Meet Our 2016 Staff and Volunteers
2016 Program Director
I was chrismated in August 2011 as Sophia by Father John Hopko. I was first introduced to Orthodoxy at the Lutheran summer camp that I had attended for over a decade, and was at the time employed as a counselor. That summer changed my life. I was getting ready to go to college six hundred miles away from home. I felt lost. My program director, Alyssa Kjendal, and her family had recently been chrismated; her husband, now Father Ben, had been a Lutheran pastor. Alyssa’s advice to visit an Orthodox church changed my life, and she is now my godmother. I avoided summer camps for the next five yeas before volunteering at the New England Youth Rally, led by Father John. It made me realize how much I missed camp life. More than that, it made me realize how invigorating it is to be around faithful Orthodox people all the time. The rhythm of attending three services a day, praying before all activities, and talking with people who understood the vocabulary unique to our Faith made me long to be surrounded by that faithful attitude more frequently. After graduating from Raonoke College in Salem Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in History and Elementary Education, I settled in upstate New York. I am currently in my third year of teaching second grade at a private Christian School in Mechanicville, New York, in addition to being the Church School Director at Christ the Savior in Ballston Lake, NY. I am looking forward to the summer at Saint Andrew’s!
My name is Olga Kirilchenko. I am a recent graduate of Saint Valdimir’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York. I am originally from Russia, but have spent almost half my life in the States. I enjoy cooking, swimming, and spending time with friends. I adore my 2.5 year-old nephew, and get to chat with him occasionally via Skype. I was a counselor at Saint Andrew’s last year, and am looking forward to it this summer.
John Lardas is an undergraduate at UConn from Stratford, CT. He was baptized on the day of the glorification of Saint John of Shanghai in 1994. He looks forward to campfires and hikes. He hopes to one day visit Ireland, Russia, and Greece.
Peter Yakovetsky is an 18 year old Eagle Scout and college student majoring in Acting. Aside from acting and entertaining, Peter is a fan of books and movies; he enjoys writing as well. During his time with the Boy Scouts, Peter was a Chaplin’s Aid, and a focused on swimming and first aid.
I really like to try to be as open minded as possible, because it is what I want to see in other people. Mental things are amazing to me, as in games, puzzles, and such. I also grew up in a family with six kids in ten years, so I like to say that I know how to deal with children; children tend to imitate those around them. To me there is no point in being sad or upset, because those things aren’t what matters; to be the best that you can be, you need to be aware of this. I also love philosophy – Marcus Aurelius and Ptolemy especially.
I am a recent graduate from Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York, and am hoping to start graduate school in the fall studying mental health counseling. I love interacting and working with kids, especially in a church setting. I enjoy reading, singing, and spending time with family and friends. I hope to continue to serve the Church in the future, and look forward to spending my summer at Saint Andrew’s!
This is my eleventh year at Saint Andrew’s. I have been a camper, CIT, and counselor. To say the least, I love this place. I recently got married and will be moving to Scotland at the end of the camp season. Sadly, this means this year is probably my last year for a very long time. Oh, and I like to take a ton of photos, so the camp Facebook page may explode!
Want to apply to be a staff member or volunteer? See here »