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Survival camp

GGA Camp Survival programme continues to change lives

by Wanda Reid-Beckles

The Girl Guides Association of Barbados embarked on the open summer camp programme, Camp Survival 101 in 2005 to continue and share its work with all young people living in Barbados between the ages of four and 16 years.

The work of the Girl Guides Association of Barbados speaks to the total development of girls and young women, but the tenets, methods and objectives are not confined to females and therefore it was felt that an initiative to expose children, males and females, could support and further add to the contribution already being made to the national youth development process.

Championed and led by current Chief Commissioner, Ruth Parris, in 2005, the programme also carried a strong leadership development component that engaged Girl Guides and other young men and women, through their roles as volunteer Camp Counsellors to build their personal capacities in programme planning and management, team work, confidence building and responsibility as well as recognising the importance of selfless service to community and country.

Supported by Patricia Roach, Hazle Durant, Susanne Jackman, Lilian Lubin and Kurlyne Alleyne, along with other supporting Guiders and friends, Parris guided the camp, keeping its objectives and commitments at the forefront of all activities.

Camp Survival 101 has continued on this strong footing throughout the years and with the exception of 2009 when no camp was held, campers have been excitedly experiencing and developing “skills for life”. In 2010, Guider Wanda Reid-Beckles with the assistance of Ruth Sargeant continued the legacy of Camp Survival 101 and again welcomed campers to the Girl Guides Association headquarter’s for the six week summer programme.


What is very exciting about Camp Survival 101 is the fact that many of the campers have annually spent their summers at the Belmont Road campsite, including campers from North America and the Caribbean. Over the years some of the participants have actually moved from camper to counsellor, fulfilling one of the leadership objectives of the project.

This year, 2012, has seen four campers promoted to counsellor roles – Kadejah, Skylar, Rhianne and Odessa – since the July 2 start of camp. To date they are all carrying out their duties admirably, working under the guidance of the camp coordinator and facilitators. The young counsellors were joined for one week by Guides, Marquisia, Chris-anne and Emma of Queen’s College Guides Unit, who were completing their service hours as part of their Girl Guides Service requirements.

The 2012 programme has already produced line dancers, innovative agriculturist, jewellery pieces, accessorised mirrors, paper towel holders, jewellery boxes, tye-dye tee shirts and fabric to be made into throw cushions. Team building and personal development sessions were facilitated through the Division of Youth’s, Youth Development Programme and the Caribbean Healthy Lifestyle programme, while YDP’s Youth Commissioner Dereck Odle facilitated HIV Awareness sessions with special work with the 12-plus campers.

Think like entrepreneurs

Dionne Forde is once again exposing and encouraging campers to think like entrepreneurs using the Youth Entrepreneurship’s Scheme’ Making Cents model. Like last year, the campers will set up businesses and manage the process from concept to client delivery.

Within the last two weeks campers were also exposed to preparing meals indoor and outdoor as well as the safety notes that they should all be aware of. Facilitator Sandra Clarke-Phillips also introduced the campers to what is a balanced meal and the requirements the body needs every day. During the sessions the four to six age group made fruit salad while the seven to nines made and baked cookies.

On the outside the 10-plus campers retrieved sticks and wood and cooked a pasta dish with hotdogs and a cheese sauce as well a smaller pot of the traditional guiding 123 (macaroni, potatoes and corned beef). Both meals were tastily seasoned with fresh seasonings, sweet peppers and onions. The campers also cooked hotdogs in foil on their outdoor “stove”. The entire camp enjoyed the sumptuous meal outdoors under the tree and campers took home some of the cookies to share with their families.

Camp survival 101 will continue until August 10, 2012 and interested persons can still sign up and allow their child/ward to experience the weekly experience that they will never forget. Tours have already been made to Harrison’s Cave, the Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre, the Solar House, the Jewish Synagogue, the Crop-Over Exhibitions at the Grande Salle and the Old BNB Building.

Campers are now looking forward to their tour of the Barbados Coast Guard, Kentucky, Pelican Village, the Barbados Fire Station and more outdoor cooking and learning how to bake in a box and in the earth.

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