On Tuesday 15 September a group of young people and their parents/guardians met in Banbridge Youth Resource Centre to celebrate what has been termed by one participant as a ”life changing experience.”
The celebration event was an opportunity for parents/guardians to see and hear how the camp impacted the participants and also an opportunity for recognition of a successful summer camp.
The group of young people were part of a programme Funded by the OFMDFM, called TBUC, led by Education Authority (Southern Region) youth workers and supported by local organisations.
The programme, TBUC, meaning: - Together Building United Communities was designed to target young people aged between 13 -17 years and from diverse backgrounds.
The aim was to bring them together in a camp and create a safe space for them to get to know one another where difference was respected, stereotypes challenged, everyone included and most importantly fun took place.
This experience commenced in May 2015 with the recruitment of a Steering Group of young people who were supported to steer the direction and content of the camp.
An introductory night and team building session for all participants was held in preparation for the camp.
The camp experience was finally achieved during the week of 11th to 14th August 2015 at the Shannaghmore Outdoor Education Centre, near Newcastle in County Down.
During camp the young people participated in a range of outdoor educational activities and joined in themed discussions and workshops around peace and reconciliation.
This experience helped participants form meaningful and lasting friendships across the Banbridge District.
Feedback from participants on the camp was very positive and all articulated the desire to continue the friendships, meet more often as a group and to have a similar camp next summer.