Heroyiv" program and concert on Sunday, July 8.

The Quad Grass Volleyball Tournament and BB returns for the second round this year, on July 14, topped off by a dance with music by Na Zdorovia. The Christmas in July pub party on July 21 benefits children in Ukraine. (Bring a wrapped gift for a child in Ukraine and get a free cocktail.) Last year's popular children's carnival returns on July 28 and is open to all children.

Something new must pop up on the season's menu and this year it's "Cajun Night" on August 4, and "Ladies' Night" with guest bartenders on August 11.

The 10th Annual Softball Tournament and Hawaiian Luau Pub Party on August 18 promise a fun weekend.

The season finale during the Labor Day weekend, will feature SUM "Zdvyh" festivities, concerts and dances to the music of three bands, Nove Pokolinnia, Svitanok and Na Zdorovia.

Check out the pages of The Ukrainian Weekly for updates and details of the oselia's summer events.

The Ukrainian American Youth Association's resort is located in Ulster County, N.Y., two miles south of the village of Ellenville on Route 209. Its phone number is (845) 647-7230; e-mail, Ellenville@CYM.org; fax, (845) 647-8488.

A Ukrainian Summer (main page)

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, May 6, 2001, No. 18, Vol. LXIX

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