I ventured far inland to Basse to help out with the girls camp Peace Corps put on. The camp was a great success and everyone involved seemed to have a great time.
The campers learned a lot about environmental issues and life skills. The lessons varied widely from overpopulation, air pollution, recycling, life skills, to fun activities. The girls created projects from scraps, picture frames, made paper, and played games. Gambian guest speakers came in and talked about different things. A peace corps language teacher came and asked the girls what they wanted to do when they grow up, and then talked about the challenges would be in the Gambia and how could they overcome them. These girls soaked everything up. During their breaks, they would even copy down vocabulary into their notebooks. It was so great to see.
Helping out with a session on making decisions
My biggest contribution to the camp was teaching the girls a song about trash:
Bio-de, Bio-de, Bio-degradable
Good garbage breaks down as it goes,
that’s why it smells bad to your nose
Bad garbage grows and grows and grows
Gar-bage, Gar-bage, Gar-bage,
Is supposed to decompose!
The song was accompanied by hand motions and I must have sung it 20 plus times throughout the week. When I walked through the camp, girls would start singing the song to me. Sooo ya, I’d say it was a hit ;).
The girls also got to go into Basse and see an aluminium can factory that recycles can into cooking pots. And the last day we had a talent show followed by a disco.
Volunteers performing skit; I was an old Gambian lady
Stephanie made some great visual aids using a rice bag for her background!
I’m fairly certain that if we had eaten plain rice, played no games or songs, and only had classes that week, the girls and teachers still would’ve had a great time. Because for one whole week these girls and teachers didn’t have to cook, clean, take care of small children or fetch water. Everything we did the girls loved and will probably remember for a long time. Camp GaGa was another favorite of mine, and I’m already looking forward to next year!