YMCA Camp Kanawana - Summer camp: a lifetime of memories!
International Youth Camp is an intercultural exchange program that encourages teenagers aged 15 to 17 to think about their role in society and get involved at the local, national, and international levels. It provides young Canadians with an opportunity to spend time in Nicaragua and play host to young Nicaraguans.
The Hochelaga-Maisonneuve Y centre has been partnered with the Nicaragua YMCA since 1993. In 2001 this partnership was extended with the addition of the Westmount Y centre and the Northumberland YMCA in Ontario. This partnership led to the creation of the International Youth Camp, an intercultural exchange program that encourages teens aged 15 to 17 in different communities to think about their role in society and get involved locally, nationally and internationally.
Canadian participants first learn to develop a better understanding of their community and its components and identify the position of young people and the role they can or may wish to play. They then have a chance to share the results of their work with teens from other communities in Canada and Nicaragua. The program lasts for 2 years. At the end of the first year the young Canadians visit Nicaragua, and the following year the young Nicaraguans come to Canada.
This program helps establish concrete, ongoing relations among the various centres involved to facilitate the exchange of expertise. It creates a space where youth from communities in Canada and Nicaragua can discuss, think, build ties, get to know one another and grow together. Through these exchanges, the youth become aware of their power as agents of social change and the impact they can have on the world.
For the participants, it is a wonderful opportunity to think about their culture, learn Spanish, develop leadership skills, and learn how to produce a video. Above all they have the chance to participate in an exceptional group experience. Their families also get involved by playing host to visitors from Nicaragua.
For more information, please contact Jacinthe Moffatt at the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve Y centre,
514 255-4651, ext. 2223.