CITW Rocktail Annual Camp, South Africa

Another successful Annual Camp in Rocktail Bay, KwaZulu Natal, took place last week. This time, camp was held at Gugulesizwe, and hosted 25 children from Kwamqobela and Vululwazi Primary Schools.

Read Bokang Shopane’s (CITW Programme Coordinator, South Africa) report below:

Camp Day 1 – 22 June 2018

Camp started with vibrant energy, as Mentors sang welcome songs to the children as they arrived, much to their excitement. We started with a few ‘Getting to know you’ games, aimed at making children feel comfortable, and get to know their peers and Mentors. The children were welcomed by our camp director, Miss Given Mbonambi, who introduced all the mentors.

Children gathered to learn how to make a Tippy Tap, and we discussed the importance of saving water and practicing good hygiene. Children were then divided into the three teams: the Turtles, Sharks and Dolphins. We began with the team building activities which focus on valuable and important skills, such as communication, team work, listening skills, conflict management, time management, and trust – all while having heaps of fun. There were five stations set up: the Sinking Ship, Spider’s Web, Leaky Pipe, Minefield and Knots, Tangles, and Hands.

After dinner, the children performed cultural dances and sang cultural songs. It was a wonderful end to a productive and jam-packed first day.

Day 2 – 23 June 2018

After a few energizers to warm up, the Mentors did a skit on the Leadership Value for the day: Integrity. Thereafter, activities focused on environmental education and conservation, looking at the intricacies of the Web of Life and Food Chains. We then took a drive to the Rocktail Beach Camp where we did the Forest Walk activity on our way down to the beach. The children were inquisitive, asking questions about different trees and the trails. At the beach, we played games which included sandboarding and beach soccer. We ended off the learning for the day by looking at the continents and oceans. It was movie time after supper, where the children watched the movie The Lorax, which teaches them about speaking for the trees, and being conservationists.

Day 3 – 24 June 2018

The Leadership Value of the day was Respect, where Mentors emphasized what the children had learnt the previous night while watching the movie – that it is important to respect people and the environment. The first lesson of the day was Turtle Talk, focusing on these special creatures which are endangered, and protected in this pristine area. Children where then introduced to a number of careers available in the Eco-Tourism industry. The careers we focused on, were all careers the children could see in action while on camp: Guiding, Housekeeping, and being a Chef. Children were allowed to have a discussion at each career station to chat with the professional. We took a drive to Lake Sibaya where the children learnt about the importance of conserving water, the different species which live in the lake, and were taught how climate change has affected the natural water levels and cycles. They were most excited to see a hippopotamus in the lake!

The final session for the day focused on littering and the Three Rs, and was a good way to end off the learnings from camp, giving the children practical ideas which on how to reduce, reuse and recycle waste when they get home to their villages.

Day 4 – 25 June 2018

It was wonderful to see the children happily talking about the lessons they learnt and the experience of the camp. After breakfast everybody departed with a smile on their face, empowered to make a difference in their communities!