GROW Summer Camp was the best camp I have been in ever!! (even if i was in only one camp in kindergarten). Now seriously, it was my best experience with teenagers so far in a real camp environment. It was the camp that every kid dreams about, exactly the way a camp should be and more. I said more because except from the spirit of playing and knowing each other through all these days we all learned a lot.

The teenagers attended to sessions of values, motivation, life path, understanding life through role play and many others that made this camp so unique. Me, as their trainer, played along with them, had fun, and understood one special thing about teenagers today : If we really want to change something in Romania we have to start with their ideas. They are about to build something different and we just need to ‘wash a bit their wings and make them more powerful and brave’. I am saying this because they came with a lot of ideas when we did a brainstorming into different groups on future project ideas and different schools.


This camp showed more than ever that the idea that teenagers are not willing to learn is definitely false. They are really passionate in absorbing information and energy from a person that can inspire them and that is also playful as them. I realized that for them, as for all of us, it is important to feel the connection with the subject or with the person that shares the information.

Teenagers like challenges more than anything. Some sessions in this camp were chosen by them and we also gave them the opportunity to hold them. We set the environment and activities in a way for them to be proactive and want to be there. Most of them told me that after  couple of days spent in this camp they realized that all of the others are the same as them and they do not need to worry and be shy.

They built their Hero Journey map meaning from the point that they started their choices on a path or another in life, continuing with obstacles, friends and enemies, mentors they met, reaching  the point they want to be in the future. We discovered that all of them knew very well  what they want to be or achieve in life. However  the sad part for me here is that most of them want to leave Romania at some point for a better life abroad.

ioana grow

The atmosphere of the camp was energetic and powerful. There was always someone or something that brought joy and unite all of us. Not even the breakfast, lunch or dinner were left apart and even if we were on different tables we could feel our energy all in one. …”This is table no 1. Where is table no 2?” 😛

I am really grateful that I took part of this amazing project and that teenagers have this opportunity of spending their free time during summer!

Ioana Oncica, trainer in GROW Summer Camp