YCE Chairperson Spotlight: Lion Barbara Milcic

As a part of the August Engaging Our Youth Centennial Service Challenge, we’re featuring spotlights on Lions Youth Camp and Exchange chairpersons and participants. Today’s spotlight is on Lion Barbara Milcic, a 2014-15 YCE Chairperson AND a 1996 YCE participant! Learn how you can get involved with Lions Youth Camps and Exchange!

My relationship with the Youth Camp and Exchange program is very personal and it changed my life in many ways. I first became involved in summer of 1996, when I participated in the Lions Camp in Bonn in Germany. My stay in Germany enabled me to get acquainted with my future unforgettable friends, and to get to know the Institutions in Bonn at that time — the Headquarters of parliament and government of Germany.

The most important aspect of the camp was to meet friends for life. With some campers I still have good contacts and we still meet. During the stay I became very fond of my host family, and with them I experienced everyday life. They are still my German family, and I still have very good relations with them. We have met several times since 1996. Also at that time there was war in Croatia, and this opportunity to visit and join this kind of program gave me new and more optimistic view of the future, opened new windows and gave me more confidence and self- esteem.

All those facts convinced me that through the YCE program, youth and host families could develop very strong relations. Links and strengths that could be established for future society.

From the very beginning, it is friendship without reserve.

When I was offered to take charge of leading YCE in Croatia, District 126, I knew that not only Croatia would benefit, but for all countries in the world.

Being in close contact with host families who participated in the program, they informed me about the stay of youth and their experience. Often they tell me that the participants want to return next year, and sometimes wish to be a host family in the future. Being in contact with parents of the youth participating in program, they tell me about the children’s positive change after returning from the exchange – more confident, more mature, more self-esteem and friendships established.

This program wouldn’t work without the enthusiastic Lions around the worldwho devote their time to connect Lions, youth and families in the spirit of the first Lions objective: “To foster the spirit of understanding between the nations of the world.”

If I had to summarize the YCE program in 5 phrases:  Friendship, connecting people, Lions, positive impact and self development.

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