YOUth ACTivist Camp took place in August 2022 and brought together 40 young queer people and a few allies to the community in a very unique setting, where young people from different backgrounds, each with our personal stories and experiences, got to live and spend our summer days and nights learning all about activism, and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Even more, we got to learn and listen to each other’s experiences, hold space and navigate our journeys surrounded by the picturesque nature of Ommen, the forestry, the lakes and the peacefulness energy that the venue of Olde Vechte offers to everyone crossing their paths.
A few of us from our team, had been there also in the last year’s camp (in 2021) and we were happy to welcome new members in our team and welcome a new group of participants from 8 different European countries. Our team was multinational, showcasing the diversity, stories, and the intersections of our identities, being young queer people living in the Netherlands, or just studying.
During the Youth Exchange, we got to experiment with different forms of activism, and identify each member of the group, which form works for us the best, so experiencing a certain sense of freedom that we struggle to create or live in our daily lives. The freedom of expression and co-creation during the creative parts of the program (queer museum, digital activism, zine-making, sugar cubes and more), as well as the sense of belonging to the community and connecting with nature and outdoors (hiking, outdoor cooking, outdoors activities, biking), and the street actions and interacting with locals in Zwolle, are all just a part of the shared impact we co-created and spread beyond.
After the program, we feel empowered and grateful to every person involved in this program. Often in the Netherlands, Erasmus+ programs are not having such visibility, or are not popular among youth, yet we feel inspired to continue the work and keep inviting more young people from intersectional backgrounds who live in the country, and benefit from their participation.
See you next summer in 2023 and in the next camp taking place in Ommen!