Saint Andrew’s Camp is a ministry resource of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, but is separately owned and operated by the Orthodox Charitable and Educational Foundation (OCEF). The OCEF was founded in the 1950s and has been dedicated to serving the Church’s through education. Saint Andrew’s Camp is currently the only ministry of the OCEF and has been open for a summer camping season each year since 1957 (with the exception of 2007 when it celebrated its 50th year of camp with a visit from Metropolitan Herman). The OCEF is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization.
The OCEF is made up of a Board of Trustees and a Foundation, which collectively govern and support the organization in a leadership capacity, gathering and raising the funding for the annual camp program, and identifying staff and clergy to support the program each year, among other activities.
Please read about the OCEF Trustees and other Foundation members and supporters of the OCEF below.
Please read the full biography of His Grace +MICHAEL, available on the diocesan webpage.
Bishop Michael is hands on and present in every way possible in all matters related to the Saint Andrew’s Camp planning and programming. As president of the board, Vladika Michael attends the annual and semi-annual meetings held in September and February, and is integral to guiding the vision of the camp program, religious education, and staffing.
Vladika was involved from the first moment of his new role as the elected Diocesan Hierarch, (attending the OCEF Board and Foundation Annual Meeting in February 2010, three months before being consecrated to the episcopacy).
His Grace is also an integral part of the summer camp season itself. Vladika visits the campers and staff during each of the four weeks of our program and has not missed a single week. Vladika vests and celebrates a Divine Liturgy, instructs in religious education, participates in the regular camping program, watches the skits, songs and performances of the campers, and joins the community at mealtime where he answers questions from the box in the “question corner” containing “questions for Vladika.” Bishop Michael has treated campers and teens to outings at the Sylvan Beach amusement park and at the local miniature golf facility.
Fr. Joseph Lickwar
Jersey City, NJ
Fr. Joseph is the Chancellor of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. He has served for several years on the board of Saint Andrew’s Camp and is currently rector of Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Jersey City, NJ, and has served previously at St. Nicholas Church in Whitestone, NY. Fr. Joseph and his wife, Matushka Shirley, are marking 50 years of marriage in 2013.
Daria has been involved with St. Andrew’s Camp as a camper, a counselor and as a director for many years. She is a Family Nurse Practitioner and has worked in practices in NY, NJ and PA. She has degrees from four New York City Schools — Barnard, Columbia, NYU and Pace — and has extensive experience with children and families.
“Having raised four children and been active in parishes in Yonkers and South River, and working in Family Practice for over 20 years, it has always been clear to me that nurturing children does require ‘a village’ and parents are indeed richly blessed if the parish community – the church community – is a strong part of the family’s life. Camp is part of that community that helps parents provide a simple solution to the complex issues of life.’
As a Board Member Daria is committed to having the summer camp program provide an Orthodox Christian boost to the lives of the campers so that they can enthusiastically return to their own families and parishes having enjoyed the life of the Church with friends, peers and mentors. She also is committed to seeing the Camp used for retreats and educational programs for parents and seniors.
Bettye Freeman Malone was raised in the African Methodist Episcopal church and converted to Orthodoxy in 1972. She worships at Three Hierarchs Chapel at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York. In addition to her extensive volunteer experience, Ms. Malone has worked professionally in foster care and adoption with New York City and Westchester County contract agencies. Prior to her social work experience, Ms. Malone taught English and Social Studies in Atlanta, Georgia and Yonkers, New York, respectively. Presently, she is Program Consultant for Youth Aging out of Foster Care.
Argyra is the Secretary of the Board of Trustees. She was a camper, ‘staff assistant’, and counselor at Saint Andrew’s Camp, as was her late husband, Dn. Gregory. During her time at camp as a counselor during the 1970s, she was known for taking photographs and playing stunts and practical jokes on her fellow counselors. She has been serving on the board of Saint Andrew’s Camp because of her passion and dedication to ensuring the continued camping experience for Orthodox youth for years to come.
She attends church with her daughter, Alexandra, a camp alum, at St. Iranaeus Chapel at Ss. Cosmas and Damian Adult Home in Staten Island, New York.
Jeffrey David Hoff was born in Sayreville, NJ and grew up in the parish of Ss. Peter and Paul, South River, first under the pastoral leadership of Fr. Sergius Kuharsky, and then Fr. David Garretson. He served as an altar boy during his childhood and teenage years.
Jeff works in the financial services industry at Two Sigma Investments located in SoHo, New York, NY, and his background is in computer science and electrical engineering.
In addition to ministering through Saint Andrew’s Camp, Jeff is a parishioner of Ss. Peter and Paul in Jersey City, NJ (where he lives with his wife, Tatiana). Jeff also has made several mission trips, first to Alaska where he was part of a team to perform maintenance on the facilities at St. Herman’s Seminary, and then to the Hogar Rafael Ayau Orphanage in Guatemala City, which he and his wife support in every way possible. He enjoys visiting Saint Andrew’s Camp during the summer, where witnessing the children participate in chapel — and playing capture the flag — are his favorite memories.
Jeff’s favorite animal is the turtle, and his favorite food is ice cream.
As member of the program as far back as 1979, Tim has served as caretaker, camper counselor, and waterfront director throughout the years. For the early part of his life, St. Andrew’s Camp is where he spent every summer forming bonds with youth throughout the world. Having grown up in Syracuse he was just a few miles away from the camp. In 2001 he had to change his involvement in the camp, but is now excited to be back helping the program.
Tim is a member of the church council at Saints Peter and Paul in Syracuse, and attends services with his wife and two children. He attended Alfred State, SUNY Oswego, and completed graduate work at Lemoyne College and Syracuse University. He currently resides in a suburb of Syracuse, and teaches middle school students in the North Syracuse Central School District.
Besides teaching, Tim spends most of his time with his family. With a competitive spirit, he still enjoys playing sports such as kickball, softball, and racquet ball. When he has the chance to fish, Oneida Lake is a great place to launch a boat.
Rochester, New York
John Dyryanka is presently retired after working for the Schindler Elevator Corporation as a District Manager for 32 years. Presently, he spends his time doing consulting work for some companies, and donating his time to St. Andrews Camp. In addition, he assists college students who recently became citizens of the USA with their college homework and resumes.
John is a member of St. John’s Orthodox Church in Rochester, New York where he participates in many fundraising events to help St. Andrews Camp and his local parish. John has been married to his wife Roberta for 39 years and has two children, John Jr. and Tanya.
John describes St. Andrews Camp as the “Hidden Treasure” of the Diocese where campers meet every year to play, pray and meet new friends. They arrive each year with smiles and laughter and leave each year with tears of joy and many fond memories, always returning for another camping season.
It is John’s hope that in the coming years every parent and child in the Diocese will make an effort to visit their camp and experience this ‘Hidden Treasure’.
Tatiana (formerly “Lapchuk”) Hoff is a Management Consulting professional and organizational psychologist and has worked Deloitte Consulting in New York, NY since completing her undergraduate studies in 2007.
Tanya has attended Saint Andrew’s Camp as a camper each year since the age of seven, and since then was a counselor/lifeguard and is now a trustee and volunteer/visitor during the summer program. Tatiana’s maternal grandfather, Rev. Alexander Warnecke, was a founding member of Saint Andrew’s Camp, and worked to provide children of all backgrounds, means, and nationalities with the opportunity to engage in Christ-centered fellowship in a natural and fun-filled camp sleep-away environment, and her parents, Argyra and Gregory, were both counselors during the 1970’s.
Apart from her service as a trustee of Saint Andrew’s Camp, Tatiana’s involvement in the Church includes membership at Ss Peter and Paul Cathedral in Jersey City, NJ, trusteeship at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY and trusteeship at Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery, Otego, NY. She also enjoys photographing church services, milestones (such as ordinations, baptisms, and weddings) and other church events as a means of sharing the beauty and celebratory aspects of the Divine services to advance Orthodoxy and raise awareness among the faithful and those who are not Orthodox. She fulfills her ministry of signing in the choir as often as possible.
Tatiana has been married to Jeff Hoff (see above) since 2008. They were married at Ss Peter and Paul in South River, NJ and currently reside in Jersey City, NJ.
Matuska Jeanne Baktis
Princeton New Jersey
I am former St. Andrew’s camper, now living in NJ where my husband is the Rector of Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow parish in Princeton. Formerly an Early Childhood Special Educator in the NYC area, I then spent 25 years as a US Army Chaplain Spouse while Fr. Peter served as an Orthodox Military Chaplain. I credit my summers at St. Andrew’s Camp with instilling within me the desire to find a way to serve the church.
By becoming involved and active with St. Andrew’s Camp, my hope and prayer is that I can be useful in helping St. Andrew’s Camp grow into the future. I believe it is so important for our youth to have a place where they can, amongst a community of their peers, experience the daily cycle of services, build strong bonds of friendship with other Orthodox Christians, learn that Orthodox Christianity is not just a religion but a way of life and experience the wonders of God’s creation through camping.
Saint Andrew’s Camp Supporters/Foundation Members with Specific Roles
Mrs. Paxton is a licensed professional planner in the State of New Jersey and also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. She has worked at the local, county and state levels of government for the past 18 years. She is currently working as the Executive Director of a nonprofit affordable housing development corporation that obtains grants and loans to construct special needs housing for seniors, veterans and individuals with developmental disabilities.
Mrs. Paxton has extensive experience in grant writing and management. She has procured and administered over thirty million dollars in grant programs from park acquisition and development to landfill capping and reuse. She has overseen multi-million dollar capital development projects and has supervised engineers, planners, architects and construction contractors through her project management role. Mrs. Paxton is active in the American Planning Association and has volunteered in various Planning Assistance Projects including Hazard Mitigation Planning in Mandeville, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.
Mrs. Paxton is a member of the Annunciation Orthodox Christian Church in Brick, NJ and serves on the Church Council as a member-at-large. She coordinates youth event including the Annual Bowling and Camp Out events and is active in the Annual Ethnic Fair and Cookie Walk fundraisers. She has volunteered as a Camp Instructor during Ecology Week for the past two years at Saint Andrews Camp with her husband Gary, a science and math teacher. She and Gary have been married for 15 years. They have two beautiful daughters, Larisa and Reanna.