IPA Estonia’s ‘Bear Cubs’ enjoy a Visit to Germany

17 Sep 2021


For the third year in a row, a camp for children from low-income or large families was organised by IPA Bork (Germany), together with the IPA Estonian section. The camp took place from 8-18.07. 2021, and all of the 20 participants, aged 9-13, were from Estonia, as the Covid-19 numbers of our neighbouring countries were too high.

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On the morning of day one, we had to start our travels early. By midday, we had made it to Panevežys, Lithuania, where lunch was organised by the local IPA members. Thank you! After lunch, we headed to Bialystok, Poland, where our hotel for the night was waiting for us. After dinner, we went for a walk to a close-by park to see types of trees we don’t have back home.

Waking up on day two, our goal was to make it to our hotel in Slubice, Poland, where our hotel was located right next to SOSiR stadium. To stretch our legs during the trip, we visited Swiebodzin, where the world’s highest statue of Jesus is located. By the time we got to Slubice, the weather had turned, and as it was raining, we spent the night playing inside.

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The level of anticipation had got high for all the children by the morning of day three, as everyone knew we would be reaching our destination, Selm Bork, by the evening. On our way there, we stopped near Magdeburg where the children could see the Magdeburg Aqueduct, which crosses over the Elbe River and is navigable.

We were greeted by our IPA hosts when we arrived in Selm Bork, and, after unpacking we were taken on a tour of the school’s premises where we saw police vehicles and equipment. The kids were most excited by the chance to sit in police vehicles and driving in a car with a siren.

During the next six days, we were introduced to a German bird hunting tradition, saw the Dülmen wild horses near Münster, got acquainted with the old town of Münster, ate different sorts of cheese, played ninepins, visited a fire department, and went tothe Heinrichshöhle caves. We ate pizza and visited the Maximilianspark with its incredible LEGO exhibition and wooden sculptures. In addition, a visit to the Rheine Zoo with its many animal species was organised, and to top it all, we went to the Borussia Emsdetten Football Stadium, where the children could play football on an actual football pitch. On our last night in Selm, we sang and danced around a bonfire. Some even shed a few tears during our last night in Selm.cubs2

With our last things packed, breakfast eaten and a lunchbox prepared, we started our journey back home on the morning of the tenth day. We had our last dinner in Warsaw and used our very last Bear Cub circle, which took place every night, to discuss what was good and bad about the day to make ourselves better for the next day. The next morning, our last day, our goal was to get home to our families, which we managed to do by the evening.

With this wonderful trip behind us, the IPA Estonian section would like to thank IPA Bork for all the financial support and wonderful emotional activities they had put onto the agenda, and for all the efforts they had made to turn this trip into a memorable experience for all children. For many of them, this was their first trip outside of Estonia, and a once in a lifetime opportunity. We could not have offered them such an amazing experience, if you had not helped us.

Thank you, IPA BORK!

Uno Laas, President IPA Estonia