In the middle of April, as Term One came to a close, 39 learners from the 2 southern regions of Namibia came together for Camp GLOW South – Girls and Guys Leading Our World.
Camp was five days of leadership skill building and each of those days had a theme.
Day 1 – Character Day
Day 2 – Team Building Day
Day 3 – Gender Awareness Day
Day 4 – Health Day
Day 5 – Future Day
Here’s a breakdown of what the campers did:
The first full day of camp focused on discovering who we are as people and how our individual character traits and personalities can contribute to being leaders and team players.
This is also when campers were divided into teams and created a team name, banner, and song. These teams earned points throughout the week competing for the illustrious grand prize of bragging rights.
Some of the activities of the day included the DISC personality quadrants, in which campers learned about their personality type (and learned a lot of new vocabulary words), and created personal timelines about events that shaped their lives and who they are right now.
The timeline creation was my favorite part of the day, and I even got to share my own personal timeline with some of the good things and bad things that have shaped who I am. It was also an awesome way to get to know the campers.
Team – Building Day:
This was definitely the most energetic day of the week and the day that I permanently lost my voice for the rest of camp.
Team-Building day involved exactly what it sounds like: building strong teams. We did trust exercises, untangled human knots, competed in crazy relay races, and attempted to build towers out of marshmallows and spaghetti. We also talked about conflict resolution and how providing support is the best way to get things done.
At the end of the day, every team participated in a dance off which was incredibly entertaining. And reminded me that I will never be as good a dancer as any of these kids.
That night we watched “Mulan” to mellow out from the crazy energy of the day and also to perfectly set up for the next.
Gender Awareness Day:
Gender Awareness day was an important day because gender inequality is a big issue in Namibia. We used this day to discuss this important issue and also to show that it is perfectly ok to break traditional gender norms.
To do this, the many of the men facilitators dressed as women and many of the women facilitators dressed as men for the day. Apparently I looked like Eddie Vedder. Or someone who would follow Eddie Vedder around. At the end of the night, everyone participated in a gender swap fashion show and the campers got more into it than the facilitators. It was incredible.
This day involved all aspects of health: leading a healthy lifestyle (which resulted in me and two other facilitators doing an hour of Zumba), HIV and AIDS, safe sex, consent, and reproductive systems.
This day was really fun and the kids really really got into it because of all the questions they asked. And whatever questions weren’t answered during sessions overflowed our question box.
That night a visiting volunteer from Peace Corps Zambia taught everyone how to make Reusable Menstrual Pads (RUMPs). Everyone made one, and it was especially cool to see the boys getting invested to make a pad for a woman in their life. It’s a great skill!
Unfortunately, I was not present for this day because I left right after breakfast to get a ride to the capital to fly out to Europe to spend time with the parents and the boyfriend.
However, this day was all about planning for the future: secondary and higher education and careers. The learners learned about proper interview etiquette, job applications, and the wide variety of careers available to them.
Camps are awesome and they’re a really great opportunity for learners to meet new people and learn new skills. And it’s also a chance for us, the facilitators, to be kids again and have a lot of fun. And eat a lot of ice cream. And sit inside of a giant refrigerator to cool down.
If I had to pick right now, I would say that helping with camps has been a highlight of my service. Especially getting involved in regional camps that provide more opportunities to more children. It’s awesome!