On June 26–28, eight teachers from Lithuania and Poland attended a preparatory workshop for the Democracy Camp 2017 to be held between July 17–23 in Dvarčėnų dvaras, Alytus region, Lithuania. The camp is funded by the U.S. Embassy Lithuania and organized by the Board of LAKMA (Lithuanian Association of English Language Teachers), and will be attended by 48 teenagers from the the U.S., Poland and Lithuania.

Alla Juriavichene (Vilnius Santaros Gymnasium), Rasa Midverienė (Turgeliai Aistuvos Gymnasium)Irina Sidor (Vilnius Žaros Gymnasium)Saulius Skučas (Garliava Juozas Lukša Gymnasium), Neringa Šakinienė (Lentvaris Motiejus Šimelionis Gymnasium),  Dalia Venckuvienė (Kupiškis Povilas Matulionis Gymnasium) from Lithuania and Beata Adasik and Marcin Pasnikowski (Gimnazjum Nr. 3 im. Noblistów Polskich in Świdniku and Zespol Szkol nr 2 in Swidniku) from Poland met with the camp organizers. Two teachers from Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, WA, U.S. – Ann Vogel and Laryssa Schmidt – will join the team in July.

The workshop was held in the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences which is an active partner of the U.S. Embassy and the LAKMA Association. The university highly values the benefits of such cooperation as the students are offered great opportunities to participate in various educational projects. This time Tomas Aleknavičius and Simas Laurikėnas, students of English Philology, will be able to act as Camp volunteers and assist the tutors in organizing the camp activities.

The U.S. Embassy Assistant Public Affairs Officer Althea Cawley-Murphree and LAKMA president Eglė Petronienė welcomed the future camp tutors and volunteers and wished them great success in implementing the ideas of the project. The U.S. Government program Alumni Coordinator Inga Sidrys and two US Embassy interns Alicia Nibarger and Sandra Ambotaitė shared their views on democratic values and emphasized their importance in modern society.

The workshop was moderated by Nida Burneikaitė, LAKMA Board member and teacher trainer. Working as a team, the participants have developed the conceptual framework for the camp program, shared their ideas and best practices of teaching teenagers, discussed the resources to be used at the camp and designed activities which would be appropriate for the purposes of the camp.