A group of 10 young people from Cayman Brac travelled to Grand Cayman for a week-long, YMCA summer camp and leadership programme. The camp was held from Sunday, Aug. 13 to Friday, Aug. 18.
The trip was made possible by a portion of the funds raised for the YMCA at the DG’s 5K Challenge held in April. In addition to the ropes challenge course that will be built for team and leadership development, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson specifically requested that some of the proceeds be allocated for youth on the Brac.
“We are delighted that the money raised by the 2017 DG’s 5K Challenge has benefitted children in both Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, and has made this trip possible,” said Manderson. “I, and the DG’s 5K fund-raising committee, fully support such leadership programmes for our youth. We’re also very much looking forward to the ropes challenge course being built, which will be funded by the main portion of cash we raised.”
The visiting campers stayed overnight at the Prospect Youth Centre. YMCA organisers said the communal living helped the kids with their team-building skills, and gaining a sense of responsibility and independence.
They enjoyed a host of creative and fun activities during the day including sports, arts and crafts, and swimming. In the evening, the youth did extra activities such as bowling, a camp fire, games night and going to the cinema.
Three of the Brackers between the ages of 13 and 17 spent the week as Counsellors in Training, which is part of the YMCA Teen Leaders programme.
“We were very excited to host the Cayman Brac campers, and to facilitate this opportunity to spend time with their Grand Cayman counterparts. We hope that lasting friendships have been formed and character-building lessons will stay with them always,” said Gregory Smith, CEO for the YMCA. “The Y also operates camps and after-school programmes in the Brac so having the CITs here is a great opportunity for them to take back home what they have learned, and help further develop those programmes.”
One of the CIT’s, Chanielle Connor, said: “I really enjoyed coming here. I think my favourite part would be interacting with the younger kids, just learning how to teach them and be a leader to them,” which is the intent of the programme.
Camper Keira Bodden said her favourite part was making new friends. “I also enjoyed playing games and being active. This is the longest time being without my family,” said Keira.
On the last day of the camp, Nancy Barnard of the DG’s 5K Challenge Committee attended an assembly at the Field of Dreams to greet the campers, and was presented with a YMCA gift bag and cards hand-drawn by the campers as a thank you for 2017 Deputy Governor 5K Challenge.