Operation Friendship Bavaria has planned a lot for 2018 - Two opportunities for host families

A busy year lies ahead of OF Bavaria. In the summertime there will be young people for an international exchange programme in the area. But already at Easter a big task is waiting for the board having guests from many countries.

From April 4th till April 8th there will be about 30 delegates in the upper Palatinate from Wales, USA, Hungary, Ukraine, Sweden, Scotland, Holland and France. They all will stay with host families. Interested families should contact Gerhard Steiner. Being the international chairman he will run the meeting in Neustadt. The vice chair always comes from the hosting country. So at the upcoming meeting his son Felix will do this job.

The guests will be picked up from the airports by OF members and taken to the host families. In the evening there will be a welcome party. On Thursday the county officer Andreas Meier will welcome the visitors in Neustadt in the chapel of the former castle – now the centre of the county administration. Afterwards there will be a tour through the county, host families are welcomed to join. The evening the guests will spend with their host families. On Friday the conference will be opened by the mayor of Neustadt, Rupert Troppmann. The meeting will be finished round 6 pm, and at 8 pm there will be a social gathering of the whole group. Saturday the delegates will spend with their host families and in the evening there will be the official farewell party (closing ceremony) in Neustadt. As there will be no financial support by the government he organization depends on donations in order to offer their guests an attractive programme.

During the meeting the summer exchanges also will be planned and discussed. From Juy 17th till August 14th eleven young Amercians at the age between 15 and 18 will be in the county of Neustadt and Weiden. For the very first time the organization is hosting a group of eight young people from Scotland at the age of 17 and 18. They’ll arrive on July 28th and will leave on August 10th. All the young delegates will stay in host families. The organization is planning an interesting programme like going to Therme Erding, Europe’s biggest water slide world, to Munich and King Ludwig’s castles Neuschwanstein and Linderhof. And in 2019 the German young hosts will travel to the States and to the Scottish Highlands.

Gerhard Steiner is very happy about the exchange with Scotland, because the first trip of OF Bavaria was to Scotland in 1972. Then in 1975 the first Scottish group visited Neustadt. These exchanges, called the Highland Venture, became a synonym for intensive friendship between Scots and Bavarians. In 2008 OF Scotland no longer existed. Now Steiner succeeded in making new contacts respectively activating old ones on the international level. Therefore, Elisha Fisher from Glasgow was able to form a new OF group. She will also attend the IM IN Neustadt at Easter.

Original article (German):