LIONS CAMP E 2017

 

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 D106 A, Denmark

The participants of the Lions Camp E 2017

 

Chien Guide – Blind Dog – Cane Guida – Blindenhunde

On the 15th of October was the world white cane day, so we’d like to highlight an activity launched in France by Leo Club Paris Rive Droite, in partnership with the Lions Clubs of France.

The service dog activity is based on a sticker, that sends a message of support for blind people.

Beeing blind is a huge burden in our society where we are so dependent on our eyesight. Blind people have a couple of options to help themself get through their daily life. One of those options are the well known guide dogs, which help their master find their way around the town. But having a dog with you 24/7 causes other problems, we as the non blind people, might not even think about.

One problem for example is entering shops with a guide dog: usually dogs are forbidden in shops. Even though guide dogs are allowed everywhere since 1987, most owners are not sure if they are really welcome in that particular shop they are about to enter. Especially supermarkets and other food stores don’t like our four legged friends between all their groceries. This can be a huge factor of insecurity for guide dog owners.

On the other side shop owners usually have no problem with well behaved guide dogs showing their masters the way around their store.
To allow shop owners to show their sympathy for guide dog owners, the French Leos of Leo Club Paris Rive Droite created this sticker that can be stuck at the shop door or window.
This will allow the family and friends of the blind dog owners, to identify guide dog friendly stores and recommend these shops to them.

The stickers are at the moment available in four languages: French, English, Italian and German.
More Infos at: http://lionsclubhelenkeller.fr/chien-guide-et-son-maitre/
If you want to take part in this activity then fill out the form:
http://lionsclubhelenkeller.fr/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Chien_guide_commande.pdf
and write an E-Mail to chienguidebienvenueici@gmail.com

If the sticker ist not available in your language yet, then contact them as well and be sure to bring this activity to your country!

Xavier Maechler – ILO MD 103 France
Alexander Kölpien – ILO MD 111 Germany

Gewoon LEF

“What a week” – that is the first thing that comes to my mind while trying to settle in back home after those seven sensationally orange days.

Now in this place I could tell you about every single program point in detail, but let’s be honest: you are reading this, so either you have been there, or you have already seen hundreds of pictures from numberous things that happened during that week. If neither of that applies to you, I just recommend to visit the LEF2017 Facebook page and have a look.

So what am I talking about in this article then? I am talking about what makes the LEF special, about those feelings the pictures can’t absorb, the reason why you shouldn’t go on a five day trip to an all inclusive resort somewhere in the mediteranian. But why you should visit a European country and celebrate LEO, celebrate social contacts, celebrate beeing open minded torwards any culture and yes, just to celebrate for the sake of it.

Because what makes any LEF, but this one in particular, special is not whether you have been in the most exciting climbing garden you’ve ever been in – that is just the icing on the cake. What makes a LEF special is the people.

So the main job for a LEF orga team is to provide the best possible support frame to make this happen.

The hotel was sold out to the LEOs exclusively (which is neat), so more than 240 people, half of them newcomer needed to be formed into one group. And damn did the orga team do a good job.

Right on Sunday, the first day, in the opening ceremony, when Vince declared the LEF opened, confetti came from the ceeling, everyone received a cold Heineken to the tunes of “Don’t Stop Believin'” and you could feel how the excitement from the old LEFers spilled over to the newcomers. Suddenly everyone was fulfilled with the LEF magic.

The fun presentation of countries on Sunday evening then helped to set aside the last reservations torwards each other and people from various countries met each other to talk and share what they consider as their national foods and drinks.

That is why I come to LEF, to meet people you wouldn’t meet if you weren’t there. To learn something about other cultures and open your mind in times when we see the opposite happen.

And what further can I say? The rest is legendary! A beautiful social activity with a visit from IVP Gudrun Yngvadottir where we took more than 200 children from difficult circumstances to the zoo will always be remembered as an outstanding highlight from LEF 2017. Two very different motto parties were crazy fun, as my LEO friends from the German carnival strongholds always tell me “put 200 people in costume in a room and it will be fun!”, even though I’d like to add: “200 LEOs is even better”.

Some Dutch events like the farmers golf or cheese making rounded the program off together with awesome day trips to Amsterdam and Rotterdam and the gala on Thursday was a beautiful evening that I am sorry for everyone who missed it.

In the end I’d just like to thank the amazing orga team once again for all their hard work and hope to see everyone again next year at a #hunforgettable LEF in Hungary!

Alexander Kölpien – ILO MD111 Germany