Place: Bohinjska Bistrica, Slovenia
Date: 23.07.2022 – 30.07.2022
This years reunion was something special. Not only one former campus generation met again after some time, but everyone from all the generations was invited. Coming from this invitation 39 former Campus15 participants found their way to Bohinjska Bistrica in Slovenia in July 2022. 39 participants from 7 different countries (Bosnia I Herzegovina, Germany, Croatia, Poland, Serbia, Montenegro, The Netherlands) and 7 different Campus15 generations (between 2002 and 2016) joined this Big Reunion.
The project was started to reignite the spark we all remember from Campus15. Due to Covid and some other difficulties with fundings beforehand the last summer camp took place in 2016 with their Reunion in 2017. But this Big Reunion showed us again that the spirit still lives in all of us.
The day of the arrival at the camp was Saturday 23rd of July. Almost all participants came that day, so that first day was reserved for meeting up with people from other generations and meeting again with people from the same generation. After the dinner, all participants gathered for the first activity at the camp in the reception of the hostel. Besides some explanations about logistical stuff, we also played some get to know games. It was amazing to see how far some of the participants travelled to join this reunion.
The agenda of the camp somehow reminded us of our own summer camps. We had activities like Get to Know games, trust building and getting to know the other cultures. A mixture of outdoor and indoor activities as well as excursions were part of the program. And also getting together in element groups was a very special memory about the past.
On the second day we had some outdoor activities which primarily aimed to build trust among participants and help them acquaint themselves with each other. Participants were divided into their element groups and were playing games against each other. Do you maybe remember some of these funny games from your summer camp? Overturning the blanket, holding a container full of water by your feet, name guessing, building shapes with a rope when everyone is blindfolded… Games were played on the meadow near the hostel and since it was very sunny, participants found refreshment at the bank of river Sava Bohinjka. Second activity for that day was geo-orientational hiking around Bohinjska Bistrica. Hiking included visiting important spots around the village, searching for hidden objects and fulfilling some funny tasks such as taking silly pictures etc. It was a great start into the week and after the day it didn’t feel anymore as if we were from different camps. It felt like we had always known each other already.
On Monday the group made a trip to Bohinj lake. The lake and nature around it were incredible and the whole group made a hike around it. At the other side of the lake, some used the opportunity to hike to a waterfall nearby and the other half stayed by the lake and enjoyed swimming.
On 26th of July we had an indoor workshop day on political topics. In the morning a simulation gave us some insights about the difficulties of negotiations when a country wants to join a union of other countries. Afterwards we learned something about the actual joining process for EU country candidates.
The workshops were part of the preparation for visiting the House of EU in Ljubljana and for the lecture which was planned there. Both workshops arouse great discussions and strong emotions and impressions among participants.
After the dinner, participants attended some self-organized workshops from other participants out of the group. Offers were a workshop about breathing and astrology and a school-project about sexual health.
A day later we visited lake Bled. Bled is a 1 hour ride by train from Bohinjska Bistrica. The lake of Bled is more urbanised, so many participants enjoyed famous cremeschnitte (which is originally from that place) in local cafes. Free time by the lake was also used for watersports, sliding down the hill on sledges or visiting the view point above the lake. After dinner the group splitted, some watched a movie and some had a plaster masks workshop with great outcomes.
On Thursday we all went to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. In the morning a visit to the House of the European Union was on the agenda, where we had a workshop about EU integrations, the future of the EU and current politics. After the lecture and a small workshop in the hall of the House of EU, the rest of the day was spent walking around the city. The prepared walking tour with a professional guide was great and we had the chance to see many major spots in the city. In the evening, the whole group went to a restaurant with traditional food downtown.
Last day of the camp was Friday. In the morning we had some more self-organised workshops: Networking, slack lining and a workshop about diversity and inclusion. After lunch we talked about the future of Campus 15 as an organisation. We found a variety of plans, proposals and ideas.
In the evening we organised a big party in the hall of the hostel with national food, costumes and music. The motto of the party was “United in diversity”.
In the next morning farewell tears were seen everywhere as one after another needed to leave the venue to travel back home.
In general we were all taking new and refreshed old memories back home. Even though we complained sometimes about the weather and the food, it was a great experience. Having the whole hostel for ourselves we lived one week in a Campus15 world, which most didn’t want to leave so early after a week.
A report from Mila Ðordevic (Serbia) and Jenny Maahs (Germany)