In May we had a very interesting and unusual event – the youth camp “Time machine”. I, as an initiator of the event was very, very happy and really excited. That is the reason why I still want to share with you about it, even though the activity passed several months ago 🙂
First, let me tell you something about the idea for the camp. I have always been excited to participate in various youth projects, trainings, exchanges, camps and any other kind of activities, which involve many young participants. On the other hand, as an “active young person” I started to become curious and eager to see what is to be “from the other side” – what it is like to be organizer of such kind of events and that was actually my reason to chose my EVS project to be in a youth centre. In connection with this I have to admit, that I was happy to become part of a quite flexible project, providing an opportunity to each one of the volunteers to suggest, plan, organize and implement own activities, according to his/her own interest. Of course, considering this, one of the ideas for my activities was to organize a youth camp. I was also quite lucky that this crazy idea (to organize camp for 10-15 international youngsters, sleeping in tents for several days) was approved and supported by my hosting organization (and I am very thankful about it!).
Okay, we got the decision that we will organize a camp, but what will be the topic? Also, it was not hard to find – I had a list of suggestions, which we have carefully discussed with my coordinator and finally we chose one of them (actually my favourite one) – to invite every participant to present old traditional outdoor games for children from his/ her country and in the end we were going to make a game collection from all the suggestions.
So, after we knew what we are going to do, we needed to invite participants. I had the strong wish to invite all my friends, the other EVS volunteers and also some youngsters from Slovakia. I was so happy surprised by my friends who immediately liked the idea and decided to join. About the Slovak youngsters – it was a challenge to get to them (maybe we didn’t find the most efficient way to communicated and to invite them), so we didn’t get any… But still we got quite a rich and interesting group 🙂
We had some weeks of preparation (planning, preparing information, creating documents, registration form, logo…) which was so much pleasure for me, so I didn’t feel how the time passed… So, in the end finally came the first day of the camp. I was very enthusiastic and excited, but also extremely nervous. Of course there was some things, which happened not the way I have planned – we had rain, a bit delay in the program, problems with the fire, some strange unknown people, who came to disturb the activity. I was really about to freak out! Also I was worried not only about some fails of the organization, but also about the weather – it was not very promising and I was really afraid if the participants would like the camp and would stay till the end. But all the stress and worries passed when we have made the evaluation in the first evening. I was so good surprised by all the nice things, which the other volunteers said, so I even started to feel happy and to become more optimistic about the next days. 🙂
The second day of the camp started much better. Well, we had again a challenge to set the fire on (it had rained all night long, so on the morning all the wood was completely wet), but our brave and dedicated fire-(starter)-man Miguel made a real miracle, so in the end we had a quite nice breakfast with hot tea and coffee :)) After the breakfast we started playing the first games, which Nara presented to us. From the very beginning when we started to play I saw how everybody started smiling and forgot about all the complication previous day, the terribly cold night and the wet morning. From that moment till the last day of the activity I think there was some kind of a magic – everybody was feeling happy and light-hearted and really enjoying to be part of the activity and to go back to the childhood playing his/her favourite children-games (or at least to me looked so). I was also very happy, because one of my big dreams came true, I was thankful to all the people, who supported me and joined, but the most I was happy, because I was seeing the happy faces of my friends and we had a really great time together. I will never forget how enthusiastic all the participants were while presenting the games and how active were the rest of the volunteers (and we all were surprised how many similarities we found in the games played in quite different and distant countries). I will never forget our delicious meals, which we cooked on our own on the fire, how organized were the people on duty to clean the dishes and how exciting was to share the big old military tent, which became our home for four days. I will never forget the happy days, full of laughs and positiveness, our evening talks around the fire and the way how I discovered each one in a new and wonderful way, showing me how lucky I am to have such great persons as friends!
I want to say again a big, big, biiig THANK YOU to all the people who joined the activity and helped me:
Our great participants: Nara, Miguel, Manu, Simon, Lenka, Barbara, Andrea, Zanda, Hansol, Lilyanna, Aneta.
My coordinator – Andy (who really made a lot of work, for the camp to become true)
The great colleagues from CVČ – Junior for the great support (and special thanks to Jarka, who helped us to find a big pot for cooking the meals and Eva, who borrowed us the big spoon for cooking 🙂
And Mr. Kubica (the owner of the camp place) for being such a great host for us during these four days 🙂
And last, but not least – let me share the result of the whole camp activity – the game collection (it took time to finish it, but it is finally ready, so I am very happy to introduce it:)). It consists of all the games, presented by the participants during the camp. It can be used as a tool with ideas for in- and outdoor activities with kids, but also some of the ideas are suitable for ice-brakers, energizers and team-building games. Hope you would like it and use it.
P. S. In case you find any misspelling, wrong word or some expression, which is not clear, you can always contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be glad to correct or explain everything needed.