Story by Julie Turner, ICM Executive Director // Photos & Videos by Heather Elliott, ICM Media Officer
Over 100 kids from the slums of Dumaguete and Bacolod came together prior to Easter for four action packed days of fun, craft, sport and song. The ICM’s Children’s Shelter and a few local staff kids were added to the mix, along with nearly 20 kids from Hong Kong and Australia. All 120 children were divided into 12 family groups that were led by over 40 leaders from Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia, the US, the UK and Ireland. Each family group was assigned a colour and came up with a team name and chant. Some where pretty cute (Lime Lizards, Purple Penguins, Orange Groove, Red Roosters) while some were a bit more ‘threatening’ (Black Ninjas, Pink Tigers). A special shout out goes to James and Maggie’s ‘In the Navy’ mantra, which had everyone humming to the Village People’s classic tune all week. All the chants had catchy tunes, as kids from one team were often heard singing another team’s chant. Even after being home for a week, my three kids are still randomly breaking into song in honour of an opposing team!
There were a lot of highlights from the week, including crafts like team banners depicting the week’s Bible lessons that will be given to the children’s home churches, hand painted t-shirts and photo frames, and personalized water bottles and wall hangings. A special thank you goes out to our lovely craft leaders, Theresa, Lauren and Yasmin for their creativity and to our amazing sports leaders, Lachlan and Joel, for all of their energy. I’m not sure who had more fun during the obstacle courses, the chocolate relay, the sponge wars, the soccer games, and the parachute game, those two guys or the kids. But all were thoroughly exhausted and smiling from ear to ear after each activity.
After a week of songs and lessons, I think the kids realized that they are valued individuals who are made for a purpose and worthy of love. This will give them the hope they need to achieve anything they set their hearts to and to make a difference. As I move to the UK in a few months, the timing of this camp was perfect. It reminded me of why we do what we do. These kids are just as important as my own, just as worthy of my time and just as in need of our support. ICM is impacting not only these children, but their families and communities as well. Although the camp only lasted 4 days, the time invested will last a lifetime. Thank you so much to all of the leaders who traveled long distances to help and a huge thank you to Pastor Sam, Rochelle and the ICM Dumaguete staff who did a marvelous job hosting us. As for Kids Camp 2012? Can it be organized from an island on the other side of the world? Absolutely – see you there!
We hope you enjoy our recap videos:
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/22991073 w=620&h=400]
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/22993601 w=620&h=400]
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/22993955 w=620&h=400]