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Vartholomio, GREECE – On June 23, Ionian Village, the international summer camping ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, began its celebratory 45th Anniversary Summer. Founded in the 1960’s through the vision of the late Archbishop Iakovos, Ionian Village first summer of camping ministry was in 1970 under the leadership and dedication of Father George Poulos. Over the following 44 years, Ionian Village has welcomed over 17,000 alumni through its gates with one simple goal: to provide its campers and staff with a life-transforming experience by bringing them closer to our Orthodox faith and exploring our rich Hellenic culture and history.
This summer not only marks the 45th anniversary of the camp, but also the highest number of registrants in the history of the camp. With over 200 campers in each sold-out session, our incredible team of staff, doctors, and clergy, along with the largest Spiritual Odyssey pilgrimage for Young Adults in recent history, Ionian Village will host more people this summer than ever before.
“This success is truly a testament to our young adults who lead our campers throughout the summer. These young adult leaders leave their jobs, their internships, and their summer classes behind and come to Greece for more than a vacation. In a generation that is obsessed with advancing and succeeding, these young adults are focusing not on themselves, but on the next generation, not on making them successful business people, but true Orthodox Christians. It is amazing to see these young adults from every corner of the country come together and lead; they are so much more than camp counselors, they are leading the next generation on this pilgrimage throughout Greece, and ultimately to Jesus Christ” remarked Father Evagoras Constantinides, the Director of Ionian Village.
Ionian Village is located at the idyllic campgrounds near Glyfa Beach, of the Prefecture of Elia in northwestern Peloponnese. Campers, together with their staff members, travel to numerous sites of historical and religious importance including Ancient Olympia, the island of Zakynthos, the island of Kefallonia, the city of Patras, the monasteries of Mega Spilaion and Agia Lavra, the island of Aegina, the historic and martyric town of Kalavryta, and lastly the city of Athens. Session one of Ionian Village will run until mid July, with session two from mid July to early August, welcoming campers from every Metropolis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. For more information about Ionian Village or to see updates from our 45th year of summer camping ministries, please visit www.ionianvillage.org.
Photo caption: A historic photo from the first days and years of Ionian Village, in the early 1970’s (Ionian Village/GOA)
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