Grammar Camp for kids ages 10 to 14 was the first camp on the calendar this summer. It was held at a boarding school on the outskirts of Naivasha, Kenya. This was my first time to camp, and the experience riding to the campsite was itself memorable and an indicator of the great fun to be had. Twenty student- and staff- leaders and one hundred and twenty ecstatic campers rode three brightly painted buses with loud whistles, music, blowing horns and more. The energy was contagious, and it was clear that the culture of camp is based around “fun!”
Daily Chores Start the Fun!
Each day at Grammar Camp began with cleaning the dorms, group songs and chants, and a reminder of our goal for the day: to have fun! The kids’ home lives are filled with cleaning, collecting water, walking to school, learning, studying, and more home chores necessary to make the home or boarding school function. At camp, while still learning and taking care of the environment, the kids are laughing, running, singing, and literally jumping for joy just because they have the space to do it! Camp is a unique experience to see the true spirit and beauty of the kids in our program.
Visitors from Tulane Helped Out
This year, two professors and three students from the Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University joined us at camp. They led sessions about gender roles, emotional intelligence, leadership, and participated in crazy games. They built relationships with our students, and were a listening ear for many.
Mini Safari Made Special
Students also had the opportunity to go on a safari hike and boat ride in Lake Naivasha where they saw giraffes, zebras, hippos and more. As I sat by the lake and was given a Swahili vocabulary quiz by some of the boys, I saw what a family this group of kids has become. The shared difficult experiences and opportunity through the program create an important bond among the kids.
I had heard about camp being important for community building and for the success of the overall program. I have now seen it first-hand, and it is so true! Camp is a valuable time for our community of kids and caseworkers to continue to grow. Thank you to everyone who made Camp 2016 possible through your gifts to camp.