Camps & day camps


1stezyca02This year's trip to Stężyca was like a fairy tale. There is no other place like this place in the Kaszuby Region. It has left an unforgettable impression in my heart, just like the imprint of a bare foot left at the seaside. On the one hand the imprint is kept from the fervent waves, but on the other it disappears slowly after a few days, but will remain forever special. When I think back about those unforgettable moments this thought comes to my mind - what we like the most is what we do best.


It is with thanks to the volunteers (some more experienced, some less) that children from the orphanages in Warsaw, Białystok and Suprasl, as well as from pathological families, could all feel very special for these two weeks. Participating in very small groups meant that there was better contact between the children and the teachers. Our charming leader, Ewa Gutkowska, kept the door to her room open almost 24 hours a day for every camp participant. But, most importantly there was the very warm atmosphere. All of these things brought us closer together in this place in Poland.

Uncle Ryszard Gutkowski, director of Christian Education Center "Diamond", directed a lot of the operations necessary for the operation of the camp, especially when it came to the preparations that would be needed. Uncle Ryszard personally brought children from the Suprasl orphanage to the camp. I could observe how he, as head of the "Diamond" Center, had poured all his energy into this camp to make sure that every i had been dotted and every t had been crossed to make sure that the camp went smoothly.

Every day of the camp was rich with new experiences, and brought us a lot of joy. Always before the "Explorers' Meetings" began, the children gathered in the gym to do some physical games so that they would be better prepared to sit during the lesson time. Divided into teams, they competed against each other in various kinds of championships and contests.

The "Explorers' Meetings" were one of the high points of the agenda. These meetings were broken up into three different age levels. The youngest one was lead by aunt Bożenka Kaczorek. Even the youngest children could get to know the Bible story of Joseph, thanks to short performances by a set of interesting Muppets. The middle age group's leader was aunt Marta Gutkowska, where she encouraged children in many different ways to learn about Joseph's adventures. Aunt Beata Tuchanowska led fervent discussions with the teenage group.

4stezyca02We never complained about the lack of sweets during camp, as one of the contests that Aunt Ewa organized was The Most Beautiful Chocolate Cake Championships. Hot, thick, chocolate fudge was poured from a large pot to smaller forms where everyone could decorate their fudge to make their own creation. Flaked coconut, colorful sprinkles, dots, nuts, frosting and all kinds of sweet decorations made for a difficult choice when creating your special cake. The winners were Marcin from Warsaw and Kamil from Białystok. You felt sweeter by just looking at these beautiful chocolate hearts. And what made it even better was that evening everyone could eat his or her own work!

The weather during camp was great all of the time. In the late morning and early afternoon, just before lunch, we would use all of our free time to go to the beach to swim and sunbathe. I was especially glad when the boys I was working with had a try at some fishing. They took a lot of time getting things ready to go fishing, especially the worm hunting. I was even invited to try a tasty fish, which was caught by one of our campers, David, and baked by our aunties in the kitchen. They really cared for our palates. When the bell rang we always rushed in for afternoon tea, to satisfy our appetites after spending such a long time in the water.

After teatime, we had another high point of the day. It was time for crafts and English classes led by the Ross family and two other charming Americans, Stacy and April. I enjoyed taking part in the crafts. We made small, colorful stained glasses, Hawaiian necklaces, bracelets and many more items. The children devoted a lot of energy to prepare these wonderful crafts. How was English class? It was very nice and useful, especially since children learn new things so quickly and willingly. In spite of a few language misunderstandings (sometimes very funny ones…) everyone left the class with many new words they had learned.

Every year the biggest attraction at the "Diamond" camps are the clowns. And this year they did not let us down as well. This year, there appeared a boar declaiming "Pan Tadeusz", along with a talking cat, a ladybird turning down3stezyca02 a beetle's flirts, and many other animals straight from Jan Brzechwa's poems. The clowns' appearance certainly created a sensation among the children. Everyone had great fun.

Everyday at 6 p.m. we gathered for another event. Aunt Kasia Róg took her guitar and, together with the children, praised God with singing. Imagine, a group of 40 children showing their gratitude to God with all their hearts, singing for His glory. The walls were shaking.

Another event that we had was a music contest. The winner this time was the Group of Three Friends (Dominik, Artur and Robert). They are young boys, but they displayed no stage fright singing a song called, "When there is a storm around".

Finally, the day of our departure had come. We were all very sad packing up our belongings. There were many tears and much sorrow because we had to leave such a magical place, Stężyca. There are so many good memories that they would not all fit in this story. I am so glad that this was a place where I was needed and where I could serve others, especially children. I do hope that the Truth planted in the hearts of these children will slowly sprout, grow and eventually yield the fruit of faith. Now I am leaving it in God's hands.


Bank PEKAO S.A. Al.Jerozolimskie 65/79, 00-950 Warszawa, POLAND
Chrześcijańskie Centrum Edukacyjne "Diament"
23 1240 1066 1111 0000 0006 3946