Every year in the Southern Kucaj mountains of Serbia, the sisters of Novi Stjenik monastery host the Holy Prince Lazar Orthodox Youth Camp. During these precious ten days, youth from around Serbia and abroad take a break from the pressures of the world to experience the freedom of the mountain wilderness and the joy of community with children of like mind.
Over the past five years, SPOK has grown from one small clearing in the woods with a few tents and a dozen young children to four separate camping areas for campers and volunteers, a large central gathering place for activities, meals and the evening bonfire, and a large playing field. Through the generosity of many donors around the world, the sisters of Novi Stjenik have been able to provide the camp with enough good quality tents and supplies to comfortably feed and house up to 40 campers plus volunteers.
A month in advance of camp, the Novi Stjenik sisters with the help of the STOC community began the enormous effort of preparing the infrastructure of the camp. After the harsh winter and a stormy spring and summer, the campsite was overgrown and covered with leaves and fallen branches which all had to be cleared away before the main set up was possible. Meanwhile, in the city, the purchase and transportation of food and other supplies had to be arranged. Finally, in the last days before camp begins, the sisters and friends of the monastery drive the caravan of jeeps safely transporting the campers up the mountain roads.