International Camp for Young People Affected by the Williams Syndrome

Project location: Italy, Cervarezza, Reggio Emilia
Project start date: August 2010 - Project end date: August 2010
Project number: 2010-21

From  July 12th to the 24th, 2010, in Cervarezza (Reggio Emilia) the FEWS International Summer Camp took place, the association that brings together all organizations that deal with people with Williams syndrome in Europe, organized by the Associazione Italiana Sindrome di Williams.
The camp was attended by young people from thirteen nations: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, England, Ireland, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Hungary and Italy, for a total of fifty children with Williams syndrome, accompanied by twenty-six leaders of their nations.
Eight volunteers of the Italian Association of Williams Syndrome have also worked at the set up of the camp. The official language of the field was English.

All participants came to Bologna, a few by plane and others by train, and there they were greeted by volunteers of ACISMOM who have assisted them at the airport or the railway station and accompanied them to the buses, provided by the Italian army, that led them to Cervarezza, where participants stayed at the Cervarezza Terme Sport Hotel arranged in double or triple rooms.
Travel for the various activities held in and around Cervarezza have been made in buses hired by the Association. To promote the exchange between the countries present, all participants were divided into four teams to socialize with boys of other nations. A small vocabulary of common phrases in all languages of the nations present was designed with, which was distributed to all participants to encourage socialization.

During the week several activities were planned, such as:
- Camp Olympics, a series of games involving all teams in the sports field of Cervarezza;
- Trips to the Apennines Nature Park of the, and to Lake Calamone and Pietra di Bismantova;
- An evening dedicated to pizza, where each participant made his pizza and enjoyed it fresh from the oven;
- Two days dedicated to Cerwood Adventure Park, where kids have run adventure paths showing surprising mobility;
- A day dedicated to fishing for trout at the Water Gardens of Collagna, followed by a dinner at the hotel where they were able to eat the trout they caught.

Among other activities, the boys and girls also attended a workshop on drawing on fabric, a treasure hunt, a laboratory of small wooden constructions, a photo competition, a karaoke, disco and much more.

Every evening the meeting of the leaders took place to discuss the day's events, assess the possible organizational problems and plan the next day. Every evening, two of the participating nations exhibited a presentation of their country of origin, with various shows and tastings.
Overall, the seven days have been very challenging, but every kid and leader said they was very pleased and took home some wonderful memories.
For many kids, the camp was a unique and perhaps sole opportunity to travel, find out about a new country and deal with other kids suffering from the same disease, in order to prove to everyone and especially to themselves they are able to overcome their fears and have fun.

think global, act local
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