Preparations for the 33rd International Summer camp of the Order of Malta for Disabled Youth – taking place in Poland from 13 to 20 August – are underway. Piekary, a little town 15 kilometers from Kraków on the Brynica River, will be home to 500 young people – including 200 disabled – coming from different countries for a unique one-week holiday.
Together with the many summer camps organized by national associations every year – Italy, France, Belgium, Ukraine, Hungary, Spain, Germany and Lebanon, to mention a few – the International Summer Camp for the Disabled represents one of the most important yearly events in the life of the youth of Order of Malta. Like every year, the Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing will pay a visit to the Camp near Kraków to meet the young volunteers and encourage them in their efforts and commitment.
The Polish camp leader, Maria Starowieyska, says, “Each International Summer Camp is a separate, little universe.” The hosting country members build on the best elements of previous camps and deliver an experience that is unique to their own history and location.
Preparations for the Camp started in fact in late 2014 addressing the various aspects of the event such as logistics, transport, excursions, workshops and integration activities. The spiritual dimension is also an important element of the Camp, and many moments of prayer and retreats are foreseen during the week for the young participants.
Running since 1983, Poland is host to the International Summer Camp for the third time. Organizers are finalizing the daily programs, which will include pottery, jewelry making, cooking, painting and lots of dance. This year’s motto is “One for All &All for One”.