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Bosnia: Children of War, Children of Peace
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Friendship Camps & Camp New Hope

Send a 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 350+ students, with 10-20 teachers present at each. We expect to serve up to 1,400 children during the 2014 IST!


NEW & EXCITING! 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!!!

Building on the success of CNH in 2013, we are planning another Camp New Hope in 2014!

Each Friendship Camp and Camp New Hope needs financial sponsorship. This support is absolutely crucial to our ministry!
Friendship Camp Sponsorship is $2,400.
Camp New Hope Sponsorship is $5,000.

We'll bring back photos and and a gift from the school to all Camp Sponsors! If you have questions about sponsoring a Camp, please contact our Home Team Captain Cliff Konnerth: ksnacs@msn.com; (201) 757-4086.

We are working on finalizing the 2014 list of Friendship Camps and Camps New Hope right now. Below is the tentative list. It is possible to commit to sponsoring a Camp at any time. Please do so!

Tentative 2014 Friendship Camp List

Camp New Hope: Participating schools still to be determined - partially SPONSORED!

Friendship Camp 1 - Leptir Disabilities Friendship Camp (near Srebrenica)
Friendship Camp 2 - Jajce Friendship Camp - SPONSORED!
Friendship Camp 3 - Banja Luka Friendship Camp
Friendship Camp 4 - Trnopolje Friendship Camp
Friendship Camp 5 - Sipovo Friendship Camp - SPONSORED!
Friendship Camp 6 - Mostar (Croat curriculum school) Friendship Camp
Friendship Camp 7 - Mostar (Bosniak curriculum school) Friendship Camp
Friendship Camp 8 - Visoko Friendship Camp
Friendship Camp 9 - Vojkovici Friendship Camp

Each of these Friendship Camp and our Camp New Hope needs Sponsors!


June 25-26, 2013

partially Sponsored further sponsorship needed

Camp New Hope is a three-day camp with a select group of young leaders invited from six school throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina serving a diverse group of students. We will bring 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 with key partners in Bosnia-Herzegovina who share in the leadership of this program. We are VERY excited about this!!!

Leptir (Srebrenica) Friendship Camp
June 23, 2014

sponsorship needed

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 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. At this Friendship Camp we'll hold a Friendship Camp with the children of Leptir (butterfly), a wonderful organization for children with disabilities. These kids are great! This will be our 8th year with these amazing children and some of their family members!

Jajce Friendship Camp
June 25, 2013

Sponsored by Hope Lutheran Church, Freehold, NJ and St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Wayne, NJ

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. Recently this became a “two schools under one roof”, where they separate the Croat and Bosniak (Muslim) children into separate rooms, each with their separate 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 9th year in Jajce.

Sanski Most Friendship Camp
June 26, 2013

Partial sponsorship by St Paul, Teaneck and Thrivent Financial Services, Bergen/Passaic chapter

Prior to the war, Sanski Most held large Serb and Bosniak (Muslim) populations. During the war, it was taken over by the Bosnian-Serb forces of the Republika Srpska, and was under Bosnian-Serb control from the spring of 1992 to 1995. During this time, large parts of the non-Serb population either fled or was forcibly expelled. In October 1995, the city was entered by the forces of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, shortly before the end of the war. This triggered a mass exodus of the Serb population. Today its population is primarily Bosniak. The teachers and students are very wonderful and so welcoming. We are very excited to be returning here for our 6th visit!

Sipovo Friendship Camp
June 27, 2013

Sponsored by Kessner/Konnerth/Chapin families

Sipovo is a small town in central Bosnia, in Republik Srpska (the Serb-controlled section of Bosnia). During the war no fighting took place in Sipovo, 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 Sipovo have graciously opened their town to us for many wonderful years. This is our largest camps each year (320+ children!) where we often have to, regretfully, turn many 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 14th great year in Sipovo!

Mostar (Croat curriculum school) Friendship Camp
June 28, 2013

this camp was not sponsored :(

Situated on the Neretva river in the south of the country, Mostar is the largest and the most important city in the Herzegovina region and the third largest in Bosnia-Herzegovina. During and since the war, it has been a city divided between the Croats in the western part of the city and the Bosniaks (Muslims) in the east. When we visit this city we stay with our dear friends at the Mostar Orphanage.

This Friendship Camp will be held at Silvije Strahimir Kranjcevic School (a “Croat curriculum” school). We held our first camp at this school last year with just a handful of students. We had a wonderful time. This year we hope to have a whole camp full!!

Potoci Friendship Camp
June 29, 2013

Sponsored by the Danish Children's Fund, administered by St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Edison, NJ

Potoci is a village near Mostar in the southern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is a community made up primarily of Bosniaks (Muslims). When we visit this city we stay with our dear friends at the Mostar Orphanage. This will be our 6th year at this wonderful school!

Sarajevo Friendship Camp
July 1, 2013

Sponsored by Christ Lutheran Church, Paramus, NJ

Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia- Herecegovina, is the largest city in Bosnia (population of 300,000+) located near the center of the country. It is a beautiful, richly diverse city with a deep, important history in the region. The city was attacked in mid-1992 and was under siege from that time until the end of the war - making it the longest siege in Europe since WW II. The school where we hold this Friendship Camp is a rare (possibly unique) model of diversity in Bosnia, with Serb, Croat, Bosniak (Muslim) AND Roma (gypsy) children, as well as a number of children from our dear friends at “Joy of Life” program for children with disabilities. This is a trend that we want to support and encourage as much as possible. The children and teachers at this camp have a truly wonderful spirit. We’re so excited to be returning to this school for a 5th year!

Thank you so much for your support of this vital, life-giving ministry!

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Posted by Jason on March 23, 2014