Ionian Village Alumni Memoirs

For more than 30 years Ionian Village has built faith, friendships, and memories that have lasted a lifetime for thousands of young people throughout the Archdiocese. In an effort to further support the friendships founded at Ionian Village, we have posted some of your favorite IV moments and photos. Enjoy browsing through these moments from the past!


“ I was a camper and counselor at the ripe age of 12 in 1976 and a counselor in 1993. I remain friends with many girls I met in '76, especially with one, Demetra. Over the years we have visited, we have written many letters, visited each other's homes and shared wedding and achievements. We bonded at Paradise on Earth, Ionian Village; as my dear spiritual Father Eliades always calls it. Through friendship as a staff member i shared in weddings like Dino and Angeliki Ioaniddes 1988! One of the best weddings ever!!! Here's a shout out to Ionian Village.

Phyllis Manton, 1976 camper,1993 Staff



“So glad IV is doing this! Best Memory: Our music and dance night at the end of our session will always be a vivid memory in my mind. Every time I hear a song that any of the cabins performed on that night, I am instantly back in the amphitheater surrounded by the most amazing people I have ever met, watching the most creative skits sum up or memories at camp. The night closed with George Lamberis singing green day "time of your life" while playing the guitar. To this day, I can't listen to that song with out crying! “

Eleni Kolmukos Deering, 2006 Participant



"This is where I met my future wife Deme Economos. We married 11 years later!"

Peter Anas , 1976 Participant



"Far too many memories to recall just one best memory - but in general - meeting some of the best people one can call "friends" - (including my wife) and still having close ties to several of the staff nearly 40 years later. All of this was a result of the relationships that developed because of a bond which formed through faith and culture.”

John Plumis 1973 staff ,1974-76 Assistant Director



"Assisting Jackie Kennedy Onassis when she came to the camp to the dedication of the auditorium that her deceased husband Ari had donated the money to have it built. When she arrived Father Costas introduced all the staff. Later on he introduced me and mentioned that I was from Massachusetts. She asked me to introduce her to all campers from NE. I stood by her side and as the campers came to shake her hand I made sure that all the campers for NE were introduced and the state they came form. After that Father Costas asked me to hand Jackie the scissors so she could cut the ceremonial ribbon. Later on after lunch all Department heads and campers went to their respective departments to wait for Jackie and Archbishop Iakovos to make their way around the camp to visit all the areas and departments. When arriving to Arts and Crafts ,Jackie asked me some questions about what we did in A & C. Thank you for this opportunity "

Helen Limverakis Sampsonis, 1975 Arts and Crafts Director



“I dont have just one favorite memory. I have so many great memories from both of my trips with IV. I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to go."

Katherine Stevenson, 2011-2012 Spiritual Odyssey



 "The friends I made both years have lasted a lifetime. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life and I recommend every Greek Orthodox child attend. I can't wait to send my 3 boys to experience the magic of IV! "

Alexia Dorian Luka, 1987 Camper, 1994 Volunteer



"Best Memory: EVERYTHING! Best two summers of my life! I learned so much about myself, and my religion. The best thing was going home with such a spiritual connect to God. Hands down best few weeks of my life! Met some awesome people too--and we still keep in contact!”

Marisa Foteiro, 2006-2007 Camper



The memories of the Ionian Village have truly lasted a lifetime. I remember it most vividly, the people, places, the camp community. Without question, to this date, it was an experience that has endured my entire adult life. I often flip back through the pictures. From services outside the chapel in the amphitheater, to chasing our camp mascot "Jake" (the goat) around the grounds. Zakinthos to Delphi, it was as if we were National Geographic Explorers in search of our roots, history, and tradition.

God Bless,
Dean Savas
Camper, 1970



I was a counselor from 1982-85. My favorite story was in 1984 when we had Greek night. Christoforo got a donkey from the village and I rode it in for evening announcements at dinner. The camp went crazy (BV2)! The teenagers couldn't get on that animal fast enough to get their pictures taken on a Greek donkey.

Anyway... We serve the parish of HOLY TRINITY In Canton Ohio and have 2 children. We pray that the camp keeps thriving with Our Lord's helps so that my kids can enjoy the IV experience.

In His Love,
Presvytera Eleni Stavropoulos
(Formerly Elaine Madonis)



I loved being a camper at Ionian Village. One of my most vivid memories was definitely the night of cabin relays. A lot of us campers were getting sick, and Michael Pappas, the camp director at the time, announced when the night was over that wake-up time would be pushed back to 9:00am for the next day. Everyone was elated, and right after he said that the boys of cabin Tripoli stood up and started singing "Kyrie Eleison." I still smile and chuckle when I think about that night. I will never forget the experiences I had at IV, the people I met: campers, counselors, and priests alike. Thank you for this opportunity!

Stephanie Philis
Camper 2000 (Cabin Delos)



hould you want to share your memories or photos with other alumni members, please contact us.