Rise up this mornin', smiled at the risin' sun,
three little birds pitch by my doorstep,
singin' sweet songs of melodies pure and true,

sayin' "This is my message to you-ou-ou-ou-"
~Bob Marley

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Growing Leaders

A Growing Leader!

When Mark harvests his corn, he saves some of the seed for planting, ensuring another crop to harvest. Our corn continues to produce, our chickens continue to eat corn and we continue to receive eggs. It’s a sustainable system.

So when I began to plan for an environmental summer camp for the children in our barrio, I had to stop and ask myself the question, “Is this a sustainable system? Will this project continue to happen even after Mark and I return to the States?” My answer to myself was, “Probably not….”

Putting my enthusiasm for making leaf prints aside, and the markers back on the shelf, I noticed my fifteen- year-old neighbor walking towards my house. Then it hit me- if they had an interest, the bright, energetic teenagers in the barrio could learn and lead a camp for their younger neighbors.

 It was time to “grow” some leaders!

Celsa was interested and recruited two friends to help plan, prepare and present an Environmental Summer Camp for the kids in Barrio San Miguel.

We started with brainstorming ideas and charting them. They decided on a 3-day camp, 3 hours per day. We charted daily schedules; listed resources needed, and divided the responsibilities.
Brainstorming, Organizing and Scheduling
 The girls did research on the themes they selected, (Managing Trash; Native Trees; Birds and Animals of Paraguay), created posters and practiced their presentations. They prepared art projects that went with each theme, (Yeay- they selected leaf prints!), and planned fun recreational activities.
Preparing Materials and Presentations
After 5, half-day planning/ work sessions, followed by walking the barrio to personally invite children to attend the camp, the girls were ready!

The teenagers did a great job “leading” their 18 participants during a fun, informative, and engaging 3 day Environmental Summer Camp! They worked together, followed their plan, and shared responsibilities that reflected their strengths.
"Tree Day" Discussion

Mark Shares Information on Planting Tree Seeds

Were there a few bumps in the road? Sure there were- That’s when I bit my tongue, and they learned from the process! We saved all of the planning charts, schedules and teaching posters to serve as guides in planning future “camps,” in hopes that it becomes a sustainable practice.

The end result? Happy camp participants, new learning about important environmental themes, proud camp leaders, and a new crop of enthusiastic, growing leaders!
"Campers" Showing Off Their Certificates

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mark and Sue,

    I just read your article in the AGR newsletter that my advisor gave to me a few minutes ago. Great stuff! I just received my invitation on Friday for the Ag Extension program! I will be coming in September, so I may not get to interact with you very much. But I was wondering if there is a way I can get in contact with you to talk about what your experience is like in country? Please email me when you get a chance! orrypratt@gmail.com

    -Orry Pratt