Recent Posts

Our Year in Review: 2023
Spring 2023 Letter to the Community
Our Year in Review: 2022
Craig Kurumada Changes Gears
Recenter. Regather. Renew.
2022 Workshops – Our Decision To Cancel
East Coast Virtual Camp 2021 Teacher Highlights
Our Year in Review: 2021
Our Year in Review: 2020
Fall 2020 Letter to the Community
Mid-Year Report: 2020
Our Year in Review: 2019
FY2019 Financials – Income & Expense charts
Meet Our Newest Board Member
Membership FAQs
Strategic Vision 2019
Camp Cabins Are Not Just Where We Sleep
Tips for Scholarship Applicants
Meet Our Newest Board Members
The Final Survey
FY2018 Financials – Income & Expense charts
Our Year in Review: 2018
Special Thanks: 2018
Summary: Spring 2018 Board Meeting
Tips & Tricks: Financing Your Trip to Balkan Camp
Growing Live Music
Volunteer Spotlight: Camille Holmes
FY2017 Financials – Income & Expenses
Post Balkan Camp Disorder (PBCD)
Running Sound at Balkan Camp: Tips and Tricks
Jamming at Camp – Your Opinions Wanted!
EEFC 2017 Spring Board Meeting Message from the President
FY2016 Financials – Income & Expenses
Spread the Word
EEFC 2016 Fall Board Meeting Report
Macedonian Čalgija Musicians at Mendocino
Get the Official Registration Badge
Social Media 101: Youth to the Rescue or How to Promote the EEFC on Facebook
A Good Year for Giving!
FY2015 Financials – Income & Expenses
Just What Does the EEFC Board Do?
Supporting the Čoček Nation Youth Scholarship
FY2014 Financials – Income & Expenses
Fall 2015 Board Meeting Summary Letter
EEFC 2015 Fall Board Meeting Report
A Few Changes to Membership
2015-2016 Fundraising Appeal
Bay Area EEFC Scholarship Created
EEFC Donation Stores
Party on at Balkan Camp in Mendocino!
So Many Great Reasons…
EEFC and the Great Ripple Effect
A Banner Year for Scholarships
Kukeri in the Woodlands—Become a Magical Beast of the Forest
The 2014 Iroquois Springs Photo DVD from Margaret Loomis
Meet Volunteer Jenna Shearer, Marketing & Communications Committee
Spring 2015 Board Meeting Summary Letter
EEFC 2015 Spring Board Meeting Report
Letters to the Community — from the Board of Directors and Rachel MacFarlane
East Coast EEFC Community Forum in Boston
Message from Amy Mills on Behalf of the Board
Yes, you’re in the right place!
Earl Galitz
EEFC 2015 Community Forums
Share Camp. Spread the Word.
Balkan Music and Dance Workshops 2015
West Coast EEFC Community Forums Announced
Richard Herbert “Dick” Forsyth
Update from Executive Director Jay House
Fall 2013 Board Meeting Summary
Six-Month Update from Executive Director, Jay House Samios
Meet & Greet Events in NYC, Bay Area, Seattle, Chicago & Boston
Top 10 Misconceptions about Camp
ED Selection
Comments on ED Role May 2012
Board & Program Committee Update Feb. 2012
EEFC Board Meeting Notes: 1994 —2014

Post-Presidential Reflections from Kristina Vaškýs

The Friday after Thanksgiving, in a cozy winter mood, I was able to chat with Kristina Vaškýs through the magic of Zoom. We reminisced about her five years serving on the EEFC Board and her year as president.

How It All Began (On The Board)

Kristina joined the Board in the autumn of 2018 (or was it 2019? It took us a minute to discern which). “It had to be 2018 because I had one camp before COVID,” Kristina said definitively after some calculations and piecing together memories of the past five years. 

Way back in 2018, the process for becoming an EEFC board member seemed to be shrouded in mystery. I was curious: “How did you express interest? How were new people selected?”

Turns out, like for many Board members, people had approached Kristina at camp a few times. Over the years, it finally felt right to join the team.

KRISTINA: I feel like I’ve been in this community long enough to know how things work, and I’ve developed some other skills that I think that I can contribute. I’m a single person. I don’t have children, and it’s like I just have my full time job, you know, which is a lot as it is. But I don’t have these additional responsibilities that might make it hard. It seemed like the right time to commit to this.


Changing Things for the Better

And we’re all the better for that commitment: Kristina, in addition to her many roles with EEFC, has also been instrumental in making some major improvements to board policies. One of the first was clarifying the process for becoming a board member. 

KRISTINA: Along with Craig [Kurumada], we started the whole nominating committee and process. I can’t remember exactly what precipitated it, other than the fact that prior to that time, getting on the board was just like somebody approaching you at camp and saying, “Hey, I think you’d be really good on the board.” 

Which was, as it turned out, a good enough way to get Kristina involved. Since formalizing the process, however, the EEFC Board has been proud to bring on several committed, knowledgeable, and passionate members to the team.

In addition to a more transparent board nomination process, Kristina was also instrumental in working out a leadership succession plan with Maclovia Quintana. The unexpected resignation of Board President Alex Marković in September of 2021 (due to personal obligations) left Kristina, then Vice President, in a position of leadership she believed she was not emotionally prepared for. As Maclovia took on the Vice President position, the two of them worked out a succession plan in which the presidency would be a one-year commitment moving forward. The Vice President could rotate into the position the following year, and a new person would take the Vice President seat. This proposal was brought up, voted into effect by the board, and we have since seen the election of two new Presidents. We hope that this new succession process will allow incoming Presidents to plan and prepare for this important role.

KRISTINA: [Becoming president]…was definitely a surprise. I think that Alex, who came before me, had a similar experience with suddenly becoming president. So for a couple of years, there were surprise moments in leadership when somebody just had to be like, “All right, I have to step into this because I can’t let the organization down.” Alex did that, and that’s how I was feeling at the time as well (“I guess it’s me!”). You do your best, and I’m so grateful that Maclovia and I had a talk about succession to really create a more sustainable plan together.

Navigating Challenges

As many of us remember, new health guidelines during the ever-evolving pandemic made the 2022 camp planning season particularly chaotic. In February of 2022, the decision was made to cancel in-person camp for one more year, in the spirit of community health and protection. It fell on Kristina to break this news to the community during a virtual office hours meeting. While it was incredibly difficult news to deliver, Kristina, in her own amazing way, “put on [her] teacher pants,” and stepped up to the challenge, delivering a thoughtful presentation about the decision-making process. Her clarity of focus and communication set the majority of meeting attendees at ease with the decision.

KRISTINA: I was so nervous. Inside, I was freaking out. But at that moment, you do the teacher thing. You set up a PowerPoint, you explain, and you are calm. And if you feel nervous, you take a deep breath, you gather your thoughts, and you go on. I was reaching deep into my teacher toolbox for that one.

What’s Next?

Though she’s no longer helming the Board, Kristina is still going strong in the New York City Balkan music scene performing with her groups Niva and Accord.

KRISTINA: [Niva] has been regularly playing for Michael Ginsburg’s dance class on Wednesday nights once or twice a season. It’s been pretty fun, and more recently we had a couple of other opportunities come up that are a little bit more off the beaten path: We had a performance at Brooklyn Public Library that was part of the World Languages Festival. Later in February, we’re going to have a house concert. We’re used to playing very specifically within the community for dancers and for dancing, so it’s going to be an interesting experience to be like. “All right, we’re going to play like these dance tunes, but no one’s gonna be dancing.” We’ll get a chance to explain what we’re singing about and where it comes from and get a little bit more intimate with the audience, which is pretty fun. I’m also doing a lot of music making with the choir Accord.



It went without saying, but I said it anyway: “On behalf of everyone, thank you for your service on the board, especially through these crazy, crazy, tumultuous times!”

KRISTINA: Thank you! I did mean what I said at the last Board meeting too, which is that I could not have done that without having such great people around me to work with. And I think we’ve been so fortunate that every single person who’s been on the Board and who’s been on the Staff has been so fantastic to work with as far as their skills and their dedication. And just being all-around good humans. You know, if we had to have those crazy emergency sort of situations, at least we knew that we had had each other. We were always together.

It is with so much gratitude that we celebrate and thank Kristina for five amazing, transformative years of service on the board. If you are in the New York area – you have opportunities to see Kristina perform with her groups Niva and Accord. And, of course, when you see her at camp, be sure to thank her yourself for all the ways she has held (and continues to hold) our community together.