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Friday, March 21, 2008

Boeddha Natuur experiment with ‘primitive’ camping retreats in Holland

Every year the FWBO Growth Fund is able to give money to a selection of new FWBO and TBMSG projects around the world. Last year the fund had UK £30,000 to give away - but applications totalling nearly £200,000! This year, so far, it has only £15,000 in the kitty- and is looking to make its work more widely known.

This is the time of year when reports are coming in from last year's projects - and, of course, applications for the coming year. FWBO News is pleased to be able to present a few of these; on a wet Spring day (in the UK, at least) it seems appropraite to start with the FWBO 'Boeddha Natuur' group in Holland, who are exploring creating 'Buddhafield-style' camping retreats. In their first couple of years they used 'proper' camp sites and facilites (which in Holland are very nice!), in 2007 they took the plunge and went "primitive"! Read on...

"Thank you very much for your gift in 2007 of 700 euros. It helped us to make the transition to ‘primitive’ camping and buying the gear for that. It helped us become a low budget camping retreat centre. We want to attract young people to come in contact with the dharma in the Netherlands and Belgium. We camp in cheap, primitive forest areas, without electricity and running water. We want to reach people who are not connected to a FWBO centre.

"In 2007 we had 2 retreats over a long and a short weekend. At our second one in September we had 18 people , there were 7 young people. Many people came from Belgium, because we advertised more in Belgium. In 2007 we started to camp primitive, so we could keep the costs low. It wasn’t always as wet as the photo shows! In comparison to 2005 and 2006 we have got more new people coming on our retreats. We have started to invite people to help with the building-up days for the retreat, to get more people involved in our retreats.

"Our aim for next year is to spent more time and money to advertise more in magazines and on universities in the big cities.

"Thanks again from the Boeddha Natuur team: Hanske, Dennis, Mireille, Chris, and Vajramayi"

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