In 2015 we celebrated 5 years of GROW through 5 magical days!
During the middle of the summer, we gathered the big GROW family to celebrate the results and the impact of the project in a GROWzav way with educational games, development trainings and irresistible challenges that combine internationally, campfires, fun and unforgettable stories.
Between the 6th and the 11th of July, at the Saulia summer camp (Mures county), GROW Summer Camp has reunited the generations of coordinators, ambassadors, trainees from 2010 to 2015, as well as the initiators of the program, together with the most important GROW national partners, to celebrate 5 years of GROW and built the bases for the next 5, so that we continue to offer experiences loved by teenagers. The camp was organized by a driven and amazing team of former GROW coordinators from 2013-2015, supported by Scoala de Valori.
The GROW Summer Camp experience was enjoyed by 111 students, who have participated in one, two or three GROW editions from 13 cities, living moments of pure joy, emotions, energy and discoveries. The atmosphere was brought to life by 8 Romanian trainers and 4 international ones, which provided a complete range of development, fun and multicultural activities, like in any GROW event.
All in all, this is what the 5 days of camp looked like:
On the first day we slowly got to Saulia, we got to know each other and talked about the camp’s concept. We did icebreaker games, we shared life stories and talked about “The Hero’s Journey”. We ended the night with a debrief and a restful sleep.
The second day was about awareness, about understanding personal values and discovering the things that motivate us, helped by simulations and interactive games. In the middle of a sultry day we cooled off with a soundly water fight. After we gave life to Pendo Kingdom, where we learned what it means to take decisions in a society, to find yourself in different social groups with common values and to think in the long run. Read more…
How does the camp look through the eyes of the participants? Some of them shared their thoughts on the experience:
Anastasia Karouti, trainer
The atmosphere in GROW Camp was absolutely a GROW atmosphere – there was shyness and lots of questions in the beginning, learning during the days of the camp and all the sessions, and plenty of sadness in the end. You may ask now: ‘Only learning was there in the process?’ It is difficult to describe all the other things that come up as somebody works with GROW teenagers. It is learning from and for them, love, friendship; honesty, direct feedback and development. It is like you go through meditation, therapy, school and a close human relation all together. It is lovely. This is also what I learned from the Romanian teenagers (again): they are so rich in their soul and they offer you so many things, like they are placing a rainbow in your hands. One thing I will not forget is the moment we started the camp and the final goodbye: it reminded me why I got in this long travel in the first place – to GROW.
Lots of fun, acquiring knowledge and long lasting friendships. These are the three ingredients that succeeded in making GROW Summer Camp one of the greatest experiences of my life. I did not have great expectations when I arrived in the camp, I just wanted to have fun and enjoy every moment that was going to happen during the following week. To my amazement, I was delighted to meet there lots of youngsters, not only other participants, but also organisers and trainers, all of whom had the same two main targets: to live an unforgettable camp experience and to make a change in the society. All in all, I think that GROW Summer Camp was the family every one could have wished for, and my only regret was that it didn’t last longer. I am so glad that I decided to come there and I’m looking forward to making more GROWzav memories!
Cristina Cojocaru, Project Manager GROW Summer Camp
Amazing experience… During the 6 months of organizing there have been many moments of doubt, but now I can say that all the work and white nights have paid off. The atmosphere was unbelievable. So much energy, love and smiles. The teenagers got involved in sessions, games and conversations and were very creative and interested in their futures and dreams.
I cannot wait to plan the next GROW Summer Camp and bring together this amazing GROW heroes and to work again with my superherous: the team members!
Ioana Oncica, trainer
GROW Summer Camp was the best camp I have been in ever!! (even if i was in only one camp in kindergarten). Now seriously, it was my best experience with teenagers so far in a real camp environment. It was the camp that every kid dreams about, exactly the way a camp should be and more. I said more because except from the spirit of playing and knowing each other through all these days we all learned a lot. The teenagers attended to sessions of values, motivation, life path, understanding life through role play and many others that made this camp so unique. Me, as their trainer, played along with them, had fun, and understood one special thing about teenagers today: If we really want to change something in Romania we have to start with their ideas. Read more…
Renata Bondoi, participant
One or two months prior the camp I was so excited even though I wasn’t even on the list, but later I made sure I was there. I wanted so bad to go because of the great memories I knew for sure I would make and also because of the people I travelled and also met there. I still keep in touch with them and they are awesome in every possible way!
It was 7th of July, THE DAY, I was more than excited and for some reason super nervous, but once we arrived in Tirgu Mures all my nervousness just washed away. From the first minutes there we were welcomed with hugs and geniune joy and they made you feel like it was meant for you too be there. And so our “journey” started. Read more…
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