YES Camp 2014

As had been done in previous years, YES, one of the task groups within SPYS, has gathered a group of about 30 youths (ages 10-15) for a two week summer camp in Senglea. These two weeks were filled with a variety of different activities which helped bring out the youths' characters as well as uncover hidden skills both in the youths as well as in the leaders organising the camp.

The camp included team building activities to enhance communication, respect and teamwork in the youths at the camp. Furthermore, adding a points system to the camp gave the campers an extra drive and motivation to do their best for the good of the team. The atmosphere in Senglea was lively and simply wonderful, with the campers engaging in water games among other activities such as a Safari Hunt at Buskett and a visit to the Splash & Fun water park throughout the two weeks.

This camp also served as a means of education, allowing the youths to participate in cooking activities, crafts and some basic scientific experiments. In addition, they were given a talk by two civil protection workers about how to deal with small fires, as well as the importance of fire safety and prevention. This talk was ended with a demonstration of using a fire hose, which everybody found rather amusing. Another talk was given, were youths were informed of current bullying situations around them and given advice on how to react in such situations. They were also made aware of the website ‘Kellimni.com' , where support through means of anonymous chat is given to those being bullied.

Cultural activities included visits to the 100 Object Exhibition in Valletta and a photo hunt, which required the campers to go to many important sites around the capital city searching for what was required. It is quite fascinating how the groups worked well in order to gain an edge and come out victorious. A visit to Bahrija was also included, giving the youths an idea of the species that live in Malta as well as some knowledge regarding agriculture and its importance.

Throughout the two weeks, the group of campers worked in groups to prepare for the talent show which is always held on the last day of the camp. Despite the anxiety, especially when nearing the actual performance, the campers worked very hard to put up the best performance possible.

This wonderful experience would not have been possible without the full cooperation from the residents in Senglea, the youths' parents and the youths themselves. A special thanks goes to the Salesians at St.Phillip's church in Senglea for their commitment in helping organise the summer camp along with the volunteers.

Written by Sylvan Abela