A few years ago, Lawrence (Larry) Kozlowski joined the Polish Falcons as our Cultural Commissioner. What a great move that has proven to be! Larry has tons of experience and knowledge which he so graciously shares with all of us.
His workshops have been very successful and all who attend are thrilled! Last year, he was the host of the First Annual Polish Falcons of America Wigilia. The group was so pleased with the program and the reenactment of a traditional Christmas Wigilia. There were quite a few tears as many thought back to their childhoods, their parents and so many wonderful memories. The Wigilia will be held this year on Saturday, December 5. The program will be slightly different this year, but all who attend will be as pleased as they were last year (at least, that is our hope!).
Larry also attends all of our youth events and the kids love him. He engages them and is able to educate them in an entertaining way. This year at camp, he was teaching Polish dancing. When he played the first song, I thought he hit the wrong button. But no, he had a Motown song up first to get the kids moving. His intention was to show the correlation between just dancing and Polish dancing. It worked! Larry can boogie!
Thursday evening, he taught us how to celebrate St. John’s Eve. We were all dressed in togas, wearing wreathes of flowers on our heads (each of the kids had made their own, Shari Pekarovic made mine, thank you!) and carrying a wreath with a candle (there again, I didn’t make mine!). We walked around the huge campfire the older guys had built, as Larry shared the tradition. All then walked to the lake and placed their wreaths in the lake. Surprisingly, the water took them out. Later that night, we were able to see the soft glow off in the distance. Druhna Chris and I each got to release a Sky Lantern that had been signed by all at camp. That was incredible. This was followed by the sharing of the Oplatek. As is usual, there were lots of tears and kind words shared with one another.
Even though not all of us in attendance were of Polish decent, we all enjoyed the Polish traditions. Again, Larry did a fabulous job of explaining and encouraging all to participate!
Larry is available to visit your Nest or District (at our expense) to share his knowledge of the Polish culture. Please contact me if you are interested.
The deadline for submitting applications for the Dr. T.A. Starzynski is February 15. The deadline for Richard C. Gorecki is April 15, and the deadline for the Nest 92 Non-Traditional is June 15. For additional information, visit http://polishfalcons.org/scholarship or contact Trish Del Busse at 800-535-2071 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
My first and last Zlot as a youth Member
Written by Michele Zajkowski, PFA Future Leader (Nest 36, Southwestern Conn.)
The 2014 Zlot was my first and last Zlot as a youth Member and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome, from all of the activities, to team challenges, to the card games, and to the cardboard food at the dining hall. The week I was there was so fun-filled it flew by to where I wish we had a couple more days. Saying goodbye is the hardest thing to do when leaving. That is why we say, “See you soon.” At the end of the week and on the ride home, I realized how much Falcons has impacted my life. Falcons is my escape from reality. I get to run away from all the stress at work to a week of fun. Zlot also opened my eyes that my friends at home may never be by my side throughout my life, but my Falcons will always be there. That’s why I say Falcons are family. You never lose them.
My First Zlot!
Written by Dakota Williams, PFA Future Leader (Nest 36, Southwestern Conn.)
This was my first Zlot attending and I was so excited. My grandmother, Trish, took me and my younger sister, and she had already planned everything out. We showed up the day before the Zlot started and helped out as much as we could.
The next day came and everyone showed up. I saw a lot of old friends from past years at camp which was great! Later on that week, the Track and Field events started and I ran the 800 meters. Running is NOT one of my skills. We started and the other kids ran by me like it was nothing. I was behind and tired; I wanted to give up and just walk off the track and not finish the last 200 meters, but I did not let that stop me. Everyone was cheering me on, really like everyone was. I was not going to let them down, so I finished with a smile and said great job to the other kids who ran. The next day, I ran the 100 meter relay with my Nest (36). The race started and I waited as I was the third senior. My turn came and I took off like a bullet going around everyone. We won. I was so glad that I could help the team out.
The next two days were volleyball. The first day, we played for fun and practice. The next day was serious. The games started. The looks on the faces were not friendly. My team won game after game, only losing to Nest 36. Then the championship game came and we had to play them once more. we took a tough lost first game but came back to beat them by 10 points the second game, which sent it into a tie breaker. Sadly we lost, but it was fun and was worth every painful injury. The last night we had the dance. It was a sure splendid time. Everyone danced into the night until it was time to go back to the dorms.
For my first Zlot, I had a blast and I can’t wait to see everyone else again.
On Saturday, April 12, District II will hold a “Youth Skillz Day” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Mary Social Center, 5000 West 31st St. Cicero, IL 60804. Skillz Day is a fun day for any District II youth Member to participate in athletic events and meet other youth Members. It is also a preparation day and workshop for the 2014 National Zlot. Cost is $5 per participant and includes lunch. Ages 7 and older are welcome to attend. Please RSVP by April 4 to George Wortz at 414-313-9579 or Donna Skonning at 708-650-4345.