„You are in the right place”

Drop your anchors here, and you’ll be in the right place! – On Thursday, 8 July, the fourth season of the RCH’s Ark Camp officially started in Balatonfenyves, at the lake Balaton.

Bárka tábor megnyitó 2021

Flying colorful balloons is a symbol of togetherness across social differences

Fotó: Ivola Bazánth

The fourth season of the Arc Camp started with a game played together by campers and guests on the hottest day so far in Balatonfenyves. With the guidance of Nikoletta Kovács, trainer of the Adventures and Dreams Workshop, the colorful giant balloons flew, and guests and campers got to know each other moments before enjoying the concert of well-known singers Ági Szalóki and Joci Pápai.

“We are here, so you can know where you are. The point is that you are in the right place,” Zoltán Balog assured the children. As the Synod’s pastoral president, Zoltán Balog is the church patron of the Ark Camp. He said that he and the orgainsers would like to gather everyone and everything that is necessary for the Ark Campers to have “a good, beautiful and happy life”. “I’m standing and waving at the shore, so you know to drop anchors here, because this is the right place for you to be”, said Zoltán Balog referring to the Church. He explained: “We learn here to love and help each other. We don't always succeed - but the more of us there are, the better we can teach each other,” the Bishop stressed, underlining that he is proud of the staff who organized the camp.

Bárka tábor megnyitó 2021 (Balog Zoltán, Novák Katalin, Pápai Joci)

Bishop Zoltán Balog, President of the Synod of RCH, Katalin Novák Minister for Families and Joci Pápai, Goodwill Ambassador of the Ark Camp series

Fotó: Ivola Bazánth

“What is worth carrying forward? Sometimes it is a good question to ask ourselves,” said Katalin Novák, The Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs. She explained, the last year and a half of the pandemic has taught us to appreciate what is valuable and is important and what is less important.

Attila József Móring, Member of the National Assembly, also welcomed the campers, who then sang together with singers Ági Szalóki, the secular patron, and Joci Pápai, the goodwill ambassador of Arc Camp, and then raised the flag of the Ark Camp and performed the camp dance.

Bárka tábor megnyitó 2021

“We learn here to love and help each other. We don't always succeed - but the more of us there are, the better we can teach each other”

Fotó: Ivola Bazánth

The Ark Camp is the largest opportunity-building program of the Reformed Church in Hungary so far, which will allow six thousand five hundred children to camp free of charge in two locations near the lake Balaton - Balatonfenyves and Balatonszárszó - in five years instead of the originally planned four. The series of events, funded by an EU grant of 800 million HUF, will be open to children from disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged backgrounds, children with special educational needs and children with disabilities, among others. Thanks to RCH volunteers and the staff of the Adventures and Dreams Workshop, the children will be able to experience life-changing experiences through experiential education and well-organised leisure activities. The name, taken from the Bible, is also the framework for the program: participants are given roles related to the Ark. Thus, the staff of the Synod Office, the main organiser, can be "shipwrights", the tour leaders "explorers", the experiential education leaders "captains", the leisure organisers "steersmen", the volunteers responsible for the children's needs "deckhands", the spiritual leaders "fishermen" and the children "sailors".

Translated by Réka Komáromi; proofread by Claire Weihe