Organizing the annual youth exchange of the Saxony-Anhalt Region «Eurocamp 2019» was my main project during ESK. Months of preparation, participants selection, millions questions and not enough sleep. Then finally arriving to the location, meeting the 43 great participants from 15 countries and two unforgettable weeks. The two weeks of learning about each other, intercultural communication, romantic vibes, laughing and joy. As the person from the Eurocamp 2019 Organizing Team, I will allow myself to skip describing the preparation process, instead – I will focus on my own feelings, results and experience which I have taken away with me from this project and its people.
For two weeks, from August 4 – 16, 2019 we were staying and living in Schlaitz, the green and cosy camping place, surrounded by forests and the lake. The place belongs to the Muldestausee Gemeinde. The community was very supportive, open and kind. I felt that the people were glad to host this international event. During every youth-exchange, Eurocamp participants do several working projects and bring their contribution to the local community. This year, there were different working projects like graffiti, playground construction, building small houses for birds and bees, a football pitch construction, huts renovation and working in the community garden. Because I am a sport-lover, my project was on building a football pitch for the elementary school. Our team – me, my participants and the coordinators from the community – we were covering the ground with sand, then leveling it up and later covering it with the real grass. It was lots of physical work but an exciting experience, a real footprint which was left after us.
For my personally, there were some memorable events and moments, which I will never forget. One of them is das Ländercafe, where our participants were presenting their countries. We were travelling through all the countries our participants came from, dancing the traditional Greek dance, listening to traditional Albanian songs, learning Italian hand-gestures, eating the Balkan tasty snacks, enjoying Latvian, Icelandic and German sweets, trying to pronounce Russian tongue-twisters and playing the true-false games about France, Spain and the Dominican Republic. We had muslim participants as well, so it was one of the nicest moments to celebrating Eid - Mubarak during Eurocamp! The cultural program was intensive and full – museum and festivals’ platform visits, kayaking, bicycling, a boat trip with a true pirate! I remember our excursion to the Guarding Fachglas Company, which produces glass for architecture and design. I was so amazed to know that this company did the design glass for the roof of Hauptbahnhof in Berlin! And we had a chance to see how this glass is being produced, that was a true discovery. We did not forget about the learning program as well – workshops days - painting, yoga, upcycling, contact-improvisation, volleyball tournament and communication games.
I was not only organizing this youth-exchange together with my team, working as a trainer and team leader and being responsible for social media. Because of my love for writing, the redaction of the Bitterfeld Zeitung asked me to write daily the Eurocamp Diary - das Eurocamp Tagesbuch, during the whole event duration about our participants. It was my first time when my articles were published here in Germany, so I was feeling pretty excited.
And always, it is always about the people. The best thing which I really liked about this youth-exchange was our participants. I was extremely happy to meet so many young, charismatic and open people from all around Europe. It was such a pleasure to see how they were active, friendly to each other and supportive. For some participants it was their first youth-exchange, some came to Germany for the first time. It was a big intercultural pot and unstoppable intercultural communication. I enjoyed this youth-exchange a lot, I got the amazing experience, but the most important-I met the great people and I will always remember and keep the memories of Eurocamp 2019 in my heart. Once Eurocamper –always Eurocamper!