Youth Camps and Exchange
With the mission of promoting international peace and understanding, the Youth Camp and Exchange Program (YCE) gives thousands of young people the opportunity to experience life in other cultures and gain a new understanding of the world through travel abroad.
A World of Perspectives
YCE does not involve academic study or employment. Instead, participants are encouraged to use their travel opportunity to share their own culture while experiencing a new one. Activities for both exchanges and camps can include visits to places of cultural or national interest and even engagement in local service projects alongside Lions club members.
Lions Youth Exchange
A host family stay that can be arranged independently of a Lions youth camp. It can take place in any country where there’s a Lions club and typically lasts between four to six weeks.
Lions Youth Camps
One or two weeks in length, camps usually include a host family stay before or after, allowing young people to gain a wider experience in a given country.
The success of the Lions YCE program is a result of effective communication between everyone involved.
Host Lions Clubs
A World of Possibility
Sponsoring clubs and host clubs coordinate the sending and receiving of YCE youth participants through their respective YCE Chairperson. The contact information for these individuals is listed in the YCE Directory.
2017-2018 YCE Top Ten Chairpersons
“My Favorite memory was watching the campers and counselors work together to come up with a peace symbol. They formed the word PEACE representing the mission of YCE – world peace through cultural understanding.”
District 107 G
“His enthusiasm is contagious and he has been an inspiration for new clubs to participate in the program. He shares his vision to increase peace and understanding between people.” – Erkki Honkala, Council Chairperson 2017-18
District 108 IA1
“To see [youth] grow from strangers to friends within a week, regardless of age, religion, sex or nationality, convinced me even more that a well carried out YCE Program can be the starting point of a better understanding among people.”
District 108 1B3
“I think [YCE] is a Lions project to be really proud of. The opportunities we give our youth, especially those who can hardly afford such a life experience economically, are the best representation of our association to all countries.”
“Lions Youth Camps and Exchange creates everlasting bonds between people, brings countries and cultures closer together.”
“It was memorable to see how the campers from overseas, Hong Kong and Macao Lions and Leos, and the host families became very good friends with each other. Some of them cried when they bid farewell to each other at the closing party.”
“YCE is young people from all over the world touching foreign communities, deepening their mutual understanding with the visiting people, and cultivating an international sense of fraternity and cooperation.”
“Youth activities will become the cornerstone of world peace once again, as young people who grew up in various environments mutually try to understand and respect each other's culture, customs, and languages through the YCE camps.”
“The wealth of knowledge doesn’t come with just [attending a camp] to enjoy, but in experiencing both the joy and hardships for the first time in living and bonding with other participants. That experience is the greatest asset when [the youth] become independent in society.”
“Yasutaka had a goal to implement YCE training by each region and establish a YCE activity fund. Yasutaka was the instructor for three regions, and all regions conducted the training. The YCE activity fund now provides clubs an opportunity to engage in YCE programs even when they lack funds.” – Hiroshi Otani, Council Chairperson 2017-18