Friday, July 17, 2009
Summer Camp done right
Last year about this time I wrote about a 400 kid summer camp that tested my will to live. This year the local government gave Kathy and I the opportunity to plan a week long camp. Needless to say we went for quality over quantity and cut down the number of kids to 42. We also got the help of Malia (the new volunteer in the next town over) and our friend Renata. The camp focused on art, environment and self-esteem, meaning we are doing a lot of hiking and a lot of painting and drawing. There is also a lot of talking about feelings, I let Kathy and Malia take on that part. It has ended up being better that I would have imagined, the kids from my barrio that were supposed to be a bunch of trouble makers ended up being a bunch of little angels that do everything you ask them too. It has really come to my advantage because I am getting to know the neighbors better (36 of the 42 kids are from Barrio Las Flores) and I also have a small army of children that can go fetch things from the colmado for me. I just give them the money and they go get it. Its like that homegrocer.com thing that they had a couple of years ago (that I think went out of bussiness) except I don´t have use the internet and it only costs me about 3 cents per purchase (I give the kids a peso to go get the stuff), I also can pay them in rubber bands, which go 10 for a peso. There is a rubber band gambling ring amongst the 5 to 17 year old population in the barrio, I upped my street cred by teaching them how to play black jack. The concept of an Ace being 1 and 11 has baffled some of the younger participants and I have had to resolve a couple issues. People get pretty fiesty when rubber bands are on the line.