Druhna Chris: Camp Photos Galore!

Hey Campers! Have you checked out our Digital Camp Scrapbook? In it, you will find tons of photos and videos! The Lip Sync Contest songs are in there, as well as the cabin photos. Go ahead and take a look. You are bound to find you and your friends in there somewhere. Thank you to Courtney and Holland for coming up with this really nice addition to our camp experience.

Scrapbook-Ad

I hope that by now everyone has had a chance to see all of the rest of the photos from camp on Facebook. There are so many great pictures! Some of my most favorite are the ones from the campfires on the beach with the sunset in the background. Click here to go to the Polish Falcons National page to view the photos.

I have already been in contact with the St. Vincent De Paul staff about next year’s camp. Since our National Convention is the week after the Fourth of July, we cannot have camp that week. I am trying to move camp week to July 31 to August 7, 2016. As soon as I receive the final decision from the camp, I will let everyone know. Then, you can plan early to join us. I’m hoping that we get even more campers and adult helpers to join us next year! I have some exciting ideas for new team challenges and activities. Keep a lookout for the final word on the dates.

Have a great end to your summer and good luck in the new school year!

VP Trish: Time in Erie and Upper Western NY Part 2

That evening, I drove to visit former National Physical Education Director Marian Wesolowski. She has a lovely trailer at a campground near the Angola camp we used to use for Falcons. It was Druhna’s birthday! On Sunday, we visited St. Vincent DePaul for their fundraiser to celebrate! It was great to see a sunset over Lake Erie again, I hadn’t done that for a couple years. There have been many improvements made to the camp; I wish we could get back there!

Elaine Sieczkarek, Mother of Outstanding Gorecki recipient Stephanie Sieczkarek, stopped by for a visit. It was nice to chat and hear about happenings at the Nest.

On June 30 with two grandchildren, Dakota and Mikayla, I arrived at Camp Hawthorne Ridge for a week of fun at Falcon Camp. This camp is located off the Edinboro exit on interstate 79 and very close to Erie. Once again, I requested to be in the cabin with the older teenage girls. I had 11 wonderful girls in my cabin, a junior counselor, Michelle Wolniakowski from Nest 725, and two chaperones, Dorota Lewicki and Aneta Matyszczyk. Our cabin was actually a house. The majority of the girls slept on the floor in the living room, with a group of girls in a bedroom, the two chaperones in another bedroom and Michelle and I in the dining room. The cabin had one bathroom so the girls had to fix hair in the kitchen; quick showers were a must. These girls got along very well. The girls from the bedroom would go to the living and vice versa. There weren’t any issues with nastiness! The camp started off as a typical camp week, everyone checking in, happy to see one another, meeting new folks and getting into the camp routine.

Well, this was not your typical week of camp! First of all Mother Nature had other ideas as it rained and rained. The driveway to our cabin was a swamp, and mud was everywhere! On Monday morning, I led the kids in pierogi making. It was fun but ended up being quite the task. We made way too many. Most of us enjoyed eating them. I had to be on midnight watch, which was actually fun because it was a perfect summer night. Upon my return to my cabin, Michelle and I sat up for quite a while talking about the future of the PFA and her desire to be involved. It was encouraging to hear of a young person who is serious about her commitment to the PFA (fortunately for us, we have quite a few!).

The theme for the week was holidays! Tuesday was Halloween and it proved to be a very frightening day and night! Most of the activities were the planned ones but we had to make a few modifications. One of our campers seemed to be dehydrated and spent most of the day trying to recuperate. Following dinner, his sister came up to me to tell me that he (her brother) had chills and was vomiting. This of course, had us spring into action. Druh Joe Choromanski (who just happened to be dressed as a doctor for Halloween) and I drove Tim and Olivia up to Erie to visit the hospital. After several tests and a few hours, it was determined that Tim needed to have his appendix removed. Now, his Mom is sitting in New Jersey hearing of this. And, Tim made it clear that he wanted to return to camp, not go back home. We sat with Olivia while Tim was in surgery, all went very well. We left the hospital at 3:30 a.m. to head back to camp. Needless to say, I was hungry. We stopped at Eat ‘n Park (local restaurant chain) for breakfast. While drinking our coffee and tea and eating our fruit cups, the lights went out. Our waitress brought over tea lights and told us that we probably weren’t getting our food. We decided to leave. Well, there was an entire grid of power out! It was pitch black! Now, if you are familiar with Peach Street, you realize how freaky that is! Tim had to stay in the hospital until Thursday around lunch time. When we arrived back at camp, everyone was standing around the green cheering him back.

The rain continued and so did the fun, camaraderie and all the good stuff that goes on at camp. Cultural Commissioner Larry Kozlowski brought much to the camp this year with so many things especially teaching the kids how to make the oplatek and the meaning of sharing the wafer. This was done around the campfire on Friday night. Even those kids who are not Polish really enjoyed this special tradition! My grandkids would like to have this at our Christmas celebration from now on.

One of the things that was not a hit this year was the food. So one night, I decided to get my girls pizza (since they were so wonderful!). Guess where we had to go to get the pizza? Erie, of course! The girls were thrilled to have this treat (of course, they shared this story with the other campers who were not happy to hear about it).

Saturday was New Year’s Eve and we ended camp with a dance (in the rain). Even though, it was a very soggy week and we had to make a hospital run, it is still another great Falcon memory. Congratulations to Druhna Puskar for the great week! There had to be a lot of modifying of scheduling but we pulled together and made the best of it!

In early August, I go the National Golf Tournament in Erie! Check back for my next post.

Second VP Dan: Active Summer Part 1

This is the first one of a series of three. One for each month.

July started at Falcon Youth Camp in Pennsylvania. This year it was better known as Camp Mud! I don’t think it would have mattered which week we picked because basically this was the summer of rain. But, everyone still had a great time and even helped to celebrate my birthday.

Campers sing "Happy Birthday!"

Campers sing “Happy Birthday!”

Members from Nests 31, 65, 68, 208 and 307 held a train trip to New York City and Citi Field for a New York Mets game. After the game, we all went back to the city for dinner and entertainment. A great time was had by all.

Following the trip, the next big event on my calendar was the District V Convention. The New Britain, Conn. Nests hosted the two-day affair. Friday night started off with a meet and greet. For the first time, Nest 17 made the trip from New Jersey to attend. In addition to all the business that needed to be done, the New Britain Nests made sure we were all well fed. They started with breakfast before the start of the session. Lunch was at Falcon Field and a beautiful banquet ended it all.

Next up was a trip to Scottsdale, Ariz. I was there representing the Public Safety workers and members from the International Municipal Signal Association of New England area. One of the offsite highlights was going to a Diamondbacks baseball game.

Pool inside Diamondback field.

Pool inside Diamondback field.

In between these events, I was able to take in a few car shows in the Connecticut area. The first car show of the season I attended was at Panera Bread on the Berlin Tpk. in Newington, Conn. My car won one of the best of show for that evening!

Car with new trophy!

Car with new trophy!

Czolem!

Dan

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!