Life Lessons Across Cultures and Around the World

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 16:27

Each year, the Lions International Youth Camp and Exchange Program introduces young people to life in other cultures by helping them travel abroad. Each Youth Camp and Exchange includes an extended stay hosted by one of our many international clubs. As a participant in the international student exchange program, youth ages 15-21 will: live with a family in another country; meet people their age from around the world and learn about the bonds we all share — and the differences we respect in each other no matter where we live.

The program can be arranged in hundreds of countries and geographic locations where there are Lions clubs. Most student exchanges last between four and six weeks during which the participants stay with one or more host families another country. The camps are one or two weeks long and bring together young people (ages 16-22) from around the world. Camps usually include a family stay that lasts between one and four weeks. More than 100 Lions camps are held each year in about 39 countries. Activities include visits to places of cultural or natural interest, sporting events and country presentations by the camp participants.

Recently local Lions Clubs played host to the Youth Exchange Camp. The three local clubs provided dinner four nights. The Youth’s only request was to have a real Alaskan Salmon Dinner. Thanks to some very giving Lions, that was accomplished. The Youths were from 13 countries: Italy, Belgium, Germany, Poland, France, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Israel, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Their adventure began in Whitehorse, Canada, to Fairbanks, to Denali National Park, to Eagle River, Seward, Copper River, Delta then on back to their host families in Fairbanks. The Youth enjoyed mountain biking, river rafting, hiking, shopping, bird watching, dog sled rides, gold panning, baseball, etc. – are you tired yet. They were amazed by the scenery, mosquitoes, moose, eagles, caribou, daylight, and of course, how wet and cold our state can be during the summer. Well needless to say, all that the great North has to offer was provided for the Youth. They returned to their respective countries August 4th with great memories and new friendships.


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