Camps help teens shape their futures

An ever-increasing number of youths are participating in the continuing Youth Services Unit’s summer camp. Combining educational aspects, career planning, and fostering national pride, the month-long initiative is attended by some 50 teenagers – with numbers increasing each week.

While the focus is on employment preparation and career paths, next week’s emphasis will be on woodwork. The final week will allow youths to hone their culinary skills.

In addition to the YSU staffers, a range of volunteers are assisting. For instance, Wray Banker is leading an art mural project; the Protocol Office held practical lessons and the Department of Employment Relations assisted with résumé preparation and job-searches.

Mr. Roy Bodden also lectured on national pride and civics; Scouting’s Executive Commissioner Winston Hayle offered guidance to youths, and National Drug Council representatives spoke on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

This programme uses workbooks that were developed by YSU using some content from the NDC’s ‘Fearless Camp’ and the National Youth Commission’s ‘CareerShop’ which have been hosted in past summers.

YSU Director Katherine Whittaker commended the involvement and effort of the young people, and encouraged others to take advantage of this initiative, which is offered at minimal cost.

She said that in addition to the adult coordinators, some classes are being co-directed by youths, including young high school graduates, and current university students. They are sharing their recent experiences, and guiding the youths’ summer coursework.

For instance, Kari Bush of the class of 2008, took time off her summer job to help guide peers’ preparations for the ‘real world’. She intends to pursue university studies shortly. Natalie Dyke, another young leader, is on summer break from her overseas studies. She also led a group of teens for several weeks.

The young participants represent a cross-section of Cayman’s youth, from various districts, and schools. They are enjoying this unusual opportunity to interact and make new friends.

For more information on the programme, please contact the Youth Services Unit at 943 1127.