Seminar camps, like any CISV camp, aims to educate and inspire for peace through building inter-cultural friendship, cooperation and understanding. However, unlike any other program in CISV, Seminar puts the participants in the drivers seat; from planning and facilitating activities to setting a schedule to cooking and cleaning, the participants do it all. There is a staff, of course, who supervise and take care of logistical matters as well as set the rules at the start of the camp to provide a safe and respectful environment from which the participants can learn and grow.
Also unique to Seminar is the fact that there are no limitations on what topics can be discussed. Based on their own backgrounds and interests, participants develop their agenda and explore global issues through activities and in-depth discussions. In my camp, for instance, topics ranged from the refugee crisis to discovering our identities to human trafficking and more – pretty heavy stuff! And while these global topics are interesting to discuss and learn about how different cultures approach these issues, we didn’t forget to enjoy lighter activities and games every once in a while to change the mood, as well as include ‘traditional’ CISV events such as a talent show and Gala Night!
At the end of the day, a Seminar camp is what you make of it. It’s up to the participants to take the wheel and steer in the direction they want to go in. While it’s a personally challenging and intensive experience, with conflicts arising inevitably, you learn to resolve differences through healthy discussions and come out of the camp feeling like you can take on the world. Not to mention meeting incredible people and making lots of new friends. Hands down the best three weeks of my life.
By: Tamara Mobarak
Seminar Participant – CISV Egypt
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