Yesterday, we went to a camp GLOW/BILD. GLOW stands for Girls Leading Our World, but I don’t remember what BILD stands for. Boys In Leadership Development, maybe. Anyway, it is a camp for mid-teens where they learn about leadership, self-confidence, facts about drugs and sex and creative endeavors. The idea is to give teens the tools and information to navigate their rapidly changing world a little better.
I went to the camp because I was thinking I would like to run one during my time here. Now, I am certain I do. This camp was only a one day deal, they had the welcome on Friday night and the closing on Saturday night, but there are full camps where they have all the girls sleep together in one room for a week. For most of the girls, that is the first time they have slept away from their families their entire lives. In the longer camps, they can really dig into some of the facts of being a teen, things like body changes, STD/Is, safe sex practices, leadership qualities, communication skills, respectful behaviors and creative and athletic activities that build self-esteem and confidence. In the one-day version, there was less sex talk and more of the straightforward things. We spent a while discussing leadership and what makes a good leader, then we got into communication and public speaking. This is a big issue. Seriously, the culture here does not make for good public speaking. Culturally, you don’t look people in the eye while you talk or while they talk, you don’t speak loudly and you keep from pointing your body directly at someone else. Combine that with the very act of being a teen and you have some rough public speaking.
Each point was made with a game. The need for clear communication and not trusting rumors was made by playing telephone. The telephone was more difficult since it was all in Bislama when we Trainees only have three weeks of Bislama to help us out. Then the need to give clear directions was made by having every member in a group try to describe a photo to a single member to draw. That was funny. During midday, there was a talk about the facts and myths of Marijuana made fun by doing a relay race to put a statement in fact or myth columns. Finally, they sat down to make collages for a few hours then it was outside to play capture the flag in the cooler part of the evening.
All in all, I had fun being there and I’m glad I got to see it. I am certainly interested in running a camp during my service, and if I can use it to also promote some safe sex practices and talk about appropriate nutrition, all the better.