Monday, January 31, 2011

"Summer" Camp

During the month of January we offered a series of camps for local youth to participate in.  We weren't sure what to expect as the community was really quiet starting in December.  People were using their vacation time to visit family in other parts of Costa Rica or in Nicaragua and so we crossed our fingers and hoped for a good turn out.  The first two weeks were rainy, but we had been given keys to the school so we had a classroom to work in and then for the third week we had glorious weather! 

Week One: Art Camp

Our first week of camp was quite successful.  We had an average of about ten kids a day, some days more, some days less.  We crowded in to our little classroom every day, seeking shelter from the rain and focused on our artwork.  Monday we drew, Tuesday we painted, Wednesday we made friendship bracelets, Thursday we did origami and Friday we celebrated by doing a little bit of everything.  The biggest hit of the week was coloring books.  We had gotten them so that we would have something for the little kids to do, but throughout the week kids of all ages colored and they loved it!  

Week Two: Games Camp

Our game camp was a little slower than art camp.  Actually, a lot slower.  We had more rain and we were more or less without our classroom.  While we still had the keys, all of the chairs and desks had been moved out of it for a wedding reception over the weekend and had been returned to a different classroom.  We made due though with handy foam mats that we had purchased as a teaching tool.  We used the mats as protection from the concrete floors and played away.  Each day of camp was more or less the same since we didn't have enough kids to do all of the activities that we had planned on.  Instead we played numerous games of Uno, Garbage, Left-Right-Center, and Go Fish.  The kids enjoyed the card games, but we changed things up on Friday and introduced Checkers and Can't Stop!  It was a great week even if we didn't have as many kids as we would have liked.

Week Three: Sports Camp

Sports Camp was definitely a winner, as we had thought it would be.  We had about 14 kids a day, topping out at 19 on Friday.  We had perfect weather all week, not too hot with some cloud cover - just what was needed to get kids out from in front of the TV and into the plaza.  Monday we played soccer, Tuesday we played basketball, Wednesday we played baseball, Thursday we played Frisbee and Friday we played Ultimate Frisbee for an hour and soccer for an hour.  This was a special week because on Wednesday we had a couple of friends join us to help with baseball.  Kevin is a huge baseball fan and was able to teach kids games that we wouldn't have been able to come up with!  His wife Megon joined in and we were able to break the kids into two groups for stations - Kevin and Megon working on batting and Chris and I on catching.

"Summer" is quickly coming to a close.  School starts next week and so we are in planning mode this week.  We hope to meet with school directors and get activities lined up now so that we can get started right away this year.  We have big ideas - we'll let you know which ones actually work out!

1 comment:

Kelsey said...

This all sounds fantastic, kudos to you! I am currently a PC applicant and would really love to implement a summer camp (or similar activity) if/when I begin service.