Posted by Christine Szekeres in Costa Rica on February 15, 2014
Uncertainty flooded my mind as we traveled to Campamento Roblealto (Camp Tall Oak) in Costa Rica on February 2nd with half of our SAMBICA team (the other half would overlap their trip and ours over the weekend). I had no idea what to expect, and particularly because this was my first time out of the country, I was nervous! Little did I know that my perspective on life was about to change.
Within the first 24 hours we had experienced so much that I was sure several days had gone by. After breakfast we received an introduction to the camp, followed by a camp tour across the 45 acres of land, during which time we even worked on some team-building activities. Unfortunately, this exercise ended in a twisted ankle, which sobered our mood a bit. Nonetheless, after lunch we were immersed into various projects around the camp. From watering the trees to cleaning the pool, from brushing away spider webs to digging ditches, each and every one of us had an important role to play. Even though the job may have been hard in the moment, it was well worth it because we were able to be a blessing to them and their sincere appreciation was easy to see.
We got to work with kids at a children’s center in the slums just for one day. The kids there were so precious! They just latched onto us and were so playful. However, hearing some of the kids’ stories was heart breaking and seeing parents struggle to provide for their families triggered my conscience. Sometimes I complain about the littlest, most insignificant, things…and yet these kids do not have food to eat or the things they need for school. Not only that, but they may even be abused at home. I wish I had had more time loving on the kids through a child’s love language of play.
Even though communication was a challenge because so few of us spoke Spanish and not all of the staff spoke English, the patience and gracious attitudes of the staff was so apparent and the language of love through service and play broke down many barriers. A soccer game closed out our week’s work: gringos (people from the US) versus the ticos (Costa Rican natives). This was a really great experience for me and I wish we could have stayed longer. This won’t be the last time Costa Rica sees me; I will be back!
Written by Denisha Moore
Posted by Christine Szekeres in Director's Blog on February 4, 2014
It goes without saying that I love camp. I fondly remember being shipped off to church camp for 3 weeks each summer. I remember running free those weeks, not missing home one bit, and having the time of my life. What I didn’t realize back then was that camp played an important role in the development of my confidence and independence. When I was a kid (back in the 70’s and 80’s) indoor play was reserved for only the coldest of days so parents didn’t face the same challenges parents face today.
CCCA’s campaign, The Power of Camp, is all about educating parents on the challenges kids face in this fast-paced, technology-crazed world. The below infographic, courtesy of CCCA, lays out these challenges and shows the role that summer camp plays in helping kids thrive and unplug.
SAMBICA is a proud member of the CCCA. Even if you don’t send your child to SAMBICA this summer, we hope you send them to one of the many excellent CCCA camps. Families can search for camps on their site.