Last week, I took part in a camp put on by Peace Corps Volunteers in another region. Camp BE, or Boys Excelling, teaches high-school age boys about resisting peer pressure, being peer educators, becoming leaders in their communities, as well as health-related lessons like preventing HIV/AIDS. Peace Corps Volunteers also plan and lead camps for girls, called GLOW, or Girls Leading Our World. I was only able to stay for half the week, but it was one of the highlights of my Peace Corps service so far.
The camp was really well-planned, and the fifty boys selected to come were super enthusiastic. Peace Corps Volunteers served as counselors, and we also had junior facilitators, Rwandan boys who really stood out from last year’s BE camp.
Each day was filled with activities and lessons. It was a lot of fun getting into the camp spirit.
My group, named “Super Power” quickly made up chants, which we would sing (or scream at the top of our lungs, rather) at every opportunity.
We played some fun team-building games, some of which were pretty challenging.
We talked about leaders and role-models. It was also cool to hear a lot of the boys mention women, such as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Mother Teresa, as their role models.
We also had a “barrier burn”, where everyone wrote down a barrier in their lives and then threw it into the fire. The Peace Corps Volunteers also introduced the campers to the joys of s’mores (with marshmallows from America!).
Many of the boys I talked to expressed really high goals for themselves: advancing their education, becoming doctors, business leaders, teachers, or politicians. If these boys are any indication, Rwanda’s future will be a bright one.