E-Newsletters

JUNE 2015

Sizanani Takoma Teen Leadership Camp!

A unique cross-cultural, week-long, teen leadership camp will be held August 24th-28th in Takoma Park, Maryland. This very special experience is led by South African counselors and modeled on the success of Camp Sizanani. This will be the first true camp experience of GCA in the US!

Sizanani Takoma Teen Leadership Camp is a partnership between Global Camps Africa and Making A New United People (MANUP) and the City of Takoma Park, modeled after Camp Sizanani in South Africa. This camp experience will be focused on teaching self-empowerment, life skills, and communitSiy-building.  Using Global Camps Africa’s camp techniques to integrate sports, arts and crafts, songs, adventure, dance, and theatre, Camp Sizanani counselors who are working at US camps this summer will lead the camp. We are excited to see if the South African counselors will have the same magical influence on US teens as they have in South Africa.

Camp will be held at the Heffner Community Center on Oswego Ave. just above Maple Ave., and on neighboring fields and in community centers. The space has been generously donated by the city of Takoma Park and we will hold a community-wide celebration and potluck supper on Thursday, Aug. 27th.  We encourage parents and guardians of all campers to attend and would like to invite our supporters to come out to meet our vochellis and hear about the camp experience.

The Sizanani Takoma Teen Leadership Camp will be free of charge to low-income community members, but MANUP is seeking support to help keep the program free of cost. All donations go directly to staff costs and direct expenses for the week.  Contributions are tax deductible and can be given at M.A.N.U.P. (www.manupnow.org), Global Camps Africa (www.globalcampsafrica.org) or for the campaign to support the event at http://igg.me/at/SizananiTakomaTeenLeadershipCamp/x/5550278.


Sizanani Family Fun Day is back!

Last year over 60 Reston residents and youth joined Sizanani Family Fun Day to experience Camp Sizanani. This year, you can too! Five of Camp Sizanani’s South African counselors (vochellis) will be hosting two Sizanani Family Fun Days on Saturday, August 29th; Sifiso Tawane, Thembi Joja and Kutlwano Phatlane will come to Reston, and Lunga Makhanya and Lwazi Joja will be in New York City. 

Campers of all ages are invited to join us, and lunch will be provided at both events. The Reston Family Fun Day will be held at the Temporary Road Picnic Pavilion Corner of North Shore & Temporary Road. The New York Family Fun Day will be held at J Hood Wright Park, campers will meet at the corner of Fort Washington and 174th St. We welcome all interested adults and children to participate. Please let us know, at info@globalcampsafrica.org, if you are able to attend either of these August 29 events.

The day will be based around three sets of activities: life skills, adventure, and theatre. At Sizanani Family Fun Day in June of 2014, the adventure activity involved leading partners around the park with their eyes closed, and stressed the importance of decision-making abilities and problem solving skills.. The theatre activity conveyed to everyone how important teamwork and group cohesiveness is through African dancing. Finally, the life skills activity stressed the importance of clear communication and leadership. 

“The approach the vochellis used to lead this event demonstrated what Global Camps Africa works to accomplish in all its activities; genuine care, respect, and passion for improving the lives of children through good, old-fashioned camp fun,” said GCA Executive Director, Emily Crowder.

Don't miss your opportunity to join us for a taste of Camp Sizanani here in the US through a day of family, fun, and learning.

Report from the field - GCA Teaches Life Skills in China

GCA founder Phil Lilienthal, his wife, Lynn, and the GCA South African Camp Director, Kabelo Malefane, are spending their summer in China as a part of IDEAS Education Camp, which was designed to bring life skills lessons and other experiential educational training to Chinese students. The IDEAS program is focused on teaching collaboration skills, leadership, independence, innovation skills, and teamwork to Chinese youth, who have had very little exposure to such 21st Century Skills during the school year and even during their out of school time.

This innovative camp program grew out of the visionary work of Scott Brody and Steve Baskin, both owners of US camps, who have written and spoken of the value of these skills to enable youth to be college and career ready. In fact, Scott is a member and leader in the Washington, DC based Partnership for 21st Century Learning, as well as member of the GCA Board of Directors, and has been a leader in identifying the strong and positive link between traditional camp experiential learning and the 21st Century skills that are most valued by employers, and are in short supply in today’s emerging workforce.

The IDEAS Camp is hosting 4 two-week camp sessions in the popular beach resort of Beidaihe on the Bohai sea coast, at the architecturally significant IDEAS facility. Each of the Camp sessions will focus 21st Century skill building through traditional camp activities, as well as program elements based on traditional Chinese culture. Many Chinese children have not been exposed to cultural practices such as Chinese calligraphy, traditional drawing, paper-making, and other traditions, due to the impacts of the Cultural Revolution. The leader of the IDEAS Foundation, Lily Zhao, is dedicated to exposing children to the rich traditions of their past, while instilling the skills of the future in all IDEAS campers.

“We’re not just fun and games,”Lilienthal said. “We’re giving counselors and kids the most fun of their lives, while teaching them skills that will help them to be college and career ready.”

He said the model was also aligned with GCA’s work in South Africa. “We are bringing Camp Sizanani’s life skill lessons to China. It’s similar, but also very different in a way.” Beidaihe, China, is located 180 miles east of Beijing in an area most Western tourists are not familiar with.

“I thought the Chinese counselors would be very reserved,” he added. “But they’ve been jumping in to participate from the very beginning, and have been doing all the ‘silly’, creative activities that traditional counselors do as part of staff training and Camp.”

This is Phil’s fourth trip to China and yes, he noted, even the Camp food “is delicious.”

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