Wikicamps in Armenia

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Wikicamps were created by Wikimedia Armenia. In 2014 the project became “The Coolest Project” of the year. The purpose of the Wikicamp is to create a pleasant environment for the editors to contribute to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. The Wikicamp also has a mission to develop teamwork among participants, to aspire to a healthy lifestyle, to promote the notions of tolerance and mutual aid.

Wikicamps are targeting people of three different age groups - 9-14, 15-18, and 19-35. Teenagers and the youth from all regions of the Republic of Armenia and different countries of the world (Poland, Georgia, Czech Republic, Italy, USA, Russia, Ukraine, etc.) had the chance to take part in our Wikicamps

Wikicamps pay close attention to education and knowledge. The campers spend around 3-4 hours on editing and deepening their knowledge of editing on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. Along with this, various intellectual, cultural, educational, and sports activities are organized for the campers.

Sports activities: football, volleyball, checkmate, basketball, badminton, table tennis, bowling, swimming, morning workout, Sportlandia, Fort Wiki, tug of war, foosball, darts, etc.

Intellectual activities: debates, Brain ring, puzzle gathering, battleship (game), gathering of construction toys, time management team game, etc.

Cultural activities: dancing, singing, painting, theatrical performances, handicrafts (building of birds’ nests, frames for pictures, posters, making camouflage nets, papier-mâché, etc.).

Tours: Wikicamps also include cognitive tours during which campers visit different historical-cultural places and natural monuments (Saghmosavank, Amberd. Kari Lake, Kecharis Monastery, the ropeway of Tsaghkadzor, Dendropark, Chorut Monastery, etc.). Wikicamps also pay attention to nature preservation, and participants are introduced to the Earth's ecological problems, the effects of global warming, and anthropogenic factors.

Collaborations: Along with all this, Wikicamps have collaborations with various organizations, the aim of which is to make participants' daily life more interesting and educational. There have been collaborations with the RA Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Office of Financial System Mediator, the Hovhannes Tumanyan House-Museum, the Orbeli Brothers House-Museum, Street Workout Sports Club, the Armenian Diving Federation, the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Armenia, the RA Ministry of Defense and other institutions.

Guest speakers: During the Wikicamp we host guests from different fields. The guest speakers visit the campers, talk to them, use interactive methods to discuss topics specific to their field. Such guest speakers were the Director of Ayb School, Bulgarian director Andrey Hajivasilev, movie director Karen Balayan, the Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to Armenia Maria Pavlova, academician Ruben Safrastyan, the Head of Military Education Department of MOD Artsrun Hovhannisyan, etc.

Safety and security: During Wikicamps the security of the campers is the top priority for us. The campers are divided into groups of 10-12. The groups are supervised by the group leader, who together with the organizers of the camp supervises and organizes the daily life of the campers. The location of the camp is as isolated as possible from crowded places and traffic; entering or exiting the camp area is controlled by the organizational team and the hotel staff. During the camp, a police officer on duty is called in to monitor the area. Cameras are installed at the site of the Wikicamp, the area is being recorded. A doctor is present in the camp, who provides appropriate medical care if necessary.

Within 7 years, Wikimedia Armenia successfully organized more than 30 Wikicamps.