On September 1, 2000, Village alumni from all across the US gathered for the bi-annual Alumni Weekend sponsored by the Villager's Alumni Fellowship. This year's Alumni Weekend was coordinated by Laurice Michael. The Alumni Weekend is a chance for Village Alumni (any former camper, counselor, staff member, or volunteer of the Village) come back to camp and experience the Village again. The Villagers are assigned to cabins according to age, and participate in a weekend schedule just like it was when we were campers at the Village.
Alumni Weekend started off on Friday night with the traditional Pool Party! On Saturday morning, we had breakfast followed by Matins at the St. Ignatius Chapel. Fr. Michael Nasser, the Camp Director, led our Morning Program discussion on "the True Meaning of our Camp Experience." After lunch, we headed down to the Arts & Crafts building to make tie-dye T-shirts. Basketball, football, and volleyball were next until the thunder and lightning came. Evening Program on Saturday was an off camp trip to the luxurious Ligonier Lanes for a night of bowling! Cabin 46 challenged cabin 47, and embarrased them. Sunday morning began with Divine Liturgy followed by an afternoon at the Challenge Ropes Course. Sunday evening we celebrated the Supplication Service to St. Raphael, Bishop of Brooklyn at his gravesite. This was new to many of us, as St. Raphael was recently glorified as a saint in May of 2000. Next on the schedule was the annual Villager's Meeting. At the meeting we discussed the direction of the Villagers and the our hope for what we as Alumni can do to help the camping and youth programs in our Archdiocese. Evening Program on Sunday began with a campfire and a game of "Antiochian Village" Taboo that was created by Marlene Samra and Laurice Michael.
On Monday morning after breakfast, some of us departed for home, but others were able to go to Monongahela, PA, to visit Fr. John Namie, the first camp director of the Antiochian Village. It was great to spend time with Fr. John and to see him again. May God grant him many years!
The most exciting events of the weekend happened on Sunday evening after all the scheduled activities were completed. Michael Nassif of Altoona, PA, proposed to Laurice Michael of Canton, OH, and Peter "PJ" Boyle of San Francisco, CA, proposed to Michelle George of South Plainfield, NJ. Both couples met here at the Antiochian Village in 1995 when they were all on staff together. We would like to congratulate them on their engagements and pray that God grants them many many years of health and happiness together!