I shook off some counselor rust of yesteryear and got ready for a round of summer winter camp.
Oh my goodness, was it a worthwhile week.
|There were 6 30-minutes classes each morning, each one led by an experienced teacher.|
|Thursday afternoon game drive!|
|One of many arts and crafts activities.|
|We did this a lot.|
|Evening journaling. We did this a lot, too.|
Here are a few of the highlights:
-the personal nature. With only 18 kids, it was easy to get to know everyone and invest in them.
|More morning classes. I believe this one was Phonics.|
|The 3 guys I was a counselor for. I know, I could use a haircut.|
|10-15 minute Chapel before dinner. On Sunday (pictured), we learned we can see God in each other.|
-the staff bonded through their diversity. Our 6-person counselor team came from 3 different continents, and the accents/linguistics showed. However, it never felt like “us” and “them”. Everyone was different, thus no person was excluded. In short, we were ‘one multitude’ rather than ‘a multitude of ones’.
-the campers soon bonded through their diversity, too. Afrikaans and Xhosa are two clearly distinct cultures, with separate native languages and (in some cases) separate physical communities. We talked about sharing and inclusion on Monday night, and it didn’t take long for the children to buy in. A small yet touching example came during a bus ride on Thursday, when we all taught each other phrases in various languages we knew. Picture children and adults jumping between Afrikaans, German, Spanish (of the Mexico and Spain variety), English (of the US, South Africa, and England variety), and Xhosa. It was a cool moment.
-the beautiful setting. We used a conference and retreat center called Assegaai Trails, located 30 minutes outside Grahamstown. Wildlife just outside the door (and over a fence), with mountains and trees a short walk away. Did I mention the great weather?
|Monday’s afternoon activity: Hiking (and finding giraffes) around the property.|
|Sleeping rooms on the right, dining hall and classes on the left.|
-piggy-backing off the above point, the students learned very clear and worthwhile realities they could obtain; scholarships, fluent english, see God in each other and all around them (hopefully this is already happening). The camp directors lovingly showed them how they can teach others to be better problem-solvers, with regards to academics, interpersonal behavior, and individual perspective. If I had a grade 5 child in Grahamstown, I’d want him/her to attend this camp.
-one night, the guy counselors broke into song with Les Miserables. This sealed the deal that it was a good week (what, you wouldn’t join? :))
|Explaining the importance of reading.|
Also uplifting: some of the original campers -now in grade 8- made the cut for Inkululeko this year!
Yet another highlight of this journey in SA, and another reason to smile :) I’ll leave you with a few more pictures, and I wish you a GREAT day.
ps the woman you see in several pictures (including the one below) is the next principal of Holy Cross School! Her name is Kary McConnachie, and we are very excited to have her on board.
|Thursday Game Drive|
|Friday beach trip|