Thanks to those who “sent a kid to camp” this year; Camp 2017 is in full swing! The four-day Leadership Camp is wrapping up today and Grammar Camp (students age 10-13) begins tomorrow. Students are packing their warmest clothes as they head to this year’s camp located near Mt. Kenya at Naromoru Girls Secondary School in Nyeri County, which is about a three and a half hour drive from Nairobi where temperatures range 55-70 degrees Fahrenheit during August.
Nine U.S. volunteers arrived safely in Kenya late last week and are actively involved in creating a positive camp experience. They are teaching classes, playing games and building relationships with our students.
While camp is off to a great start, you may have heard about the recent elections in Kenya. The area where camp is being held (and where students, staff and volunteers are staying) has remained calm following the election. On August 15, camp director, Tom Gleason, wrote, “This is a lovely, remote and secure area in which to hold camp. The volunteers and kids traveling to camp have been untouched by the election, and in this place we are quite isolated and secure as a result. The camps are running smoothly.”
Friends of Ngong Road President and Founder, Paula Meyer, wrote this about the organization’s decision to continue with camp 2017: “On August 8, Kenya held elections for positions of President, Members of Parliament and local offices. The following day a small group of people from both Kenya and the U.S. met by Skype to discuss the security situation after the elections with a goal of deciding whether or not to proceed with Camp 2017. Kenya held peaceful elections in 2013 but there was considerable post-election violence in 2007. With just one day having elapsed since the election, formal results were not yet published by the Kenya election board. We heard the perspectives of Rajpreet Bains, Ngong Road Children Foundation board chair and Maureen Mulievi, program director. Rajpreet brought insights from a Kenyan security expert. The biggest risk the team perceived was that there would be isolated violence from supporters of the leading opposition candidate, Raila Odinga. At the time we spoke there had been a few violent episodes, however on balance the country was peaceful – especially in the area near the planned camp. On the basis of our understanding that this trend would continue, we made the decision to proceed with Camp 2017.”
We anticipate the area near camp will remain calm in the coming weeks. Energy will remain high at camp with fun, learning and memories abounding. Check back to our news page and social media for future updates on camp!
If you are interested in helping to make camp possible for years to come through a gift to the Gleason Camp Endowment Fund, or you have questions about this year’s camp, please contact Development Director, Lacey Kraft at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-568-4211.