Every year at SU Holidays there is a focus on a project that seeks to help less fortunate young people in other countries. During each SU Holiday, campers are encouraged to consider the needs of young people less fortunate than themselves, and to give to the chosen project.
In 2011, that project was the work of Open Bible in Crimea, part of the Scripture Union Movement in Ukraine, who are seeking support to enable Tatar and other children to attend their SU camps.
Tatars are a marginalised people group with little access to education, employment and housing. Open Bible's vision is to use their SU camps to show love to the children from these families, and to help bridge the gap between nationalities. They do this by hosting SU camps for both groups of children, and encouraging them to play and join in activities together.
Many SU Holidays use this opportunity to challenge campers to find creative ways to give, and there have been great stories from SU Holidays in 2011. Many of them revolve around some form of gunging or soaking leaders, with campers paying 20p to vote for the leader they want to see soaked at the end of the week. Campers also raised money by offering to paint nails, wash cars or beat the goalie challenges.
At other events, leaders ran competitions throughout the week, such as guess the number of sweets in the tin (10p per go, winner gets the sweets), or guessing where the treasure is on a treasure map (10p per go, winner gets a prize). One leader even did a sponsored head shave! An excellent opportunity also arose at Music Camp, which has a concert for parents at the end of the week and asks for donations towards the project. Other events simply asked the young people to consider giving.
So far, campers have raised an excellent £10,150 in 2011 - this will enable 170 Tatar children to attend SU camps in Crimea. This amount is likely to rise as we've not received funds from every SU Holiday yet.
The project was selected by SU Scotland's International Committee, who have strong links with Scripture Union Ukraine and who have visited the Crimea campsite several times. You can find out more about the project by watching the videos here.