Pavel Guliakov, the LJC’s new director and coordinator of youth programs, reports the A Mehaye winter camp is drawing to a close and was a wonderful success.
He said the winter camp is the largest annual youth program event with the greatest participation and requiring the most organizational work. This year a parents’ committee was called to help with organization and to draw up safety measures, rules and disciplinary measures, Guliakov reported.
A team of young but incredibly responsible and talented coordinators, counselors and professionals aided the camp leaders in their work this year. Guliakov noted there was a high level of comfort and familiarity because all of the members of the time except one (the Judaism coordinator) had themselves participated as children in Community youth programs, and besides working as camp guides were involved in all sorts of other outside activities including Jewish music and dance, art workshops and even professional cinematography.
Guliakov said camp directors took inspiration from Litvak history in drafting the program of activities for the camp. In order to pass on the Litvak historical legacy to the next generation, the coordinators and counselors drew up a program based on world-renowned Litvak religious leaders and Litvak achievements in the arts, sciences, culture and other spheres.
Sabbath celebrations took place in a warm family atmosphere culminating in singing and dancing. Havdala was met with fireworks and beautiful wishes and greetings for the winter week. One evening was dedicated to remembering the Holocaust, an important moment in passing on our painful story of survival. The last day of the winter camp was scheduled to feature performances by the talented children and a special last evening together to close the camp.
Unfortunately, Galiakov lamented, the camp was drawing to an end. He said the children would leave the camp full of new knowledge, emotions and memories. He expressed satisfaction at having had the opportunity to pass knowledge on to the next generation and to have a fun time together, and looked forward to just as great a summer camp where the organizers and counselors would be able to apply what they’ve learned and experienced at the winter camp.
Galiakov also provided a link to some photographs of the camp taken by the professional photographer Gintarė Frišman:
The Lithuanian Jewish Community would like to thank the Joint Distribution Committee and the Goodwill Fund for making this winter camp for children possible.