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Ubuntu Conference Call with Michael Brandwein: (author of Training Terrific Staff 1 &2, Super Staff Super Vision, & Learning Leadership)

Things that make Global Camps Africa Distinctive:

·      Respect

·      Relationship to Local Leadership

·      Follow up programs (Youth Clubs)

·      Spread info to other camps

·      The model of camp is a new idea in South Africa

Five Points of Distinctiveness:

1. Camp Sizanani did not aim to transplant American camp, but to use the things that work to create an African camp.

·      Instead of imposing western music, they used African music

·      Parents had to be won over: it is not part of the culture to leave your children with strangers.

2. Local leadership is used instead of depending on foreign volunteers.

·      Camp staff has shown development, there are staff willing to take leadership positions

3. Follow up is a way to get sustained youth development.

·      Year round programs to continue the effect of camp

·      A different setting helps to reinforce learning.

·      Youth Clubs: opportunities for kids to continue relationships and education

·      One week at camp really can make a difference in a kid’s life. Sustainable changes can be made

4. Global Camps is committed to sharing with other organizations in a generous way, that adapts to other programs’ needs

·      We trained 200 youth workers in 2010

·      USAID contract in November to train 170 reps from other nonprofits and hold January camps in each of the 9 South African provinces

·      This is a long term plan that encourages respect between organizations

·      Sharing is a policy at Global Camps Africa

5. Camp is a unique model in the setting of Africa

·      Our way of teaching is very different from how children were brought up

·      Talking about process is a new concept

Questions from Ubuntu Community Members:

Have you gathered any information about how previous campers have integrated into society and found jobs in adulthood?

Phil:  Gwynn Powell, an expert on youth development from Clemson University, is working on studies to investigate long-term effects

This is the 4th year of a 5-year longitudinal study

Gwynn is conducting a pre and post camp survey, the results are very promising, and show dramatic changes.

Problems with Data collection:

·      Students use different names at different times

·      There is some difficulty organizing the results

·      Some kids won’t take the survey, too busy

Anecdotal: Camp director Kabee Malefane reports that no one has been arrested after his or her time in camp.  We don’t have evidence to prove this but it is significant for them.

Contract with USAID to hold 9 camps through South Africa in 9 provinces.

Significant positive results despite language differences from region to region

Camp environment helped participants learn good life lessons despite language barriers.

In the future, if USAID funded organizations request camps, they will provide the funds for us to help them.

35 organizations sent campers to the 9 camps funded by AID.  This is hopefully a move for the future to train those organizations to run camps on their own.


Camps in North America try to demonstrate outcomes through data.

I believe not every item can be documented or interpreted from data.

There are too many variables, and there is a lot to be said for the inductive reasoning process to show outcomes, rather than focusing on data.

It is hard to identify and self identify the impact camp has on kids.

We should be open to different ways of sharing the results, and evidence.

Kabelo has community evidence of trends; That is real too

Conclusion: Camp is a successful but underrated way of getting youth to learn. The challenge is to convince government and other agencies of the effectiveness.