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PSM Undersecretary Olivia Zebrowski at SWP's "Ambassador of Polishness" camp

Zaktualizowano: 16 kwi 2023

From August 11 to 21 this year, a graduate of the Polish School at St. Hedwig's Parish in Trenton and, at the same time, an undersecretary at the Polish Youth Association - Olivia Zebrowski, participated in a camp organized for Polish youth from around the world. The "Ambassador of Polishness" camp, implemented by the "Polish Community" Association and held in Ostroda, was an excellent opportunity to develop leadership competencies among the participants, preparing them for active and conscious action on behalf of Polish communities and local communities on their country of residence.

esides a schedule filled with many thematic workshops, the organizers of the camp also provided participants with sightseeing excursions, so-called "study tours," During her 10-day stay in Ostroda, Olivia and a group of her classmates visited the most famous Polish cities, such as Warsaw, Torun, Gdansk, Gdynia, and Olsztyn.

In Warsaw, the young people had the opportunity to visit the Old Town, the most important monuments of the capital, the headquarters of the "Polish Community" Association, and also met at the Presidential Palace with Mr. Jan Badowski, Director of the Office for Cooperation with Poles and Poles Abroad at the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland. During their stay in Toruń, the group visited the Old Town, the Nicolaus Copernicus House, learned how to bake Toruń's famous gingerbread, and learned the secrets of the universe during a visit to the Toruń Planetarium. Also, the camp participants visited the Emigration Museum in Gdynia and the Old Town in Gdansk, among other places.

Despite the fun time spent, it is known that the base of the program implementation of the "Ambassador of Polishness" camp is the training workshops - hours of work filled with improving leadership talents and developing leadership interests. Training workshops cover various topics, i.e., marketing, broad debate, and personal development. In particular, young people learn to recognize the differences between passivity, aggression, and assertiveness and learn effective debating and conversation methods to become more effective leaders when acting in Polish communities.

Olivia z ówczesnym Dyrektorem Biura ds. Współpracy z Polonią i Polakami za Granicą Kancelarii Prezydenta RP

- Such camps are an essential part of learning about Polish culture, as well as the country of our ancestors. Being the first generation of Poles born abroad, we must nurture Polishness. I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in just one of them. I made friends with young people from all over the world, friendships that we maintain today. I wouldn't have met so many wonderful people if it weren't for the camp. I'm glad I had this opportunity. - Olivia said, describing her stay in Ostroda.

Camps in Poland, organized by the Headquarters of Polish Supplementary Schools in America, the "Polish Community" Association, and the Foundation for the Support and Development of Polonia Schools, play a significant role in the lives of young people. Thanks to rich programs and carefully developed implementation methods, they allow "equip" young Poles with the tools of a leader's work and knowledge of Poland, its history, geography, traditions, and culture, and acquire the ability to promote Poland in the world effectively. And this translates into increased participation of young people in social, public, and economic life in their country of residence, Poland, and around the world, as participants are equipped with knowledge that will improve their local activity and provide an excellent opportunity to develop their competencies. Such camps offer a chance to cooperate with Polish community leaders from other countries, establish contacts with representatives of institutions collaborating with the Polish community, and prepare them to develop and implement projects promoting Poland abroad.

Leadership camps are growing in popularity every year. It demonstrates the current need among Polish youth for direct contact with Poland. It is especially true for those who previously had no opportunity to get to know Poland in person.


Źródła: Polskie Stowarzyszenie Młodzieży, Kancelaria Prezydenta RP, Archiwum prywatne, Kwartalnik "Asystent" Centrali Polskich Szkół Dokształcających w Ameryce

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