Camps.... Camps.... I LOVE CAMPS!

Trip Start Mar 21, 2006
Trip End Oct 05, 2008

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Flag of Philippines  ,
Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Greeting's to all!

My last few weeks have been filled with camps, camps and more camps! They have each been equally amazing in their own ways and I am needless to say on a huge camp high!!

Two weeks ago we held the first of hopefully many more Environmental Youth Leadership Camps at the farm. Ten Boy's and Girl Scouts from the high school in my town participated and we spent a wonderful three days at the farm. With the help of my co-facilitators including Suzie, Dave and Dave (three fellow PCV's), two volunteers from a local environmental NGO called the Cordillera Green Network, and one teacher from the high school we had a fantastic camp and I know the kids enjoyed themselves. We taught them the Leave No Trace Environmental Ethics, did interactive activates about proper trash segregation, conserving water use, forest preservation and a variety of leadership and team building activities. Despite the daily afternoon rains the spirits were high and we jimmy rigged a tarp and were still able to have a campfire and roast marshmallows in the evening. I mean what is a camping trip without SMORES? The ten students that participated were all extremely engaged and excited about the idea of creating an Environmental Youth Corp/Club at the high school this coming school year.

I just arrived to Baguio today after helping co-facilitate another camp with three of my favorite PCV Gal's. Carrie and Kate both work at Department of Social Welfare shelters for women and girls. They, along with Suzie (PCV who helped with the camp at the farm) have been working to make this camp happen since October. They received a grant through the U.S. Embassy to help with the funding and the last four days at camp were well worth all of their hard work and preparations. The girls at the camp ranged in age from 12- 17 and have all either been raped, victim to incest, or forced in to childhood prostitution. Sad stories, however you would never know it to meet them or through their actions at the camp. They were all so loving, active and strong young women! Girls L.E.A.D. standing for Leadership and Empowerment Through Active Decision making focused on life skills including, goal/future planning, friendships, and positive decision making to name a few. It was so amazing to watch them all grow and see the light bulbs go on as we discussed and went through the modules. The last day of camp they each picked a module and practiced facilitating it to the group, because the goal is to have them implement this camp back at their centers for the other girls. They all did such an amazing job and it was as always so fun to co- facilitate. I was of course known as the Ice Breaker Queen!

I have been very busy the last month preparing for these camps and am looking forward to a bit of a break come July. However, it is successful events like this that remind me why I am here and how important the work that so many PCV's do is to the Philippines and all around the world.

I am off to the farm tomorrow for three days with about six fellow PCV's. We are going to hopefully do some trail work (if the rains hold's up) and enjoy the beauty of the space. I talk about it all the time and I am so glad we are starting to get visitors.

I hope you are all doing well and know that I am sending my love and thoughts to all of you daily.



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