The annual youth camp for our beneficiaries aged 13 to 18 returned this year on 28 Nov 2023 to Praisehaven Retreat Centre with the theme “Challenge Growth – Growing and Glowing! (GG). Organised by JYC @ Children’s Society, the camp included recreational and hands-on activities that encouraged social emotional learning.
JYC @ Children’s Society runs a children and youth drop-in centre, which engages youth to develop their strengths, build their self-confidence and pre-empt a path of juvenile delinquency. The centre provides youth with a safe, friendly and non-judgmental environment as well as a socio-emotional education.
The centre adopts the Developmental Relationship framework developed by Search Institute, which identified five critical elements. These elements are expressed through 20 specific actions, and each element matters in young people’s development. These elements work together to influence young people’s learning and growth and help them thrive.
With the theme of GG this year, the camp developed several objectives to ensure participants had an enriching experience. These objectives included:
- To build and strengthen relationships between beneficiaries and staff
- To learn from mistakes and setbacks.
- To increase youth’s desire for challenge, and their ability to persist through difficult challenges
On the first day of the camp, the ‘chers’ (our youth refer to our staff as their ‘chers’) and camp participants got to know each other through fun ice breakers like the Squid Game, Picasso Charades and Wild Wild Wet.
Left photo: Wild Wild Wet – Youth and ‘chers’ trying their best not to get hit by a water balloon by the opposing team
Right photo: Picasso Charades – Youth figuring out the correct picture message via drawings
Later in the day, the teams worked on activities that reflected the camp’s theme, “Challenge Growth”. The participants and staff ended off the day by indulging in a delicious dinner at East Coast Park.
Youth and Chers bonding through dinner
The next day, the youth and staff made their way to Kallang Water Sports Centre, where they had fun trying out the dragon boat. This activity brought the youth out of their comfort zone and encouraged them to develop trust in their teammates while fostering a sense of camaraderie.
Group photo of the staff and beneficiaries on the dragon boat
Later in the evening, the youth practised for a group performance, “The Voice” which was a friendly competition of singing, acting or simply sharing to identify issues they face in their daily lives.
Group “7-11” (left photo) explored the dynamics and challenges associated with peer pressure on vaping, while group “ASHJRY” (right photo) explored issues such as online interactions and the consequences of the use of social media
The final day of the camp saw the youth cleaning their bunks and penning down notes of encouragement and appreciation for their fellow participants, with whom they had spent the three days together.
Using technology excites them, but when you disconnect you can never find better connections through genuine sense of attachment and camaraderie, emphasising the depth of the relationships within Camp GIGnite 2023
One of the staff shared her thoughts about the camp as well.
“The planning team decided to go with Challenge Growth for this year’s theme because based on our existing members’ profile, we noticed that they needed a push to go further. Throughout the camp, I noticed that the youth broke out of their usual cliques and mingled with other campers that they normally would not interact with, and new friendships were built”. – Nur Hazimah
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