Meet The Team - Summer 2017
Fr. Elias Villis, Director
Fr. Elias was born and raised in the great city of Chicago. There he attended Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Justice, Illinois where he made his decision to enter the seminary and seek the priesthood. Entering the seminary in January, 1990, he graduated Hellenic College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies in May, 1994. Fr. Elias married Melanie Triantafilou on July 2, 1995 and graduated from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology with a Master's of Divinity Degree in May, 1997. On February 24, 1996, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate at Holy Cross Church, Justice, Illinois by His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos. Upon completing his studies in December 1996, Fr. Elias and his wife lived in Greece for 4 months studying the Greek Language. After returning to America, he was assigned to serve Archbishop Spyridon as Archdeacon. He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on the Great Feast of Pentecost on May 31, 1999 and was assigned as Proistamenos to the Greek Orthodox Church of Our Saviour on July 1, 1999. In January 2005, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios appointed Fr. Elias Director for Camp Saint Paul. He and Presvytera Melanie currently live in Armonk, New York and have 4 children - Anastacia, Nicholas, George and Artemios.
Konstantine Gergoudis, Program Director
Konstantine Gergoudis (also known as String Bean Dean) is ecstatic to return this summer for his second year as your Program Director! Dean graduated from Fordham University at Rosehill in 2010 with a Bachelors in Science, majoring in Psychology. Dean then completed a Masters in TESOL (teaching English as a second language) from Saint John’s University in Queens. While earning his master's, he worked full time as a Teacher’s Assistant at a school for children with disabilities for three years. He is currently a teacher working in the DOE at a public school in Queens. Coming to Camp Saint Paul for the first time in 2008 was one of the best things he has ever done. Having served on staff every summer since 2009, Dean is looking forward to spending his NINTH summer at Camp Saint Paul serving all of the staff and campers in Litchfield, Connecticut. He can't wait to see you all at camp!
WHAT IS PAIN?!?!?!?!
Michael Sellas, Boy's Director
Born in the wonderful city of New York, Michael has had the blessing of being nourished by several welcoming parishes of the New York area including Zoodohos Peghe of the Bronx, Annunciation of New York City, and Church of Our Saviour of Rye. Having graduated from CUNY Hunter College with a degree in Music Theory and Composition, Michael is currently delving into his seminarian and graduate studies at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston. His God-given talents have allowed him to serve the Church in various capacities, offering time and talent wherever possible. This his fourth year attending the beautiful ministry of Camp Saint Paul, and God willing for many more. Needless to say, the thrill of the natural environment, the loveemanating from staff and campers, and the depth of Orthodox spirituality offered, keeps him coming back! On his spare time Michael enjoys competitive table tennis, reading various literature, and sharing his time with dear friends and family while exploring the beautiful faith we have the blessing of being a part of!
Caroline Mellekas, Girl's Director
Caroline comes from Connecticut, where she was born, raised and will thankfully be spending summer 2017! This past fall she (finally) took her God-given talents to the Bronx, NY and joined the hype of Fordham University. At Fordham, she majors in Religious Studies with minors in Orthodox Christian Studies and Arabic. She also spends time working closely with the children of Fordham's Dance Marathon to combat pediatric cancer. In addition, Caroline values the importance of students coming together in Orthodox Christian Fellowship and serves as the OCF leader to the NYC area. Caroline credits the Camping Ministry as her greatest influence in living our Orthodox faith, especially as a young adult. The invaluable lessons she has learned over the past 3 summers of CSP continue to shape her each day. She sincerely hopes you can also find unique meaning through fun, fellowship and faith. Caroline is ready to return to Camp Saint Paul for an absolutely amazing summer with you!!
Niko Vorkas, Activities Director
Niko is a 21 year old from Garden City, Long Island. Niko is currently attending Stony Brook University where he is majoring in biology. Niko has been attending camp since he was 13 years old and he has been a counselor for the past two years. Niko has always loved that camp was a place where Greek Orthodox kids could come and detach themselves from the distractions of everyday life. To Niko, camp has always been a safe haven where these children can come, recharge, and leave feeling refreshed and closer to God. Niko looks forward to this coming summer and working hard to make sure every kid has the best summer possible at Camp Saint Paul.
Antonia Brogna, Diakonia Director
Antonia Brogna, more commonly known as Toni, proudly hails from Long Island, New York. She calls Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Hicksville her home parish, but she loves spending time visiting other beautiful churches and going festival hopping. At Holy Trinity, Toni was involved in Greek school, Sunday school, Greek dance, junior choir, JOY and GOYA, and served as both photographer and president of GOYA. She is now a student at Stony Brook University, where she majors in journalism, minors in business management, and is a member of the Honors College. When she is not studying, she interns as an archivist at the school paper, serves on the School of Journalism Advisory Board, and acts as the treasurer and dance instructor for the Greek and Cypriot Student Association. She also loves taking pictures, making friendship bracelets, reading books and magazines, and spending time with her friends and family. Toni, who was a camper at Camp St. Paul for three years, is ecstatic to return to her favorite place for her fifth summer. She can’t wait to spend five amazing weeks at camp eating too much candy from the camp store, working on service projects in Diakonia, and, most importantly, strengthening her bonds with God, Orthodoxy, and her fellow Orthodox Christians.
Mark Nitis, Greek Culture Appreciation Co-Director
Mark is excited to serve you this summer at Camp Saint Paul. He’s been a part of camp since its first years and will never forget the instrumental role it played in his life. Mark grew up in Harrison minutes away from The Greek Orthodox Church of Our Saviour in Rye, NY where Fr. Elias, our director, offers his services as a priest. Through God’s Providence Mark found himself at Camp Saint Paul, and since then his life hasn’t been the same. Mark is in his third year studying Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. After he graduates, he plans on pursuing a career in law enforcement. All year he impatiently waits to serve our Orthodox youth, and to learn from them himself. Mark can’t wait to welcome you to our CSP family.
Victoria Gavras, Greek Culture Appreciation Co-Director
Victoria is so excited to be returning to Camp Saint Paul this summer as the Co-Director of Greek Culture Appreciation. This will be her third year serving on staff and God-willing the best one yet! Victoria is currently a junior at the University of Connecticut and is studying Communications/Digital Media Marketing. She grew up on Long Island and loves to participate in activities that surround her Orthodox faith and Greek culture. She has chanted in a Byzantine choir and has served as an assistant Sunday School teacher in her home parish of Saint Paraskevi in Greenlawn, New York. Since a young age, Victoria has had a passion for learning traditional Greek dances and was a member of the Korais Society Dance Troupe for six years. Victoria is an active member of the UConn Hellenic Student Association Paideia and has performed with their Greek dance troupe for the past three years. In addition, she is the Historian and Social Coordinator for this organization. She loves ballroom dancing and has served as both the Vice President and Competition Coordinator on the UConn Ballroom Dance Team. In her free time, Victoria loves to travel, swim, make bracelets and spend time with family and friends. She can't wait to be back "home" and have the opportunity to share her Greek culture and traditions through dance, food and music at Camp Saint Paul!"