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Summer camp 1991 in Poland

Summer Camp, Poland in 1991 was a very unique camp. We have met for the first time on the soil of a country hidden for a long time because of the communist rulings until 1989.

Everybody was nervous as no one knew how our European friends will view Poland and at the same time I was told that our guests were also eager to see what Poland has got to offer. Our site was chosen in Tatra Mountains south of Cracow. We were housed in a hotel, normally used by winter sports competitors.

The program was “bursting at seams” as we really wanted to show our guest what Poland is like. That involved a day trip to Cracow, old capital of Poland. Another trip was arranged to Wieliczka Salt Mine, the only working salt mine in Europe. There was a visit to famous Catholic Shrine in Jasna Gora, as this is an integral part of what makes Poland. We had a trip down Dunajec River, a welcome wind down from a busy schedule. On the request of our quest, we have arranged unplanned visit to Auschwitz, near Cracow. It was a totally voluntary participation and a great surprise for organisers.

Apart from trips, we had recreation days, taking hostage nearby sports centre by storm. I hate to say we ended up asking for nurses’ help as some of the quests got sunburn! Not everybody is used the temperatures in July of 30 Celsius or more!

There wouldn’t be a proper summer camp without discos! We arranged a local DJ and bar owner to give us total access to the premises for the nights requested. It was a clear winner with everybody. We danced till really late at night. I will not mention stronger drinks…. To avoid any boredom setting in, we had sport competition running and visits from local guides and folk. You could even hook up with a guide on a mountain track!

I felt we have fulfilled everybody’s expectations as we were for a long time getting positive comments about the success of our hard work. I truly wish that the Summer Camp Poland is repeated again. It was a great fun and such a wonderful experience. We worked hard to make sure everybody is happy and it was really worth it.

I wish everybody many successful Summer Camps, the wonderful time we all had as a participants is something I and all my friends will treasure in our hearts.

Best wishes to everyone.
Lidia Smolarek - Best