Polish YMCA Add to your favourites       Recommend to your friend    
         polski     links     write     contact     home        
World Ecumenical Camp
Sukiennice in Cracow
Alians Światowy YMCA
Alians Europejski YMCA
Y's Men International
The first YMCA camp was organised in Kasinka Mala where YMCA leased out a plot of land in 1924. Altogether 128 boys spent their vacation in the camp; they slept in tents and prepared their own meals. Several years later wooden huts were built; the plot was bought and became YMCA property. The camp in Kasinka Mala was named Beskid and had 16 small huts, a dining room and kitchen building, a multi-purpose activity room, an infirmary and sports field. Later, an open-air, 25 m long swimming pool was built and electrical lighting installed. At that time the camp site was one of the best in Europe.

In 1927 Polish YMCA organised another camp, Pilica, located on the Pilica River, with accommodation for a hundred boys; and a third one, Wieżyca, on Ostrzyckie Lake.
YMCA summer camps are also organised today and they keep up the tradition of the first camps. Their program focuses on fostering YMCA's main goals, that are physical and spiritual development of young people and development of their civic attitude.

One of the camp traditions is a shawl, a symbol of introduction to the community of Polish YMCA members. Like the YMCA logo, the shawls have the from of an equilateral triangle and their colour corresponds to the number of camps an YMCA member participated in. During the first camp participants are given yellow shawl and in subsequent years the colours are red, green, brown, blue, emerald, and during their seventh camp they receive a black shawl with a white raven. Another camp tradition is the Olympic Games where the victory is not as important as participation, competing, and contestant's own struggle for better results. After raising the flag, competitors take the Olympic oath.

Care of mental development of the youth is not neglected at the camps. "The Brain of the Camp" is selected in a comprehensive quiz. The highest distinction for a participant is the title of "Honorary Camper", who is elected from all members by voting.

In addition to Beskid and Pilica camps, other camps, e.g. with language and natural science, are organised, in Poland and abroad. For children and young people spending their holiday in town the summer and winter day-camps are offered. Their objective is to take care of children and young people and to stimulate their development through interesting sport events, chats, games, parties and art classes and numerous tourist and educational trips involving, for instance, visits to museums.

Young Men's Christian Association