„YMCA Europe is a working fellowship to strengthen movements where people grow in body, mind and spirit.“


17th May 2017

YMCA Europe Eastern Platform Camp Conference | 11-14 May 2017, Belarus, Minsk

YMCAs of Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Belarus are developing Camp Program concept as a signature one. This is one of the objectives of the joint project "Move to Strength", supported by YMCA USA and organized by YMCA Europe, under one of the strategic priorities of YMCA Europe "Movement Strengthening".

Other objectives include:

  • development of democratic governance,
  • culture of strategic planning,
  • human resources.

The Camp Conference is the first joint event, which aimed to discuss different aspects of camps so to make the program stronger. 48 participants from 8 countries participated, including partners from Great Britain, the USA, Sweden.

Plenary sessions included the following topics:

  • "Standards for Camps in USA" (Kath Davies),
  • "Safe Space and Child Care Policy" (Mikhail Guskov, World YMCA),
  • "7 steps to a Successful Camp" (Kath Davies).

The workshops embraced the following topics:

  • Staff Training (Kath Davies, Y USA),
  • Video at camp as a tool for promotion and as part of the program (Korney Demidyuk, Y Ukraine),
  • Eco-friendly camps (Y Sweden),
  • Conflict management and Group dynamics (Petr Bozhichko, Y Russia),
  • Evaluation of impact, satisfaction rate (Philip Gurianov, Y Russia),
  • Equality in camps - practical methods (Y Sweden),
  • Elaboration of the program (Maryna Martynenko, Y Russia).

The participants were gathering for such discussions as:

  • Financial Sustainability of camp programs (Kath Davies, Y USA),
  • Tent camps (Alexey Bakhanov, Y Ukraine),
  • Value approach (Tina and Korney, Ys of Russia, Ukraine),
  • Inclusion in camps (Ruslan Ananyev, Y Belarus),
  • Campsite management (Kath Davies, Y USA).

The program also included presentations of types of camps in the area, game space, TED talks, cultural entertainment evenings, non-formal socializing, sport, etc. The Camp Group of Eastern Platform gathered for discussing the main priorities. 17 people participated and outlined the main priorities: gradual elaboration of Camps Standards (with a stress on Safety and Child Care Policies) and preparation of Camp Counsellors.

The Conference has shown a great potential for development of strong and professional Camp Program in the region, as there are amazing teams of motivated camp leaders, who definitely know why they are running camps and do it in a unique and excellent way. The Conference has become a step towards raising the professionalism in this area, towards moving camps to a more qualitative program.

Full photo album of the event available here.

Author/Source: Olga Lukina