Crossing borders !

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Youth Camp 2007

An unforgettable experience.

In 2007 the camp was held for 5 days in a hostel at Hoek van Holland and 5 days staying with families in Dokkum in the very north of The Netherlands. While we were at Hoek van Holland, we all went on a bike ride. I had asked them before ‘Can you ride a bicyle?’ and most of them said ‘Yes’.

 

As they were trying out bicycles I realized that my question did not have the same meaning for the Israeli/Palestinian teenagers as for the EU grown kids. It was quite a spectacle to find out who could and who could not ride a bike on the streets of The Netherlands. Then an old man approached me and asked me what this was about; I explained him that these teenagers were part of a reconciliation camp. He told me that as a teenager in 1946, one year after the war had finished, he had been sent on a camp in Germany to be reconciled with German youth. He said “I am still in contact with the people I met in that youth camp”.

 

This event had changed his life. I hope the participants from this camp will also keep the change in their hearts as long as this old man had.