Worldwide Youth Camps – Did you Know:-
The Lions International Youth Exchange Program fulfils the Former First Object of the Lions:
‘To create and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world’
Worldwide there are 114 camps in 41 countries, for detailed information please follow the link:-
The above link to the international web site also has many other links such as ‘Directory’, ‘host families’ or the standard application form YCE 1401 and its European equivalent.
The Directory link will show a list of the Worldwide Camps all with different themes, Every year, thousands of young people travel around the world to learn about cultures, customs and friendship through the Youth Exchange Programme, by doing so their lives are enhanced.
There is an MD officer (Youth Exchange co-ordinator or YEC) who will oversee the outward process and liaise with other countries YECs and the students. Each District also has a YEC who role is to liaise with clubs to find candidates for going abroad.
New Milton Club from District 105D regularly sends abroad around 12 students from their local college. In 2014 5 were sent from Ringwood & Fordingbridge and in 2015 these numbers increased. Compare this with the rest of MD105 where less than 10 are sponsored by all of the other clubs in UK put together.
So, how does Youth Exchange affect you and your club?
- Firstly it can enable the club to sponsor a worthy applicant. ‘Sponsor’ in this context means Endorsement, it does not mean finance. There is no need to provide funds UNLESS THE CLUB WISHES TO DO SO.
- Secondly there is an opportunity for the club to gain some good press, finding an applicant can be done in a number of ways which are ‘Newsworthy’ items.
How does the system work?
- Application needs to be in December and early January, find that young person, they need to be 16 – 22. The PDF, YCE 1401, is downloadable and may be completed electronically.
- They Choose the Camp they wish to go to from the camp DIRECTORY
- They need to physically capable of attending the camp of their choice (Specialist Camps are available to partially sighted or those with mobility problems)
- The should be able to find the air fare to their choice of Camp, the directory will also show additional charges made for some camps to cover inland travel costs etc.
- When satisfied after assessing the criteria the Club will then ask the Applicant to Complete the PDF Form and additional paperwork such as Passport copy and Host Letter.
- These are sent to the District YEC who will check the application and forward it on the MD officer. They should be told quite quickly if they have a place if they apply early.
All camps are held on the same dates worldwide and there is an initial period of hosting within that country where the applicant stays with a family who will acclimatise them to the culture and customs before they travel on to the camp.
Please give some thought to getting out there and finding those elusive youngsters – We need to encourage the young and ALL our Youth programmes MUST succeed or Lions Clubs will DIE.
Hosting youths with local families is an important part of the experience. Please click here to see a guide on the different aspects for consideration in hosting youths.
Lion John Apps.