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September’s minicamp was at Piha Mill Camp. The roads out to Piha get dark early at this time of the year, so the lights of the camp shone out through the darkness as if to welcome people. After the (organised) chaos of registration, we got down to a fantastic camp with a group of amazing young people. Want to know what happened? Then read on …
Friday began with a name game to get to know everyone. This included everyone coming together to greet returning campers and meeting the new ones. Some were team activities, and some were competitive! Saying your name twice then someone else’s name twice takes on a whole different meaning when you can’t show your teeth and are trying your best not to laugh. There was a whole heap of teeth shown, that’s for sure! It was during the Friday evening that the camp leaders were introduced; Gemma, Tracey, Mackenzie, Ellen, David, Aiden, Tess, Danni, Heba (Whanganui) & Jamie (Christchurch) coming up from down south to join the fun.
Afterwards, participants made their unique placemats with their names. They were then randomly assigned to tables for meals, and people needed to sit by their placemats. This system got everyone to mingle, meet new people and allowed for some great conversations. One of the things on the placemat this camp was a picture of your two favourite animals combined into one. A bird moose or Boose, a Unigon (Rainbow Unicorn Dragon) were just a couple of crazy designs.
At the end of the night, lullabies and bed drew everyone to bed with the leaders evaluating the day and making sure tomorrow would be awesome. Soooo tired – must sleep now!
June’s camp was located at Hunua and focused on activities to develop an understanding of Human Rights, which is the CISV Content Area of 2017.
We started us off with Energisers (small actions to wake us up and to get us working enthusiastically together as a united group). Afterwards, we went into some ‘getting to know you’ games, and then we moved onto the designing of our placemats. Every minicamp, we make placemats with our names and interesting things about us (such as our name and our favourite super power). These are then randomly placed around the tables at meal times to get people sitting next to new people and generate conversation.
Then it was 9 pm – supper, flag and lullabies were in order. Everyone managed to calm down with the songs, and we were ready for bed. After the littlies had gone to bed, some of the Junior Branch (14+ yrs) participants continued working hard at planning activities for their group the next day. This planning practice is part of camp for them, helpful in their development as CISVers and for organising their activities at home or school.
The Saturday morning was cold and misty but this burnt off and we were ready to go! Breakfast was Toast & Cereal, and after washing our dishes, we were off to our first activity. We started the morning with some running games to get warmed up and energised! The first game was “get to know you fruit salad”. This was a fun way to learn more about each other, and wake our brains up!
Next, we played “newspaper hockey”; we were split into two teams; one team was numbered off, the other was given a letter of the alphabet each; then a letter and number were called out, and it was a one-on-one hockey game!
After hockey, we played a few more running games. The ladder game, where it was a race against the person opposite you back to your spot, was heaps of fun, especially when we had to do it side stepping with pincers like a crab!
Goblin and fairy bump tag was also a fun and silly way to burn up some energy before morning tea.
As it was my first time enjoying a CISV minicamp naturally, I was shy. I didn’t expect to fit in straight away, as some of the kids have been lifelong members of CISV. How wrong I was. I was not left out in a single activity and had loads of fun.
At the camps and mini-camps, there are many songs and dances such as kitos, flag and others. In fact flag (a song) is sung by every single camp and minicamp all over the world from Chile to Australia.
One of the many unique things about CISV is that the adults aren’t even in charge half the time! A team of 14-year-olds and over (known as the JB’s), come up with cool activities like wacky energizers and mind boggling decoding.
But don’t go thinking the adults didn’t do much, in fact without the kitchen team slaving over a hot oven, no food would be served, and without our wonderful team leaders, the whole camp would just not connect.
The June CISV minicamp was an exciting adventure I’m glad I went on, and I hope I can enjoy many more adventures with the leaders, the cooks and fellow kids.
– Kalo Wood
From December 2015 to January 2016, I was a JC at Intiland Village in Lima, Peru. This was the first village in Peru’s CISV history. After a total of 16 hours travelling –by myself for the first time- I arrived in Lima. My homestay showed me around the city as we went to a famous beach in Lima. He gave me a tasting of the culture with the food and also he took me to a fruit market. The homestay was an experience I will never forget as I felt like I got to experience the city as we went everywhere that was interesting and experienced another culture.
Before the children arrived at the camp, I went to the campsite to meet all the leaders, staff and other JC’s and we got to know about each other. From here we set goals that were agreeable by all the leader’s and set the standard for the camp.
This camp was themed Superheros, and over the course of the weekend we were able to participate in activities to develop our super skill of Conflict Resolution, which is the CISV Content Area of 2015.
We started off with energisers to get us working enthusiastically together as a united group, both new participants and seasoned CISVers, and then went into some name and getting to know you games.
Then we moved onto the designing of our place mats. Every minicamp we make placemats with our names and interesting things about us (such as our favourite food, sport, or what we want to do as a job), so that we can get to know each other during meals times by seeing and talking about each others interests.
Minicamp started off as always with excitement, name and getting to know you games. We had so many kids this time it was important to play a lot of name games so that everybody could remember each others names. Then we designed our own placemats based on a range of questions like: what kind of super hero do you want to be? and what do you want to be when you are older? These placemats will then be used during meal times for the rest of camp. This enables us to sit with new people and have fun questions to ask about each others placemats. After a quick snack and drink its time for bed. Everybody gets into their PJs and we sing a mixture of Oasis and Taylor Swift songs together CISV lullabies style. Then comes bedtime. We are all still very excited but need our rest for the action packed next day.
Once every couple of months, between our local minicamps, the Auckland Junior Branch (JB) gets together and hosts a night of cultural food and games. These are planned by the JB Committee, led by our events coordinator Ellie, and always deliver great laughs and a perfect opportunity to catch up with one another.
Saturday night was spent with members of our Junior Branch catching up over a meal. Our nachos dinner was delicious and a true team effort. Churros rolled in cinnamon and sugar before being dipped in dark chocolate was a special ending to a fun night. It was so nice to see some of our favourite faces and catch up on each other’s busy lives.
The next JB Event is set for the weeks following our June minicamp, and will (hopefully) be a lesson in authentic Indian cuisine followed by dancing! We hope to see you there!