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Camp at MCLC

Photographed by Chris Low

I recall going to camp in my village of Petion-Ville, Haiti as a kid, and honestly, I wasn't a fan. I was just very shy, and, as one gets older, it gets boring. Camp activities (from what I remember) included, tennis, soccer, swimming (in a pool, not a lake), arts & crafts, games, and a single lunch break. At the end of the day, we were picked up and taken straight home. The next day, activities varied somewhat, but at the end of the day, it was the same routine.

Camp in Massachusetts is very different. For wealthy families, they go as far as driving their children to the middle of nowhere surrounded by nature and leaving them. Sounds scary, right? It’s not. In fact, Camp is a huge playground for kids and young teenagers culminating in end-of-day sleepovers in tiny cabins with kids in their age and gender group. There are loads of activities for campers including standard pastimes like soccer, basketball, tennis, and arts & crafts. But there are tons of novel pursuits like kayaking, archery, horseback riding, swimming in a lake, waterskiing, fishing, badminton, zumba, martial arts, even quidditch! (I could go on and on.) Not to mention the variety of arts, evening activities, and special events that take place. And the food? That’s plentiful with all-you-can-eat breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets.

At the Matènwa Community Learning Center, Camp is similar to the camp in Petion-Ville, but more exciting. This year camp started on July 1st and will last for the entire month until the 28th. Last week, in the morning, we held teacher training for MCLC teachers. Experts in leadership, entrepreneurship, and business trained teachers in basic concepts. In the afternoon, children and teenagers from the ages of 3 to 19 years old (including kids from neighboring communities around Matènwa), were given lunch before attending camp. General Camp activities include arts & crafts, like creating bracelets, sewing, printing graphics t-shirts, etc. In terms of sports, kids mostly play soccer and basketball. They also learn how to play music from using either classical instruments such as pianos, and drums, to traditional Haitian drums including Tanbous. In addition, we offer electronic and photography workshops for the older campers. During electronic workshops, mature teens use local materials to make devices. During photography workshops, they discover how to edit images while learning basic terminology, such as cropping and adjustments.

Camp isn't over yet; we still have 2 more weeks! Follow us on Instagram, Like our page on Facebook, and Twitter to keep in touch with what's going on during Camp this entire month!

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