Lions Club member Cindy Alcala and District 2E2 governor Suzi Schneider met at a recent meeting.

Lions Club District 2E2 governor, Suzi Schneider detailed events of the upcoming Youth Camp and Exchange Program sponsored by Lions International to the local Gainesville Lions Club Wednesday.

Schneider said that this program, which was named in memory of Lions Club member Julien C Hyer (JCH), allows young people from all over the world to travel to other countries to learn about the people, lifestyle, cities and cultural events of the area while building life long relationships with others.

“Each year the kids will spend one week with a host family,” Schneider said. “Most of the kids coming from over 19 countries  speak English, some better than others.”

During the five weeks the young people are here, they will also do some traveling, experiencing many different cities in Texas.

“They will spend four days in the Austin and San Antonio area, river rafting and sight seeing,” Schneider said. “Then they will travel to Lubbock which they have loved in the past because of the real west feeling and heritage of the area.”

In the Dallas and Fort Worth area, Schneider said that the kids go to sporting events, concerts, rodeos, museums and the stock yards.

She said that students will also be attending camp at the Methodist Church Center near Camp Texoma where they will learn to work together on teams and get to know people they might otherwise not had the opportunity to learn about.

“Several years ago, we had a young girl from Ireland and one from Northern Ireland who became friends,” Schneider said. “I over heard one of their conversations when one of the girls said, ‘Back home we would be enemies but here we can be friends.’”

“The camp and exchange program allows these kids to come here and learn about new things and take new ideas back home with them,” Schneider said.

Lions Club currently has 90 JCH clubs worldwide. The five week Youth Camp and Exchange program begins June 1.  

 Those  interested in finding out about the host family program or those between the ages of 16 and 22 who would like to participate are urged to contact a local Lions Club member or download an application online.

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