Holiday camp

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Summer camp (around 1920) in Soekaboemi, Indonesia

Holiday camp is a generic term for holiday events in youth work that are carried out as group trips. Holiday camps are organized as tent camps , in self-catering accommodation, youth hostels or similar facilities. The term holiday camp not only describes the holiday event, but can also describe the facility in which this event is held.

The bearings are usually in the school holidays - usually in the summer holidays (hence as summer camp or summer camp called) - at different locations in Germany and abroad instead and connect various forms of leisure activities with the group experience. Sports and nature adventure offers are often included in the program. Holiday camps have a special tradition with Christian organizations which, in addition to pure leisure activities, also value teaching Christian beliefs. Even with such organizations, however, a trend towards pure leisure trips can be observed - the Christian character then results from the often quite large leisure activities of the usually volunteer supervisors.

The tradition of such events goes back to the youth movement of the early 20th century.

Federal Republic of Germany

In the Federal Republic of Germany, the organizers of holiday camps are usually public or independent organizations involved in youth work , for example Christian youth associations such as scouts , KJG or YMCA , as well as charities , independent schools (such as boarding schools ) and other independent, non-profit organizations, but also commercial organizations.

The care of holiday camps is the responsibility of full-time or voluntary employees , depending on the organizer and concept . For the duration of the holiday camp, you contractually assume the duty to supervise underage participants. The youth leader card (Juleica) serves as proof of qualification for voluntary employees . For example, the nationwide QMJ SafeGood seal of approval is valid as proof of qualification for the organizer . Framework conditions for travel companions , awarded by the association BundesForum Kinder- und Jugendreisen , to which many independent and commercial sponsors of holiday camps are affiliated.

Often, low-income families can apply to the responsible social welfare or youth welfare office for subsidies for the costs of a holiday camp.

German Democratic Republic

Vacation camp " Magnus Poser " of VEB Carl Zeiss Jena 1951 in Saalfeld

The company holiday camps in the GDR were maintained by companies ( VEB , VVB , LPG , VEG , Kombinate , Deutsche Reichsbahn etc.) for the children of the employees.

The company union management ( BGL ) carried out these camps. The in-house warehouse was used three times during the summer holidays. Deputy employees such as warehouse managers, business managers, nurses, cooks, lifeguards and drivers ensured regular operations. Educators, mainly from teacher training institutes and kindergarten schools, d. H. Education students were obliged to do an internship for a small fee (7 marks per day). To make things more attractive, the companies sometimes exchanged their holiday camps with each other, so that the children also got to know other regions. The pioneer and FDJ leadership accompanied the events (e.g. the anniversary of Ernst Thälmann's death on August 18, etc.).

There were also pioneer holiday camps that were organized through the schools in cooperation with the pioneer organization and the FDJ .

The pioneer camps were managed by full-time employees of the FDJ district leadership and students and older pupils were used as group leaders .

Some of the former company holiday camps or central pioneer camps have now come together under the name of the Children's and Youth Recreation Centers in Germany (KiEZ) .

For young people in the GDR there were camps for recreation and work for FDJ members and students in grades 9 to 12.

United States

In the United States , there are gaps in childcare for many families during the school holidays because both parents are employed and because employed persons in the United States usually only have a few days of vacation . Many non-profit organizations , such as the YMCA , therefore offer paid childcare programs for the school holidays, which are usually referred to as camps due to the American tent camp tradition , but today often take place at home, the character of a daycare or a full-day workshop and offer the participating children, for example, artistic or musical activities. Other camps include overnight accommodation. Some offers are specially addressed to gifted children and are e.g. B. organized by universities.

Activities in a holiday camp

Depending on the type of camp (outdoor camp, educational camp, etc.), the priorities can be weighted differently:

After the discovery of numerous cases of abuse, well-known holiday camp organizers are now paying more attention to compliance with the requirements for the prevention of sexual abuse.

Summer camp in the film

Many films use a summer camp as a location for the action. In the DEFA film Seven Freckles (1978), for example, the two main characters meet after a long time in a holiday camp. The comedy Chaos in Camp Cucamonga (1990) is also set entirely in a holiday camp. In A Twin Seldom Comes Alone (1998), the twin siblings who were previously unknown meet by chance in a holiday camp. In Moonrise Kingdom (2012) the protagonist only comes to his future girlfriend's island through a summer camp of the boy scouts .

Holiday camp for adults

Since 2013, adult camps have been offered for the first time in the United States. Their aim is to withdraw technical devices and focus on feelings of childhood in order to revive their lightheartedness. The content of these holiday camps for adults is therefore mostly community games, dance evenings, workshops , night hikes and talent shows. Since 2015, holiday camps for adults have also been offered in Germany.

See also

Web links

Commons : Summer camps  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Ferienlager  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


Christian Jasper : Legally secure in child and youth work. Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, Berlin et al. 2019, ISBN 978-3-658-26086-6 .

Individual evidence

  1. Christian Jasper: Legally secure in child and youth work. Obligation to supervise, liability, data protection and everything that is legally relevant . Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden, Berlin et al. 2019, ISBN 978-3-658-26086-6 , p. 132 ff .
  2. Section “Camp for Recreation and Work”. (PDF; 29 kB), accessed on July 9, 2010 .
  3. ; ; ;
  4. ^ Princeton University ; Stanford University
  5. Christian Jasper: Legally secure in child and youth work. Obligation to supervise, liability, data protection and everything that is legally relevant . Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden, Berlin et al. 2019, ISBN 978-3-658-26086-6 , p. 149 ff .
  6. ^ Sara Ashley O'Brien: Levi Felix, Digital Detox cofounder, dies at 32 . In: CNNMoney . ( [accessed January 12, 2018]).
  7. SUMMERJUNG - The holiday camp for adults. Retrieved January 12, 2018 (German).