The Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute (HUSI) will hold its 46th annual session at Harvard University’s main campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass. It is the first of its kind in the world and is recognized for its many contributions to Ukrainian studies. This year’s program will run for seven weeks beginning on Saturday, June 18, and running through Saturday, August 6, and will offer three courses. It is run jointly by the Harvard Summer School and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute (HURI). Participants will have an unparalleled opportunity to expand their knowledge of contemporary Ukraine; to learn from some of today’s leading scholars in Ukrainian studies; and to have the chance to meet and interact with leading contemporary Ukrainian political, cultural, and social activists.
With all the renovations taking place at the Soyuzivka Heritage Center (see The Ukrainian Weekly, March 27) in preparation for the new season, it was a stroke of luck for The Ukrainian Weekly to get the manager, Nestor Paslawsky, to agree to a quick interview about what the summer of 2016 has in store for visitors to this beloved venue. Below is our quick Q & A with Mr. Paslawsky aimed at keeping readers in the know. How are the renovations going? What can guests look forward to this year when they book a stay at Soyuzivka? We’ve been very busy preparing for this season.
As school years wind to an end, an entire new generation of Ukrainian Americans heads for Ukrainian summer camps. Many of these are organized by Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization. Plast has three flagship campgrounds nationwide – from Vovcha Tropa in the upstate New York town of East Chatham, to Novyi Sokil near Buffalo, N.Y., and Pysanyi Kamin, not far from Cleveland. Three primary age groups are welcome to participate in Plast camps, provided they first sign up to their local Plast troop (visit goo.gl/f8X8I4 for details). Among these age groups are “ptashata” for children age 4-6, “novatstvo” for children age 6-11 (equivalent to cub scouts) and “yunatstvo” for those age 11-18 (equivalent to scouts).
The Ukrainian American Youth Association (UAYA, or “CYM” in Ukrainian) is part of a global network of Ukrainian youth organizations that strives to provide opportunities for Ukrainian youth of all ages to affiliate, grow and identify as members of one large Ukrainian community. Thus, an important aspect of UAYA’s mission involves the planning and organization of youth camps at various sites around the country. UAYA offers a variety of camp experiences for children age 2-17 at five different sites (oseli) across the United States: Oselia CYM in Ellenville, N.Y., Oselia Beskyd in Baraboo, Wis., Oselia Kholodnyj Yar in Fillmore, NY, Oselia Khortytsia near Cleveland and Oselia Kyiv near Detroit. The “Huseniata” half-day camp for children ages 2-3 introduces children to the Ukrainian camp experience and provides early learners a developmentally appropriate Ukrainian discovery experience within a supportive and playful environment. This camp is offered exclusively in Ellenville and runs in two consecutive week-long sessions.
Another summer approaches as the membership of the Ukrainian American Youth Association prepare for a stellar summer of festivals, concerts, camping, outdoor recreation and outdoor dances in Ellenville, N.Y.
George Mykytyn, president of the Ukrainian American Youth Association’s (UAYA) national board, states, “We embrace this summer by celebrating some of our youngest campers. This year, we mark our 30-year anniversary of our Sumeniata camps, attended by our 6- to 7-year-old members. Reflecting as a parent on my own children’s participation in these first camps reminds me of the importance that our work does for our youth and how, as Ukrainian diaspora parents, we strive to give our children as much of our rich Ukrainian culture, language and knowledge that we can.”
The festival season kicks-off with the annual Lemko Vatra produced by the Organization in Defense of Lemkivshchyna. This colorful festival scheduled for the weekend of June 25-26 is unique in its style and entertainment, which focuses on the deep cultural traditions and heritage of Lemkivshchyna and the Carpathian regions of Ukraine. A focal point of this summer’s events includes the sixth annual Nadiya Ye!
The Organization for the Defense of Lemkivshchyna (OOL) invites all to the Lemko Vatra festival, which will take place on June 25-26 at the Ukrainian American Youth Association’s resort (Oselia CYM) in Ellenville, N.Y. Each year, the Vatra brings together individuals who wish to celebrate the unique cultural aspects of the Lemko region. Events will include two days of performances by musicians, singers and dancers from the United States, Poland and Ukraine. The Lemko Vatra will also feature a History and Heritage Tent complete with information, books, maps and on-site genealogy experts. Souvenir T-shirts with Lemko themes will be sold in the vendors’ pavilion. On Saturday, the Vatra Cup soccer tournament will be organized during the day on the UAYA’s sports fields.
Last summer, many Ukrainian children and teenagers again had a wonderful time participating in the summer camps organized by the Ukrainian Democratic Youth Organization (ODUM). The mission of ODUM is to teach children about their rich Ukrainian heritage and culture. Year after year, our campers cannot wait to return to the ODUM summer camps next summer. After the camps end, children continue to maintain their connections and the close friendships they have formed with their ОDUM friends from the United States and Canada. Throughout the year they enjoy singing the Ukrainian songs they learned at camp.
“How many strings does it have?” and “Where can I learn to play?” are common question that any bandura player (bandurist) encounters in addition to being asked to play an impromptu concert in the airport security line. Answers, respectively: 60 to 65, and Kobzarska Sich. New bandurists and long-time bandura enthusiasts will converge this August 6-20 at All Saints Camp in Emlenton, Pa. Since 1979, over 1,000 bandurists have made Kobzarska Sich a temporary home in their musical journey. KS is organized by the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus.
The founder of the Music and Art Center (MAC) of Greene County, tha late composer Ihor Sonevytsky, firmly believed that the essence of music and nature is intertwined. This summer, for the 34th consecutive year, the audience at the Grazhda Concert Hall in Jewett, N.Y., located just five miles from the town of Hunter, will be able to experience music in it most essential natural setting. On August 6, MAC will honor the 90th birthday of its founder with a memorial/celebratory concert featuring baritone Oleh Chmyr, violinist Anna Rabinova, cellist Natalia Khoma, pianist Volodymyr Vynnytsky and renowned composer Myroslav Skoryk. Music by Sonevytsky, Skoryk, Chopin and Mozart will be performed. The season will begin on July 2 with a fund-raising concert.
If you’re looking for the perfect summer getaway, close to natural beauty, outdoor activities, fine dining and shopping, the Ukrainian Homestead of CEC, ODWU Inc. is just the place. Located in the heart of the Pocono Mountains of Carbon County, the
Ukrainian Homestead offers an array of festivals, camps and activities for families, young adults and seniors alike. The historic and picturesque town of Jim Thorpe with its shopping, restaurants and nearby hiking and biking trails is just five minutes away. The Ukrainian Homestead itself offers many amenities, which include newly renovated motel rooms, a full-service restaurant and a swimming pool with spectacular mountain vista views. There is camping at nearby Mauch Chunk lake or you can stay at the Jim Thorpe Inn. The Ukrainian Homestead is the cultural center for the Ukrainian American community in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The summer season begins with a Memorial Day picnic on Sunday, May 29. On June 11, Branch 7 of the Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine (known as ODWU) will sponsor a Ukrainian Cabaret to benefit the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee’s humanitarian outreach in eastern Ukraine. The event features dinner, dancing and entertainment by the Kazka Ukrainian Folk Ensemble and St. Mary’s Traditional Ukrainian Dancers. The Ukrainian American Heritage Foundation dance camp runs June 27 through July 1. A finale performance is offered on Saturday, July 2, at 7 p.m. followed by a “zabava” to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend.
Tryzubivka’s festival grounds, sports pub, banquet hall and 40 beautiful acres of parks, streams, picnic groves, sports fields and other recreational facilities beckon to be a part of your Ukrainian summer. Formally known as the Ukrainian American Sport Center Tryzub, Tryzubivka is located on County Line and Lower State roads, Horsham, PA 19044. Visitors can enjoy a cascade of heritage, cultural and sporting events throughout the spring, summer and early fall. Tryzubivka’s banquet hall, meeting rooms and festival grounds are also available to members for rental at a reasonable price. (Become a club member for only $25 annually, or only $35 for a family membership.)
The most popular community event at Tryzubivka – over 3,000 now attend – is the Ukrainian Independence Day Festival, featuring an outdoor summer concert and “zabava” (dance), on Sunday, August 28, commencing at noon in Tryzubivka’s fully shaded festival glade.
The 27th annual Ukrainian Folk Dance Workshop, sponsored by the Ukrainian American Heritage Foundation (UAHF) of the Lower Anthracite Region will be held at the Ukrainian Homestead of CEC, ODWU, Inc., 1230 Beaver Run Drive in Lehighton, Pa., from Monday, June 27 through Friday, July 1. The camp runs daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes dance instruction, folk singing, sports, crafts and swimming. Beginner instruction is offered to children age 5 and up, and advanced workshop instruction is available for experienced dancers age 11 through adult. The workshop is under the artistic direction of Andrij Dobriansky and guest instructor Yurij Dobriansky. In addition, the Manor College Ukrainian Heritage Studies Center will offer a workshop in the art of “gerdany” (beadwork) on Tuesday, June 28, and again on Thursday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to noon. This workshop is open to adults and includes beginner and advanced designs. The camp will conclude with a performance on Saturday, July 2, at 7 p.m. This performance is open to the public free of charge. For more information on the camp or the gerdany workshop, contact Paula Holoviak at 570-708-1992 or Sandra Duda at 610-377-7750 or e-mail email@example.com. Forms and information are also available on-line at www.kazkaensemble.org.
A 75th anniversary is traditionally recognized as a diamond jubilee, and the Ukrainian Festival in Syracuse, N.Y., on Friday and Saturday, July 29-30, this year will mark its diamond jubilee. St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church, officially established in 1900, began the tradition of holding a parish festival to support our Ukrainian Catholic parish, community and culture in 1941. Over the years, these festivals have included folk dance performances, bands, singers, games, rides, sweepstakes and raffles to raise money for the parish. What’s most popular, of course, is the Ukrainian food.
Wondering what camp to attend this summer? Consider Tennis Camp at the rustic Soyuzivka Heritage Center in Kerhonkson, N.Y., a mecca for Ukrainian camps in the beautiful Shawangunk Mountains of upstate New York, that is being held June 19-30. Children come here from all over the United States, some from Canada, and even Ukraine in recent years. Their parents know they will be well taken care of and will learn some valuable skills in playing tennis and getting along with each other as well. The campers also come to experience what we like to call “the magic of Soyuzivka,” a special place for Ukrainian Americans and Ukrainian culture.