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Ukrainian Scouts from the Vataha Burlakiv kurin carried the Bethlehem Flame of Peace to the summit of Hoverla

Author: Stanislav Proval’nyi

Ukrainian Scouts from the Vataha Burlakiv (Band of Wanderers) kurin (scouting fraternity) carried the Bethlehem Flame of Peace to the summit of Hoverla.

Ukrainian scouts distribute the Bethlehem Flame of Peace through all corners of Ukraine, to help it light up the hearts of all people and to warm them with its heat. It has become traditional for the members of the Ukrainian scouting fraternity Vataha Burlakiv to carry the Bethlehem Flame of Peace to the highest summit of the Ukrainian Carpathians, mount Hoverla, thus symbolically lighting the entire country with this blessed flame. 

This year, the Flame was passed to the researchers of the meteorological station “Pozhyzhevska” for the first time. This station is located at the highest altitude in Ukraine and functions all year round.

Burlaky gathered from various cities and towns. On December 28, at 4:30 am, 3 automobiles departed Ivano-Frankivs’k toward “Zarosliak” tourist base, which is located on the way to Mount Hoverla. Some interested tourists, who were willing to join in the carrying of the Flame to the summit, met up with us at the base, at which point the entire expedition set out for the summit.

Since Hoverla was covered in snow, we dressed accordingly. Fifteen people set out together from the base. The Ukrainian scouts carrying the Flame led the way, according to the established tradition. Approximately 2.5 hours later, the group reached its destination and brought the Blessed Flame to the highest point in Ukraine. 

The weather was very favorable for this ascent, because the visibility was excellent and the Flame did not go out once. We completed our mission by singing the Bethlehem Flame of Peace song at the summit cross, and successful descended back to the foothills of the mountain. After a brief replenishing snack, the group of Ukrainian scouts took the Flame to the meteorological station “Pozhyzhevska.”

And so, with God’s help, the Ukrainian scouts again took the light of warmth, peace, understanding and hope to the summit of Mount Hoverla, transcending borders and unities Christians on the eve of Christmas.

 Translated by Bohdan Pechenyak