Registration for HomeComing (Lõimeleer) 2022 summer camp is now open. We look forward to seeing returning campers and welcome new campers!
In 2022, we invite campers to take part in the activities of a traditional Estonian wedding. The campers will be introduced to traditional Estonian wedding elements and will be involved in guided activities and workshops related to wooing to composition of the bridal trousseau, cooking of traditional wedding dishes, wedding tricks, dances and games. We promise it will be great fun for everyone, regardless of the campers` age! Apart from that, there will be plenty of time for horse cart and dugout canoe rides, swimming, hiking and all the other traditional camp fun.
HomeComing is a summer camp that connects young Estonians living abroad and their families as well as multicultural families living in Estonia with Estonian life and culture. In our camps you can socialise with your peers from Estonia, learn Estonian handicrafts and traditional songs, dances and games. You can join horse cart and canoe rides, go on a ghost hunt at night or visit black sauna. We do everything in Estonian and in the Estonian way, but at the same time ensure that nobody`s excluded due to insufficient language skills. The program varies from year to year. In 2022, the focus will be on Estonian wedding traditions. In 2021, our main theme was the summer version of Shrove Tuesday.
We have been organising language and culture immersion camps in cooperation with the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy since 2016. The camp teachers are mainly youth work students and alumni from the Viljandi Culture Academy and other Estonian universities who are responsible for carrying out the daily activities, including introducing the national food, skills, dances and games. In addition, we engage experts with the traditional skills we focus on this particular year.
Through social and cultural activities inside and outside in the beautiful nature, the camps of the NGO HomeComing contribute to improved Estonia skills and stronger ties with Estonia for the youth from the Estonian diaspora and multicultural families in Estonia. There will be no formal language learning in a classroom setting. Our camp’s working language is Estonian, but we are happy to provide explanations in English, if necessary, to make sure everyone is included. Within the five years of existence, we have had participants from the USA, Canada, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Great Britain, New Zealand, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Norway and, of course, Estonia itself. Many children return year after year to meet old friends and teachers.
The recommended age for participants is 10–16. As an extension of the children camp, Family Lõimeleer offers an opportunity for children younger than 10 years and their parents to take part in the camp. The younger children can partake in the activities of the teenagers’ camp, practice their Estonian and, by support from their parents, gather experience and courage for attending the camp unaccompanied in the longer run.