Camp is a completely different world. Band Camps, Basketball Camps, Boy/Girl Scout Camps, etc, etc… you get the idea. Camp season has officially commenced in the Caucasus. As it stands I am participating as a counselor in 3 different ones, one of which recently completed – International Student Forum (ISF) – the other two are environmental and computer camps in different parts of the country.
International Student Forum was probably one of, if not, the highlight of my first year … and I’ve had a pretty good first year. It gave us a snapshot of the future for Armenia, as 60 participants (10 international) ranging from 17 – 22 years of age participated in a 10-day forum centered on such themes as international development, community leadership, and various country studies, concluding with a 2-day Model United Nations (MUN) event. International participants from several other countries included: Turkmenistan, Kyrgystan, Turkey, Georgia, Poland and Jordan. It was impressive to see teams of 10 prepare position papers for their countries and listen to them negotiate terms and amendments for resolutions.
There are two sides to every camp: participants & staff. Not only were the participants themselves enjoyable to work with, but our Armenian staff was incredible. Most having studied in States for high school, or university, they were also part of the reason this camp was so successful. Now, about ISF; ISF is part of IOC (International Outreach Coalition) that was started in Ukraine by Peace Corps Volunteers and is carrying out these camps and forums both in Ukraine and Armenia with help from PCVs here. And we’d do it again without hesitation. Pictures coming soon.