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Top Ten Youth Camp and Exchange Chairperson Award

Top Ten Youth Camp and Exchange Chairperson Award

Top Ten Youth Camp and Exchange Chairperson Award

The success of the Youth Camp and Exchange Program (YCE) can be attributed to the unwavering dedication of Lions members around the world who serve as YCE Chairpersons.  These individuals recognize and believe in the importance of developing youth into global citizens in order to have a more peaceful and just world in the future. They not only serve as travel, activity and safety coordinators, but as mentors and confidants for the youth and families participating in YCE. The annual Top Ten Youth Camp and Exchange Chairperson Award recognizes and honors those Lions who go above and beyond their duties as YCE Chairpersons.

The following individuals were selected by the International Board of Directors for their service in positively impacting the lives of young people around the world and fulfilling the Lions Clubs International mission to encourage peace and international understanding through Lions clubs. 

The Top Ten Youth Camp and Exchange Chairperson Awardees
(Serving in 2014-2015)

Attilio Beltrametti

ATTILIO BELTRAMETTI

DISTRICT 108 IA3 – ITALY

[When asked to note a memorable aspect of his year as Chairperson] “I think I can say the eyes: the eyes of young people when they return home after attending youth exchange, and the eyes of their parents. All are eyes full of joy and new hope, completely different from insecure looks that they had when we met before their departure. On their return, they have more open eyes to the world and about others…”

MARIA MARTINO

MARIA MARTINO

DISTRICT 108 YA - ITALY

“The most touching thing that I’ve seen with this assignment is the connection with the people…We can help youth to grow and they can contribute to growing our association.”

BARBARA MILCIC

BARBARA MILCIC

DISTRICT 126 - CROATIA

“As a participant back in 1996, the opportunity to visit and join this kind of program gave me a new and more optimistic view of the future, opened new windows and gave me more confidence and self- esteem. [These experiences] convinced me to serve as a YCE Chairperson.”

SAIFUL ISLAM

SAIFUL ISLAM

DISTRICT 315 A1 – REPUBLIC OF BANGLADESH

“The personal attachment with Leos and other youth gives me the feeling of ‘Days passing; growing older but feeling young’ which is the key motivating factor to me. Save the youth, save the future.”

SOREN KLINGEMANN

SOREN KLINGEMANN

MULTPLE DISTRICT 106 – DENMARK

“I have worked as a YCE chairperson since 1996, so this year is my 20 years’ anniversary. Today I am responsible for the complete youth exchange system in Denmark. I’m proud of being able to make a difference for youth in the world society.”

KATSUYA SUGAWARA

KATSUYA SUGAWARA

MULTIPLE DISTRICT 334 - JAPAN

“It was such a wonderful experience to witness how YCE students from European countries become interested in Japanese culture and try to understand it, and more importantly, to see their smiles firsthand at our summer and winter camps.”

HIROCHIKA KITAYAMA

HIROCHIKA KITAYAMA

MULTIPLE DISTRICT 336 – JAPAN

[When asked to summarize the YCE program in 5 words]  “Develop small ambassadors for future.”

STEVE LEROUX

STEVE LEROUX

MULTIPLE DISTRICT 6 – COLORADO, USA

“I called a host family to ask if they wanted to host again.  They were a first time host family the summer before.  The answer was ‘Sorry we cannot.  We will be visiting Greta at her home in Europe during the hosting period.’ Greta was their exchange youth and she and her family had invited the Colorado host family to their home.  This is why youth exchange is so dear to me.”

TERESA KOMATSU – DISTRICT 4-L5 – CALIFORNIA, USA

[About Lion Teresa’s service] “Terri spends countless hours to create an enjoyable and rewarding experience for the visiting youth…She has been a great asset to the program for over 15 years.  It is her passion, and it shows in the ongoing success of the program.” – Council Chairperson Mary Rynearson, MD 4

MEL KOMATSU – MULTIPLE DISTRICT 4 – CALIFORNIA, USA

“Lions Mel and Terri Komatsu are the reason the Youth Camp and Exchange Program works in our local district and our multiple district…they are the epitome of the Lions husband and wife team.” – District Governor David Radtke, District 4-L5

Nominate Your Youth Camp and Exchange Chairperson for 2015-2016!

All district and multiple district YCE chairpersons are eligible for the Top Ten Youth Camp and Exchange Chairperson Award. District governors or council chairpersons must submit a nomination form to the Programs & Service Initiatives Department by November 15.

Some considerations for this award include:

  • Exceptional service and dedication to the ideal of developing global citizens
  • Promotion of peace, international understanding and goodwill through the Youth Camp and Exchange Program
  • Number of youth hosted and sponsored for Lions youth camps and/or exchanges
  • Integration of intergenerational service projects

Members of the Service Activities Committee select the recipients during the March-April board meeting. Awardees will receive a special recognition and will be featured on this webpage

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