Thursday, December 29, 2011

ABC Weekend Camp!

A few weeks ago, my sitemate Sam organized ABC Weekend Camp in our town. ABC Camp is a 2-week long summer camp that is that is traditionally held in downtown Kharkov, focused on leadership and PDM (project design and management). The goal of the weekend camp was to give some of our students the opportunity to experience a little taste of what an American style summer camp is like and practice their English.
Everyone at the Closing Cermony on Sunday. 
You can check out the video that Sam created from our ABC Weekend camp here:

We had about 25 students attend the weekend camp from my school, Sam's school and neighboring towns. Sam invited 5 PCVs and 5 Ukrainian university students to serve as counselors and team leaders. Each team had a PCV and a Ukrainian, which worked out well for the students to be able to ask for translations if neccesssary.
Green team yelling their team name. 
Purple team showing off their team chant.
We've got spirit, yes we do... We've got spirit, how about YOU?
We've got spirit to the sky, you've got spirit ankle high!
Sam selected some topics for the leadership lessons from a book called Seven Habits of Highly Effective Leaders. These lessons were taught in English jointly by the PCVs and Ukrainian counselors, and I think that the students really enjoyed how active and creative the lessons were.

Students sharing their picture representation of "responsiblity".
Lee and Zhenya teaching about personal values and priorities.
Shannon and I playing the guessing game (with Ukrainain leaders on our foreheads) during  "Qualities of a good leader".
In addition to teaching lessons on leadership, we had a number of team challenges. One of the team challenges was a game called Tank, where each team selected a representative to be their "tank". Each tank was blindfolded and put into the playing arena, where the rest of the team had to give the tank instructions on where to find the balls and how to dodge balls thrown by other tanks. This game was hilarious and everyone loved it so much, including the counselors who demanded to play an all-counselor round of their own.

Another team challenge was the Egg Drop, where teams were given only 9 wooden skewers, 4 sheets of newspaper, and some scotch tape. They were asked to design something that would protect an egg from falling when dropped. The team whose egg dropped from the tallest height without being broken was the winner. Some of the teams came up with super interesting contraptions, but in the end all the eggs were broken.

In between lessons, we also played some team building games and had "electives" like American football, art class, music class and Mafia (the card game). The students made mini paper Christmas trees in art class, played guitar and bong drums in music class and ran around the gym in American football.
Photos taken during People-to-people are always hilarious.
The Christmas tree, designed by Shannon and Danny.
Kyle catching the football. 
Another team challenge was to come up with a short 5-minute skit on leadership... the kids came up with a bunch of fun stuff ranging from a quiz game show featuring celebrities like singers Nastya and Potap vs.Tymoshenko/Yanokovych, a Mafia version of Winnie the Pooh, and singing "We all live in a green leader ship, a green leader ship, a green leader ship".

The quiz game show. 
...which somehow involved a wheelbarrow race around the stage.
A music band where each member had a different skill.
Asking to join Don Pooh's Mafia family. 
Crossing the river.
All in all, I think all of the students had a great time at camp! More information about ABC Camp can be found on the official blog at My students asked me to organize a similar weekend camp at our Lyceum in the spring, so I'm planning on running a Camp HEAL weekend camp, focused on HIV/AIDS awareness and education training. I hope that this will inspire some of the students to come to Peace Corps summer camps with me next summer :)


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