May minicamp started off on Friday night with the arrival of our amazing Junior Branch (JB) and of course all of the wonderful children. This may be the winter camp but it was still a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Once everyone had arrived they continued to find their rooms and lay out their sleeping bags, the camp was full with laughter and smiles as it is at the beginning of every minicamp.
We all settled into our first activity, a series of games to help everyone to get familiar with each other’s names, and get to know each other a bit better to kick off the camp.. Next up was a very artsy activity – Design your own placemat, this was a chance for all the children to draw their own placemats for meal times throughout camp.
This was followed by supper, Amazing baking and a drink each lead onto preparations for bed. Pyjamas or onsies on we had our CISV Lullabies, for many of the older members this is their favourite part of camp, it’s a time to wind down after a jam packed evening and sing some well-known songs,the Beatles and wonder wall are some of the popular ones. Our Friday night concludes with plenty of “sleep tight”s, “sweet dreams” and hugs all around.
Saturday morning of our minicamp started off bright and early with flag, our tradition of singing the CISV song to start off the day. Still sleepy and with odd socks on we slipped into our seats hungry and for once, quiet! Breakfast was the trusty toast, cereal and spaghetti and after washing dishes and getting organised we were ready to roll!
The JB started the day off with an activity that looked at the ideas we formed of a person from a single aural or visual source. Writing down ideas as we watched or listened, it was obvious that our ideas were hugely based on how society presents individuals based on single attributes they possess. We discussed this and the presence of stereotypes in our world, and looked at the way in which we are affected by these. Next up was Sophie’s activity looking at CISV International’s focus of 2013, human rights. In small groups we analysed individual human rights and, after translating these into something with far less commas and far worse English, we looked at how these affect people in our world today. Discussions were held and the various ways in which each right is upheld and violated were looked into, and eventually the wordy text was relatable and relevant.
For the littlies group the morning was kicked off after breakfast with (a new camp favourite) Crab Soccer, and other challenges to raise ‘puppy dollars’ for the Peace Auction of Activity two. Lunch, anticipated as always, was laid out and pizza buns for all. Yum!
The JB met after this for an activity run by Aiden and Andre (a CISVer visiting us from Brazil). Then the JB did some training with Bronwyn on how to utilise our many skills and work together to help out the chapter and strengthen our own JB, and then some training with Georgia and Rowan on how to use the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound) model and how this model can help us plan and facilitate fun and effective activities and events.
Meanwhile the littlies were working together in teams to design their perfect island. These were very funny, and it was awesome to see the kids working together to create such clever and creative ideas if what their perfect island would be. After this a strategic life sized board game that had everyone completing tasks around the campsite was planned for Activity four. This activity reflected inequalities in the real world in a fun activity, and was followed by a short discussion afterwards to reflect on the activity, and apply it to real life.
After shower time, free time, and dinner we gathered in the activity hall for the Saturday night activity, a camp favourite! The JB and littlies worked together in teams to come up with a play, with the added challenge of having to include four random phrases in (such as Goodie goodie gum drops, or Harry Potter). We then had supper, brushed our teeth, and sang lullabies and got into our beds ready to sleep after an exciting day!
Sunday was kicked off by flag, breakfast, and cabin cleaning, and then we all gathered together in the activity hall for the final activity of Minicamp. The delegates who will be leaving to attend Step Up camps in Washington DC and Mexico ran this activity, which was based on problem solving. Camp was then ended with Thank Yous and flag.