The YOTA Subregional Camp in DL finally took place! In Mid of March 60 Youngsters met and spent a great weekend together. A daily report can be found on the website, see https://www.ham-yota.com/category/subregional-activities/ . This report will focus on our notes and organizing ideas behind the camp. It was mainly organizied by some former YOTA-Camp participants and voluntary youth workers of the DARC
Since we (the organisors) also wanted to include the international character of ham radio, we apply for a Subregional YOTA Camp and therefore also invited international youngsters. To not scare away German youngsters (e.g. younger ones), who might be afraid of a camp held in English, we decided to keep German as the main language, but with the opportunity to also have all program points in English, at least with an interpretor.
The amount of pupil youngsters in DL is quite high, so had to find a suitable date for them. School holidays aren’t harmonised, depending on where you live, you can have different holiday dates than others. Therefore the camp was just hold on one weekend.
The place for the camp should be the headquarter of the DARC in Baunatal, the accomodation was the Hotel owned by the DARC (we still had to pay for it, but we did get a discount). Due to the most capacity for everyone in the Hotel in Baunatal, the best suitable date was mid of March.
For advertising the event, we used several platforms: This includes promoting the camp on the DARC website, post on the social media accounts of the DARC and YOTA as well as reposting it, writing a general email to all young DARC members, advertising in the CQDL magazine (German ham radio magazine) and also directly contacting youngsters. It actually worked well since the camp was completely full and we also got a high number of participants from Germany itself.
Since we didn‘t like the idea of first come first serve, we decided to first went for a conditional registration, with a final acceptance of participants after the deadline. The idea behind that was mainly to avoid to many big youth groups from e.g. the same local club (since this tend to block a good get-to-know-each-other with everyone). We didn‘t had this szenario, but we had a few to many youngsters so we just used lottery to make a decision who get accepted.
For the programme we just followed two simple ideas: one was to have informative parts, the other was to get youngsters with same interests together. We therefore came to the following schedule:
Friday (at Hotel)
- arrival until afternoon
- welcoming and YOTA presentation
- round of introductions (every participant)
- dinner and intercultural evening
- breakfast (at Hotel)
- drive to DARC Headquarter and short welcoming
- seperating into three groups; each group attended three events: CQDL magazine editorial department / QSL bureau / general information about DARC Headquarter
- lunch at Headquarter, afterwards walk to DARC radio centre
- introduction of workshops (see below) and workshops
- dinner, afterwards continuing workshops
- drive to Hotel
- breakfast (at Hotel) and drive to DARC radio centre
- lunch, closing ceremony and goodbye
Each participant should decide on his/her own which workshops he/she wanted to attend. If there was a free time slot, everyone was invited to go to the shack. At any time there was a advisor in the shack, so that also unexperienced youngsters could go there. Another possibility during a free time slot was to go to one of the chill out areas. The idea behind this was that while realxing in on of the beanbags, you can easily talk and get in contact with another youngster next to you. It turned at that this worked pretty well, at the end of the camp everyone has spoken to nearly all other participants and therefore got to know a lot of other hams around his age.
Some workshops where held (spontaniously) several times, since collasions were unaviodable. The workshops were held by the participants themselves. The advantage behind this is to give the more experienced youngsters the opportunity to show their knowledge and on the other hand side to give the others the opportunity to learn from other youngsters, following the motto „youngsters for youngsters“.
Time flew by and soon the camp was over again. However, many have already said to take part in another amateur radio event. We hope and look forward to seeing more youngsters at such events soon.
Anyone is more than welcome to share any comments or questions with us! If you want to contact us directly, feel free to contact us also via firstname.lastname@example.org
73, the organizing team