Why Volunteer?

I’m just doing the same thing…or not so much? – Bubu

At the moment Bubu is the coordinator of Content Development. He joined to the organization in 2017 and he attended in 3 camps already (Litke 2017, Lácacséke 2017, Dunabogdány 2017). When he is not volunteering, he’s working on his PhD in law in Pécs or attending on debate competitions. Below you can read his thoughts about being a member of Knapsack Camps, and what does it mean to him

It’s quite hard to sum up everything what Knapsack Camps meant to me during the summer in a few words. If I could only say two things, it would be the countless new experiences and the novelty. I was one of the volunteers on the team, who had experience with children from before: I’m also volunteering with mentally challenged kids for years now, and I worked at an orphanage for a year. I organized debating events in smaller villages and I work as a camp counselor every summer.

In 2017 I was free for the summer, since I ended my last work placement on the 30th of June and my new job wasn’t starting until September. My goal was to find something meaningful for the summer, preferably working with kids. But that time we were already in April, so most camps filled their camp counselor positions already or they required some skills I did not have. Actually, I didn’t even understand some, I mean why is it a must to have a driving license or an advanced level language exam? Knapsack Camps was about the 20th organisation I came across, but they responded positively on my letter of interest, so I applied to the camp.

Due to my past experiences I thought I barely can get into a new situation, but I realized quickly that I was wrong. In the terms of organizing, I wasn’t resposible only for a section of the thematical programs anymore, but I had to have my fair share of all the other activities as well (eg. kitchen work or management). The biggest surprise for me was the amount of love what we received from the kids. It was a pleasure to see how curious they are about us and the programs. Sometimes they showed their love in quite unusual ways: There was a kid, and I thought he doesn’t like me for some reasons, because he never listened to me and he was naughty all the time. Turns out, this is the way he shows his affection. Although the camp’s target group was 5-8th graders, some younger kids showed up in the daycare camp as well. I was quite fond of their excitement, affection and amazement.

The most emotional event for me was leaving the camp in Litke. That time I had to leave 1,5 days before the official end of the camp. The reaction of the kids were surprising: They said long goodbyes with even longer hugs. Some of them even broke into tears and some of them came for a last goodbye while I was waiting for my bus. These moments tell more than a thousand words.

Altogether I gained a whole lot of new experiences, I changed, I grew and I can’t wait for the next summer camps!

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