Camp Gideon, my first summer camp with Love Russia, was an exhilarating gallop from beginning to end. Foster families, children and carers from orphanages and disadvantaged children of local families gathered on the northern coast of Estonia for a week of fun and relaxation. Our fantastic international team of volunteers and interpreters worked their socks off and had a wonderful time organising songs, sports, craft, activities, experiences and teaching for the young people who attended. Despite some travel hiccups outward and homeward, the team quickly became very close-knit and pulled off a brilliant programme.
This year was a new adventure as the age range was more teenage than usual. Though initially daunting, this proved a real opportunity for deeper one-to-one conversations, discussion groups, a hair and nails counter and some masterclass-style lessons in guitar and Photoshop. At the other end of the age range, the mums and little ones were absolutely enchanted by the transformation of an accommodation cabin into a magical storytime sanctuary.
Thanks to the generous support of so many and to the fundraising efforts of our fantastic team we were able to bless each family and group with new underwear, t-shirt and a sun hat for each young person, craft materials for indoor youth work throughout the winter, and a laptop and camera to two older teens who showed particular skill and interest in photography.
My take home memories (among so many) are the laughter as the young people jumped off my shoulders into the sea, introducing them to giant toasted marshmallows and having my nails painted bright yellow by three chatty girls.
10 nations - England, Scotland, France, USA, Estonia, Russia, Hungary, Belarus, Ukraine, Germany
19 LR team members and interpreters
72 campers age 6-18
3 baptisms - congratulations Rebekah!
Although there are no trips arranged for 2017 yet!, If you're interested in joining us for a volunteer opportunity next year, you can express your interest by getting in touch or by filling out an application form.