March Break Blog “KIDS FUN CAMP”

Monday – Facilitator and blog author: James Chan

March 12, 2012 was the first day in the March Break Fun Camp at Regent Park Focus. The first activity we did with the kids was a brief introduction. I introduced myself, and as an icebreaker, each of the kids told us their name, and told the group one true and two false attributes about themselves. The rest of us had to guess which attribute was true. A few of the ground rules were laid out by a brainstorm done by the youth. Some of the ground rules include the use of indoor voices, and, put downs were discouraged as well. At around 10:30 am, all fifteen of the youth were separated into 4 groups, and were taken out the take pictures. Unfortunately, we only had four cameras that worked. The session was self-themed. After lunchtime, at around 1:30 pm, Kim from Toronto Public Health was kind enough to come in and talk to us about “the birds and the bees”, which was rhetorical for reproductive health. The topics were inclusive of HIV, AIDS, and other debilitating STDs. It was surprising the amount of information the youth already knew about the topic. Unfortunately, some of the youth were uncomfortable with the topic and chose to relieve themselves from the group. The activities from the photography outing were carried on to the next day, since it was originally planned that each of the youth were to have their pictures framed. It took a bit of time to get the photographs developed. Overall, the kids found it to be quite an educationally enriching experience. I learned quite a bit from the workshop; the learning experience was mutual.  Outing were carried on to the next day, since it was originally planned that each of the youth were to have their pictures framed. It took a bit of time to get the photographs developed. Overall, the kids found it to be quite an educationally enriching experience. I learned quite a bit from the workshop; the learning experience was mutual.

Tuesday – Facilitator and blog author: Melanie Roy
On Tuesday during the march break; I planned a day for the kids to do activities. In the morning the kids made friendship bracelets. They had a lot of beads to choose from including beads with letters on them so they can make a name bracelet. After we made bracelets, we had lunch for an hour. In the afternoon, I was planning to have a dance completion on the PlayStation but the weather was so nice and I decided to take the kids to Lord Dufferin School so they can play in the park. We brought skipping ropes, sidewalk chalk and foam balls. The kids had a lot of fun playing in the sun. The feedback that I got back from the kids was that they enjoyed the day.

Wednesday – Facilitator and author: Hani Afrah

Hi There!

It is Hani again writing a blog about the March Break Camp. Today is Wednesday March 14, 2012. Today’s theme was about leadership. At the beginning, the Youth did check in and ice breaking games. Such as, “two truths and a tale”, they had fun doing this game. They enjoyed investigating one another’s truth and tale. Also, they learned more about each other names and personalities even though some of them new each other. We had new faces at the camp. They open to each other and became friendly.

Secondly, they discussed and brainstormed about characteristics of good leader. After, they made posters of who are their role models in their life. We had presentations about their role models. In the presentation some of them youth choice to talk about their parents as a role model where as other youth in the program choice other leaders in the community. For example, Ismahan one of the youth who participated in the program choice to talk CambaraGuuled. She is Social worker in the Regent Park Health Centre. She helps the seniors in the community. Lastly, we did a yoga relaxation excercise. Some of the youth enjoyed it doing.

Thursday – Facilitator and author: Paige Moulton

Its Paige here (George Brown Student), it was a good day at Focus, as we wind down our week at March Break Camp. Today we were going to watch a movie in the morning but the TV wasn’t working; we had to wait for E-man to come in and get things running. The youth voted on Alvin and the Chipmunks; out of Green Lantern and another action movie. I just decided to switch the day around instead. First I got the youth talking about what is important to them. I wrote down a list of a few things that are important to me, and then went around in a circle and asked what is most important to them. A lot of youth said their family, friends, and the outdoors or nature. Once they had some ideas in their head I got them to make a collage, which some enjoyed more then others but everybody seemed to put forth an effort. The collage was to reflect either one thing or multiple things of importance to that person. After, everybody presented their poster and explained why they put the pictures or words that they did. At twelve the kids went home for lunch, or brought their lunch here. A lot of the kids played on the computer at lunchtime. After lunch the TV was fixed, and the kids watched Alvin and the Chipmunks. They were quiet during the movie and ate popcorn and bagels with cream cheese as well as cheese strings and juice. When asked the moral of the movie, the youth said family and sticking up for what and who you believe in!

Friday – Science Center– written by Paige Moulton

Friday at the science center all the youth got separated into different groups. Hani, Mel, James and myself, all took a few youth and went and toured the Science Center. Here’s how the day went…

HANI My group went to space exhibition where they experienced breath taking views of the moon and the stars. Some of the Youth actually sit on the rocket chair. They really enjoyed and had fun doing that.Also, we went to the Human Body exhibition. They discovered how the human body function. Moreover, they experienced how real human liver and kidney look like. Lastly,they enjoyed wandering though a real live Rain forest environment filled with plants and animals.

JAMES The trip to the Science Centre at the March Break Fun Camp was quite an educationally enriching experience for the kids at Regent Park Focus. Although there were many fun activities in the Science Centre, we were unable to attend all of them. The displays that we were able to attend included the challenged zone, mind works, the science arcade and living works. The dome was one exhibit that we really wanted to visit, but because of lack of time. The science arcade allowed us to figure our reactionary time. The mars themed challenge zone was quite innovative to say the least.

MEL On the last day of March break; we went on a field trip to the Ontario Science Center with the kids. It was so packed there with other children and their daycares. The kids that I had in my group had a great time looking at all the different stuff they had even though, we only went to the basement floor. The kids made shoes and went to every booth down there that they were interested in. That was the first time that I have been at the Science Centre and overall, I enjoyed it and I plan to go there again when it isn’t so packed.

My group (Paige), and Mel’s group went around together, I am not sure if I had more fun, or the kids did! We went to the rainforest to start, and then walked around and looked at many different booths. One thing I found interesting was a booth that I went into with one of the Youth, in there they told us about the holocaust. The voice let us know that people in that time had to live in booths the size of what we were in, and had to hide there for days sometimes with others. I found that we didn’t have enough time to look at everything.

-------------------------------------------- ALL in All….. ------------------------------

March Break camp was a huge success. Overall, the kids really enjoyed themselves and they were although very talkative at times, were great to have and very smart, unique, independent youth. We did an evaluation at the end of each day, and at the end of the week. The youth seemed to really enjoy the staff who were involved in the March Break Camp. When it came to things they didn’t like, they seemed to gear towards discussions and educational workshops (the “not fun” activities!). They really enjoyed the collages, photo workshop and bracelets. The youth learned a lot during the week. When asked they said they learned how to work with one another, and others said they got to know their creative self a little bit more. Others learned patients and how to stay calm when dealing with somebody they might have conflict with. From my perspective, March Break Camp was a success and we had fun with children and the youth. I feel that March Break Camp was a good reflection on how Focus works as a whole, and completes our mission of giving youth an alternative to the streets, to give them a future and keep them nourished in all ways while in our care! Paige Moulton
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