YMLP – Young Men’s Leadership Project is a eight-day, multi-cultural camp for 80 boys that promotes leadership, civic engagement, and friendship. YMLP is implemented by the Youth Association YMCA Bitola in partnership Peace Corps Macedonia and it is staffed by YMCA Bitola, Peace Corps Volunteers, and YMLP alumnae. YMLP is an annual summer program that has been held in Macedonia since 2006 in various locations in Macedonia.
The camp’s curriculum focuses on the development of leadership skills, personal development, increased appreciation and respect for the environment, civic engagement, demonstrations of democracy and civil society education, emphasizes the value of diversity, promotes inter-ethnic understanding and encourages Macedonia’s male youth to be contributing citizens in their communities. In addition, the camp provides opportunities for team building, having fun, hiking, improving English skills, learning lots of sports and other useful/practical skills.
The mission of YMLP is to develop the core values of social inclusion, commitment to democratic processes, and civic engagement in the emerging leaders of Macedonia in an inter-cultural environment while providing them with the personal and professional life skills that will make them effective and responsible citizens. This is accomplished through the participation of campers in core classes (Civic Responsibility, Democracy, Environmentalism, Leadership and Personal Development), and a diverse array of electives and team-building activities in an outdoor camp setting.
Campers also have the opportunity to experience the outdoors in traditional camping settings and sleeping in tents. At YMLP, campers rotate between sleeping in cabins or tents. Each camper experiences one night of ‘rough camp’. At rough camp, campers set up their own tents, and cook dinner. In addition to attending classes, students learn about environmental awareness and participate in outdoor activities.
Caring – for yourself, community, and others
Honesty – be truthful in what you say and do
Respect – treat all people-yourself and your community – with dignity and acceptance
Responsibility – be accountable for your promises and actions
Courage – to face challenges and lead
Creativity – to find new solutions to challenges
Passion – to find your inspiration to create change
YMLP camp is result of the successful partnership between YMCA Bitola and Peace Corps since July 2011.
This year the YMLP camp is possible thanks to the generous support of our corporate partners:
OKTA – gold sponsor
Lynx Resources – silver sponsor
Alkaloid, EVN, and Zdravje Radovo – bronze sponsors and
TAV Airports and TTK Banka as sponsors.
This program since the beginning has been supported by the US Embassy in Macedonia.
The YMLP (Young Men’s Leadership Project) was initiated in 2006 by Peace Corps volunteers, in part to balance the question, “What about the young men of Macedonia?” In 2011, YMCA Bitola partnered with Peace Corps volunteers by refocusing its mission “to develop the core values of social inclusion, commitment to democratic processes, and civic engagement in the emerging male leaders of Macedonia in an inter-cultural environment while providing them with the personal and professional life skills that will make them effective and responsible citizens.”
The National Leadership Camp evolved into the Young Men’s Leadership Project, developing its program, activities and structure. These changes have led to the creation of new project goals in camp youth development. The core curriculum of the Young Men’s Leadership Project was modified to align with the newly set goals. These changes can be seen in the new objectives for the goals of the camp.
These kinds of changes have rerouted the aim of the camp, to make this year’s camp better and distinctly different from previous years. The National Leadership Camp (and later known as YMLP) was created in a format of a 7-day, 6-night residential camping experience for 50-100 (this number of campers has varied through the years) boys aged 15-18 from different social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds across Macedonia.