EAST CHATHAM, N.Y. – “Krayovyi Vyshkilnyi Tabir,” a specialized camp for experienced Plast scouts, took place in August at the Vovcha Tropa campground in East Chatham, N.Y. KVT, as it is known, is a one-week camp that gives participants the platform to complete a minimum of two projects toward the goal of nine projects needed for the rank of Plast’s equivalent of eagle scout – “plastun skob” or “plastunka virlytsia.”
The projects, executed by the scouts at camp in front of their peers, were all unique and took many hours of prep work prior to arrival at camp. Every day, several different projects were presented and executed by the participants.
There were presentations about the Earth, ecology and recycling, cleaning of the Vovcha Tropa territory, and the planting of a tree to commemorate those who had made a difference in Ukraine and in Plast. Along with this, campers made birdhouses and herb planters to help the environment.
There were topics about Plast and its origins, Ukrainian dance, regional clothing of Ukraine and the noted Ukrainian artist Jacques Hnizdovsky. And we learned about many other diverse topics. To put it simply, there were so many interesting projects at KVT 2019 that the week passed too quickly.
Not only were we providing content for the camp, but we were also responsible for cooking for ourselves. Since we were the only camp on the grounds of Vovcha Tropa, there was no kitchen staff. To make up for this, we were taught how to prepare our food. A different group each day was in charge of preparing, serving and cleaning up after meals.
The camp command consisted of Andrew Zwarych, Matthew Handzy and Katya Bey; Christine Gluch, Sofia Shyprykevych and Jules Petrenko served as counselors.
One of our favorite memories was building a mattress fort and discussing how we could solve the problems of the world. By the end of camp, bonds were formed, and countless jokes and laughs had been shared that would stay forever in our memories. Not only did we learn valuable lessons, but we made new friends to last a lifetime. This camp was like no other I have experienced, and it is something all of us will remember forever.