38 Youth benefit from Month-long Camp in Clarendon

Date Published: 
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Usually when the word ‘summer’ is mentioned, images of the beach, brightly coloured umbrellas and trendy outfits come to mind. However, for youth in rural Jamaica, the reality is generally different. Whilst some go to the river, visit family and friends and indulge in the seemingly unlimited supply of mangoes and other tropical fruits, for others summers are daunting. Unsupervised free time-void of mentally stimulating activates, hunger and heightened risks of abuse, are usually the images that come to mind.

It was with that in mind that the Clarendon Youth Information Centre decided to host the third staging of their Heads Up Summer Camp. This year, 38 youth between the ages of 13-29 attended the month long camp in July.

The camp was focused on behaviour modification and personal development. These objectives were achieved through the use of adapted sports, the creative arts and elements of group therapy. The youth had fun as they learned new sports such as Badminton, Table Tennis and Karate. Traditional sports like Football, Track and field were not left out. Music, Sculpting, Quiz competitions and Drawing were some of the activities at the camp. Topics such as Mental Wellness, Drug Abuse, Career Development and Environmental Awareness were introduced to the campers.

For each topic, the participants had to do practical projects which had some practicing their barbering skills, design skills and modelling skills. A fashion show was staged and the outfits were quite Avant Garde and featured recycled materials from the immediate environment.

 

According to Youth Empowerment Officer, Chevelle Campbell, the camp has been yielding positive fruits. Kerone Miller was a participant in the first staging of the camp and was awarded the Most Improved Camper. This year, she was the Assistant Camp Coordinator and she worked assiduously in making the camp a success. She planned and prepared meals, and ensured the seamless execution of activities.

Through this effort, she was awarded a full scholarship to pursue her Bachelor of Science Degree in Guidance and Counselling through the Governor General’s Summer of Service Initiative- an area she developed a passion for through her interactions at the Youth Information Centre.

The feedback from parents and guardians have been positive and many are hailing the camp for the positive change in behaviour their children are now exhibiting. The camp has truly been a success and next year should be bigger and better.