Prometheus Camp Association

The Prometheus Camp Association arranges Prometheus Camps for young people in order to give them an opportunity to build their own life stance.


About the camps

At a Prometheus Camp, 15 to 20 people, including the camp leaders, spend eight days together discussing, contemplating and exchanging views and ideas. The objective of our camp is to give young people at their threshold to adulthood an opportunity to work on their own life stance. We believe it’s essential that they do it themselves. We have no ready-made answers to give.

At the camp we strive for a secure and trusting atmosphere. We want to give our participants a chance to freely evaluate and develop their ways of thinking, and to talk about their feelings, hopes and concerns.

Prometheus Camps are also called “coming of age” camps, even though nobody becomes an adult in a week. After the camp the participants can hopefully better
understand their own and other peoples’ choices and opinions, and have tools to find and develop a personal conception of the world.

Prometheus Camps are primarily intended for young people without a religious denomination, but anyone who is interested is welcome. Our camp participants must have passed the 8th grade (of the Finnish basic school) before coming to the camp, so most are about 15 years of age. The camps are held in the summertime. Most camp sites are located by the water, at places of natural beauty.

During the camp, we discuss issues important to young people. The topics include: differences, prejudice and racism, drugs and alcohol, addiction, society and social issues, the future, environmental issues, personal relations, sex and sexuality, dating, world views, and how one can make a difference in the society.

Prometheus camps are not only about discussions and work, there is of course also lots of time for play, swimming, sauna and getting to know each other. Lifelong friendships are not rare among former camp participants. The camp ends in a Prometheus Ceremony, where our participants celebrate, with their parents, relatives and friends, their journey towards adulthood.


Participate in a camp
If you want to participate in a camp, see: www.protu.fi for info about the available dates and venues. You can register by filling out the registration form, printing it and sending it to our office by fax +358-9-458 4633 or by mail to:

Prometheus-Leirin Tuki ry
P.O.Box 33
FIN-03601 Karkkila
Finland


International Camps

Each year we also prepare for international camps, were the languages are English and Swedish. Most of our camps are of course held in Finnish.


Organisation
Prometheus Camp Association
The Prometheus Camp Association is a politically and ideologically independent civic organisation. Prometheus Camps are primarily intended for young people without a religious domination and who have ethics & life stance as subject instead of religion at school. The idea of the Prometheus Camp was born among some these youngsters.

The majority of Finnish schoolchildren traditionally go to a Lutheran confirmation camp during the summer between the 8th and 9th grades. The non-religious pupils don’t, and the Prometheus Camp was created to meet the demand. The first camp was in 1989, and the Prometheus Camp Association was established the following year. During 2002 our number of members had grown to 4000, the number of camps to 54 and attendees to 689.

The Prometheus Camp Association is mainly financed by membership and camp
participation fees. The ministry of Education contributes with a small subsidy. The work we do is voluntary. The association has one office secretary on monthly salary, and the camp chefs get a small monetary compensation.

The majority of our active members are young, about 15 to 20 years of age. Many of them have participated in a Prometheus Camp themselves, during which they have become enthusiastic about our activity. They’ve become eager to organise, to be team members and to develop our mode of operation, to make sure that there are camps also for future age groups to go to.

The Prometheus Camp activity has become a meaningful and rewarding part of life for many. Numerous local activity groups have emerged, where our members meet regularly. At these meetings we talk, play, discuss topics with guest speakers, print textiles and do other things of interest. The local groups also arrange hiking trips or visits to museums and sights.


Other Activities
NuFit, the annual Youth Philosophy Event, has become a popular occasion. At NuFit, young people challenge prominent Finnish opinion leaders and public figures on given topics. The 2002 topic was Justice and the 2003 topic is Freedom. Our Association is the main organiser of the event. Unfortunately the www.nufit.org web site is only in Finish.


Training young volunteers
The coming team members go through three mandatory training weekends during the winter-spring season. We feel our comprehensive training is one of the main factors to our success. The team consists of two adult camp leaders and five young assistant leaders. The summer is the most hectic time, during which some 400 volunteers carry out 55 to 60 camps. In the fall, we gather feedback from all the teams, in order to improve our practises. Also, we start preparing for the next summer by searching suitable for camp sites.



Contact Us
If you want to support our work or participate in our activities you are welcome to become a member. For more information see our web page at http://www.protu.fi.

If you have anything you want to ask, please e-mail us at info@protu.fi.You can also contact our office at toimisto@protu.fi or by fax +358-9-458 4633. Our board members can be contacted directly at hallitus@protu.fi.

The newsletter to our members (Protu) is published six times a year

@written by Alina Mänttäri


Involvement in IHEYO
Prometheus Camp Association
is a full member of IHEYO.