The AHF Disaster Relief Fund: Free Summer Camp for 100 Children
7/20/2010 - AHF co-sponsors Free Summer Camp for 100 Children of the Flood... AHF helped fund the Amerikaiak a Magyarokért Alapitvány camp, with additional support from the Országos Takarékszövetkezeti Szövetség, Takarékbank Zrt, the Kincsem Szövetkezet, and private donors. The camp was held in the Somogy Megyei Gyermek Tábor in Fonyódliget, a town on the shores of Lake Balaton, Central Europe's largest lake. The Alapítvány President and AHF Co-President Balogh Gyula, visited the camp facilities in the beginning of July to review the camp, lodging facilities, and meal plans and to negotiate preferential rates.
The camp was organized and directed by the Foundation’s Co-President, Dreisziger Zsuzsanna, with assistance from Balogh Gyula, AHF Co-President and also the Foundation’s President. They were supported at varying times by 10 to 15 adults from the flood area villages and from the Foundation.
Below is a report from the organizers:
The 100 children, aged 7 to 14, were selected from three villages that were affected by the flood: Boldva, Borsodszirák, and Edelény, which are about 360 kilometers from the camp. The selection process was coordinated by the head of the Boldva Takarékszövetkezet (a type of credit union cooperative), and recommendations were made by the local mayoral offices, such as Molnár Oszkár, the mayor of Edelény seen here.
Two buses picked up the children in the three villages and began the long ride through Budapest and on to the camp in Fonyódliget. Most of the children had never been to the capital city and were wowed by the architecture.The trip covered a total of over 350 kilometers, and lasted over 6 hours. The children were very excited, restless, and hungry by the time they arrived at 2:30 PM on the shores of Lake Balaton. They were treated to a very late lunch, quickly piled their belongings into three huge cabins and headed straight for the water.
After a few hours of warm sun, splashing and swimming, they unpacked and then were treated to a late dinner. After dinner, five volunteer teams of 6 each were selected to play charades in front of the entire group. It proved to be a lot of fun. Then it was back to the cabins for bedtime at 10PM. However many of the young children were so excited that they were not able to get to sleep until about 2 am.
The next day the weather was perfect for swimming and water activities. Five bicycle water boats with slides were rented and the children had great fun jumping and sliding from the boats. In the late afternoon, a water relay race was organized and four teams of 10 participated while the rest watched. The older boys and girls wanted to compete against each other, so there were four teams, an older boys and older girls group, a middle group, and a very young group. The relays included: a swimming sprint to and from a marker in the lake, pushing a boat and beach ball around markers, and racing on a float. The older girls team almost beat the older boys in the relays. There was lots of cheering and lots of fun, and a relaxing time for the tired adults. In the evening the children were treated to a Disco, which was held every second day for two hours.
There were multiple soccer tournaments with the various village teams in friendly competition. Athletic relays were organized which featured forward and backward running races, wheelbarrow type races, and piggyback races. The older boys and girls as well as some of the camp leaders ran a 200 meter race. Prizes were given in all of the team and individual competitions.
There was a boat trip from the Fonyod side of beautiful Lake Balaton to Badacsony. In Badacsony the 100 children were packed into a dozen jeeps for a thrilling bumpy and scenic ride. Ice cream treats for all were provided throughout the trips. One of the favorite treats of the children was the huge Hungarian watermelons which were purchased from an “östermelő. There were also video games, and pool and miniature soccer tables. In the evening, some of the youngest children were read stories. Many friendships were formed.
Sunday was a spiritual day that provided a wonderful message about the strength of faith in God and faith in yourself and was meant to uplift the spirits of the victims of the flood. Thanks to the generosity of Hoffmann Ödon, a Hungarian businessman who brought toys and gifts, a half dozen children performed beautiful religious songs, two seven year olds played the flute, and a moving American film called Facing the Giants was shown to the children who listened in rapt attention. This was a story about an American High School Football team that lost all its games and how faith in God and faith in their own ability to overcome adversity through hard work allowed them to become a winning team.
[Read more] about Previous Disaster Relief Fund Fund efforts!
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