Camp Rising Sun – USA

Camp Rising Sun is a leadership camp organised by the Louis August Jonas Foundation in New York State in the USA. This camp brings together up to 120 young leaders from all over the world. Most of the campers are from the US itself(60 or so), but the majority is mostly from out of the US. Countries participating include South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Greece, Germany, Israel, Denmark, China, Japan etc.

Each of these countries usually sends two representatives, one girl and one boy as there are two camps. A boys camp and a girls camp. The boys camp is called Camp Rising Sun: Redhook and the girls Camp Rising Sun: Clinton. Each camp thus has about 60 campers. They are taken care of by the cap staff that is hired by the foundation. During the two month stay at both camps, the campers are encouraged to grow as people and future leaders. Ideas about anything from politics to world cultures are discussed at length. Campers get chances to teach each other about their respective countries and cultures. This creates the real feeling of a global village. The two camps have regular inter-camp meetings during the season.

Before the camp season begins the international campers stay for a few days with the US campers or CRS Alumni in New York. They have a chance to go around the city and experience New York life with people who live there. This also happens when the season ends, before the campers take flights back home. Overall it is a wonderful experience and campers act as representatives for their countries!

Application and Selection

For more information about camp rising sun visit the Louis August Jonas Foundation

Experiences from Alumni

Camp rising sun is an international leadership camp that takes place during summer in New York USA.

Camp rising sun is about learning from others as well as teaching, getting exposed to different cultures, different lifestyles and different kinds of people. It’s about brotherhood and sisterhood and forming bonds that will last a very long time if not forever. Making friends with people in places you never would have thought of in your wildest dreams. Above all it’s about leadership endurance and the will to help others.

There were a lot of activities at camp which enabled one to see what the camp was all about. There was Friday night production where sometimes we would have people from different cultures singing and dancing in their native languages or cultural styles, Sachem’s dinner whereby the sachems of the week would cook, most of the time it would be food from different countries. Everyone had a chance to be sachem (leader) of the day where he would conduct the day to day activities of camp and make sure that everything is going according to plan. Hunger day where people were randomly placed in three classes: rich, middle class and poor, those of us that were poor learned how people in third world countries live. There was vigil night where we had to pick a spot around camp and stay the night there on our own and reflect on ourselves, what camp really meant and what we were doing there. There was also a four day hike where we hiked up seven mountains in groups, this taught us to appreciate nature and endurance, but again what would camp be without hiking? We had what we called squad works and projects where we worked in teams to clean up and fix things around camp, we learned team work.

What I took out of camp is that everything and everyone is important no matter how small it is or they are, I have learned not to take advantage of life, but make life an advantage. It has taught me to become a better leader and that helped me with my leadership roles in society, I have learned to cherish my friends and make new ones everywhere I go, I have learned to try to do everything I can to help out others, but most of all I have learned to Carpe Diem!! Hau Hau

Gopolang Mohlabeng

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  1. Pingback: Its Good To Read International Student Exchange » Blog Archive » Camp Rising Sun 2008

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