Dear LPC Family,
We would like to announce, with deep sorrow and disappointment, that we have made the decision to cancel all LPC camps planned for the summer of 2020. The pandemic outbreak did not slow down to the extent we had hoped and the level of uncertainty has not subsided. With heavy hearts, we took into consideration the current situation in Europe and in the United States, the travel restrictions which may continue throughout the summer, and the legal restrictions put in place in many countries that prevent large gatherings. It has been a very difficult decision, but the only one our organization can make in this situation in order to ensure the health and safety of all our camp participants.
This situation is as emotional to us as it is probably to all of you. This will be the first year in which no camps are held in the summer since Luethi Peterson Camps Inc. was founded in 1948 and the first summer camp organized in August 1949. We believe that we, as a community, should now look for any ways to take as much good out of these disappointing circumstances as possible.
The philosophy behind LPC camps envisions building a close social community where children and staff members are living, cooking, creating music and art, working and learning together. The restrictions imposed on any social interactions globally make it impossible for us to be physically together in a close community for three or four weeks. Nevertheless, no camps this summer does not mean we cannot be together in an alternative way, organize different on-line events, games or even shows. We have already heard many different ideas from directors and staff members as to how the LPC community can be together without being physically close this summer. LPC radio run by Piet-Hein van der Ploeg every Sunday is an illustration of what we have in mind – for info on how to tune in check out our official Facebook page! We will be happy to hear more of such initiatives and will try to build up a platform where we can share our thoughts and implement our ideas.
Depending on the global situation, we hope we will be able to resume LPC camps in summer 2021.
May this difficult time be one of bringing us together regardless of not having camps this summer.
We hope you all stay healthy and safe.
With warm greetings,
LPC Executive Committee
Dear LPC Family,
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, the world is facing an emergency. The measures that countries need to adopt are bringing a great deal of disruption to our daily lives and our societies. We all have to deal with fears and anxiety, because of the health threat to people we love, the economic uncertainty, separation from family members, etc.
We are hoping to run our LPC camps this summer, and are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to do so. However, we are committed first and foremost to the safety of our participants. We will not run camps if this cannot be done safely, but we will not cancel them if we know we can have another safe and successful LPC summer in 2020. At end of April or at the very latest in mid-May, we hope to have enough clarity to be able to assess our possibilities and will make definitive decisions about the summer.
Luethi-Peterson Camps was founded in the aftermath of World War II, when barriers betweennations seemed insurmountable, in order to bring together children from countries that had been at war and give them the opportunity to become friends. May this trying time for the world be one of solidarity, within nations and between them, and let us hope that, after East Asia (where some countries have achieved impressive results in their efforts to contain the outbreak), good news will soon start to come from the rest of the world too.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Contact us at email@example.com or through the director leading your camp.
With warm greetings,
LPC Executive Committee, Francesca Memé, Tommaso Besozzi, Tomek Chilarski
LPC is following closely the developments of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which has now been declared a global pandemic.
It is too early to know how the outbreak and the containment efforts that are being enacted in different countries will affect our summer camps this year.
While we are carrying on with our usual preparations to make sure all our camps take place as planned this summer, we are also working on contingencies, trying to be ready for any situations. We will of course inform in a timely manner all parents, campers and staffs of any changes to our program that may be a consequence of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, if you are the parent of a 2020 camper or are a staff member in a camp, please direct any queries to the camp’s director(s).
Fundraiser for Nepali students to attend camp:
Four young people from rural Nepali villages in Sindupalchowk District have been accepted to Luethi-Peterson Camps (LPC), international summer camps held in Europe and the United States. While LPC has offered full financial assistance for these four girls, it puts a huge burden on the organization which is family-run and volunteer-based. LPC International has asked for help fundraising to supplement the funds they are offering. Not only do the four girls need assistance with the camp tuition, but also with many other expenses including passport and visa fees, gear, travel insurance, and flights to and from the camp site.
These four girls are the host sisters to six teachers who have been living in rural villages in central Nepal for the past year – one of the teachers is LPCer Sachi, who explains:
“We lived with Nepali families who took us in as their own, teaching us everything about how to live and thrive in a Nepali community. Our four host sisters have been integral to our experience in Nepal. They each immediately welcomed us, the only foreigners in their village, to their home, school, and community. They have spent so much of their time sharing everything about their world with us, being patient with our misunderstandings and mistakes while trying to navigate a new culture and language. Each of them have impressed us with their independence, love for sharing their culture, energy, boldness, resilience, and maturity. Attending LPC would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them, as they wouldn’t otherwise be able to leave the country, let alone take a break from the duties of a Nepali daughter.”
Please consider expanding LPC’s reach and supporting these young people – even a small amount goes a long way!
Here are some examples of the expenses we are anticipating per camper:
Camp tuition: $1,300-$1,500
Visa fee: ~$200
Passport fee: $100
Sleeping bag: ~$100
Travel insurance for 4 weeks: $60-$200
Hiking backpack: ~$60
Hiking shoes: ~$60
Water bottle: ~$5
USA LPC World Gathering July 2020
SAVE THE DATE! 60 Years in the Freedom House
Thursday, July 2 – Sunday, July 5, 2020
103 Moulton Road, Freedom, New Hampshire, USA
Come together as we celebrate LPC’s 60 years of wonderful camps in the Freedom House. The festivities will begin on Thursday evening, July 2nd and end after lunch on Sunday, July 5th. Our program will be full of typical LPC activities and themes that are dear to us, and we hope that you will be there to launch LPC Freedom into another sixty years! We will have a daily schedule with optional course offerings–please let us know if you would like to lead a course!
Thursday, July 2, arrival after 12:00
Friday, July 3, Festivities begin
Saturday, July 4, Main event day
Sunday, July 5 Departure day
REGISTER AND JOIN US!
We have three different options for payment contribution. The costs listed are per person. This includes accommodation in the Freedom House ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS, with meals from Thursday dinner to Sunday lunch and T-shirt. There will be an opportunity to state dietary preferences closer to the date. Directors and counselors who will attend LPC camps in 2020 are $75 Directors and counselors who will attend Freedom in 2020 will be free. Registration cost per person for full weekend:
DONOR OPTION: $500 ($350 will go into the LPC-US Inc. Scholarship Fund)
BASIC OPTION: $200 ($50 will go into the LPC-US Inc. Scholarship Fund)
ECONOMY OPTION: $150
Financial assistance is available. Please contact us if you need financial assistance to attend the event. Children aged 6-12 are $75, and children under the age of 6 are free.
There are 36 Beds available in the Freedom House. They are available on a first come first serve basis. There is also space for 10 tents for those who wish to camp, which will also be allotted on a first come first serve basis.
There are a number of hotels, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds and Airbnbs in the area for additional accommodation. If there is enough interest, we can organize a shared rented van leaving from Boston on July 2nd with optional return on July 5th.
REGISTER HERE!: https://forms.gle/Vq63zE4UzTRznT7t9
QUESTIONS? Email Lily Bell, the contact person for the event at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, LPC-U.S. Inc.
Here are a list of the LPC camps in 2020:
For Younger Campers
USA Site: Freedom, New Hampshire
Ages: 9 – 14
Dates: July 13th – August 9th
Directors: Laia Fabre (Spain) & Rose Cowan (USA)
Estonia Site: Kiidi
Ages: 9 – 14
Dates: July 12th – July 31st
Directors: May Lee Watase (USA) & Maaike van der Rhee (Netherlands)
For Older Campers
Norway Site: Heggnes, Dale i Sunnfjord
Ages: 14 – 17
Dates: July 26th – August 19th
Director: Till Schwantes (Germany) & Viola Ciucciomei (Italy)
USA Site: Birch Point, Maine
Dates: July 13th – August 3rd
Director: Thomas Kasebacher (Austria)
Poland Site: Piechowice
Dates July 9th – August 6th
Director: Travis McCoy Fuller (USA)
Dear LPC’ers and Friends,
This annual newsletter brings to you, our counselors, supporters and community members, information about and a report from the Christmas Conference 2018/19 (CC), the annual general meeting of LPC International. We would like to inform you about how it went.
The CC took place from December 26th to January 3rd at the Ecole d’Humanité in Hasliberg-Goldern, Switzeland.
This year’s participants were: Anne Bunckenburg, Tom Speirs, Laia Fabre, Debby Drew (representing the board), Natalie von Tscharner, Tom Kasebacher, Francesca Meme, Bruna Melis, Jesse Smith*, Nina Horakova, Julia Fiebig, Till Schwantes, Michiel Blumenthal, Becky Jiron, Ylva Sköndahl*, Terence McCormack, Travis McCoy Fuller*, Rose Cowan, Colin Townes Anderson, Tommaso Besozzi*, Mark Jordans, Katia Verreault, Tom Streit, Sonia Benenson, Fabienne Abuzanad*, Sayam Jordans**
* only there for part of the CC ** for the discussion on counselor participation
Cooks: Patrik Davidek, Kai Migliaccio
Babysitters: Nico Jacobs and Laurie Boissenin
Many people give their time, energy and skills to make LPC work. Along with the administrator, the treasurer, the directors, camp staffs, LPC Inc., support groups, etc., there are also several committees that take care of specific matters, on an ongoing (i.e. finances) or ad hoc (i.e. World Gathering) basis. As of the end of the CC they were: Excom (the Executive Committee), Fincom (finances), DIT (director training), TIGER, Online Information Storage, Sexual Consent, Website, Fundraising, Camper and Counselor participation at the CC, Strategic Plan, ECO Search, Database Search, GDPR, Endowment, Vans in the US.
REPORTING FROM 2018
We heard about the camps held the previous summer (Hegnes, Kiidi, YLI at Oriolo, Birch Point, Klino and Freedom), had reports from Excom, European Central Office (ECO), LPC Inc. (formerly “the Board”), the Fundraising Committee and several support groups (Swiss, SF Bay Area / US West Coast, British, Italian, Dutch and Hegnes), as well as from the World Gathering.
The WG was a great success and great fun thanks to everyone (a large group of people!) who helped to organize it, particularly Tomasz Chilarski, Sue Howells and KC Hill who orchestrated the whole event.
The actual event felt very short and was packed with activities, but it was felt that it’s better to have people leave wanting more rather than feeling that the whole thing should have been a day shorter.
A good amount of money was raised for camp by charging only a modest amount per person.
A lot of people really put in a lot of extra time (Putz, EP, Shop etc..) to make it all work smoothly.
In 2019 we will have camps in Freedom (for younger campers), Birch Point (older campers), Hegnes (older), Klino (younger), Kiidi (younger), Ecole d’Humanité (older) and a Hiking Camp in the Pyrenees (older).
The process of making up the camps for the following summer is a complex exercise that requires checking the available sites, deciding who is going to direct, where and with whom (for camps with more than one director), and then selecting the staffs and camper groups. This is quite time consuming, and is spread out over several days. Many times the directors meet alone, while the rest of the participants meet in committees or take care of other jobs. One such job is the selection of the camper groups for each camp, in which we strive to make diverse groups that make sense for each camp, while taking account of everyone’s holiday dates, travel possibilities, etc.
The hiking camp was only finalised after the end of the CC because the directors needed to check French regulations to make sure we would be allowed to do a camp in this format in France.
We also selected the counselors who are going to be trained in-camp in order to become directors, and the directors who will train them.
We had a string of discussions on different points having to do with how we run the camps and our organization.
We are looking at how we can reduce our carbon footprint, especially in relation to travel (flying, car use). Julia Fiebig will bring information to the next CC in order to continue this discussion on a more knowledgeable basis next year.
The new website is now online, after much work by Joe and others. During the CC Debby and Michiel collected feedback from participants in order to finalize it, and translators were found for the last translations needed. The CC approved the final version before it went live.
Vans in Birch Point and Freedom: we are moving towards no longer owning the vehicles for the US campsites, and renting them instead. This would be more environmentally friendly for several reasons. This year we are renting vehicles on a trial basis to fine-tune the process, with the goal of selling the remaining vehicles in the near future.
A fairly intense discussion tackled issues related to the archive we keep, with documents going back to the begginning of LPC in 1949. The archive is now housed at the Ecole d’Humanité, which made a commitment, during this CC, to keep it on their premises at least for the time being. We need clear rules about which documents to keep and how to regulate access to them, balancing people’s right to privacy with the importance of making the historical record available to researchers. This discussion will continue in the future and for now access is limited to exceptional circumstances.
We also discussed aspects of our director training process, and matters related to medical forms the campers have to take to camp, pre-camp training of staff, evaluation of directors, information about the Ecole d’Humanité given in camp, our sexual harassment policy, the risk assessment form directors have to fill out at the beginning of each camp, our database, drones in camp (not to be encouraged!), background checks for staff and some other minor points.
The Christmas Conference Report 2017-18 was formally approved.We thanked Michiel Blumenthal for his term on Excom, which came to an end after three years, and appointed Tommaso Besozzi as the new member, for a three-year term.
Camper participation at CC
A comprehensive discussion on camper participation in the CC was held. Sayam Jordans had taken the feedback and comments from CC 17/18 to Klino ‘18, where he took them to the campers. The idea is to have a camper committee, or a committee of campers and counselors, who would have a degree of participation in the Christmas Conference. This committee would report on the camps from a camper perspective, bring up points and take part in discussions.
Several questions were raised in Klino and at the CC on how this could be implemented in practical terms and on what would be the precise purpose of this committee. The Christmas Conference took a positive view and it was decided that Natalie von Tscharner and Sayam will work on it and bring a more concrete concept to CC 19/20.
ECO Administrator Position
LPC’s European Central Office (ECO), housed at the Ecole d’Humanité, provides a great deal of the administrative work that is necessary to run LPC. Sonia Benenson, who has been in charge of ECO for many years, is now nearing retirement, and her successor must be found.
In connection with this, our relationship with the Ecole d’Humanité also comes into play. Our bond with the Ecole is old and deep, and we must take care to nurture it. But while united by this bond, which has been invaluable to LPC, we also realise that we are two separate organizations which make adult decisions about how they relate to each other.
We had a wide-ranging discussion on the relationship between LPC and the Ecole and the transition to a new administrator for ECO. A committee was created to finalize the job description and initiate the search for the person who will continue Sonia’s work, based on input from Sonia and Excom as well as from the Christmas Conference.
During CC, Excom met with Katja Braun (Director of the Ecole) to further discuss options and sign an updated LPC-Ecole cooperation agreement. The Ecole reaffirmed its willingness to continue to house ECO and to combine the function of ECO administrator with the job of an Ecole staff member, allowing us to orient our search toward a person who will take a position in the Ecole in which they will dedicate a certain number of hours to the running of ECO.
A committee was formed to ensure LPC complies to the relevant provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union.
Commitment to Freedom
This year’s Christmas Conference provided an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the camp house in Freedom and to acknowledge and appreciate the role of LPC Inc. (formerly “the Board”) within our larger organization (officially “LPC International”). This summer will be the 60th (in a row) in which we hold a camp in the beloved house on Moulton Road, which is entirely owned by LPC Inc. and painstakingly maintained for the sole purpose of hosting LPC camps. On this it was noted that the twice-yearly Work Weekends are valuable beyond their primary purpose of taking care of maintenance work on the house, as LPC activities that bond many people to our organization and its ideals.
As a result of a lot of work done in the past three years, the mission statement committee was able to submit a final wording for approval at CC: “Luethi Peterson Camps promotes understanding through international summer camps where young people of diverse backgrounds build community and establish lasting friendships.”
It was easily approved without any changes, after acknowledging that it is in the nature of a mission statement to be short and general. Nevertheless, during the discussion many people pointed out how deep and true its simple wording rings to our ears and reverberates in our hearts. Reflecting on the ways in which this simple statement expresses what we hold dear in LPC was a beautiful moment in the conference.
After a decision to make a strategic plan, from CC 14/15, had remained dead letter, this year the Fundraising Committee (Fundcom) raised the matter again, because having such a plan in place would help us raise funds with potential donors who find it a helpful yardstick to decide who they want to fund.
We discussed the pros and cons of investing time and resources to draw up such a plan, agreeing that it should not merely be a gesture to attract donors but help us to structure our goals for the future, and that it must reflect and respect the uniqueness of LPC. We took time to gather input from the group, to be fed into the development of this plan.
A committee was created and tasked with designing and carrying out a process that will produce a strategic plan for LPC, to be presented for consideration to the next Christmas Conference, in 2019-20. An amount of money was budgeted that the committee will be able to draw from to meet expenses in creating the strategic plan, with the understanding that it will strive to contain costs and obtain any necessary financing from outside sources if possible.
Next CC Dates
The Christmas Conference 2019/2020 will take place from December 27th (starting at dinner) to January 4th (ending at putzpause).
The financial discussions and decisions were as follows:
- We decided to move the money held in our investment account to an investment fund that is more ethical and sustainable.
- The World Gathering raised CHF 16,300. We decided to put this money into the LPC general fund, to be used toward all aspects of running LPC, including counselor travel, reduced tuition and supporting newcomers’ participation in LPC.
- We clarified the rules concerning travel assistance for CC support staff (cooks and babysitters).
- We accepted the report from the auditors who reviewed our finances.
- We accepted the financial report for 2018 and approved the budget for 2019.
- We set the 2020 tuition as follows: deposit EUR 290; reduced tuition EUR 225; full tuition EUR 290; sponsorship tuition EUR 356.
- We reviewed the procedure for allocating counselor travel assistance.
- We discussed a proposal to set up an endowment fund for LPC, where money raised and put into it would accrue interest to be used for various forms of financial assistance (scholarships for newcomers and other persons in need, counselor travel, etc.). We decided that this in principle is a good idea, and Fundcom will look further into it and bring a proposal to CC 19/20.
We rounded up our conferencing with two rounds of evaluation, one to express what could have been different and another of highlights. One of the frustrations expressed was that the schedule seemed even tighter than in previous conferences, perhaps due to how much time it took to finalise the camps for 2019, which meant that for the many people involved in this process (directors and those assisting them) the pace was especially demanding, with very few breaks.
This did not mean that we didn’t have moments of fun, such as folkdancing (see the picture on the first page), singing, evening games and of course the New Year’s Eve party, all of which were mentioned among the highlights of the conference, along with many moments and achievements during the conferencing itself.
To conclude, I would like to apologize for sending the newsletter so late in the year, mostly my (Tommaso’s) fault. Hopefully it’s not an entirely bad time to receive it, just before the camps start in seven sites across Europe and North America, where for a few weeks at a time the melody of Good Night to You All will mark the close of each day.
Love to all, camp-bound or not,
Nina, Francesca and Tommaso
Welcome to Luethi-Peterson Camps!