KwaZulu-Natal Camp Session Highlights

We wanted to share more highlights from the wonderful session held at our KwaZulu-Natal location in July, thanks to partner Don Mckenzie Ithemba Teen Clinic.

Along with our campers performing at the 2016 International AIDS Conference, they enjoyed many other activities as part of our theater program. They spent several days preparing for performances at camp, with everyone putting their best effort into it. In a great measure of their persistence and confidence, some of the campers who made small mistakes on stage even asked if they could go up and try again. We all enjoyed the rehearsals and performances!

Campers also participated in meaningful art activities, which are designed to allow them to express themselves. For the splatter painting activity, we took campers to the ocean to think of all the events that happened in their lives, whether good or bad. Campers sat down and closed their eyes to begin the visualization, listening to the sound of the waves and the wind blowing. We then asked them to open their eyes and remain silent. The campers selected different paint colors that signified meaning in their lives. Here is what they shared about what colors they chose:

  • Sthabiso said the color black reminds him of when he knew he was HIV positive and there was darkness around him    
  • Nonhlanhla said the color red reminds her of the pain when she lost her parents
  • Ndalo said the white reminds him when he was born because there was light   
  • lwazi said the yellow represent the wrong friends he chose and black is all the pain he faces

In another art activity campers worked on creating a dream collage, reflecting on memories from early childhood as well as thinking about their present and future. In this type of activity we are less concerned with technique and more focused on the process, and having the campers include detail to help tell their stories. The collage activity provoked thoughtful responses during the debriefing when campers shared what they learned, including:

  • Nonhlanhla said she learned to believe in her dreams and to dream big      
  • Sabelo said he felt inspired to go to school to become a doctor   
  • Nelly said she learned that whatever has happened in the past she still has a bright future to look upon   

Report from the Field -  The Love Quilt Project

Our campers and vochellis were recently involved in a special event in South Africa as part of the Love Quilt Project. Based in Arlington, VA, the Love Quilt Project “uses the power of love to change the lives of vulnerable orphaned South African and American children, many of them affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Children send messages of love expressed through art to brighten lives and help heal souls. These messages are stitched into beautiful quilts that are then given to a child in need.”

On July 16th, volunteers from the Love Quilt Project delivered quilts to GCA campers who traveled to Pretoria for the occasion. Read more about the special day from one of our vochellis, Rethabile, in her own words:

We met at Bara Mall at 10am, and all the campers were there on time. We had campers from different youth clubs (Orange Farm, Poortjie, Ikageng and Meadowlands). From Bara, we went to Pretoria. When we arrived we grouped all the campers together, with kids from other organizations who were there. We did name games with all the campers so they could get to know each other. We went inside the hall, and Gretchen from Love Quilt introduced everyone who contributed in making the love quilt blankets, and gave a speech on how Love Quilt started, and showed a video about how the blankets are made. After that, all the campers had lunch and they were each given a blanket. The kids were very happy and grateful to receive them. We all took pictures together, and the campers wrote love messages on the blankets that will be given to children in the States who also need blankets.  Then we all went home, and it was a great day!

Thank you to the Love Quilt Project for presenting beautiful handmade quilts to our campers and involving them in this wonderful gesture.


Phil speaking to Camp Fernwood and Camp O-At-Ka campers in July 

Phil speaking to Camp Fernwood and Camp O-At-Ka campers in July 

GCA Visits Camp Fernwood

Last month GCA’s president and founder Phil Lilienthal visited Camp Fernwood in Maine. Founded in 1921, Camp Fernwood is located in Poland, Maine, on the shore of Lake Thompson. Phil spoke to the young women about GCA’s work, reporting back that they were very enthusiastic, genuinely wanting to do more to get involved. Afterwards one parent reached out to GCA expressing appreciation for introducing her daughter to GCA, saying “it touched her heart, and it was one of the first things she told me when she came home.” Thanks to Camp Fernwood for hosting us, and we hope to see you next summer!

Lunch & Learn Video

If you missed our Lunch & Learn at our new office space, we have good news - you can watch the video to learn more about the history of Global Camps Africa and our intentional camp model, our new programs, collaboration ideas, as well as hear powerful stories from camp. Led by Courtney Harris, GCA’s Office Manager, we enjoyed meeting and introducing GCA to members of the Refraction co-working community and others in our area.

Did you know you can support GCA just by doing your regular shopping on Amazon?

Our campers understand the true meaning of the AmazonSmile program. Sign up today to ensure that 0.5% of all eligible purchases on Amazon go to GCA and help keep these campers smiling all through Camp Sizanani next year.