“Lietuvos Atgaja” is a creative camp for children and youth. It originated in 1993 as a place where children of Lithuanian diaspora could learn about the country of their ancestors, about its customs and culture, also to improve their language skills and become aware of their identity. Today the camp is open to all children.
Every year various educational programs are implemented at the camp where children are introduced to the Lithuanian cultural heritage by nurturing values and expanding the cognition of traditions and customs as well as the notion of Lithuanianness.
During the summer there are at least nine different “Lietuvos Atgaja” camp shifts. Each of them has its own theme – mythological, historical, cultural, literary, arts, theatre, national and family holidays, fairy tales, legends and other shifts. The camp is always different and although sometimes it may seem that the themes are the same, it always depends on the children and the counsellors who create the essence of the camp together. Each of ten days in the camp has its own idea, topic and event.
The camp is managed by student-age volunteers who are adult enough to take care of children, but young enough to make a deep connection with the campers. By working together both the volunteers and the children find unique and creative ways of self-expression. Each shift has its administration which consists of the main manager, his assistant, a musician, an artist and a medic.
In the camp, children are divided into mixed age groups called families – each family consists of children from 9 to 17 years of age. The counsellors are called moms and dads which creates a tighter bond between everyone and helps campers open up more quickly. In addition, the counsellors live together with the children, which results in more individual attention for each camper and the establishment of an even stronger connection.
Constant creativity, self-expression and community-building are all important during the camp. It strengthens children’s personal qualities, helps them gain confidence in themselves and others, encourages them to be bold and never stop looking. Through open and sincere communication with other campers and counsellors children discover new abilities and interests and become more aware of themselves and others.