Friendship Camps & Camp New Hope
Sending Camp to Kids!
Each year we have the best job on the planet! We get to play, sing, dance, eat and practice peace with the smart, beautiful children of Bosnia-Herzegovina!
Friendship Camps are day-long programs held in schools and occasionally other settings (orphanages, special-needs programs, etc.) and focus on teamwork, the strength found in a diverse group of people working together, and on the fun of tackling a shared challenge. We used music and drama exercises, conflict resolution and diversity training. We spent the day with the children playing together, singing together, sharing stories, creating art, and eating and laughing together. We give the children, the teachers in attendance that day, and the schools some gifts – including the gift of our time and love.
Friendship Camps camps are for children ages 10-13 (and anyone else who shows up!), and are intended to help bring Healing, Hope & Peace, into their lives and their communities. Each camp held from 60 to 300+ students, with 10-20 teachers present at each.
CAMP NEW HOPE
In the summer of 2013 we started a new program: Camp New Hope. This program was a three-day retreat with a select group of young leaders invited from school in northern Bosnia from different ethnic communities. We brought these young people and one teacher from each school together to explore issues of identity and relationships built on hope and a shared desire for peace. This program was designed and led with key partners in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was VERY exciting!!!
Be sure to check out this excellent article in the July 13 Philadelphia Inquirer by CNH Team member Cindy Henry.
Each Friendship Camp and Camp New Hope needs financial sponsorship. This support is absolutely crucial to our ministry!
Friendship Camp Sponsorship is $2,600.
Camp New Hope Sponsorship is $8,500.
We'll bring back photos and and a gift from the school to all Camp Sponsors!
Please contact Bosnia IST Coordinator Jason Reed or Home Team Captain Cliff Konnerth if you are interested in, or have questions about, sponsoring one or more Camps!
2016 Friendship Camp List
Camp New Hope - majority Sponsored anonymously! Further sponsorship needed
Friendship Camp 1 - Sarajevo Friendship Camp - Sponsorship needed
Friendship Camp 2 - Leptir Disabilities Friendship Camp (near Srebrenica) - Sponsorship needed
Friendship Camp 3 - Gradacac Friendship Camp - Sponsorship needed
Friendship Camp 4 - Trnopolje/Kozarac Friendship Camp - Sponsorship needed
Friendship Camp 5 - Mostar Friendship Camp - Sponsorship needed
Friendship Camp 6 - Sanski Most Friendship Camp - Sponsorship needed
Friendship Camp 7 - Jajce Friendship Camp - Sponsorship needed
Friendship Camp 8 - Šipovo Friendship Camp - Sponsorship needed
CAMP NEW HOPE
June 25-28, 2016
Mostly Sponsored anonymously. Thank you! Further sponsorship needed
Camp New Hope is a four-day camp with a select group of young leaders invited from 10 school throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina serving a diverse group of students. We will bring young people and one teacher from each school together to explore issues of identity and relationships built on hope and a shared desire for peace. This program was designed with key partners in Bosnia-Herzegovina who share in the leadership of this program.
In 2015 these young peacemakers came from:
Donja Mahala (near Orašje)
East Sarajevo (Vojkovici)
Strojce (near Šipovo)
Celinac (near Banja Luka)
Here are the notes from the 2015 Friendship Camps. 2016 details coming soon!
Leptir Disabilities Friendship Camp
June 22, 2015
Sponsored through Agape Concert and an anonymous donor. Thank you!
Srebrenica is a small town in the far east of Bosnia – very near the border with Serbia. It is in Republik Srpska (the Serb-controlled section of Bosnia). During the war, Srebrenica was declare a UN Safe-Zone. Near the end of the war Srebrenica (with its large Muslim population) was overrun by Serb military forces who, in their attempt to ethnically cleanse the area, massacred over 8,000 unarmed civilian men and boys. This is the largest massacre in Europe since WWII. Today Srebrenica still bears many deep scars from the war; psychologically, physically, socially, spiritually. We hold a Friendship Camp with the children of Leptir (butterfly), a wonderful organization for children with disabilities based in the village of Potocari (just ouside of Srebrenica). These kids are great! This was our 9th year with these amazing children and their family members!
Trnopolje/Kozarac Friendship Camp
June 23, 2015
Sponsored by a member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Marlton, NJ. Thank you!
Trnopolje is a village outside of Kozarac, near the town of Prijedor in north-central Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the early part of the war a Concentration Camp was set up in and next to the primary school where we will be holding our Friendship Camp. Because of this connection to the war, this is an especially difficult, holy opportunity. We will invite students from the school in Kozarac to join this camp. This will be our 3rd time hosting a Friendship Camp at this school.
Sanski Most Friendship Camp
June 24, 2015
Sponsored by the Danish Children's Home Fund. Thank you!
Sanski Most is a modest-sized town on the Sana River south of Kozarac. During and after the war many Bosniak refugees settled in Sanski Most and the surrounding area. The children here are very kind and fun, but this region is greatly struggling economically. This will be our 7th year holding a Friendship Camp here.
Jajce Friendship Camp
June 25, 2015
Sponsored anonymously. Thank you!
Jajce is famous for its beautiful waterfall where the lake Pliva meets the river Vrbas. It is also home to the ruins of St. Luke's, a church that once held the actual bones of the Apostle Luke! At the beginning of the war, Jajce was inhabited by people from all ethnic groups, and was situated at a junction between areas of Serb majority to the north, Bosnian Muslim majority areas to the south-east and Croatian majority areas to the south-west. In 1992, after almost all Serbs left the city and fled to territory under Bosnian Serb control, Jajce was heavily bombed by Serb forces. Most of the houses and government building were totally destroyed. The city was under Serb control until the Croatian army retook the city in the summer of 1995. Several years ago this became a “two schools under one roof”, where they separate the Croat and Bosniak (Muslim) children into separate rooms, each with their own curriculum. While this (illegal) situation is deplorable, it is all the more reason for us to be in this community, with these children. This will be our 11th year in Jajce.
Šipovo Friendship Camp
June 26, 2015
1/2 Sponsored by St Timothy Lutheran Church, Wayne. Thank you! 1/2 sponsorship needed
Šipovo is a small town in central Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Republik Srpska (the Serb-controlled section of Bosnia-Herzegovina). During the war no fighting took place in Šipovo, but for a time it was held by opposition forces, which expelled the local, mainly Serb, residents. Since the war it has struggled to recover economically, as Republik Srpska receives little international aid. This is one of the towns we visit where many of the children seem to suffer from significant poverty. Though our first Frienship Camp, in 2000, was met with some mistrust, the people of Šipovo have graciously opened their town to us for many wonderful years. This is our largest camps each year (300+ children!) where we sometimes have to, regretfully, turn children away because of their overwhelming numbers. This is the only school where we have held a Friendship Camp every year of our ministry! This will be our 16th great year in Šipovo!
Visoko Friendship Camp
June 27, 2015
Sponsored by Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Maywood, NJ. Thank you!
On the Bosna river just north of Sarajevo, Visoko lies in a beautiful river valley. This town saw much activity during the war and has worked to recover from the ongoing economic difficulties since. The wonderful school that hosts our camp participated in Camp New Hope in 2014. While this will be our 10th year in Visoko, we haven’t held a Friendship Camp here since 2011.
East Sarajevo (Vojkovici) Friendship Camp
June 29, 2015
Sponsored by Christ Lutheran Church, Paramus, NJ. Thank you!
Vojkovici is a suburb/neighborhood to the west of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This area was attacked during the war, including sever damage to the school where we hold our Friendship Camp. Because of the growing divide between East Sarajevo, with its majority Serb population, and Sarajevo, with its majority Bosniak population, we think it is more important than ever to be here. And to help bridge this divide we are inviting the school in Sarajevo where we often hold our program to bring a large group to this camp! We will also bring our dear friends from “Joy of Life” program for children with disabilities to this camp. This will be our 11th year at this school.
Thank you so much for your support of this vital, life-giving ministry!