Winter camp “The secret inside”

Posted: January 15, 2018 by Dobr9k in Camps

Winter camp “The secret inside” was held in Belynichie boarding school from the 24th December to 1st January.
I was one of the leaders in a younger group with Down syndrome children. There were 6 of them. Only two children were able to speak a little and understand a bit better than the rest of the kids what was going on. Every child like that lives in his own world that we can’t understand.
Some people consider these kids just to be disabled who are unable to live normally, unable to understand anything, unable to do anything. Bud God sees these kids differently.He sees them special and unique. And I know why. Everyone of them has his own personality, his own dreams, likes and hobbies.
You may wonder, what can they do? What do they understand? But every kid in my group was unique: somebody liked dogs, somebody was good at constructing, somebody liked dolls, somebody enjoyed organizing things in the wardrobe, somebody just was looking through the window.
There are different ways to express love. When words can’t be understood, then just a touch or a sincere smile can make a difference for these kids. Quite a lot of time we spent just playing different games and talking to their school mentors (the last one was as important as just spending time with kids).
Children in my group were not able to do all activities that were prepared for the whole camp due to the health issues, but if they happened to do something, they were so eager to do that.
Every day started with morning exercises which were fun and older kids with Down Syndrome enjoyed it a lot. We had team time after breakfast and then, closer to lunch time, everybody would go to a different activity of the day: craft class, sport club or a movie. My little team enjoyed the craft class most of all.
We had a new activity in the camp that is called – team building time. It included games and tasks aiming to build up the team’s spirit, to develop trust and respect among kids. It was organized for every age group.
We do use these activities in our camps, but it was the first time we used them for kids who have mental and physical disabilities. To our surprise, kids enjoyed it a lot, and to be honest, they showed more patience in some activities where even adults gave up.
Our evening meetings in a hall were a special time for children and us. We sang songs, watched photo presentations of each past day of the camp, leaders showed different little plays, and the most important thing was the theme of the day. All topics were understandable for children: love towards people, mercy, good deeds, humility, gratitude. Sometimes it was difficult to keep children’s attention during the meeting, however, it was great to see that there were kids who were really interested and were listening attentively.
I had a very special conversation with a girl, who’s graduating this year. Her name is Alina. At first, she seemed a very closed and shy girl, but I was wrong. She’s a good soul, always looking forward to us coming, always ready to give the last she has and she’s a very creative girl as well. I’ve known her for several years already, but it was the first time we had a conversation like that. Alina has a mother, a grannie and 2 sisters, who live in another town not too far away. Alina is not angry at them that she lives in this orphanage. She call her relatives to check on her grandma because she’s an old lady who needs help.It was great to hear Alina’s thoughts about her future family, her education and maturing, about relationships with boys. A very special topic was her relationship with God. She tries to pray every day. She prays for teachers, for her family, friends. She believes that everything happens for a reason, that God is changing people, that one day she will be changed completely.
Every day of our camp was filled with God’s presence. We didn’t have any accidents or emergency, no problems with kids. Administration and teachers were quite open and helped us a lot.
Personally, this camp was a blessing! Our leaders team, opened
hearts of kids and teachers, the weather and other moments which we usually do not notice or take for granted, it all made special Christmas atmosphere.
I believe that God’s word made its work! Even if it’s only one child who accepted the Lord as his personal Savior. I rejoice and thank our Heavenly Father for it!

  1. Yegor says:

    Молодцы! Вы очень важную и нужную работу делаете – посещаете одиноких сирот и приносите им Радостную Новость от Их Небесного Отца.

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