USA: The Blessed Culture and Sports Festival (BCSF) 2015

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FFWPU USA: The Blessed Culture and Sports Festival (BCSF) 2015 kicked off on August 5 at the Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown, New York. One hundred and fifty participants attended the opening ceremony, which was complete with musical performances and inspirational speeches. The anticipation continued to build as hundreds more people arrived from all over the country in the next few days.

In its eleventh year, BCSF has been through many transitions. Part of its success, perhaps, has been its ability to adapt and innovate, always looking to make the program better from year to year. This year was no different. Many of the activities and events were brand new this year, and added an exciting twist to the games. The expansion of the program into not just sports, but visual and performing arts, has been a popular area of growth. The first full day of this five-day event featured an Art Blitz, a cultural spin on the traditional game night evening program that has been popular in past years of BCSF. Participants decorated the parking lot and sidewalks with chalk art featuring beautiful designs and messages of support.

The “village”, an outdoor area of tents and cookout bases, grew as well as more participants arrived. Tents sprawled across the meadow full of families, young adults and regional teams. This year, several of the regions, including New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Ohio, pitched in to support their sports teams by providing and cooking food for their players throughout the course of the event.

The village of tents where participants camp out for the events has become not just a place to stay, but a real part of the whole experience. “It’s a representation of what we’re trying to develop as a culture, as blessed families. Families living side by side in these tents, it’s a real tribe!” said one staff member.

In the evening, the campers enjoyed the first-ever outdoor open mic at BCSF, which was a huge success. The cultural activities, including the musical programs and art, have enhanced the festival in a positive way. While the sports activities allow for healthy competition, the cultural additions allow participants to unite in mutual appreciation and expression, creating an ideal balance that BCSF staff say added a more positive energy to the festival as a whole… Read More

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