European Youth for Peace: Creating a United tomorrow
Having the summer of a lifetime? That’s what most young people wish for when they start making plans for the summer holidays. A three-week summer camp in the youth hostel in Bad Honnef doesn’t sound like it to you? The participants of this year’s summer camp see it quite differently.
The 48 people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Poland and this time also Albania did not know each other at the beginning, a meeting with different cultures and backgrounds. After the time together, they knew each other as well as it should be unimaginable after 3 weeks. Friendships for life were formed. This is what makes the summer camp so special!
It all started with Creative Adventure Games, rafting and climbing. Teamwork, trust and creativity were in demand. In the Elementary Groups, to which each participant is assigned, all thoughts and experiences are exchanged on a daily basis. Especially in the evenings, however, the real getting-to-know-you took place. Parties and the well-known Campfire were also part of the programme.
The International Evening is a special event of the summer camp. Each national group of participants presents their country with its culture and uniqueness to the others. Of course, there is also eating, singing and dancing. It is not only about getting to know and understand the other countries, but also to experience them. Being in seven countries at the same time is not something you experience every day.
Workshops were an equally important part of the camp. Europe, the EU, activism, especially at the local level, and human rights are topics that the participants dealt with. Here, everyone could express their own position, exchange ideas with others and discuss. Some found their own attitude only here. Strangers became friends for life. Differences became common ground. The summer camp changed things. Youth goes for peace and especially, Youth goes for a United tomorrow.
The sporty ones liked the Olympics and the swimming trip, the creative ones the creative workshops that took place in the second week. Whether drum playing, creative writing and activism, theatre, circus or masks. There was something for everyone. Each of the groups had a considerable result to present to the others at the end of the week.
The participants also organised their own workshops. Here it was just as much a matter of taking the initiative as at the press conference with a representative from each country and the Street Activism action on the streets of Bonn.
The programme also included an excursion to Bonn, including a visit to the “House of History” and to Cologne. A very special experience, of course, was the treats in the HARIBO shop.
But even though the group did not want to part after all the shared experiences, the last day had to come. This included a joint barbecue with invited guests, for which the participants had put together their own programme.
Every outsider could see how these young people, initially strangers to each other, had become an inseparable group. Fortunately, their “Campus 15 Adventure” will continue next year. They can already hardly wait to see each other again at the reunion.
More impressions of the 2016 summer camp on the participants’ blog: