The mission of the GLOW and YMLP Youth Development Progrаm is to develop the inherent potential found in the young women and men of Macedonia by providing them with the skills and knowledge necessary to become active leaders in their communities. This is realized through experiential education that celebrates diversity, builds academic and social competencies, and promotes English language literacy.
YMLP – Young Men’s Leadership Project is an 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 with Peace Corps Macedonia and it is staffed by YMCA Bitola, Peace Corps Volunteers, and YMLP alumni. YMLP is an annual summer program that has been held in Macedonia since 2006 in various locations in Macedonia.
The camp’s curriculum includes civic responsibility, environmentalism, leadership, personal development, and youth employability. In addition, the camp provides opportunities for outdoor experience, team building, learning lots of sports and other useful and practical skills. YMLP seeks to empower boys to become active leaders in their communities, promote intercultural understanding, and promote volunteerism.
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 – To care for yourself, community, and others.
Honesty – To be truthful in what you say and do.
Respect – To treat all people, yourself and your community, with dignity and acceptance.
Responsibility – To 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 Macedonia since July 2011.
In 2017 the YMLP camp was 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 Bank as sponsors
as well as, via our crowdfunding campaign, lots of individual donors who fully support our cause and the mission of our youth development program.
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.