Ruskoka e-letter
Ruskoka Orthodox Retreat, Canada
July 2005 

In this e-letter:

- Update on the St. Alexis Chapel Project
- Final Chapel Work Weekend Plus
- The St. Alexis Chapel Weekend, July 16-17
- Camping for Teens 2005 - registration closed!
- Call for volunteers
Update on the St. Alexis Chapel Project
- construction and fund-raising moving well!
The last two work weekends were extremely successful, with well over 30 volunteers on the first and at least 50 at the second, including builders from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Good food, fun campfires, a celebration of Canada Day on July 1st, and huge progress on the chapel! A big thank-you to everyone for the great effort!
Here's what was done: the gold domes from Russia and the iconostasis were trucked in from Montreal; the beams, roof trusses and sheathing went up; the iconostasis, ambo and lightning protection were installed; grass was cut, flowers planted, and grounds were cleaned up.
There is more joyful news - the patronal icon of St. Alexis, commissioned from renowned iconographer Vladimir Krassovsky of San Francisco, has arrived in Toronto and will be unveiled on July 16th!
Work is on schedule to complete the exterior in time for the feast day of St. Alexis. The main structure of the chapel is nearly done and work is under way on the cedar shake roofing and soffits. The spire and domes are scheduled to be raised by crane on July 12th. The chapel cam shows the scene from Monday, July 4th. See the website for more photos!
Thanks to the generosity of our many donors, fundraising is going very well with over $56,000 of our $100,00 target raised.
As we near completion of the shell, however, we are short funds to cover expenses for materials. Can you make a donation to help us meet the costs as we build the first chapel outside of Russia to bear the name of St. Alexis?
Donations can be made by cash, cheque or Visa, through one-time gifts, or by monthly or annual pledges. Categories of donations are: Founder from $3000 / Builder $2000-$2999 / Supporter $1000-$1999 / In memoriam from $1000 / Donor $100-$999. Contact George Skok at 416-483-2441 or [email protected] to make a donation. All donors will be acknowledged through plaques, announcements and commemorative lists and will be our guests at the St. Alexis Feast Day on July 17th, 2005.
Final Chapel work weekend plus: July 9-12
There will be one more work weekend, starting on July 9 and continuing past the weekend. We appeal especially to experienced carpenters to help install the log siding. We will also be staining the exterior, working on church furnishings, doing other camp preparation work including cutting grass, getting sports equipment and camping facilities ready for summer, and more thrilling tasks.
We sleep in tents or in the buildings and delicious meals are provided. The work is hard but there will be fun and camaraderie! Please contact [email protected] to let us know if you can be there.
The St. Alexis Chapel Weekend, July 16-17 - opening of the Chapel by Bishop Gabriel in the presence of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God
Everyone is invited to partcipate in the patronal Feast of St. Alexis the Royal Martyr. Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan will celebrate the divine services with other visiting clergy in the presence of the 700-year-old Miracle-Working "Kursk-Root" Icon of the Mother of God. The tentative schedule is:
Saturday, July 16th
5:30 pm - All-night Vigil
Sunday, July 17th
9:30 am - Greeting of the Bishop, Divine Liturgy and blessing of the foundation stone
1:00 pm - Festal lunch and tours of the camp
Families and singles are welcome to come for the weekend and camp in the beautiful wilds of Ruskoka, starting 10:00 am on Saturday, July 16th, 2005 8:00 pm Sunday July 17th, 2005. Pre-registration for overnight camping is required. The cost is a modest $40/person or $100/family, campsite and meals included. If you register you are welcome to come Friday evening but we ask that all visitors arriving early help us with preparations for the celebration. You may also choose to come for the Liturgy and blessing on Sunday. Information is here.
Camping for teens 2005 - registration has now closed
We have reached our maximum number of campers for 2005. Thanks to everyone who sent in their forms early this year. Registrants will get full details on when to arrive and what to bring very soon.
Further info may be found here. Call George at 416-483-2441 if you have any questions.
Call for volunteers
Ruskoka needs a few more dedicated volunteers for its camping program
. Work includes teaching and sports leadership where people have appropriate qualifications, helping in set-up of activities, kitchen work, etc. Volunteers do not get paid, live in the same conditions as campers (food, drink and tent space is provided!) and usually make a donation towards the camp as well. If you are interested, contact our volunteer coordinator, Alexandra Easson at
[email protected].
See you in Ruskoka!

Chapel Cam

Upcoming Events

Final Chapel-raising Work Weekend Plus!


St Alexis Chapel Weekend

July 31-Aug 13
Camping for Teens




You are receiving this e-letter because we think you may be interested in hearing news about Ruskoka, a Russian Orthodox camp 200 kms north of Toronto in the Muskoka recreational region of Ontario. See our site at for information on who we are and our activities. We hope you find the e-letter to be an enjoyable and valuable resource that keeps you connected to this unique retreat and natural playground.
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