Think back to the last time you went on a school camp. What impact did it leave? What did you learn? What sticks out in your memory? For the Grade 10s at Reddam this year, we hope its more than just the pranks
For a lot of us, camps were (or are) an opportunity to hang with friends, cause a bit of trouble, flirt, explore and enjoy ourselves. Perhaps a little learning was thrown in there somewhere. And some bland or unhealthy food. Maybe an interesting facilitator or two (ideally someone we can get a crush on).
These experiences, while they maybe read a bit trivially, are vitally important to the development of teenagers from a social, physical and emotional perspective. Without opportunity to engage with others outside the rigours of the modern schooling system, youth may never discover things about themselves and their fellow classmates that they could with a simple change of setting.
Working with Greenpop and Josh Ramsey in facilitating these vital learning opportunities is always a nice opportunity for us to re-engage with what it means to be young, and provide frameworks for crucial personal development work to take place. We do our best to do this within a space that is trusting, inclusive, entertaining and educational.
The Reddam Grade 10 camp that took place in August this year was our biggest camp yet- 120 students, all with their own luggage, story, mission and personality, crammed together on a property surrounded by orchards in Grabouw, just outside of Cape Town. Our intention behind the camp was to give the students a space to learn and get active for the environment while also having the opportunity to disconnect from school life, technology and home worries. As always, we pushed the youth to step outside of their personal comfort zones, while maintaining safe and secure boundaries. We started the camp with some team building games and ice breakers, followed by a deep session on collaboratively creating community norms to guide our relationships over the next few days. We believe that setting the tone right from the start is critical for the development of a community that sticks together, respects one another and works effectively as a unit.
We had a strong focus on leadership, systems thinking and service, and spent 1 full day planting fynbos gardens and trees at the camp to leave something behind for future visitors to the space. We also put a lot of effort into creating safe and fun spaces for the youth to be themselves, take risks and enjoy one another’s company. Our talent show on the last night was a massive highlight as usual, with loads of students taking risks and making themselves vulnerable in front of their entire grade. It was pretty beautiful to see.
Thank you very much to Reddam and Greenpop for organising another stellar experience for the Grade 10s, we learned a lot from the experience and hope that they took something away from the camp as well.
As always- a massive thank you to the facilitator team- you guys rocked it!