Saint Basil’s Academy Retreat


We recently went on an overnight trip to Saint Basil’s Academy in Garrison, NY.  This was a combined retreat with both Saint Sophia and Saints Constantine and Helen.  We all shared a bus and traveled with over fifty people to New York and back.  This was once again an amazing experience for both kids and adults.  I thought we’d mix things up a bit and hear about an exciting Youth Retreat from their perspective.  Please read on to learn about this exciting opportunity.  ~Fr. Dimitri


“This weekend was really fun and I loved it! It was a great experiment in my life and maybe someday I can come back. I really liked that we got into different groups and we talked about bullying and other stuff in life that can affect people in a really bad way. Meeting new people was probably my favorite part, because I learned that they are really nice and kind to everyone. I will go home and tell my friends and family about what a great time I had and I may come back. Every part of the trip was fun and adventurous!”

~Christina Stratakos, 10th Grade


“Our trip to Saint Basil’s Academy was different. On the Bus I was expecting it would be all about religion and that I would be separated from everyone. But when we got there my mind was blown away! I ended up learning a lot about how to live peacefully together. I met a lot of friends that I will never forget. I know I can connect with them through Facebook. Saint Basil’s is a place where kids learn about their own Orthodox Faith and just hang out. I wish we can do this again. The kids from Saint Basils and Saint Sophia are fantastic and I can’t wait to have another adventure with them. I learned so much about Christ and also not to bully other people. All I can say is THANK YOU for this experience.”

~Alexia Tiches, 6th Grade


“The Combined GOYA Programs of Saint Sophia and Saints Constantine and Helen travelled to New York for a two day retreat at Saint Basil’s Academy. Not only did I get to bond with Saint Sophia GOYANS but also with the kids that lived at the Academy and the seminarians from Holy Cross. Following some ice breakers and activities we had three sessions run by the seminarians on the topic of bullying and its different effects on people. We had some free time in between the sessions which included basketball, swimming, La Crosse, and soccer. Also, at the end of the retreat we went on a nature hike through the woods surrounding the Academy and ended at a beautiful waterfall! My time at the Academy was enlightening and it made me more appreciative for what I already have. I hope to donate time and money to Saint Basil’s Academy and return sometime soon.”

~Alexandra Aiken, 12th Grade


“So the retreat to New York at Saint Basil’s Academy was an amazing experience. We went from meeting the kids at the Academy to exploring the monument at Ground Zero in New York City. It was awesome seeing where the kids stayed and what their life is like, but at the same time learning more about our faith through a new perspective. Our theme was, ‘Don’t let evil overcome you, but overcome evil with good.’ This made us GOYANS really look for the meaning of these words and relate them to our daily lives. We also got to know the people from Saint Sophia and hang out and have fun! This retreat was so amazing and I hope we get to do something like this again.

~Theoni (Nitsa) Tsinonis, 10th Grade