Children's International Summer Villages | My Family Travels
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Find out here about a unique, international, peace-fostering summer program for children ages 11 to 18, and this exchange program's new schedule for ages 11 to 25.

If you’re wondering about options for summer camp, take it from us–our daughter participated in one program overseas that she will not soon forget.

Children’s International Summer Villages is an independent, non-profit, non-political volunteer organization that sponsors multi-cultural summer camps and exchanges in 62 countries for ages 11 through 18.

CISV has been around since 1951 as a way to bring together young people from different countries and cultures, to promote an appreciation of cultural differences and to prevent the development of prejudices.

Although CISV offers numerous age-specific programs for kids, the four-week summer “Village” camp for 11-year-olds is CISV’s signature program. Villages are comprised of delegations of two boys and two girls and their adult leaders from eight to 12 countries, four to six junior counselors (ages 16-17) and three to five host country staff.

Villages typically are held at a boarding school or university, and on two of the four weekends delegates stay at CISV volunteer host family homes. An average Village day features typical camp activities (games, songs, sports, excursions) and leadership and conflict resolution games. The primary focus is for kids from around the world (not all of whom speak English) to learn in a natural way that despite cultural differences there is more that brings them together than separates them.

On www.travelBIGO.com is an account of our 11-year-old daughter Madeleine’s CISV Village experience during the summer of 2004 in Bastad, Sweden.

Without a doubt, Maddy came back a changed young lady — more self-confident, more poised and more open. She is also more of an e-mail hog now that she keeps up with all of her new-found friends across the world on a daily basis!

Expanded Programs Reach Ages 11 to 25

For 2009, CISV is repeating another interesting program called Summer Camp. The organization is broadening their reach with a three-week international camp open to children from eight to 10 nations. Each delegation will have an equal number of 13 to 15-year-old boys and girls and an adult leader. According to CISV, while similar to the Village experience, it differs because each multi-cultural camp will “develop a theme through international activities and discussion” to foster youth leadership skills.

For more information about CISV and local chapters, go soon to www.cisvusa.org, whose offices are located at 1375 Kemper Meadow Drive, Suite 9-H; Cincinnati OH 45240, or call them at 513/674-9242 or 888/CISV-USA. You should begin planning your kids’ next summer, now. Spots are very competitive.

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