Ionian Village is a unique summer camping program for Greek Orthodox teens located in Greece and operated by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Participants travel across Greece, venerate the relics of saints, walk in the footsteps of the Apostles and visit significant sites or Greek history and culture. They also participate in a fun and exciting summer camp program with a typical camp program setup- Arts and Crafts, Athletics, Evening Program, etc.
Ionian Village is located on a stretch of ocean front property in Bartholomeio, Greece. The property is about 130 stremata, the Greek equivalent of acres, and lays along the western coast of the Pelopponese, directly across from the island of Zakynthos.
Each session is 20 days long.
Not much differs both of our Ionian Village summer sessions. The biggest difference between first session, and second session, are the dates. Both sessions offer the same program, just held at different times.
Students who have completed 8th through 12th grade are eligible.
8:00 am- Morning prayer service and breakfast
9:00 am- Activities (Arts and Crafts, Orthodox Life, Athletics, etc.) and Sessions
11:00 am- Free swim at the beach
1:00 pm- Lunch followed by a short siesta
3:00 pm- More activities and sessions
5:30 pm- Supervised free time for sports, crafts or just relaxing
7:30 pm- Evening prayer service and dinner
8:30 pm- Evening activities (Cabin olympics, glendi, skit night, etc.)
No, you do not need to speak Greek to participate! Of course, you will be exposed to the language and culture of Greece and be given the opportunity to learn.
Excellent! Our camp cook, Kyrie Sophia, stresses the importance of a well-balanced diet by offering a variety of traditional home-cooked Greek dishes.
Yes, Sunday afternoons that we are at the Ionian Village campsite are designated visiting times. In order to receive visitors at Ionian Village, parents of participants are required to complete a Parent/Guardian Release that is part of the online registration designating authorized visitors. If a relative wants to visit and is not authorized, you must email us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org or they will not be allowed to visit the camper. Relatives can visit the campsite between the hours of 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on specified Sundays. Please check our website for these dates. Please inform the relatives visiting that they will be limited to a small visiting area of our campus, and due to safety and Youth Protection, are only allowed to go on Tours of the campus with a Staff Member. In addition, no visiting relative may enter the camper cabins at any time. Also, please note that the only visiting time for campers is while we are at the campsite. There will be absolutely no visiting time allowed while we are in other locations, such as Kerkyra or Athens.
SESSION ONE VISITING DAYS: TBA
SECOND TWO VISITING DAYS: TBA
The currency in Greece is the Euro. Campers may bring American Dollars to be exchanged once they arrive at camp. Campers may use an ATM card to make withdrawals on trips; however, ATMs will not be available on every travel day (small villages, monasteries etc). Please keep in mind that exchanging Dollars to Euros is traditionally cheaper in the United States than when done in Greece. If campers bring travelers’ checks, please note that Ionian Village will not be able to provide a Dollar to Euro exchange and that many merchants are hesitant to accept travelers’ checks. Ionian Village provides opportunities at the camp to exchange Dollars to Euros with cash only.
While we suggest that you travel to Greece with Ionian Village because participants begin to form friendships on the long flight, it is not mandatory. You may purchase the "Camp Only" package and meet our staff and participants at the airport in Athens or at the campsite in Bartholomeio.
Flights will be chaperoned to and from Athens. Upon arriving at New York's JFK Airport, campers will be greeted by Ionian Village staff and clergy. Each flight to Athens will be supervised by several clergy and staff members that will be responsible for escorting all campers safely aboard the flights to the Ionian Village staff awaiting them at the Athens Airport. These chaperones will also ensure that all campers clear International Customs, collect their luggage, and board the Ionian Village chartered busses at the airport, which are supervised by more Ionian Village staff members and clergy. These busses will depart Athens for Bartholomeio, where campers will settle in at the Ionian Village campgrounds. Please see the Registration Form for details concerning extended stay return flight supervision.
As Ionian Village is a "travel" camp, parents should be aware that campers travel to each site by cabin, and that every trip is accompanied and supervised by cabin staff, and administrative staff. As part of the intense training and orientation program that Ionian Village's staff members experience, all staff members have been educated on the sites we visit, and several have previously visited the sites. Fully aware of their surroundings, Ionian Village staff are prepared to deal effectively with safety issues that might arise.
Typically, Ionian Village camp sessions host 150-200 campers.
All campers love to receive mail from family and friends, so feel free to write your camper a letter or two! Campers are also encouraged to write postcards home and stamps are available in the Periptero (Camp Store).
Our email policy is an extension of our effort to slow our campers down. While emails are convenient for parents, too many emails lead to homesickness, so please use snail mail. Please note that unless there is an emergency, emails will not be delivered to your camper.
When a camper leaves home for Ionian Village, he or she needs space to develop their personality and find his or her place at camp. Our office in Greece gladly accepts phone calls from parents interested in leaving a message for their child or in learning of their child’s progress at camp. We can arrange for Dean, our assistant Program Director, to call you with a “progress report” within 24-48 hours of your call. Please do not be alarmed if your phone call is answered by our answering machine – we are often traveling on excursions or away from the office to supervise activities. Please do not call the camp hoping to speak with your camper, as it is our policy not to pull campers out of the program for a call from home. Campers will not be able to accept a phone call except in the case of an emergency. Phone calls to campers often cause increased homesickness and disrupt the camp program and community.
Campers will have the opportunity to call home most days during the hour-long Free Time period. They can do this by purchasing a calling card from our Periptero. Please note that campers must choose to call home, we will not force them to call home. If you have a family emergency, please contact Fr. Evagoras directly at email@example.com immediately. Every effort will be made to make contact as soon as possible.
CELL PHONES, LAPTOPS, AND OTHER TECHNOLOGY
Your child may bring a cell phone, however, once campers arrive at Ionian Village their phone will be collected by their counselor and will be returned to them when camp is over. They will have the opportunity to use the camp payphone during daily free time if they choose. Laptops, tablets (iPads, etc.), or any devices that are WiFi capable (iPod Touch, Kindle Fire etc.) are NOT allowed at Ionian Village, and will be held during the camping session in the camp safe. In addition, please note that campers will NOT have the opportunity to access personal email accounts or social networking sites (such as Facebook) while camp is in session.
The Ionian Village program places a high priority on its opportunity to educate our teens and young adults. Many of the Ionian Village staff members have backgrounds in education and curriculum development, and teaching experience. With this expertise, Ionian Village carefully designs and creates lessons to cater to all modalities in many areas. Participants are provided with interactive lessons in religious education, Greek history and culture, music, and the arts. Through these areas, Ionian Village is able to broaden the horizons of its' participants so that they return home with a better understanding of the Orthodox faith and Greek culture.
During their stay at the Ionian Village, campers make excursions about every other day to religious and cultural sites of Greece. Destinations include:
Ionian Village not only prides itself on the incredible spiritual and cultural experiences that it creates for its campers, but on its camp standards and safety precautions, as well. In coordination with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Office of Camping Ministries, the Ionian Village Administrative Team joins camp directors from across the nation to attend the American Camping Association's (ACA) training conferences. Ionian Village implements a rigorous staff application process that requires a national background investigation and screening. This helps assure that Ionian Village only hires the finest of the many interested applicants each year. Additionally, Ionian Village maintains a 1:7 staff-to-camper ratio.
Ionian Village employs qualified medical staff to maintain the health and well-being of each camper while in Greece. Typically, the medical staff is comprised of American physicians and or nurses (RN certified). Ionian Village also has a medical clinic on its grounds, which is annually stocked with medications and equipment to meet any medical need or emergency.
Since it is considered an international camp, Ionian Village has full liability insurance, which covers injuries, accidents, and kidnapping and ransom for all its' participants. Ionian Village also holds insurance that allows us to immediately fly back any seriously injured or ill participant to the United States on a medically equipped aircraft, so that he/she may receive the best medical attention from US physicians and medical teams.
When coming to camp, please remember to pack accordingly. Whether we will be having a themed dance under the Ionian stars, or enjoying a beautiful beach day on an island, we always expect appropriate clothing at all times. Appropriate length shorts, tank-tops, closed-toe shoes and t-shirts are good during in-camp days. While visiting monasteries and churches, ladies will need to have their shoulders covered, and a knee-length skirt. Gentlemen will need to wear pants, and have their shoulders covered as well. For swim time at our beach or newly renovated pool swim trunks and one-peices are required. A more detailed packing list will be sent out closer to camp!