ROYA Youth Canada Conference 2023
Holy Cross Monastery Ontario, Canada
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
-1 Thessalonians 5:11
As thought by many, ROYA, in a formal sense is a society of young Orthodox Romanians
who congregate together with the purpose of fostering spiritual growth and creating new
connections. ROYA was founded on the pillars of faith, family, and fraternity. It is
committed to providing its members with the tools and resources to reach their full
potential through the use of tabăras, conferences, and seminars. This, however, is only part
of the whole. ROYA, above all else, is a society of friendships and connections created by
our religious and ethnic ties. It provides its members with a platform to come together,
form meaningful relationships, and grow together. This is what makes ROYA a family, and
what proves that some deep connections don’t have to be by blood.
My Experience/ Experienta Mea
Prieteni noi, amintiri și cunoștințe acumulate.
While I will admit I was pleasantly surprised by the trip, I had my skepticism at first. I had
never been on a ROYA trip and didn't exactly know what to expect when arriving at the
camp. As anyone would feel when in a new unfamiliar place, I was withdrawn and yet, still
curious. I was surrounded by people I'd never met before and felt like an outsider when I
saw them all connecting and talking. At first, I felt I wouldn’t belong since all of these
people had known each other for years.
This feeling however didn't last for long. Later on towards the night on the first day, I
arrived and was assigned to my designated dorm room, and soon my roommate arrived. At
first, the conversation was dry and awkward, but eventually, we started bonding over our
love for education. I was invited to another dorm room to talk with other girls I had briefly
talked to while still outside and by the end of the night I had made 5 new friends.
This effect transferred to the following days as well. On the second day, we were given a
better opportunity to introduce ourselves to each other. We also were given team-building
opportunities as well as time to connect outside. After we said our morning prayers, a
group of us went outside to play volleyball and soccer. I broke away from the games to walk
around the scenery with one of the new friends I made. Later that night, said our evening
prayers and danced at a bonfire.
Altogether, this tabăra was an opportunity to gain new friends, make valuable connections,
and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Romanian Orthodox Christian
youth. I not only gained a plethora of friends but also deepened my connection to God and
obtained a new perspective on our religion. This was definitely a prized event that I would
love to participate in again.