This summer, we're facilitating Camp Skillz, a character and skills development camp, in Old Hickory, TN, Antioch, TN, El Salvador, Uganda, and the Philippines. Hundreds of children are participating in Camp Skillz, giving them a safe place to play all summer long.
Camp Skillz Antioch is a day camp we facilitate for children at the Nob Hill apartment complex where many immigrants and refugees reside.
A well-facilitated time of play is extremely rewarding as children face new challenges, meet goals, and make friends.
Outdoor games at Camp Skillz Antioch.
Girls at Camp Skillz Antioch partake in a Zumba lesson. The teachers are committed to not only teaching good lessons, but ensuring those lessons are fun.
Leafa Vagatai is a committed preschool teacher. When her students arrive she plays the ukelele to ensure they feel at ease when they separate from their parents for a few hours, and then always has special lessons prepared.
At the Academy for G.O.D., teachers spend less time lecturing and gear most of their energy towards facilitating “play/exercises” for students to get the most out of the course through trial and error, or hands-on practice. Even learning can be playful!
Fiona Davis, Academy for G.O.D. student.
Academy for G.O.D. students douse Mr. Ownby with a bucket of water during their field day. Children's safety is evident not just in a physically secure environment, but in the relationships they engage in with their teachers.
This priority is not just in the summer time. The Academy for G.O.D. prioritizes play through regular recess times (in an era where many schools are cutting back), as well as putting on wonderful events for the kids. This was during a worship service at the last day of school celebration.
In Africa, many people have resorted to their children playing with rocks, bottles or knives. Creating spaces like this one, specifically for children, is teaching both the children and their parents that their play should be a priority.
This month, our summer interns in East Africa made some new additions to the playground there, including tire swings and baby swings. When not in school or doing chores, the children are on the playground from sunup to sundown!
Camp Skillz El Salvador engages the local children with a game of parachute.
Camp Skillz in the Philippines offers a fun and educational time for children who would otherwise be on the streets.
Please continue to pray for our kids' programs and camps. Not all of the children just have something fun to do, some of them are escaping much harder realities of life in a new world that doesn't accept them easily.
Please prioritize children, and children's play, in your own lives. You won't regret it!