For 15 years, the Couchsurfing Community has been organizing an multi-day event, that travels from city to city. It has become a staple of the CS community in Europe, with many Couchsurfers planning their winter holiday specifically to attend this event. It is called the “WinterCamp” and it has been around for longer than I have been able to vote.
During the recent MadCrash I met Marga, who is one of the organizers of this year’s WinterCamp. She told me the history of WinterCamps and the incredible experiences she has had at the 6 WinterCamps she has been to:
I have been to 6 WinterCamps! Every year is different. The thing that remains the same is that a lot of the same people from all over Europe/the world come together and spend New Years together. My personal favorite moment was at Krakow Wintercamp in 2014 where we did the New year around the world. Our friends stayed awake and cheered every New Year throughout the day! 24 hours is a lot though, so me and a good friend put our alarm and went to cheers the last country celebrating the New Year. This same group of people organized a cross dress party at a cabin, which was very fun.
Every year the organizers do an amazing job with organizing a unique Wintercamp. Events are held all over – in the city, at a nature cabin/summer camp place, at venues, hostels, hotels, sauna’s and public buildings.
This year, we hope to organize just as unique and a maybe a little new way of organizing! More in a invasion way!
It takes place over the New Years weekend and is never in the same city twice (or at least hasn’t been up until now.) Over the years it has traveled from the Baltics, to the Balkans to the Iberian Peninsula, and many places in between. The organization is decentralized, so it is organized by different (but equally dedicated) Couchsurfers, and can be held in any city. It follows the same format as a Couch Crash, spread over multiple day filled with events getting to know the city through tours and museums, eating delicious food, meeting other Couchsurfers, and exploring the night-life.
Previous WinterCamps have been:
|2004 Vilnius, Lithuania||2009 Budapest, Hungary||2014 Krakow, Poland|
|2005 Riga, Latvia||2010 Târgu Mureș, Romania||2015 Sofia, Bulgaria|
|2006 Warsaw, Poland||2011 Prague, Czech Republic||2016 Leipzig, Germany|
|2007 Istanbul, Turkey||2012 Thessaloniki, Greece||2017 Brno, Czech Republic|
|2008 Berlin, Germany||2013 Girona, Spain||2018 Naples, Italy|
As if the sheer scale and length of this event is not enough to get you excited (and mark your calendar), this year’s WinterCamp is in Malaga, Spain. That’s right, ring in the New Year in a Spanish Beach town, surrounded by a loving Couchsurfing community. The event is taking place December 28-January 2nd. So if you are still looking for New Years Eve plans, set a price alert for Malaga RIGHT NOW and join the CS Community at one of the longest running events on Couchsurfing!
For more on the history of WinterCamps, check out Floh’s Community Post!