YMCA Camp Europe Campacity Conference

After months of planning and hard work, Campacity 2024 took place over April 15th-21st in Toledo, Spain at the Castillo de San Servando youth center, with the support of the local government. We then moved across to YMCA Camp Priego and was hosted by YMCA Spain.

The second “Campacity” Conference was a joint initiative of YMCA Europe & Y USA, hosted by YMCA Spain and aimed to:

  • Increase capacity of YMCA Camp Europe with human resources able to offer relevant and innovation-led ideas on forms and contents of camp programs.
  • Build capacity for the YMCA Camping Movement to work with war-affected young people and families in Europe – with a focus on, but not exclusively limited to Ukrainian IDPs

During one week of sessions, participants:

  • Strengthened their capacity as camp program leaders to deliver relevant and innovative programs focused on trauma healing, development of life skills, conflict management & refugee integration;
  • Gained practical tools, skills and resources for camp management;
  • Became catalysts for deeper strategic cooperation within camping program in Europe;
  • Built a network of camp peers between Europe and the United States.

All this was made possible through a successful collaboration between the YMCA Europe and Y USA participants and by sharing each national or local YMCA’s meaningful work. 75 Participants from 15 different countries came together motivated to learn and share, with the aim that united them all – love of camping and belief in its impact. The program was balanced with capacity-building sessions and cultural exposure time designed to help connect and create connections. Participants had the option to attend workshops for many cross-cutting topics that play a crucial role in creating a successful camp such as strategy building, fundraising, partnerships, monitoring and evaluations to name a few. Apart from this, they had an opportunity to learn about the Do No Harm methodology, as in today’s world, it is crucial to stay mindful of our actions, plans and projects.

As a final note, it needs to be mentioned how wonderful and empowering it is to see people working hard today with whatever means they have to create a better tomorrow, and Campacity demonstrated that even if we live thousands of kilometers away from each other, we are part of something bigger.