Youth Camps in Ottawa
summer of learning and service, fun and friendship
This past summer, members of the
Ottawa Baha’i Community organized three day-camps bringing together
over 90 junior youth from across the city. Two camps were
neighbourhood-based and explored the influence of media on
our lives. The third camp brought together junior youth aged 13 and 14
from across the city with the aim of preparing them to take on
increased responsibility in lives of their community.
Anthea Nelson-James, who was one of the main camp organizers said that
"It was phenomenal to experience the enthusiasm with which the junior
youth participated in the activities, the eagerness they demonstrated
in exploring and presenting the concepts, and their openness to making
Participants in the Greenboro and Heatherington neighbourhoods studied
together, played games, and used art to analyse the media’s positive
and negative impacts. They then used this new-found knowledge to create
their own claymation videos, posters, photography, and films that they
were able to share with their family, friends, and community members at
the end of the camps.
There was also an overnight camp
for junior youth ages 13 and 14 where participants came together for
spiritual education, swimming, canoeing and a variety of other camp
activities. At the end, the participants showed what they had learned
by organizing and running a special program for the children of the
Heatherington neighbourhood. These junior youth, running the children’s
program, demonstrated their increasing leadership skills, including
their capacity to plan and carry out a service project that engaged
their younger peers.
The engagement of the junior youth in the these summer camp activities
enriched their communities, increased their leadership skills and
strengthened the ties of friendship with their neighbors that have
persisted after the camp ended.