In July our Kara-Suu office ran a week long summer camp for young people. The focus was leadership training, and in addition to our volunteers, around 20 young people helped with preparations leading up to the camp. These young men and women had attended training sessions since January, where topics such characteristics of a good leader, planning skills and teamwork were covered. They were then were able to put these lessons into practice as they worked together to organize this year’s camp.
The camp itself was a great success, with many young people aged 13-20 attending. The program included fun and games, songs, as well as English lessons and basic first aid training. Every day lessons were given on deeper topics chosen by the young leaders themselves, including emotions, trust and purpose.
After day one in a local school, everyone climbed aboard mini-buses and headed up to the mountains where we set up camp next to a mountain stream in a cool grassy area of Kyrgyzstan. Everyone attending the camp worked together to collect water and firewood, as well as wash and clear up after meals. After some initial reluctance to help, everyone learned to work together and the camp ran smoothly.
It was a time of ‘firsts’ for many of the attendees; for some boys it was the first time that they had to wash up, for others the first time to interact with English speakers and for many the first opportunity to try out new crafts such as making balloon animals. For some this was also the first time camping in the mountains, despite having lived in mountainous Kyrgyzstan their whole lives!
These camps have been run for several years now and our vision continues to be to see young leaders experience new things, grow, and learn to work together.