CISV (Children International Summer Village) is an international non-profit organization that I have been a part of since the age of 10, and have participated in four international camps so far, where I was able to travel to three different countries and interact with people from a combined total of approximately 22 countries. In the last few years, I started to help plan the events and activities, instead of just being a participant. The work that my friends and I do in this organization is completely voluntary, because it has become such a big part of our lives. These are some of the events that I have helped plan:
CISV Open Day 2016 – October 23, 2016
Open Day is an event where CISV organizes performances and presentations, particularly for the new members interested in becoming a participants. There are detailed explanations for all the different kinds of programs CISV offers, both local and international camps. I signed up as a staff for this event, and I was in charge of decorating the venue. The even took place in the Singapore International School PIK, so my friends and I had to plan the materials needed for the decor, and how we wanted to decorate the whole auditorium.
The decor team arrived at the venue the day before the event and spent the whole day decorating the entire place. Luckily, we were able to finish before dinnertime.
This is what the final venue looked like after we finished decorating.
I was really happy with how the decor turned out, and everyone else seemed pleased about it to. Through this event, I have been able to cover LO2: I undertake challenges, I develop new skills. This was my first time being put in charge for any event in CISV, so initially, I was quite nervous about being able to do so. Another LO that I have covered is LO3: I plan and initiate, in the few weeks leading up to the event, I had Skype meetings with my friends discussing and planning the decor, in order to make the venue look welcoming and fun.
Nusantara Camp in Purwokerto – December 18-24, 2016
Nusantara Camp (or NusCamp) is a local camp targeted towards children between the age of 10-16. A few years ago, I joined the NusCamp in Bali as a participant, so this time I wanted to try to join as a junior staff. As a junior staff, my role was to plan the activities and run them as well. The camp was located in a small town called Purwokerto, where we stayed in the hotel for a few nights, then we did home-stays in the village area for the remaining nights.
Our method of transportation from the hotel to the village area were pick-up trucks!
While we were staying at our home-stays in the village area, we learnt how to plant vegetables using a traditional method.
I worked with a staff group and although this wasn’t my first time planning an activity, I was still intimidated because I never planned for a whole camp before, and the people I was working with were a lot older than me. Nevertheless, we were still able to work well together, and all the activities went very smoothly. There were around 30 children in total, and all of them said they had lots of fun in the week we spent together.
The staff group waiting for the train back to Jakarta.
The camp allowed me to carry out LO3: I plan and initiate, having to plan activities for 7 straight days, as well as LO5: I demonstrate collaborative skills, I recognize the benefits. I was able to work with a group of new people there were around the age of 25-30, and we didn’t have any problems in terms of communication or dividing our responsibilities.
Youth Meeting Denver – July 16-30, 2017
Youth Meeting is an international camp that is usually 2 weeks long, I was lucky enough to be able to travel all the way to Denver, USA, with another friend of mine. The age range in this camp was 16-18, and there were around 30 people from 13 different countries, along with a staff group of adults to ensure that we followed the camp rules.
During the 2-week period, we were divided into planning groups of about 5 people, and each group was responsible for planning the activities everyday. The activities revolved around the topic of human rights, and they were either in the form of games, discussions, or anything else we could come up with. We were able to talk about issues that were happening around the world, and relate them to issues in our home countries. I loved being able to feel comfortable talking about these issues, as we were all like-minded people, and were able to respect each other’s opinions.
We all spent 2 weeks at the campsite, although there were 2 days where we had excursions for shopping days and to watch a baseball game. There was also a day called Local Impact Day, where it was a chance for us to help create an impact in the local area, Denver. For our local impact day, we worked together with another organization in the downtown area, where we all collected seeds from a flower endemic to the region in Denver, which were then going to be used for seed banks. The reason behind doing this is because these flowers are required for Denver to maintain its biodiversity in its mountainous area. Additionally, they are also required for farmers to be able to grow their crops and produce food for themselves, as well as for commercial purposes.
The local impact day allowed me to carry out LO6: I engage with issues of global significance, as the seeds we collected will be very useful in conserving the biodiversity of the region. I was also able to carry out this LO by discussing issues such as LGBTQ rights, freedom of speech, and poverty with people from countries of very different levels of development, and was able to look at certain issues with their varying points of view.
Nusantara Camp Balikpapan (December 17-21, 2017)
I participated in another NusCamp, however, this time I was a JC (junior counselor), my role was to act as both an adult and as a participant, I had to take care of the other participants. This time there were around 25 children, so there were around 6 people in each group, in addition to an adult leader.
This was my first time as a JC, so I was extremely worried about not getting along with the participants, especially since I wanted to be someone the kids would feel comfortable talking to. Fortunately, after only the first day of the camp, the kids already began to open up to me and I felt very comfortable around everyone. I was able to carry out LO2: I undertake challenges, I develop new skills, as this is something I would have ever imagined myself to be doing.
The theme of the camp was “Xplor Borneo!”, the reason behind this was because the staff wanted to raise awareness about the extinction of orangutans and honey bears in Borneo, caused by the deforestation of their habitats. We were also able to learn about the traditional ethnic groups of Borneo, called the “Dayak” people. In order to learn about the orangutans and honey bears, we visited a sanctuary and breeding site, where they provided a safe habitat for the animals. However, because these animals are too domesticated, a majority of them can never be released into the wild anymore, as they wouldn’t be able to survive. Visiting the sanctuary site helped me carry out LO7: I recognize ethical issues, I act ethically, as this visit reminded me about the biorights of animals such as orangutans and honey bears, and how they deserve to live as much as any other species.
Participating in many CISV events has allowed me to carry out nearly all the LOs, as mentioned previously. I look forward to planning and participating in more camps.