Should I go?

Good to know about ACORNCAMPS

Please read the sections in the webpage About our camps. We want you to be clear as to: the work that we do, how we do it, what we expect from you and what you can expect from us. We are sure that there are ways in which we can improve how we work, and we are always happy to receive feedback (both positive and negative) about any aspect of our work.

"Is it for me?"

It is a good question to ask before applying to come on mission in Hungary. Working with teenagers in a cross-cultural mission setting with a difficult language barrier is not easy! Therefore serving with ACORNCAMPS should not be seen as a ‘mission opportunity to try something new’. Rather it is an opportunity for people God has gifted to work with teenagers to serve God in a cross-cultural setting.

We aim to use the opportunity camps provide for people to use the gifts that God has given them. This might involve being stretched out of your normal comfort zone. However, people are not forced to do things they really feel unable to do. There is opportunity on the application form to mention particular skills, abilities or experience that you have. On each UK team there will be a Team Leader, someone who manages the Camp Programme, the Speaker for the week and Team Members.

Specifically then anyone wishing to apply should be a committed Christian who is:

  1. regularly attending church, and in good standing with their church where they serve
  2. sociable (whether introvert or extrovert)
  3. experienced in youth work (or something with similar skills)
  4. pro-active in using their strengths and gifts
  5. willing to be flexible and adaptable
  6. able to work as part of a team
  7. happy to sign the theological basis

We encourage people of all ages to apply from 18-60+ years; sometimes 16-18 year olds are considered at the request and in discussion with their church leader.

Other questions might get answered here...

If you are still unsure, try answering these questions.

About Summer 2019

The ACORNCAMPS Big Meet 2019 is for all those who have volunteered on team in Hungary in the past. If you are new to ACORNCAMPS and Hungary, we would love to talk with you about how you could be involved in 2020, or ways you might be able to volunteer from home. Get in touch with us!

Good to know about Hungary

Is Hungary safe? 

Generally speaking, Hungary does not have a high crime-rate. There are of course areas in the cities to avoid (as with anywhere), however the camps we run (to date) are not in cities but rather residential areas or in public places near the Lake Balaton. Your hosts will ensure you are in the safest of contexts whenever possible. See here for more information.

Accommodation

What will the accommodation be like?

  • This varies depending on the camp. So far teams have never slept in tents! In some places it is in a purpose-built Residential Centre; where the camp is a Day camp, team members are hosted by Hungarian families linked to the host church.
  • You should expect some differences in accommodation, e.g. no carpets, huge pillows… you might even be sharing a room with a team member. Don’t be surprised if the standard of living is lower than the UK, but do allow yourself to enjoy the Hungarian hospitality, which is second to none!
  • On arriving in Hungary, you will either travel directly to the town / location of the camp, or stay as a team in Budapest. All accommodation is organised on your behalf for the duration of the mission week.

Weather 

As with the UK, there are 4 seasons, which tend to be slightly exaggerated versions of UK seasons. The summer can be very hot in June/July, although it tends to be less humid than the UK (average 30°C, and can sometimes rise to 35+°C); August can be rainy and cooler (sometimes in the low 20's). Winter can go as cold as -10°C and often snowfall is heavy. Suitable clothes are a necessity. See here for more information.

Should I take my family? 

Bringing a family on mission can be a very enriching experience for both the family and the teenagers on camp. It can also be a huge challenge, and will not be for everyone! For anyone considering coming as a family, ACORNCAMPS requires that at least one of the parents has visited Hungary and served on a mission week, before coming again with their children. This is important so the family can properly prepare together, with their eyes open, and use their experience of mission to the full.

Responsibilities of Parents coming from the UK on camp

If you are on camp in 'Parent' capacity, even if you have other responsibilities on team, you have full parental responsibility for your children. This includes:

  • Food - all meals are provided for families by the host church or family, and every effort is taken to communicate specific medical dietary requirements; if your children do not eat the food provided for whatever reason, it is the parents' responsibility to make sure they eat something else. It is also the responsibility of parents to arrange additional child-appropriate snacks when needed for their children during mission week.
  • Sleeping arrangements - families are provided with sleeping accommodation by the host church; parents are responsible for making sure their children get enough sleep throughout the mission week, and are suitably monitored while asleep.
  • Safety - parents are responsible for ensuring their children are safe at all times. This includes:
    • checking the camp location for hazards relevant to your children (this will not be the responsibility of the Programme or Team Leaders),
    • taking appropriate action to minimise danger / risks,
    • initiating liaison with the Team Leader regarding day-trips or weekend activities, and agreeing suitable arrangements to include the children,
    • monitoring the whereabouts and activity of your children during mission week and ensuring they are not in danger.
  • Discipline - parents are expected to exercise appropriate discipline for their own children during mission week. They may share this responsibility with other team members if previously discussed with both Team member and the children. Should any issues arise due to the behaviour of the children, it is firstly the duty of the Parent to respond, before the Team Leader.

Combining parenting and responsibilities as a Team Member

Some parents have Team responsibilities whilst on camp, e.g. English sessions, Craft, Translation, etc. In these cases, it is the responsibility of the parent to:

  • in advance arrange who will be in 'loco-parentis' - and take on the responsibilities above - whilst the parent is serving on Team, confirming with both adult and children (where appropriate) the duration of the loco-parentis,
  • in advance arrange, as appropriate, activities for their children whilst they are serving on Team.

Finances: We appreciate the costs for bringing children are significant as kids over 2yrs have to buy flights. Therefore we will contact you individually to confirm what is the overall cost of hosting you as a family.

Please contact our Mission Week Coordinator with any further questions.

ACORNCAMPS is a UK charity (no. 1127958) working in Hungary with over 17 years of experience in youth ministry. Our small team of four works together with many permanent and short-term volunteers to organise youth camps and training for youth leaders. Our UK and Hungarian friends and partner churches appreciate the high quality of work, the personal nature of the work including the importance of partnership and the high level of training and support we provide. We love what we do. Read more

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