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Lions International Youth Camp

Lions International Youth Camp

Graeme Vallely —

The Youth Camp and Exchange Program (YCE) brings the ideal of global citizenship to life. Each year this program gives thousands of young people the opportunity to experience life in other cultures and gain new understanding of the world through travel abroad. Apply now – applications close 31 October.

Unlike some youth exchange programs, YCE does not involve academic study or employment. Instead, participants are encouraged to use this travel opportunity to represent their home countries and share their own culture while learning about and embracing a new one, forging the way to becoming young ambassadors for peace and international understanding.

Each year between the dates of 27 December and 6th January, young people from New Zealand and many other countries converge on Lake Okataina Outdoor Education and Recreation Centre, Rotorua to come together for 10 days at the Lions International Youth Camp. These young people meet as strangers, but part as lifelong friends in many cases. Many different cultures blend together, each learning from the other and becoming firm friends, through sharing experiences new to many of them in a fun atmosphere.
Participants aged from 17 to 20 years are eligible to apply, and must be sponsored by a Lions Club or District.

Katikati youth, David Tibshraeny, attended the 2014-15 camp and had this to say about his experience at the camp:

“In December 2014 to January 2015, I attended the annual Lion’s International Youth Camp. The camp is based at Lake Okataina, in Rotorua. I was one of 57 camp members, from 9 different countries. My first expectations of the Camp were truly exceeded, as the entire ten days of the camp was packed with excitement and adventure. The camp also took us throughout the Bay of Plenty to some stunning locations. Some of the things we did included, surf lifesaving and beach games in Opotiki, staying on a Marae in Whakatane, Luge rides and paintballing in Rotorua and not to mention a great New Year’s party. A personal favourite for me from the Camp, was that after the first day we began to form strong connections and became great friends. To add on to that, I am still in contact with all the camp members. I would strongly encourage anyone keen to attend this camp, to go and apply as it is definitely an opportunity not to be missed. Finally, I would also like to say a huge thank you to the all members of the Lions Club of Katikati, who sponsored me to attend the Camp. It is a great opportunity that they are offering and one that should be grabbed with both hands.”

Applications are now open, but close on 31 October 2016.

Please contact The Secretary, Lions Club of Katikati, P O Box 100, Katikati, or email de.vg@xtra.co.nz for applications and any queries. Do not leave it too late as numbers are restricted.

Opening Ceremony at Okataina Youth Camp, Okataina, Rotorua

Tuesday 27th December

Closing Ceremony Thursday 5th January