In the last years, the international Alumni Spring Camp has become one of the recurring, JA Alumni-Evergreen-Events and 2018 marks the year of the former YEAD-Camps 10th anniversary.
Whether you have or haven’t booked your tickets yet, check out our interview with two JA Alumni from the camp’s team, Emina Gunic and Mikkel Risgaard!
First and foremost: Please find 3 words describing the Spring Camp best.
Mikkel: Happiness. Socialness. Down to Earth.
Emina: Collaborative. Energized. Creative.
Denmark is known for being an expensive country compared to other European nations – how did you achieve to let the participation fee stay low over all those years (Early Bird Fee of only 40€)?
The big advantage for us is that the venue itself is for free for the citizens, it’s located on the premises of a public school. This gives us the chance to provide the participants with food and drinks of high quality without letting them pay a fortune for it, plus, we can be very creative with the rest of the programme.
One obvious difference between the Spring Camp and other Alumni events is probably that it actually includes camping – what was the reason behind the fact you decided to really let participants sleep in tents?
Mikkel: Everyone who has experienced camping before at e.g. festivals knows this special, feeling-close-to-other atmosphere that comes with it. We want to take advantage of this feeling and to be different from other Alumni events as many of the activities will take place outside and at many Alumni events most of the time is passed inside of buildings.
Emina: The network’s events are often led with a more formal approach, so we wanted to do something different and show that it doesn’t necessarily require a suit and huge conference space to come up with something incredible.
Not everyone fancies camping, due to reasons like unsatisfying bathrooms, cold or lack of sleep because of the tent’s comfort. What are your top three points to even get those people to come to the event?
Even some of us at the team are no fans of camping at all – but that’s not a reason for a no-show, as you can choose between sleeping in big tents or inside (e.g. in some of the classrooms). The Danish Alumni will provide blankets, pillows etc. if needed. This brings you this back-to-the-roots feeling but we’re still equipped with electricity and heaters if needed as we want everyone to feel comfy. And don’t worry, there are no portable toilets at all!
Nine Spring Camps have passed, the tenth is about to come: Is there special going to be for the anniversary?
Emina: Well, book your tickets and find out yourself...But joke aside, I can assure that we have some great plans in the loop to make this upcoming spring camp very, very special! The 10th anniversary is very dear to us, and we especially want to honour those who started the spring camp in the first place.
Mikkel: For now we can tell you that it’s going to be the best Spring Camp in history of JA Alumni and good things will happen that haven’t happened before...
From your experience: What was the highest high and the lowest low you experienced in all those years?
Our lowest low must by far have been back in 2015, when we had to put up a huge party tent in pouring rain! We were fearing that the weather would keep on like that for the rest of the weekend! Luckily, it turned around well the other day and kept dry - in Denmark you just never know!
However, this experience was also, to some extend, a high. Because the people there just made it a fun experience. We were laughing all the way through!
Which was the biggest improvement of the Spring Camp and what are the plans for the future?
Over the years, the camp has improved in many different ways. The biggest, recent, improvement must be that we now have a location that is much more central and really close to the airport!
Our main aim for the camp is always to expand. Make it bigger and greater each year.
This year, we're really focused on engaging more Alumni from all over Europe and we are thrilled to see how many people have already bought their tickets! All the way from Portugal to Sweden! I can only hope that this will continue, the more Aumni, the greater the event!