Camp Skillz: Uganda was a five-day character camp held on the property of St. John's school during the students' winter holiday.
The area surrounding St. John's is extremely impoverished. Most children showed up to camp without shoes. Many of them told us it was the only meal they would eat that day.
Nick Moore, assisted by Henry, Kara and Christina, teaches a classroom of kids a preventative health lesson. Throughout the week, topics included malaria prevention, hand washing, personal hygiene and more. Here, they are all clapping for a correct answer about malaria.
Camp participants were primarily made up of students from St. John's school. Our experience putting on the camp also helped us explore what activities could be enacted on school grounds with limited materials. There are a lot of possibilities!
Rachel Webb, a kindergarten teacher at the Academy for G.O.D., is one of our best entertainers, and taught a drama session to the campers. She helped the kids' moods transform from quiet and reserved to a level of freedom we couldn't have predicted. The joy and freedom they came into was wonderful to witness.
Campers had a wide variety of activities to involve themselves in. Here, they are making beaded bracelets with their friends.
We offered both dance and drama workshops to the campers. A group of older girls learned a dance routine during the week.
The real test of whether or not our counselors are entertaining: how many kids will climb the wall to peer in to watch?!
Camp Rule: You need to have medical staff available to help when issues arise. Nick Moore, EMT, followed by Kara Hadley and Christina Fowler, help diagnose the cause of a fever in a camper's younger sibling when his mother showed up at the camp.
Ben Young is our sports specialist! He had the kids running, jumping, passing, setting, spiking and more--like lessons on good sportsmanship, healthy competition, and safety in play.
The mark of a successful camp: smiles everywhere! Christina Fowler and Kara Hadley are two immersion trip participants and counselors at the camp.
We were happy to provide the full Camp Skillz experience to the children in Uganda, including t-shirts, lunch, and a quality camp experience. African kids are not worth less than American ones. We are committed to giving all kids the best!
The "skillz" we try to teach campers about are the kinds of things that make you a good friend: kindness, compassion, honesty, encouragement and more.
One of the best moments at camp is celebrating the Camper of the Day--someone who set a good example in attitude, participation and sharing. Campers were gifted a special certificate, t-shirt, and the adoration of their fellow campers!
A group photo of Camp Skillz: Uganda 2016! What a wonderful week for everyone involved.
Our camp counselors: a combination of students from the Institute for G.O.D. in the US and East Africa, combined with G.O.D. facilitators and cooperatives. A wonderful crew!
A group of campers we will never forget! There was no shortage of smiles during our week. We pray they last awhile, and look forward to not only offering the camp again, but finding further ways to help the children in this area.