The Youth Camp and Exchange (YCE) programme was created in 1961 and it brings the ideal of global citizenship to life. Each year, this programme gives thousands of young people all over the world the opportunity to experience life in other cultures and gain new understanding of the world through travelling abroad. Unlike some youth exchange programmes, YCE does not involve academic study or employment.
Instead, participants are encouraged to use this travel opportunity to represent their home countries and share their own culture while learning about and embracing a new one, thus forging the way to becoming youth ambassadors for peace and international understanding.
YCE is composed of various Lions Youth Exchanges and/or Lions Youth Camps arranged by Lions clubs around the world. A Lions Youth Exchange lasts between three to six weeks. In countries without camps, the participants can only stay in host families. Lions Youth Camps last for one to two weeks and they usually include a stay in the host family before and/or after the camp.
Activities for both exchanges and camps can include visits to places of cultural or natural interest, sporting events, country presentations by participants, guided discussion and even engagement in local service projects alongside Lions club members.
Lions involved in YCE are committed to:
- bringing people from different countries into meaningful contact with each other;
- exchanging ideas and cultural viewpoints;
- promoting international understanding and goodwill;
- working towards the goals of world peace and human understanding;
- encouraging young people to respect the way of thinking of others.
The Youth Camp and Exchange (YCE) programme may be an opportunity for youth who:
- are ready to embark on a life-changing adventure that will open your mind and heart;
- are curious about other cultures and ways of life;
- want to develop their skills in a second language;
- like to cultivate new friendships with individuals that have different backgrounds, beliefs and customs.
YCE participant will:
- live with a host family in another country;
- meet people their age from around the world;
- learn about their Lions hosts’ humanitarian work;
- deepen their understanding of themselves and the world around them;
- learn about the bonds we all share – and the differences we respect in each other no matter where we live.
YCE Chairpersons are Lions club members that have been appointed to run the various regional YCE programmes throughout the world and are dedicated to making this programme a success. The contact information for these individuals, camp and exchange opportunities is listed in the YCE Directory.
At the Europa Forum, YCE Chairpersons from various European countries participate in our sessions and we have guests from all over the world! In the last few Forums, we have welcomed YCE Chairpersons from Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, Mexico and USA who have participated in our meetings.
YCE programme at the Europa Forum includes additional activities within the scope of the Forum general programme:
- a Get-Together training and dinner for YCE delegates;
- meetings with presentations and discussions about camp and exchange programme success, problems and rules;
- Bazaar, where different countries will share their experiences and make agreements concerning camp locations.
YCE Chairpersons acknowledge, that this Lion will perform the responsibilities necessary for this role to the best of their abilities and follow all YCE policies and guidelines approved by the LCI (Lions Clubs International) Board.