YMCA Minsk at the Eastern Platform Conference on Camps or why 400 kilometers is not so far

Representatives of YMCA Minsk took part in the Eastern Platform Conference on Camps, which was held from March 30 to April 1 near Minsk.

Delegations from four countries including Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and Moldova exchanged experiences in organizing camps, learned from the American Morgan Theze about the secrets and peculiarities of the Frost Valley YMCA camps, shared their experiences in organizing camps, trainings and other events in national bases.

A confident adult gives the possibility to realize to his child. And the child will be active and confident.

The delegates learned even more about sports and family camps, namely, about ropes courses and the reasons why every participant should understand the importance of teamwork and the absence of competition within a group, and why conditions of competition should be clearly set out. Role-playing games and quests including difficulties that camp counselors may meet were discussed at the Conference. At the “Age Psychology” session the teams discussed the psychological aspects of childhood and analyzed why adults should be sure that their children are safe and remember that children are equal; the leader should always be on the side of the child.

At the "Tensing in the camp" session it was discussed the meaningfulness that is important for self-expression and development; it is necessary to know what goals we want to achieve. Participants exchanged contacts and experience of holding international festivals, and also realized that 400 kilometers is not so far :)

To resolve the conflict, you need to get rid of emotions, and then look for interests

At the "Conflictology" session the guys made the main conclusion: to solve the conflict, one must get rid of emotions, and then look for interests to understand what the sides want, because the needs always stand behind the interests!

In the Ukraine there is a camp “GO Global”, which attracts volunteers from the West to school camps for 2 years. Now, 700 schools and 70,000 people have participated in the GO Global project.

At the "SMM" session the participants discussed new ideas for the development of our groups and social networks and realized that it is not always useful to try to reach the unreachable.

In the case of burns one should never take off clothes but cool injured places with running water...

There was a lot of information useful for both camps and life on the first aid course of the Belarusian Red Cross Society. For the first, we should analyze how dangerous it is for us to help another person. Participants tried to put bandages and found out that the injection of "Climastin" or "Demidrol" helps if a child had Quincke`s disease and could not breathe. In the case of burns, one should never take off clothes but cool injured places with running water. It is forbidden to use “Panthenol” or something cold to treat fresh wounds. It is better to hold burned skin under cool water for 15 minutes and then treat with “Chlororgixedin”. You should not use any kind of acid, alkali and even soda but water because it is universal solvent. If you stepped on the nail, you should get a bandage and go to the hospital. In the case of epilepsy, it is forbidden to put keys and other objects into the mouth of the person in order not to damage his teeth. When the seizure happens, tongue does not fall. You should not hold his head and limbs tight but get him onto his side and put your hands under his head or on his knees and then wait for a doctor.

The first thing you should do in the case of hypothermia is to exclude the possibility of aggravation of condition of the victim. It means that you should not use heating pads but warm frozen hands

naturally, namely, by your own hands. You could use antiseptic and then go to the hospital. 

What? Where? When?

Delegations took part in the sports intellectual game "What? Where? When?" You may read about some its secrets here. So, the first questions were related to the words “beginning”, “start”, “first”, and the final ones were related with the words “end”, “summing up”, “final”. It was better to write a whole question because right answer may depend on the number of words in the question.

Traditions and rituals

We discussed traditions and rituals of different departments of the YMCA. It is interesting that traditions and rituals differ from country to country. For example, in the morning someone wakes up children with a horn or music or a usual call.

Group on Eastern Platform on camps

The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova decided to create this kind of platform 4 years ago. Our countries may help each other to develop because we have similar culture, history and language. We did our best to manage organization, to form certain image and achieve financial stability and camp competence.

The European YMCA includes 42 countries. The necessity to create the European group on camps is on the agenda. The European YMCA realizes that we do amazing things and move forward.

Participants discussed possibilities of future cooperation and unanimously accepted a prepared letter to the European YMCA about the importance of holding the Eastern Platform Conference and its future development.

“I would like to gather a team of Minsk YMCA and to find out peculiarities of organizing camps in the Carpathians and Altai”

“It is useful to hold YMCA Eastern Platform meetings. It is difficult times (I mean our region) and social organizations should do their best to unite youth and adults”, the Conference participant and representative of Minsk YMCA Igor Lobkov said. “Also, it is important that we have the opportunity to represent our recreational bases. But there are not too many foreigners to exchange experiences”.

“I consider more useful those sessions where I found out traditions of Americans camps and family camps. The most interesting was to see bases in Panamontsi, Belarus, in Carpathians, Ukraine, in Altai and Yaroslavl region, Russia. We discussed many questions for three days including development of camp program, leader competence and search for participants and volunteers. I was inspired and wrote down many “life hacks”. I will use this experience while organizing camps in Panamontsi. I would like to gather a team of Minsk YMCA and to find out peculiarities of organizing camps in the Carpathians and Altai”, Ruslan Ananyev said.

“I think that medical course, namely, the first aid session, was the most useful and memorable. In addition, it was interesting to hear about organizing the intellectual game "What? Where? When?” and other quests and role-playing games. Training on settling difficult situations in camps was also useful”, Vasily Sinyak answered when we asked him about the most interesting and useful moments of the Conference.

Anastasia Bobrovskaya

Translated by Galina Luschik

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