Kids and Youth Summer Camp 2016

Our annual Kids & Youth camp took place earlier this month from May 11-14.  This year’s camp was at a new location for us: a 2 hour bus ride away from the city to a beautiful farm and campsite on the other side of Cebu Island, at a place called MonTeray Farm.  With gorgeous rolling hills and fresh clean air, as well as owners who were very happy and excited to host us and the kids!

We had 150 children and 100 young people this year at our Kids & Youth Camp 2016.  These kids have all been joining in our Summer Program for the past 6 weeks during their summer break.  With so many children joining in this year, the camp was spread over 3 nights with separate age groups staying on different nights.  Group 1 was ages 10 & 11, group 2 was ages 12 & 13, and the final night was for our young people ages 14+.  For all of these kids this is the only vacation they will have all year, so it was up to us to make sure they had an amazing time!

Sticking with our Star Wars theme of our summer program for the past 6 weeks, the children were grouped into their teams: yellow, blue and orange – otherwise known as C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8!  In all of the games, sports and activities, the children were trying to gain points for their teams.

We had a huge variety of activities during the camp to make sure every child enjoyed themselves!  Each morning and afternoon started with group zumba dancing and singing – the best dancers won points for their team!  Things really became competitive after that with the stage games.  Volunteers from each team were selected to take part in silly games in front of everyone.  The most popular proved to be blindfold makeup: 2 girls from each team put makeup on (often reluctant) volunteers, except they had to wear blindfolds! The best ‘makeup artists’ then won points for their team. MiA director Tim may have regretted volunteering for that game!

Director Tim enjoying the games

To give the kids time to reflect and have fun being creative we had art activities making group collages based on what the kids had learned during the summer program.  They also had the chance to use their more expressive sides with drama presentations.  Then, to make the most of the huge space at the farm, the afternoons were spent playing field games with everyone joining in.  These games became epic, with it culminating in huge games of capture the flag, which could go on for a long time!

During the kids’ free time, the farm offered plenty of things for the kids to do.  The owners of the farm gave the kids tours, showing them the organic and self-sustainable ways they grew vegetables and reared pigs. The farm also had a slip’n’slide carved into one of the hillsides, which the kids and volunteers loved even if they got very muddy as well!

Finishing the obstacle course

It was important for us that the kids bonded and made friends with each other. In the evenings we had a large group campfire with everyone singing songs together, and then we watched a film on a projector just like an outdoor cinema. By this time the kids were exhausted, and after the movie it was back to the tents and time to sleep.

The final game for each age group was the Amazing Race, and it was on their 2nd morning, just before they would leave and the next group arrived. It was really 5 different games in one, with teams having to complete a challenge at 5 stations spread across the whole farm to get puzzle pieces.  After gaining all the pieces of the puzzle, the first team to assemble it won!  The ultimate winning team will be announced next Saturday May 26 at the Summer Program culmination day.  We’ll keep you posted on who wins!

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