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, or Summer Travel Camp, and second session, or Byzantine Venture 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 form designating authorized visitors. If a relative wants to visit and is not on the form, 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.
STC VISITING DAYS: TBA
BV 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.
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.