Polish 33-year-old discovers new planet

Rafał Herszkowicz, 33, has been credited with discovering a Jupiter-sized planet some 1,200 light years away from earth. The results of the Pole’s celestial discovery have been published in the prestigious Astrophysical Journal. Code-named PH2b, the newly discovered non-solid, gaseous planet orbits around a sun-like star in the constellation Cygnus, but scientists believe one of its moons could sustain life. Herszkowicz is known by his nickname “rafcioo28” on the astronomy social networking site, odkrywcyplanet.pl, part of the international planethunters.org.

Source: Robert Strybel, Warsaw Correspondent

Druhna Chris: Time with PFA Youth

Over the past two months I have had the chance to spend a lot of time with the youth Members of the PFA. We had the Future Leaders Conference, a few attended the Adult Volleyball Tournament and we had the Youth Volleyball Tournament. I have to say that I enjoyed every minute of the time we spent together.

The Future Leaders group consisted of 18 of our young Members who came together to find out more about the PFA. They were able to give their opinions about what the youth Members would like to see happen in the future of our organization. They were able to come up with ideas to try and promote the youth activities of the PFA. But most of all, they were able to come together and spend time getting to know each other, building friendships that will grow with every youth event they attend.

The Youth Volleyball Tournament was another successful youth Event. It took place in La Porte, Indiana. There were six senior teams and there were six senior runners on those teams. For those of you who don’t know about the senior runners, they are the 19 and 20 year-olds who still love to come and play volleyball with their friends who are still seniors. There were also four intermediate teams and three junior teams. Everyone got to play a lot of volleyball, relax, have dinner and enjoy dancing to music played by the DJ at the Nest 564 La Porte Club.

We had a lot of Instructors, Instructresses and Chaperones who were at the tournament to help out the players. They helped me out too by being line judges and score keepers. Druh Mark Albin was the Chairperson of the tournament for District 6 and he and his crew were great hosts for our weekend. We played hard, ate well and danced the night away. There were lots of line dances, including the ones we made up at camp. When it came time for people to get ready to head back home, I could tell it was another successful event by the sad faces and long hugs exchanged by everyone!

When I got back home myself, one of the first things I did was check out Facebook. I saw lots of great pictures and heard a lot of great comments about how much fun everyone had and how they can’t wait for camp. I even posted my comments this time.

I really have come to appreciate the technology of Facebook and how it helps us to see and read about how our PFA friends are doing while we are apart. Our website is improving every day too. I want to encourage all of our youth Members to visit the PFA Youth Blog and check out the stories written by two of our Future Leaders. Feel free to add some of your own stories so that others can read them too.

I know that you all do a lot of other things back home in your schools and communities and I would love to hear about all the awards you win or people you help or anything that you do that you are proud of, whether it is with the PFA or just at home. So, feel free to go to the PFA Youth Blog and tell us all about you!

The last thing that I want to talk about now that I have cleaned up from the Youth Volleyball is camp. I have started making the final plans for Holiday Palooza at this year’s camp. Remember that we will be celebrating lots of holidays during the week, starting with Polish Independence Day. The dance on Saturday will be our New Year’s Eve celebration complete with noisemakers and hats. I hope that we can fill the camp with as many campers as possible, so talk to your friends and watch the website for registration information. It should be up within the next few weeks!

Now that the weather is getting better and the sun is up longer, don’t forget to get outside and enjoy it. Talk a walk, take a run, play ball, ride a bike or just go to the park with your friends. Enjoy your summer! It goes by quickly!

PFA Online Museum: The Archival Process

This is a short video to introduce the archival process used to create the PFA Online Museum. The online museum is part of an ongoing project to catalog, preserve and display the archival materials located within PFA National Headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA.  Over time, the organization has accumulated a considerable amount of material from individual donors and other organizations, including Nests. This project aims to organize these materials and make them more accessible to the public.

Click here to visit the PFA Online Museum.

PFA Youth Blog: Share your experiences!

The following posts have been written by two PFA Youth Members, who are also PFA Future Leaders. The PFA Future Leaders wish to start up a conversation with all PFA Youth Members through blogging. They want Youth Members to share their stories, whether those stories are related to Falcon experiences or other exciting things that are happening in our Youth Members’ lives, it doesn’t matter.

To get started, our first posts share a couple of our Future Leaders’ experiences at two PFA Youth Volleyball Tournaments. If you were at this year’s tournament, write and tell us about your personal experience!

The PFA Future Leaders are also interested in hearing about the great things that you are accomplishing outside of the Falcons. Are you a musician? Do you compete on the soccer team? Have you won an award recently? We would love to hear about it and share it with our other Youth Members.

So, if you are 20 years old or younger, this portion of the PFA Blog is for you! Enjoy the first two posts and be sure to share your stories with us. Simply leave a comment. We would love to hear about what is happening with you!

All of the teamwork paid off!
Written by Lisa Wood, PFA Future Leader (Nest 725, Milwaukee)

The sweat dripped down my face. It was completely silent as our team waited for the serve. The other team’s server tossed the ball up and hit it. It flew over to our side, just inches above the net. One of my teammates quickly ran to bump the ball into the air and the volley began.

But hold on, let me back track to how I got here. It was our fourth game in the elimination round of the Youth Volleyball Tournament. We had lost one game and were finally getting out of the Consolation Bracket.

At the beginning of the tournament, we didn’t really play well. In fact, we lost almost every game in the Round Robin portion, but all of those games and losses brought the team closer together. We learned each other’s weaknesses and strengths and we’re now playing like a well-oiled machine. The best part was that we were always having fun, no matter how bad the game. One Member always knew what to do to lift up the team’s spirit. Another teammate came up with great cheers for us to say.

But let’s get back to the current game. Both teams were currently tied and the next point would determine the winner. The volley was long and intense. Our team kept calling out to one another as we bumped, set and spiked. I have no idea how long this volley lasted, but suddenly it was over. The ball hit the floor on the other team’s side of the net.

We won! All of the teamwork paid off and it was the most exciting game I’ve ever played!

We lost the next game though, but the team didn’t care. The tournament was still fun and the people, no, new friends I made, were even better!

For the first time, we didn’t lose!
Written by Christy Paterni, PFA Future Leader (Nest 8, Pittsburgh)

I was so excited that the volleyball tournament was finally here. I had been to some before and they were so much fun! The whole trip up I was talking to all the people that I had met at the last tournament and I was becoming even more excited.

I finally arrived and all of my friends were there to greet me. It was the typical greeting for girls, lots of screaming. Once everyone got unpacked, we talked some more.

When it was time to play, I couldn’t wait. Volleyball has always been my favorite part of the Falcons and it came at a perfect time. Every year since I started playing, my team came in last place. This year was going to be different.

Games started and we were actually winning, even though I didn’t do so great and I was getting a little mad. The day was over and we had won all of our games! When we got back to the hotel, everyone was so tired that we all just went to bed.

We woke up the next morning super early like we do at all tournaments. When we got to the gym, we quickly started pool play. As the day went on, teams kept getting knocked out of the tournament and we were still playing. The time finally came for the championship game and we were in it! We went the whole time undefeated for the first time ever.

We played our first game and got beat, so we had to play again. The entire game was so close but we actually won. For the first time, we didn’t lose!

After the game, we went back to the hotel and got ready for the evening’s dance. Though the dance wasn’t as great as the after party in the hotel lobby. Most of the kids stayed in the lobby and played card games, talked and laughed and had fun. Even people who didn’t stay in our hotel were there.

That year, 2009, I had the best time. I met new people who I became really close with. I know that I am going to be friends with them for a long time.

Travel to Poland!

A Cultural Program for Polish Falcons of America Members Ages 13 to 15

The Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation (PACCF), in cooperation with Wspolnota Polska, is offering a great opportunity for young Polish Falcons Members to explore the country of their heritage this coming summer. Polish Falcons of America Members ages 13 to 15 will join other young Polish Americans on a trip that will offer unforgettable experiences, great memories and lasting friendships. Have fun as you travel through Poland, visiting her beautiful cities and historic sites and meeting her friendly people.

The Cultural Program encompasses a two-week period and the cost per participant is being equally underwritten by the PACCF and the Polish Falcons of America with the balance of $550 being the responsibility of the participant’s family. In addition, Wspolnota Polska has generously agreed to cover the land portion of the program.

Included is round-trip airfare from Chicago, lodging, all meals, travel in Poland, as well as tours and admissions. Participants should bring their own spending money for souvenirs and miscellaneous purchases not included in the above. Adult chaperones will accompany the students while traveling to and from Poland and during their entire stay in Poland. The dates of the program are July 14 to July 28, 2013.

Space is limited and only five participants will be chosen by a random drawing to be held at PFA National Headquarters on May 8, 2013. To enter the drawing, please send a letter to National Physical Education Director Druhna Chris Puskar along with the fee of $550.00. The registration deadline is May 6, 2013. The money will be refunded if your name is not chosen in the drawing that will be held on May 8, 2013. Please note: The fee is non-refundable if your name is chosen and you decline to participate. Selected participants will be notified immediately.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Druhna Puskar by email at cpuskar@polishfalcons.org or by phone at 1-800-535-2071.

Druhna Christine Puskar