Diocesan Summer Camp
Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Camp
604 Broadway, Jackson, California
P.O. Box 965, Jackson, CA 95642
For over forty years, Camp Saint Sava has been the gathering place for Serbian Orthodox families and children in the West. Thousands upon thousands have spent memorable weeks in Jackson, California, where lasting friendships have been formed. The summer camp gives us the opportunity to reaffirm both our Christian faith and our unique cultural heritage. It is also the place where our children learn life lessons and Christian values.
Summer camp begins each year at the end of the Apostles' Fast (Petrovdan) and continues for three full weeks. This season, the first week will be guided by Protostavrophor Dusan Bunjevic as he has done for so many years. The second and third week will led respectively by Protostavrophor Petar Jovanovich of St. Sava, San Gabriel and Protonamesnik George Gligich of St. Peter, Fresno.
Camp St. Sava is a gathering place for members of all generations. It is not uncommon to have grandparents in the kitchen, parents as lay directors and children, and even grandchildren of the same family as campers. The campground is a home away from home. Camp counselors are most often former campers who are giving back their time and talent to help today's campers.
The camp program offers a daily schedule of church services with both matins and vespers, and campers are taught to sing the responses to all services. Once during the week, campers also participate in the Divine Liturgy and receive Holy Communion, having fasted and offered a confession the day before. In this way, the camp sets a model for campers in their daily lives at home.
The camp program also addresses the cultural needs of the campers. The children are instructed in kolo dancing, folk singing and lessons regarding the history and culture of the Serbian people. Last year's program also included a lesson in preparing the prosfora for the Divine Liturgy.
Each season, the main theme of the camp curriculum changes. Two years ago, under the theme of the Divine Liturgy and the topic of the "Liturgy after the Liturgy", campers were taken to perform various acts of kindness and charity. One week the campers visited local Serbian Orthodox, including some who are shut-ins, to show their concern for the aged. Another week, the oldest group of campers traveled to Sacramento in search of opportunities to help people on the street.
Those campers were challenged to use whatever means they had to make a positive influence on the life of a person whom they encountered that day. Some gave away a few dollars. Others bought cool drinks to distribute; another group spontaneously sought donations from merchants and then distributed these gifts among the poor. Whatever method they employed, the campers of Camp St. Sava exemplified the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, serving the least of His brethren and thus serving Christ Himself. In addition, they learned how to multiply the Holy Gift that they received by helping others.
Camp St. Sava remains a place where life-shaping experiences occur. Long-lasting friendships are formed at camp. This is also the place where future kumovi are discovered and sometimes where budding marriage relationships are formed.
Father Stephen D. Tumbas