June 23, 2016 Print

On a recent weekend in the Eastern European country of Georgia, 50 students embarked on a camping trip to discuss classical liberal ideas, the role of the government, freedom of expression, individual freedom, and economic freedom. Chosen from more than 100 applicants, the students were led by Ilia Meshvildishvili, a local coordinator of European Students For Liberty in Georgia, who created this “freedom camping” program as a way to foster camaraderie and in-depth discussion of the ideas of liberty.

During Atlas Network’s Student Impact Contest at the 2016 International Students for Liberty Conference (ISFLC), Meshvildishvili was one of several students from the United States and throughout the world who competed for one of two $1,500 grants to fund their unique proposals on spreading the ideas of liberty. Although Meshvildishvili didn’t win one of the grants at the Student Impact Contest, the project still received a $1,500 grant from Atlas Network.

Ilia Meshvildishvili

“The traditional approach of getting this result is lectures, seminars at the University or conference hall, but with ‘Freedom Camping’ I want to connect hiking, camping, adventure, and funny processes with information I want to share with them,” Meshvildishvili said. “Now all those things and activities are very popular and interesting for students. Also, it’s very convenient for students to spend their Saturday and Sunday time for hiking, camping, and networking with new and interesting people.”

The group’s first “Freedom Color Camp” was held at Bateti Lake, in Kareli Municipality, Georgia, on May 8. Video from the event and several photos are all available on the Georgian Students for Liberty Facebook profile.

The mission of Georgian Students for Liberty is “to find young motivated individuals and leaders to work and cooperate together in defending liberty and freedom in our society — and to help them to get more information about the system we are living in, discuss and think about the individual liberty, freedom of expression, property rights, role of the government and to become leaders in our society, where they will advocate principles of classical liberalism.”