The amazing 16

the Miracle seen from outside... Why sixteen? Because we are gifted with sixteen days. Sixteen days, when the forty-six of us live every single moment together. We share the difficult awakenings, the excited participations on every program, the enthusiastic feasts, the good mooded bus rides, which are enriched by the great singings. Furthermore, after a few severe words, we fall asleep together. But of course it is not this simple.

They say that the beginnings are the hardest, but if we pass by our possible inhibitions, we gather our courage, and we become open towards our environment and the people around us, then the road to the Miracle becomes easier to walk.

So this is how the story of 42 campers and 4 leaders belonging to the Bethlen team of the 2010 Rákóczi Camp begins. In the first days with a little bit of indisposition, defeated by the noisiness and the laughters of the more extroverted participants, followed by the encouragement of others. Finally even the most silent and retractable person starts to smile, loses her shield, and starts to take in, and to give.

As a participant of the 2008 Rákóczi Camp I was surprised to experience how such powerful friendships binded, and this year as a co-leader I expected to see the same thing. When the participants started to change seats on the bus and they began to pay attention to each other, we were happy to know that they will all be a part of the same experience.

Fortunately all of this was helped by the program. After the canoe afternoon in Szigetköz, and the soccer and get-to-know-each-other-game evening in Győr the team was so filled, that by the end of the third day we were concerned that we would not be able to offer them more. Besides, we watched proudly how they proved their cleverness and interest towards their environment after the human rights lecture in Pécs. They also tried to spend their free time with each other, we caught them in the main square of Pécs as they were singing together. The team anthem was born in Kecskemét, and they tried to keep its content a secret as much as they could. The campers showed their talents at the who-knows-what evening in Miskolc, dazzling their audience.

Miskolc was followed by Budapest, where all three teams (Rákóczi, Bethlen, Zrínyi) were present, so in fact we could not be together all by ourselves anymore. This is why the last evening in Miskolc meant a sort of „goodbye", and we saw tears appear in lots of campers' eyes. So it was essential to explain, that this is also a beginning, not just an end!

Budapest meant downcast and exasperation to the group, because despite the phisical tiredness, no one wanted to accept the fact that in a few days we will have to return home. „Carpe Diem!" then.

The closing ceremony was followed by an own Bethlen ceremony, then singing until sunrise, and saying goodbye before our departure. All of these outlined the great love, care and kindness that we shared during these 16 days.

Participating in this camp is a wonderful and indescribable experience. You can understand it only if you were a part of this Miracle. In parallel, leading a team is something absolutely different, a unique feeling, which of course is in a strong connection with the above mentioned one. I am eternally greatful that I was able to be there with You, and because I could give, and I could received so much from You!

Kiss Csilla Renáta :o)