On July 18th, Camp O-At-Ka opened their doors for the very first Road Race for GCA. The race was held in Maine where 100 runners came from both Camp O-At-Ka and Camp Fernwood. Runners could choose among three different races, a 3km, 2km, and 1km fun-run, and some runners enjoyed the race enough to finish in wheelbarrow fashion! Prior to the races, Phil Lilienthal, Global Camps Africa’s founder and president, spoke with the campers and shared more insight into GCA and Camp Sizanani. The campers were intrigued by what Phil had to say and enjoyed being able to run in a race to benefit the work we do for the vulnerable children of South Africa. As an added bonus, the campers showed interest in getting more involved and plan to donate items such as swimsuits, hats, and sneakers.
How wonderful to see so many new campers embracing the meaning of “sizanani” (helping one another), and getting involved in their own ways. This event provided a great opportunity for campers in the United States to support the fight against the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa. We hope this will be the first annual Camp O-At-Ka- fun run for GCA’s benefit, and that the campers’ participation can grow into a lasting relationship with our organization. Our South African youth clubs each have a focus on community service, and it is an honor to share that tenet with camps here in the United States, and to spread the spirit of sizanani. We hope to continually encourage youth to actively engage in their local communities as well as with communities across the globe.
Each camper contributed $10 as an entry fee, all $1000 of which went to GCA, enabling two additional campers to attend camp and a year of Youth Clubs.
We are grateful to Kyle Tong, O-At-Ka's director and a former vochelli, who spearheaded the entire event. Kyle shared that he was pleased with this year’s turnout and expects the event to grow even bigger in coming years. We’d like to thank all Camp O-At-Kat, Camp Fernwood, and the participants for a fun and successful day!