I spent two amazing weeks in youth camp. I learnt something new, found friends, had fun, explored Chinese culture…The most memorable thing during the summer camp is communications. Everyone is so different and unique, but they all are so friendly and open minded. I found a lot of friends and interesting people in youth camp. I will miss this friendly, supportive and caring atmosphere so much. I am really thankful that now I got a lot of memories, either they’re good or bad, I’m gonna think of them with a smile on my face.
——Sofya Alexandrovna Skvortsova
Over the past days, my favorite events are Kungfu Fan classes. I was touched with this Chinese art, as I danced in my childhood, so I really like such physical activities with a kind of aesthetic component. I was also very inspired by a trip to a Chinese village based on the river. Traditional houses in beautiful backlight got me in that era. And after a wonderful walk, we enjoyed a unique show, I haven’t seen something like this in my homeland, so I was genuinely impressed by skills of the performers. It also contained a lot of fun, cause the Camper from Argentina was involved in the performance, and everyone followed the plot enthusiastically.
Visiting China has always been a bucket list item for me. Being here, in Shanghai, still feels like a dream. The sister cities youth camp has given me so much joy and happiness. I joined the camp last year, but that edition was online. I learned a lot about the Chinese culture and language that summer, however I noticed that I'm having way more interaction with different countries this year. I'm enjoying talking to new people and making connections with everyone, while learning about shanghai and the culture. We share our experiences afterwards and chat about all kinds of things. Seeing the city with my own eyes and being able to share these amazing moments, with so many awesome individuals, still feels so unreal to me. These memories will last forever! This camp made me want to explore the rest of China too. If I ever get the opportunity to come back to Shanghai, I wouldn't hesitate a second to pack my bags. Thank you Shanghai!
——Margo Thoné Hermans
The Shanghai International Sister Cities Youth Camp is a yearly experience where Shanghai opens its doors to teens and teachers from all over the world. For me, it's the fifth time I participated in the Youth Camp.Many people ask me why I've returned to the camp so often, but each year is different. For example, it's true there is a river cruise every year but the view remains gorgeous and for the campers (and even some volunteers) it's a unique experience. I still remember how it was for me in 2018 (my first Youth Camp) and I see that same joy appear on the faces of the campers and volunteers now. Not only does it bring back memories, it also creates new ones. Each student has their own interests and seeing them take part in cultural activities they want to do is also a wonderful experience.
Hi, my name is Adam, I’m 16 and I’m from Bratislava, Slovakia. I’ve had experience with cultural exchange before, in Europe. I’ve met students from all around the continent and I’ve always had a great time with them. This camp has been the same, but on a much larger scale, and because of so many countries from all around the world and people with different culture and background, it was much better than anything I’ve ever experienced before.
During these two weeks, I was exposed to Chinese culture and learned a lot about the traditions of the local people and their origin. I’ve seen with my own eyes, when visiting my volunteer’s family, how the Chinese tea is prepared and how the dumplings are cooked. And in Chinese cultural classes, I’ve learned about calligraphy and origin of the language or the traditional dragon ball dance.
I think the reason why the Shanghai International Sister Cities Youth Camp was so amazing is that it connects and brings together young, intelligent people who are willing to put in the work to achieve their goals, which creates space for friendships, cultural exchange and new experiences that will be remembered forever. So even though we come from different parts of the world and speak different language, we all share the same eagerness to share a part of our cultural identity with others.
The communication is the key of friendship. During the camp, we have noticed that speaking with a same language is not the only way to get to know new people, the body language has also impact. We think that a positive attitude and opened mind have helped us to get new friends here. For example when we were climbing, people used their body language for explaining things and having fun together.
——Annika Karoliina Ilonen