The Lions Step In
The Lions of Sölvesborg, Sweden bring joy and new opportunities to these kids by inviting them to a camp in Sweden. "This summer camp has kids from children's homes in Lithuania and Poland," says Dan Jonsson of the Sölvesborg Lions Club. "These ten days give so much, to so many kids. A memory for life, and to see that there is another life, a life other than in an institution." Campers travel to Sweden by ferry over the Baltic Sea. Not all of the children from the homes get to come to camp, so it makes the experience even more treasured for those who do. "It's the first time they see the sea when they are coming by boat," says camp leader Per-Anders Ekdahl.
A Dream Realized
The camp fosters a spirit of joy and hope. "This is the dream, the dream for all of them, every one of our children to come here," says Bozenna Plonsk, the Vice Director of Child House Home in Poland. Lions and Leos also live at the camp. It's an opportunity for them to mentor campers and bond through fun activities. According to Cecilia Anderson, a Leo, "The most important thing is that we show the kids that someone in a foreign country cares a lot for them."
Summer camps are a favorite project for Lions in many countries. In Sweden, Lions have hosted campers ranging in age from 7-17 for nearly 20 years. Many campers say that they have made lifelong friends at the camp.