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 350+ students, with 10-20 teachers present at each.
CAMP NEW HOPE
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!!!
Camp New Hope 2014 was a huge success! 8 schools participated from regions throughout the country (more than we were expecting!). We will post a full write up on this page later this summer.
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 $2,400.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; (201) 757-4086.
2014 Friendship Camp List
Camp New Hope: Participating schools still to be determined - partially SPONSORED! further sponsorship needed
Friendship Camp 1 - Leptir Disabilities Friendship Camp (near Srebrenica) - partially SPONSORED! further sponsorship needed
Friendship Camp 2 - Banja Luka Friendship Camp - sponsorship still needed
Friendship Camp 3 - Jajce Friendship Camp - SPONSORED!
Friendship Camp 4 - Trnopolje Friendship Camp - partially SPONSORED! further sponsorship needed
Friendship Camp 5 - Sipovo Friendship Camp - SPONSORED!
Friendship Camp 6 - Mostar Friendship Camp - SPONSORED!
Friendship Camp 7 - Potoci Friendship Camp - sponsorship still needed
Friendship Camp 8 - Visoko Friendship Camp - SPONSORED!
Friendship Camp 9 - Vojkovici Friendship Camp - SPONSORED!
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 Camp!
CAMP NEW HOPE
June 25-26, 2013
Partially Sponsored anonymously. Thank you! 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.
These young peacemakers came from:
Donja Mahala (near Orašje)
Vojkovici (near Sarajevo)
Strojce (near Šipovo)
Leptir Disabilities Friendship Camp
June 23, 2014
Partially Sponsored through the Danish Children's Home Endowment (administered through St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Edison, NJ). Thank you! Further 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 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 8th year with these amazing children and their family members!
Banja Luka Friendship Camp
June 24, 2014
This camp still needs a Sponsor
Banja Luka is the is the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is the largest city of Republika Srpska entity. The city lies on the Vrbas river. There was no fighting in Banja Luka during the war. An estimated 40,000 Serbs from Croat and Bosniak dominated areas of Bosnia took refuge in Banja Luka. Nearly all of Banja Luka's Croats and Bosniaks were expelled during the war and all of the city's 16 mosques were destroyed. The school where we hold this Friendship Camp is beautiful and large, and although this was the 5th time we’ve held a Friendship Camp here, it was only the 2nd time since 2006.
Jajce Friendship Camp
June 25, 2014
Sponsored by the Cliff & Nancy Konnerth and Charles Gilbride. 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 was our 10th year in Jajce.
Trnopolje Friendship Camp
June 26, 2014
Partially Sponsored by St. Luke Lutheran Church, Park Ridge, IL. Thank you! Further sponsorship needed
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. This was our 2nd time hosting a Friendship Camp at this school.
Sipovo Friendship Camp
June 27, 2013
Sponsored by St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Wayne, NJ. Thank you!
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 (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 was our 15th great year in Sipovo!
Mostar Friendship Camp
June 28, 2013
Sponsored by the Miller family in the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod. Thank you!
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 the war it was a city divided between the Croats in the western part of the city and the Bosniaks (Muslims) in the east. Since the war there continues to be division within the city. 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 in 2012 with just a handful of students and had a wonderful time. This was our 3rd year here and the camp continues to grow!
Potoci Friendship Camp
June 29, 2013
This camp still needs a Sponsor
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 was our 7th year at this wonderful school!
Sarajevo Friendship Camp
July 1, 2013
Sponsored by Christ Lutheran Church, Paramus, NJ. Thank you!
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 returned to this school for a 6th year!
Vojkovici Friendship Camp
July 1, 2013
Sponsored by the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod. 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. This will be our 10th year at this school!
Thank you so much for your support of this vital, life-giving ministry!