Erzsébet children’s camps represent what it means to be Hungarian, as well as providing a secure environment which fosters friendship, President Katalin Novák said on Monday in Zánka, in western Hungary, marking the 10th anniversary of the church-based camps.
“In Erzsébet camps you learn what it means to belong to a thousand-year-old nation and what it means to be Hungarian in the Great Plain, in Zala, Tolna or Borsod County, in the Carpathian Basin, in southern Slovakia, in northern Serbia, in Transcarpathia, in Transylvania, or in the diaspora,” Novák said.
They provide spiritual and physical security so that parents need not worry about their children, the president said, adding that “new friendships are made and old ones become stronger” in the camps.
Novák noted that the camps operating in the newly refurbished facilities at Zánka and Fonyódliget, at Lake Balaton in Hungary, and the one in Transylvania, have hosted one million children in the past ten years.
Tibor Hornyák, the director of the Erzsébet Foundation, said it was expected that the camps will have hosted as many as 180,000 children this year, up from 30,000 in 2012, with children from Transcarpathia, Transylvania, northern Serbia, southern Slovakia and Croatia attending.