Last week, the WYA North America regional directors, WYA president, and six intern-counselors concluded the 10th annual International Summer Camp (ISC) in Warner, New Hampshire. WYA staff hosted twenty-two campers from every region of the world.
Despite long days and jet-lag, campers engaged their entire selves during the week’s many classroom and extracurricular activities. The campers’ enthusiasm, passion, and willingness to learn inspired the counselors and directors alike, as they posed thoughtful philosophical questions during the CTP training, expressed strong interest in WYA’s advocacy positions and white papers training and argued passionately during Model UN Negotiations.
Patrick Conant, a WYA intern and camp counselor, presented on the topics of maternal health and surrogacy, and engaged in dialogue with the campers. For him, it was especially “inspiring to see young people from all over the world committed to learning more about human dignity so that they can bring a person-centered approach to their lives and future careers.” Another counselor, Andres Carrillo, was also taken aback by the passion of the campers, and he reflected that, “WYA’s International Summer Camp not only served to instruct campers on solidarity and the value of mankind but also helped me, a counselor, see how today’s youth is genuinely interested in learning about topics that affect the overall world population.”
A prominent theme from WYA’s CTP readings that camp manifested is friendship. Culture, nationality, and language differences proved to be not barriers but points of connection, encounter, and cultural exchange. The campers taught one another about aspects of their own various cultures in the cultural show and tell, shared their musical talents in the talent show, and shared words, phrases, and songs from their own countries.
“Ultimately,” says Weronika Janczuk, regional director for NA, “camp proved true what we hoped—to make it an experience of family and bonding, of pure joy united in the most important of missions: defending the dignity of the person.”
Save the dates for the 2018 ISC!