Since this wasn’t our first time in Lácacséke, we could set up camp in a familiar place. The volunteers had met most of the children before, and they shared some charming, funny stories, that brought the children closer to the new Knapsack members even before they met face to face.
The kids burst onto the scene of this year’s camps with great joy and even greater curiosity. They eyed the unknown volunteers with interest, and after a few moments of waiting they started to play together. The relationship between Knapsack Camps and the local children is best characterized by one of the games invented here called Láca–Láca-Cséke, which is a local flavour of Duck-Duck-Goose.
After we got to know each other, we could introduce the topic of the week, which was the mystical, fascinating, and far away land of Ancient Greece. Numerous learning exercises, but even more so, games helped us discover this unknown land. There was an ancient fashion show, classical Greek theatre, and a trade game adored by many, which gave youthe opportunity to become exotic merchants, engaging in trade between four ancient cities. The kids, having good problem-solving skills quickly discovered that big economies need complex plans. They had to buy the products from the original manufacturer, then run far-far away to sell them for more money. Occasional disputes between the cities resulted in trade embargos, while behind the scenes robbers preyed on the merchants, challenging them to vigorous rock-paper-scissors fights.
Towards the end of the week, we visited an Adventure Park, where we got through the challenges, with the help of each other’s encouraging words and supporting hands. At the end of each obstacle course terribly long ropeways waited for the explorers, that made even the courageous volunteers think twice (including the writer of this article). All this came after a difficult hike through a hilly forest, so we had no choice but to give in to the demands of the exhausted army of children, and we made our wayto the lookout point at the top of the mountain in cable cars rather than on foot.Here, we looked out at the scenery, everyone searched for their respective homes (be it real or imaginary), and after taking a couple of unbelievably great group photos we began our descent, once again taking the cable car. On the long way down, the machine halted now and again, but our sudden fright was quickly chased away with joyful laughter.
We closed the week, with a homey barbeque. The festive table was jam packed with all kinds of delicacy, which was left diminished thanks to dutiful snacking. This was followed by a party, accompanied by the talented guitar playing of our silky voiced volunteer, Uncle Oliver. We watched a moving presentation of the pictures taken over the week, and after an emotional goodbye we parted ways. We hope that this week meant to the children just as much as it did us. See you next year, you naughty, adorable youngsters.