An Unforgettable Adventure for Children: Camp on Erciyes

An Unforgettable Adventure for Children: Camp on Erciyes


We have had a talk with Erkan Bülent Şafak, Kayseri Representative of Turkey Scouting Federation on the effect of camping on the physical, psychological and social development of children as well as the excitement of children when it comes to camping. We also spoke on what opportunities Erciyes mountain, which is a blessing for Kayseri, provides in terms of camping.

Expressing that he was at a loss for words to describe the excitement of camping, Şafak went on to say, “This excitement increases with each camp starting. We say that scouting is nothing to tell, but to experience, but I should still talk on it in a few words; each camp is another excitement and adventure for children and youngsters. They will spend time together with their peers in the camp (öbeği, obası or team), as well as having unforgettable experiences and making new discoveries.  They will make new friends and experience new feelings like nomad group spirit and excitement of friendship and sharing. They will realize that it’s useless to be frightened about what they don’t know thus beating their fright and concerns as well as feeling the joy of making research and discoveries. Each moment they live throughout their scouting time will pass with the excitement of accomplishing things”

Sharing information about the camps they organize Şafak said, “The values and character, personal improvement, skills, health resistance and bravery education given at the heart of nature, bears more successful outcomes. The children and youngsters both have fun and learn in such activities. The best way to learn, which is learning by doing, becomes their learning and teaching philosophy. Each camp environment is an ideal one providing positive support for your child’s gaining new experiences, taking part in some amusement activities, make new friendships and his/her social development in short. Some children might want to obtain something through their own method thus proving themselves. The camp environment is the best place for them to accomplish this. Children taking part in the camps could achieve lots of things that they couldn’t do in the city through training activities and educational action on the camp site”.

Camp and Scouting on Mt. Erciyes

Highlighting that Erciyes mountain is very suitable for various camping activities with its unique natural structure, Şafak went on as follows, “The Nature trekking routes will ensure that scouts obtain new experiences on camping, make new discoveries during the summer. Sarı Lake and Jades flocks located on the left of Erciyes mountain, will provide a magnificent nature for campers. As you climb down towards the north, you will see the Sultan Reeds bird sanctuary on the outskirts of Erciyes mountain, which is one of the bird stopover places. It provides chances to scouts to watch most of the very rare birds as one of the most important bird sanctuaries in the world. In addition to nature trekking activities held in the summer, it is possible to organize research excursions to the Gereme picnic field including historical ruins, where Proto Hittites, Hittites, Assyrians, Phrygians, Romans and Byzantium people lived respectively. The place is located on the south outskirt of  Mt. Erciyes (opposite to Develi) and its previous name was Spistra, and it was one of the first settlement areas of iconoclastic era. Moreover, it is possible to see the ruins of Ancient City of Mazaka located on the Lifos Hill, where the first settlements of Kayseri took place. As you climb up through the peak point of Mt. Erciyes, you might see the caves where Byzantium priests lived in seclusion. Today, these caves are used by mountaineers and campers for breaks. There will be new discoveries on Mt. Erciyes for campers and scouts in terms of endemic plant kinds.”

Erciyes as a Winter Camp Site

Expressing that Erciyes shouldn’t just be regarded as a camp site, Şafak added, “There will be new opportunities for campers to ski, snow board and build Igloos at Hacılar Gate, Tekir Highland, Develi Gate winter sports centers. Moreover, trainings will be given to campers on building shelter in nature, on snow, making tent, protection and surviving”

Should young people camp on Erciyes?

Şafak spoke as follows, “As a person from Kayseri, who has completed his scouting and field work trainings on Erciyes, has traces of Erciyes on his way from junior scouting to senior leadership, I would certainly suggest that. Erciyes has a different beauty during the summer and during the winter. In recent years, our government has been giving its due importance to Erciyes both in terms of facilities, natural protection and historical restoration. As a sports person, a parent and specifically as a citizen, I would like to thank to Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality, for their devotion to Erciyes specifically to the authorities of Erciyes A.Ş and all others putting an effort on these investments.”