Is it worth it?

Throughout my service I ask myself one important question- “Is it worth it?”

Introducing... PINK TEAM.

Introducing… PINK TEAM.

Is my time and energy- worth investing in a particular project or ideal? All PCVs encounter that question (during their highs and lows of service- some of us dare to ask that question to ourselves daily).

IMG_8364

Throughout the summer, Ukraine Peace Corps. volunteers dedicate their time and their effort to make wonderful English camps available to young Ukrainians throughout Ukraine.

Its a lot of hard work.

Introducing... the yellow team "Ninja Lemons"

Introducing… the yellow team “Ninja Lemons”

And it takes months of preparation.

But is it worth it?

Costume Challenge: "Spirit Animal Day"  (this kid went on to win the "King of Camp" award)

Costume Challenge: “Spirit Animal Day”
(this kid went on to win the “King of Camp” award)

As a Peace Corps. volunteer I can tell you these kids,  made the time and preparation involved in Camp MAKE- worth it.

There are few times during my service where I have actually felt like something I have been involved in… has made a lasting difference.

But Camp MAKE allowed me to work with some very smart, articulate, and eager young Ukrainians and passionate Ukrainian counselors.

At times camp was crazy.

"Day Of The Dead" morning costume challenge

“Day Of The Dead” morning costume challenge

But in a crazy-fun kind of way.

Hot-Orange team mascot

Hot-Orange team mascot

Camp MAKE stands for:

Multiculturalism.

Project-Planning students did a 'swap' day in which they lead classes on Soviet stereotypes, bullying, Ukrainian music, and Ukrainian dance.

Project-Planning students did a ‘swap’ day in which they taught elective classes (for a day) on Soviet stereotypes, bullying, Ukrainian music, and Ukrainian dance to Peace Corps. counselors.

Action.

Final team challenge create a musical instrument from collected garbage.

Final team challenge: create a musical instrument from collected garbage.

Knowledge.

Student art from watercolor painting elective

Student artwork from watercolor painting elective

Empowerment.

Students participated in project-planning, leadership, multiculturalism, environmentalism, debate, 2 electives, and a team challenge daily. (All classes taught only in English).

Project-based learning model.

Project-based learning model.

These classes allowed students to cultivate new skills and interact with students from all over Ukraine. (As a cool bonus Peace Corps. volunteers got to work alongside some passionate young Ukrainian counselors).

I judged team challenges.

And each day I found  a new reason to be impressed with their creativity…

IMG_8379

“Twin” Morning costume challenge- Orange team created a ‘human head’ of body-parts.

Their hard work…

Students planning their project 'Swap Day' during a "Project Planning" lesson

Students planning their project ‘Swap Day’ during a “Project Planning” lesson

And their unique abilities.

First team challenge: Green Team working on their team poster and chant

First team challenge: Green Team working on their team poster and chant

They worked together as teams.

IMG_8106

Formed friendships.

And learned how to lead when necessary.

Counselors and Campers during "swap day" learning a Ukrainian dance

Counselors and Campers during “swap day” learning a Ukrainian dance

Thanks so much to all of you who responded to my request… and donated money to camp MAKE. You made some Ukrainian kids very happy.

And I’ll admit the counselors had almost as much fun as the kids involved.

Peace Corps. counselors at morning announcements

Peace Corps. counselors at morning announcements

You built lifetime friendships.

And created some crazy memories for youngsters that will last for a long time.

(That also includes  PCV’s/Ukrainian counselors as well).

Peace Corps. Counselor- Steven was humiliated for speaking Russian on the first day- he had to pretend to be a leprechaun doing yoga

Peace Corps. Counselor- Steven was humiliated for speaking Russian on the first day- he had to pretend to be a leprechaun doing yoga (Thanks for the memories Graham!)

Thank you.

Thank you.

Rest assured whatever you gave, no matter how big or how small it was totally worth it…

It made all the difference.

IMG_8386

THANK YOU 🙂

Camp MAKE 2013 Camp Song:

Camp MAKE is the place to be for education…

Have fun.

Make friends.

IMG_4494

And be free!

Project-Planning students planned a Hawaiian-themed disco for their final night of camp.

Project-Planning students planned a Hawaiian-themed disco for their final night of camp.

Rock my vacation!!!!

It’s not what I’m used to… word variation.

IMG_4349I learned a word and I liked it.

Camp MAKE’s the place to use.

I learned a word just to try it.

Here all my friends don’t mind it…

It felt so wrong. It felt so right… I’m speaking English tonight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s