“If I come to the end of this road, I join the Fire of St. Petersburg” – said a 17 year old that participated in the pilgrimage for the first time.
It’s been four years since the ranger guides and the Russian Rovers (ORIUR) go on pilgrimage. The first took place in 2010, about 20 young people from St. Petersburg, Kursk, Petropavlovsk-Kamtchatskii gathered for the first road to the famous monastery of Kursky.
This year’s decision: try a new route – in Belarus. The country is a treasure of Christian relics. The choice fell on the Monastery of St. Efrossinya near Polotsk. The road brought together 40 participants from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Slantsi, Petropavlovsk Kamchatskyi. The ranger guides and the Belarusian scouts came together for a day. Everyone was delighted to go with the Belarusian brothers and sisters, even if it was short.
Participants this time were very different: girls and boys, who came up from the fire or the clan, but also older rangers and scouts who already have 2-3 or even 4 children … Some new people acquainted with the Russian Association also came on this road. This mix of ages and experiences was very rewarding.
The program was pretty intense: moments of training, prayer, explorations, priests to explain the Holy Word, one hour of daily discussion after lunch (each team chose discussion topics beforehand and fire chiefs and clans told small stories about the topics in question). And of course – every night – the joy of singing and the atmosphere of an evening around a camp fire!
As with all Scout marches, there were many surprises: a storm, finding a village party with people in traditional costumes of the early twentieth century, a warm Belarusians welcome when passing through the villages … And on the last day the most difficult part: a long walk and arriving at dusk to the monastery. Many no longer felt their feet … but they were happy and satisfied to have arrived! All were able to participate in the liturgy of the day.
The following route will take place from August 14-18, 2013. It will be a walk to the monastery Pskovo-Pecherskyi which was founded in the sixteenth century. All clans and fires from all countries are welcome (contact).
A big thank you from the Russians Guides and Scouts from Belarus, especially to the two Pavels, Tania and Olga for helping to get this project done.