Friday, 5. August 2011
the peacecamp spirit - Florian Simon Linke - Austria

Frankly, I still have no idea what made me attend my first peace camp in 2009. Back then, I wasn't really interested in any youth camps or in spending 10 days with 30 other strangers. However, I felt the peace camp was something different. Something unique. Although, I didn't want to, my curiosity finally made me a participant. And I will never regret this choice.
I do not exaggerate when saying this camp changed my whole life.
Never did believe that spending only ten days with teenagers from different parts of the world would provide the possibility of creating long lasting friendships. There is something special about the peace camp. It might be the absence of any connectivity to the rest of the world (there is hardly any cell network reception available); or it might be the tight timetable; or it might be the unique atmosphere of respect, gentleness and general interest in other ways of thinking. In the very summer of 2009, we already had a little “reunion” in Budapest and visited our new friends of the foreign country. The fact that we also met three Israelis of 2007's peace camp strengthened my belief in the everlasting “peace camp spirit”.
Later this year, two Israelis came up with the idea of visiting Budapest and Vienna in the summer of 2010. Obviously, we set the date around the time of 2010's peace camp so that we could pay a visit and surprise Evelyn. Although being an observer rather than a real participant was just equally interesting, spending only three days with the group wasn't sufficient enough. That's why my three Hungarian friends and me were thinking of a way to spend the whole 10 days together with a new group of teenagers in the new year. Eventually, we came up with the idea of being a supportive film team. We were all really glad that Evelyn welcomed this idea and made it possible to participate once again.
The summer of 2011 arrived and —with my final exams done— it was finally possible to focus on the peace camp. Selecting multicultural wake up music and preparing digital equipment made me really look forward to the peace camp. And once again, my expectations have been met. In my personal opinion, the participants of this year have been even more engaged in discussions than in the previous years. At the end of july —only two weeks after the end of the peace camp— there has already been the first reunion in Budapest.
I believe that none of the participants will ever forget this unique experience and I am sure the first step towards a peaceful society crossing national and cultural boundaries has been already taken.


Dear Florian, Thank you very much for your interesting comments. In fact, I myself don’t really have a clear idea of what made me invent „peacecamp“ – but doing it HAS, indeed, also changed my life and my perspective on many things. Thanks for being on board. Evelyn. ,