Beginning In May 2011, we started a residential summer camp for our students. Each year, 150 students in grades 4-6 spent a week learning to swim, taking arts and crafts, learning photography and Lego robotics and participating in drama class, sports and games. Exposure to spoken English of the American counselors is an additional benefit of the camp.
This is the area’s only residential summer camp for primary school students. Upon arrival, each child receives a camp uniform, flip flops, towel, sleeping mat, water bottle and personal care items. For most campers, it is their first time away from their families and their village. Each camper is placed on a team 0f 10 campers from numerous villages enabling them to meet and make new friends.
Swimming lessons are not just a great way to cool off but critical to our students’ well being since accidental drowning is the main cause of death for children in our district. Classes include water safety instruction, lessons in floating and the basic strokes along with plenty of water games and free swim. By the end of camp, most children are comfortable in the water and can swim a few strokes. There is no doubt that it is everyone’s favorite activity.
Each year, students from American University students join volunteers from various Indian colleges and high schools to work as counselors at the camp. We need 40 counselors to staff the camp. Neighboring NGOs, churches and schools all generously contribute their facilities to help make the program a success. It is a wonderful example of international diplomacy and cooperation at its best.