Ruskoka e-letter
Ruskoka Orthodox Retreat, Canada
June 2005 

In this e-letter:

- Update on the St. Alexis Chapel Project
- Chapel Work Weekends
- The St. Alexis Chapel Weekend, July 16-17
- Camping for Teens 2005 - only 10 spots left!
- Call for volunteers
Update on the St. Alexis Chapel Project
- construction and fund-raising in full swing!
Russian Orthodox history continues to be made in Canada - at the last two work weekends in May and June, much progress was made on the St. Alexis chapel: the site was cleared, the foundations poured, the floors and decking were laid, and the posts erected! We are grateful to the more than 30 volunteers!
The gold domes and crosses have now arrived in Montreal from Russia and should be delivered to Ruskoka this week. We are on schedule to complete the exterior shell in time for Bishop Gabriel to celebrate the first Liturgy and dedicate the chapel on July 17th, 2005, the feast day of St. Alexis.
Thanks to the generosity of our many donors, fundraising is going extremely well. So far over $50,000 of our $100,00 target has been raised.
With construction moving quickly, however, over the next few weeks the expenses - mostly on materials - will exceed donations to date. Can you help us meet the costs and in this way contribute to the future of Russian Orthodox youth in Canada?
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.
Chapel work weekends: June 24-26, June 30-July 4
There will be two more concentrated work weekends to build the chapel under the direction of our construction manager, Alex Shishkov. We especially appeal to those with construction experience to help out, but there will also be other camp preparation work including cutting grass, trees and brush; improvement of the summer kitchen, water and plumbing systems; getting sports equipment and camping facilities ready for summer; and lots of other thrilling jobs! 
The dates of the work weekends are:
  • June 24th-26th - chapel work weekend, construction of the spire and pre-assemblies
  • June 30th-July 4th - mega chapel-raising weekend: this is the main effort where the beams, posts and roof will be erected and, if all goes well, the spire and domes will be raised atop the chapel!
Depending on the weather and the turnout, we may sleep inside or in tents. A little advice - depending on rain, June and early July can bring bugs so it is always wise to bring long-sleeved shirts, hats and bug screens and repellent! While you should be ready to roll up your sleeves and work hard, you can also count on a lot of fun through camaraderie, campfires and great cooking! We have to know how many people will be coming so we can plan accordingly, so please contact [email protected] to let us know if you intend to 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 help celebrate the patronal Feast of St. Alexis the Royal Martyr and participate in the first services in the new chapel. His Grace, Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan, will celebrate the divine services with other visiting clergy. Bishop Gabriel will also bring the 700-year-old Miracle-Working Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign, known as the "Kursk-Root" Icon, to the celebration. The tentative schedule is:
Saturday, July 16th
5:30 pm - All-night Vigil
Sunday, July 17th
9:45 am - Greeting of the Bishop, Divine Liturgy and blessing of the foundation stone
1:00 pm - Festal lunch and tours of the camp
Families, singles and children 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. You may also choose to come for the Liturgy and blessing on Sunday. Information is here.
Bus transportation by air-conditioned coach is available for Sunday, July 17th, at a modest cost of $25 per round trip, advance purchase only. The bus leaves Holy Trinity Church on Henry St., Toronto at 7 am and returns by 9 pm. Please call Marina Sakuta at 416-487-2993 if you would like to ride the bus to the feast day celebrations. 
Camping for teens 2005 - only 10 spots left!
If you haven't already, hurry and register for
Sunday, July 31st - Saturday, August 13th, 2005
Campers: ages 12 to 16 - $450/2 week
Teens are asked to bring their own tents, sleeping bags, locks (for individual locker racks) and, where possible, their own mountain bikes, cycling helmets and lifejackets.
Further info and registration forms may be found here. Call George at 416-483-2441 if you have any questions.
Call for volunteers
Ruskoka needs dedicated volunteers for all its activ
ities. Work includes 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

Chapel Work Weekend

June 30-July 4

Main Chapel-raising Work Weekend


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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