One of the most special things about the Danish LEO’s is that they since 2011 have hosted their own Lions Camp. As far as I know, most LEO’s “just” help with the planning and take part in a Lions Youth Exchange Camp, but we start our planning 10 months before the camp and do it all ourselves – from finding a location, making the program, taking care of logistics and transportation for the Youth Exchange Students (YES), handling the budget etc. We do get financial support from the Danish Lions though, but recently one of the Danish LEO Clubs actually had to “save” some money for the camp in case something went wrong.
Frøslev Boarding School near the German border was the location for Lions Denmark Camp E this summer. 20 young people of 14 different nationalities participated. The purpose of the camp was to give the YES’s the opportunity to make good relations and new friends across borders. Furthermore, we wanted to give the participants memories for life!
The two weeks of the camp was spent on different day trips like: Visiting Ribe Viking Center to see how the Vikings lived, having a Sports Day, a trip to Sønderborg and Dybbøl Banke and looking for seals near Mandø. We also had a tradition day where the YES’s tried to celebrate both Fastelavn and a Danish Christmas Eve – and they even met Santa Claus!
To be a participant of a Youth Exchange Camp is an amazing experience but being a staff member on the camp is even more incredible. As part of the staff, you are so tired after the camp from all the hard work you have done the last two weeks. On the other hand, you are filled with so many good memories and have learnt so much about yourself, the other LEO’s, the YES’s and their countries and cultures.
The Danish LEO organisation has really improved since we hosted our first camp in 2011. Instead of just spending a weekend together at a National Convention, we spent 10 months planning each camp and then spent two entire weeks together. The outcome of this is that the relationship between the Danish LEO’s has really been boosted. This is very useful when we do joint national projects and on our national LEO board and it also help us keeping our LEO spirit high! It has also really improved our relationship with the Danish Lions. We struggled to get our own camp in the first place and we have overcome a lot of obstacles over the years. The important part is that we can and will do this together as LEO’s. Sadly, our MD can’t afford to host our camp next summer but we as LEO’s have been offered to organise one of the three Danish district camps in 2018. That is such a big honour and it exemplifies how our relationship with the Danish Lions has grown over the last years.
– Sofie Schøler Bargisen, ILO of MD106, Denmark