Youth Winter Wikicamp 2024 in Armenia

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The youth of the Armenian wiki community was impatiently waiting for the Youth Winter Wikicamp 2024 following the announcement in November. As in the case of all Wikicamps, this time as well there were 198 applications, 100 of which were newcomers.

Youth Winter Wikicamp group photo, by user:ՀայկուհիՄ, CC0 1.0

A special wiki training was designed for newcomers so that they will be prepared for the Wikicamp. 38 newcomers participated in the three-day wiki training and were introduced to Wikimedia movement, Wikimedia projects, Wikipedia and editing tools. Making their first steps on Armenian Wikipedia, newcomers created 33 articles and based on the quality of their articles (both translation quality and wikification), 16 newcomers were selected for the camp. Besides newcomers, 31 experienced editors also joined based on their continuous active participation in WMAM projects and events and the quality of their created articles.

Finally, on January 21-28, the long-awaited Youth Winter Wikicamp took place in Tsaghkadzor, Armenia. Overall, there were 57 participants, including the organizing team. This time participants were mainly students with various professions ranging from medicine to IT, which were divided into four groups in a way to maintain the balance among them, meaning that each group had both experienced editors and newcomers. At the same time, each group had an experienced editor who helped the group and checked their articles.

Wikicamps organized by Wikimedia Armenia, usually last from seven to eight days and include not only editing hours, but also intellectual and sports games, cultural activities. According to the Youth Winter Wikicamp agenda, participants spent an average of 5-5.5 hours per day on contributing to Armenian Wikipedia. As a result, 503 articles with a volume of 14,355,041 bytes were created during the entire Wikicamp. Most of the articles were from the list of vital articles in various fields. This was an outstanding outcome compared to the previous Wikicamps. For instance, during the Youth Summer Wikicamp 2023, 43 participants created 403 articles, in total 10,682,203 bytes.

Besides editing, each day campers played various games. These games included table tennis, Brain ring, assembly of a constructor, “Be unique”, “Best Chef”, bowling, archery, and Fort Wiki. The latter was organized using various sites of the whole city. “Fort Wiki” consisted of several game-tests: solving a puzzle, building a tall tower with Jenga blocks, “Find the pairs”, “Find the question and answer”, quick editing, “Help to walk”, “Be smart”. 

Finally, there were also cultural activities. At the beginning of the Youth Wikicamp, the 4 groups were given a task: each of them had to direct one of the famous cartoons: “Madagascar”, “Ice Age”, “Shaun the Sheep” and “Shrek”. All performances were well directed with a funny plot mixed with Wikicamp everyday life and the “actors” performed amazingly well.

Overall, the outcomes of the Youth Winter Wikicamp were more than satisfactory proving once again the effectiveness of offline Wikicamps.

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