Skip to content
Home » Report from international youth climbing camp in Slovakia 2021

Report from international youth climbing camp in Slovakia 2021

From 22 August to 28 August, an international climbing camp for children and youth organized by the Mountaineering Club Horec Liptovský Mikuláš took place at Kalamárka in cooperation with partners from the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary. The camp was organized under the project “Staying safe in the world of youth climbing”, which is co-funded by the European Union under the Erasmus+ program. A total of 30 children, aged 12 to 18, took part in the camp. The program was adapted to the weather, but we mostly managed to follow our plan.

We spent Sunday getting to know each other and getting acquainted with English climbing vocabulary to tune in to the coming days. In the evening we went for a short walk around the Horné skaly (or as we called them, “upper rocks”), which was the climbing area just next to our camp. We talked about the history of some legendary routes and this climbing area. We also opened an “eco” topic, as the camp was built on a meadow, and parents were obliged to equip their children only with fully biodegradable personal hygiene products.

Monday was marked by rain, so we started with some games, a lecture, and practical training of stretching and watching climbing movies. Fortunately, the rain stopped after some time and we went for a walk to another climbing area, Boriakove skaly. The children were so excited about the contact with the rock that they voted for a short climb before dinner. Although it was only a short climb about 2 routes, they really enjoyed it.

We were greeted by the sun on Tuesday, so we set off for the rocks in the morning. Since this was an international camp, we mixed the children from all countries together and divided them into 5 groups according to the difficulty of the routes they climb. The weather was good and after a lunch break, we went climbing again. We occupied upper and lower rocks (Dolné skaly), since both climbing areas were so quickly accessible from the camp. One could hear the first conversations in English as well as see some solid climbing performances!

On Wednesday, the children got into a proper competing mood and started to compare themselves and chase the routes to score higher. Climbing from 3 to 9, everyone could find something for themselves. After dinner, we had the first-aid lecture with practical CPR training. After the lecture, the children were surprised by the ice cream man, who impressed the children with 7 types of ice creams, and you could hear him training his Croatian as well. In the evening we sat by the campfire and sang English and our national songs.

Thursday’s weather forecast was not the most favorable, so we set off for the rocks as soon as possible in the morning. The forecast was completely accurate and with the lunch, the rain started. We decided to do some mental exercise for a change after lunch and played climbing BINGO. To my admiration, the children did really well, they had the history of climbing and climbing methodology at their fingertips, questions about the camp kitchen and the “other” brought the desired fun, and questions about Kalamárka tortured them a bit. In the evening, for the sake of comfort and terminology, we were divided into groups according to nationalities. Each had their own Slovak instructor who practiced rappelling with them according to local methodology.

On the last day, we prepared several attractions for the children, so in addition to climbing, there was also a rappelling station under the supervision of instructors, a high swing, and a zipline through the forest. In the evening, everyone was looking forward to the final bonfire. We grilled sausages and bread and enjoyed the warmth of the fire, before wrapping ourselves in our sleeping bags for the last time.

Saturday morning started with an award ceremony. We were creative with the categories and besides the standard “the largest number of climbed routes” or “the highest climbed grade”, we also had the category of the most collected AF, the longest fall, the funniest climb, the most heroic injury management (which was fortunately just a scratched leg!) and the longest trad route climbed top rope 😀 Children climbed more than 650 routes that week! This was followed by packing and saying goodbye, as the journey home for some meant a whole day spent in the car + mandatory stop for covid testing. However, the Hungarians, who live relatively close, stayed climbing on Saturday as well 🙂

I am very glad that such an international event happened, even in this difficult pandemic situation, and everyone arrived and left healthy. Thank you all for their participation and instructors for the preparation and smooth running. I believe we will meet again next year at camp in Slovenia.

Jana Oravcová

More info about the meeting and results is in the attached report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *