First, a big thank you to all of you who provided economic support for the 2015 Friends of Ngong Road Camp. As a result of your support Camp 2015 offered more opportunities, more experiences, more learning and more fun than ever before. 2016 will be another great experience! Read on to see how you can become a part of it.
Tulane University Partnership Approved!
New this year at camp were classes and activities taught by Sally J. Kenney, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Newcomb
College Institute (NCI) of Tulane University in New Orleans. The mission of the Institute is to educate undergraduate women for leadership in the 21st century. Kenney, who sponsors three children with Friends of Ngong Road and has been to Kenya twice, was eager to engage her students globally and curious as to whether younger students in the developing world would find value in NCI’s gender and leadership model.
In 2015, Kenney and NCI’s Senior Program Coordinator, Mailliron Hodge, taught leadership and gender sessions at Leadership Camp, Senior Camp, and Grammar Camp. They brought with them a wonderful film on Wangari Mathai.
Both the boys and the girls enjoyed the activities and the lessons resonated. Kenney and Hodge were inundated with campers who wanted to know more about how to learn and enjoyed participating in all of the activities.
Because Kenya is still on the State Department’s Watch List, we all anxiously awaited the outcome of request to approve a credit course at Tulane for 2016. Happily, Tulane approved. Twenty students are enrolled in the preparatory course, taught by Gwen Thompkins, former East African correspondent for NPR.
Kenney and Hodge hope to bring at least five student volunteers to camp. We hope that Tulane students will broaden the camp curriculum, teach study skills, and mentor our students. Kenney reported that participating in camp was the most rewarding teaching experience of her life but was saddened to learn that at age 56, she can no longer really jump rope.
Camp 2015 Report:
297 students and 32 volunteers (many were NRCA post-secondary students) attended camp this year.
Forty Ngong Road Children Association students were accepted as counselors for this year’s camp. They displayed remarkable leadership
skills as they worked their way through the three day curriculum including teaching the principles of effective leadership.
This interactive learning experience is focused upon a deepened understanding of good leadership characteristics, practicing leadership skills, understanding the responsibilities and tasks of being a camp counselor, and introducing the idea of using and working with emotional leadership.
The counselors also developed solutions to camp issues (such as cellphone use) and implemented them during Camp 2015. The interactive learning sessions were favorites. One of our volunteers, who is in the NRCA Post-Secondary program told me, “This is my fourth opportunity to be a part of Leadership Camp. I have learned a lot at each of them, but this year was the best yet, I learned so much!”
Grammar Camp 2015, attended by 112 campers, was held outside of Nairobi, at the St. Francis Xavier School as were Leadership and Senior camps. It was the first time we have held Grammar Camp in the rural area, and the kids loved the fresh air, and especially the boat ride on Lake Naivasha. They also enjoyed the many “crazy games” and relays at camp. However, the favorite activity in both Grammar and Senior Camp was the making of tie-dye T-shirts. This complicated art project was the brainchild of Margaret Pfeffer who attended her fifth campas Art Director. Her amazing talents resulted in over 300 camper-dyed T-shirts with nary a mishap!
Seventeen of our youngest students attended Kids Camp this year. We conducted this one day excursion at a wonderful amusement park in Nairobi. The kids loved the games and the especially the rides!