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


15th August 2017

Road to peace can be long and tiring... But certainly not when young people take the initiative to walk it, together!

YMCA Georgia "Camp Orange" has been very busy with local and international activities since official opening in 2015, but the event hosted on July 23-29, 2017 was a special one - 40 young people from 7 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine & USA) took part in "Camping & Outdoor Education - Road towards Peace", implemented by YMCA Georgia within the framework of YMCA Europe "Roots for Reconciliation" Seed Grant Tool project component.

The bonding was immediate, the energy level always high and the motivation to learn truly inspiring. The diversity in background, level of experience and age was no hindrance either - the entire program went on as if these people have already been together for a long time...

Workshops - YMCA of the USA delivered several sessions on:

  • Team-Building,
  • Personal Growth
  • Problem-Solving;

YMCA Russia focused on:

  • Family & Youth Camps and methods how to best organize them based on their experience,
  • Team-Building,
  • Cooperation,
  • Communication skills;

YMCA Ukraine presented very interesting tool for promoting peace and conflict transformation - "Play-Back Theatre".

The program included the hiking trip to nearby National Park; Outdoor Activity Sessions when participants had the opportunity to learn about and try new sports, such as: Spike Ball, Lacrosse, American Football, Ultimate Frisbee, etc.; the visit to beautiful seaside town of Batumi; Intercultural Evening; "Session at Sea" and lot more...

And evaluation?! - Very positive one, when the most frequent mentioned downside was "the camp duration was not enough"... But for me the best remark came from one of the American participants - standing together and watching the young people dancing and singing together during the closing evening, he turned to me and asked - "but how do you guys do it?!"...

Full photo album

“Camping & Outdoor Education – Road towards Peace” Ureki, Georgia 2017

Author/Source: Rezi Shavladze