Basically, they all had the same experience: they went themselves as children, made friends and wanted to come back every year. As soon as they were too old to go along as vacation children, many went along as assistant volunteers and discovered how much fun it is to work with children and organize their time together. Today, the volunteers meet many weeks in advance, plan the many activities for the week, come up with an exciting theme each year, and donate their free time to make the vacations unforgettable.
„It's a fixed date in the calendar that you look forward to every year. It's nice to see everyone again.“
Thirteen volunteers are currently involved with the FUN FUN Kinder in Treptow e.V. association and organize vacation camps twice a year. Among them are Alex and Paul, who co-founded the association about 30 years ago. The children range in age from 6 to 16 and come back almost every year. And so today's volunteers like Lucas, Luisa, Anne, Tine and Helli also went along as children back then and are now involved on a voluntary basis - some have been there for a total of 15 years. In this way, the summer camp is passed on from generation to generation. But new faces are also warmly welcomed, such as Jussy, Sarah or Lukas. The summer camp is more than just a pastime for everyone, it's like a big family.
„I went myself as a child and now I want to pass on these experiences and the fun.“
With a lot of creativity, fun and drive, the team is planning an adventurous week with all kinds of games, small hikes and original craft projects. In order to make these experiences possible for everyone who is interested, the price is kept as low as possible. The caregivers work voluntarily and families who are able to pay more can donate. In this way, children from difficult financial backgrounds also have the opportunity to participate in the vacation trips. The summer camp is open to everyone, regardless of origin or gender. Inclusion is also actively lived here.
„For the summer I was looking for a balance to my work as a physiotherapist and found joy in our vacation trips. For several years now, I have always been part of the summer.“
The association was founded about 30 years ago. At the time of the fall of the Wall, there were hardly any vacation trips for children - or they were very expensive. In GDR times, almost every state-owned enterprise had its own vacation accommodation for its employees. These were available for inexpensive children's holiday camps during the summer vacation months. With the liquidation of these companies, the possibilities for carrying out these inexpensive vacation trips, for which company employees were usually released from their work to care for children, also disappeared. The founding members wanted to change the situation, as they themselves had children they would like to send to a vacation camp.
„Our commitment has been worthwhile for 30 years now. It's fun to have a good time with the kids and it's great to experience the creativity of the caregivers.“
So they founded the association after a camp with friends and family over Pentecost 1991 and since the summer of 1992 it is a registered association. The many registrations every year, from returning as well as new children, show that the demand is there and the team fulfills the goal of creating an unforgettable experience for others. It is simply fun and motivating when the children run around beaming with joy and after only one week it is already hard to say goodbye. The friendships that are created and develop strengthen the team's cohesion, so that everyone is committed to keeping the club alive.