A Mini Camp with CISV

We are about to send our 11 year old daughter on her first CISV Mini Camp and I can’t tell you how excited I am for her. At that age, we already had gone to several school and sailing camps. I would love her to experience the same fun as we had. 

CISV camp

She, on the other hand was not thrilled at all. I got THAT look -you know what i mean, right? – and she simply said “no thanks”.

Of course I understand her initial reaction.  She has never been away from us, aside from sleepovers with friends and a night away with school. It would be her first multi-night camp and she doesn’t know anyone else going. I can imagine she is a bit hesitant.

As a parent, I admit to be a little nervous as well. Is it safe? Will she make friends? What if she gets homesick? But I know we need to let her do this.

Kids her age undergo so many changes, they grow into teenagers, and sometimes lose the confidence that very young children naturally have.  I want her to continue feeling she is capable of doing anything that comes on her path.

We parents learn from it too…to let them go on their own, and know they’ll be ok without us. This CISV camp will be a great first experience for all of us.

CISV camp

CISV

Child psychologist Dr. Doris Allen founded the Children’s International Summer Villages, or CISV as it’s known today, in 1951. She envisioned bringing together children from all over the world to learn to respect different and common values and cultures.

CISV International has since grown into a global organisation offering educational group programmes and activities dedicated to peace education through cross-cultural friendship. CISV now operates in more than 60 countries. 

In the Philippines, CISV has 5 local chapters: Manila, QC, Baguio, Bacolod, and Cebu. Each chapter hosts and sends participants to local and international programs.

CISV camp

 

creating friendships with all people from all over the world, and bringing about positive change in the world

I had heard of CISV before, and I got intrigued when a parent said that her 11 year old daughter was about to go on a month long “Village” camp abroad. Her older kids were helping to run the Mini Camps and she herself joined the Village camp when she was young. She is still assisting as a volunteer.

Others had similar stories, so it had me thinking that this camp must be something special for several generations to participate and volunteer in, on a recurring basis.

A lot more than just a fun camp

I decided to research a bit more and found that a CISV camp is not just about making new friends and having a great time doing fun activities. This camp adds a lot more body to it.

 

I love CISV’s purpose because this is what sets it apart from others. Although the programs that we have are fun and an amazing way to make new friends, the foundation of it all is really one of the best things about camp for me. Its way of teaching kids as young as 9 years old about “big topics” -like human rights, conflict and resolution, sustainable development, and diversity – continues to fascinate me and make me love CISV more to this day,

says Annika Coscolluela (17) who joined her first mini camp as a 10 year old. She has since participated in more than 10 mini camps and is now one of the junior staffers who help run the camps.

CISV camp

After seven years of being in CISV, I can definitely say that I would not be the person I am today without the different people that I have met because of it. I have grown as a person through sharing a common love for the organization and its purpose with amazing people not just from the Philippines, but from all over the world.

Annika recently came back from being a Junior Counselor for an International Village in Bacolod, and she’s going to be a Junior Staffer for the upcoming 12-14 Mini Camp in October. 

It is incredible the impact that you can make on a life in the short span of 5 days. But it really is surprising when you realize how much the kids have learned, and how much you learned from them too.

What a great role model she is for our kids!

 

What programmes does CISV offer?

No matter what age, CISV has opportunities for you to participate and volunteer. They hold Mini Camps for 9-14 year olds to get a taste of what CISV has to offer, or for those who want to stay close to home. The Village is for 11 year olds going on a month long trip abroad. Teenagers can join the International Youth Meeting, Step Up or Interchange. For older kids there is Seminar Camp.

Important to know is that CISV camps are in general non-religious camps. However, all religions are welcomed and everybody is free to practice their faith. Here is a more detailed description of what CISV has to offer.

CISV camp

CISV Mini Camp

The Mini Camp is what we have in mind for our daughter. This camp is held twice a year, at a professional campsite in Laguna and is organized by the CISV QC Chapter. It is a perfect first camp for kids who – like her – have not been on a multi-night camp before.

CISV Camp

Rosanna Guidotti is the camp director for the upcoming mini camp and is one of the most experienced volunteers in CISV.

Some kids have joined several mini camps because they love it so much! And since dynamics change with each group of kids and staff, the camps are never the same.

The children will do all kinds of fun, sporty and creative activities while learning about this year’s theme ‘Human Rights’. At night, there are bonfires, they’ll sing together and for those who worry about missing out on Halloween…guess what, you won’t! 

CISV camp

The campsite in Laguna is a big and secured camp site with a pool and a football field. The kids sleep in the camp house with max. 10 children per room which is air-conditioned. Boys and girls sleep in separate rooms. The camp has it’s own security guards.

Since CISV has extensive experience organizing these camps, the staff is well trained and fully prepared for medical emergencies, cases of homesickness and other issues that may occur. We feel she’ll be in safe and experienced hands.

I hope our daughter learns that she is capable of doing things she could not imagine doing before, and have fun along the way!  It will instill a confidence in her, that is for life.

If you’d like the same experience for you child, register below! Make sure to sign up before October 13.

CISV Mini Camp Details

Date: October 28-November 1, 2017

Deadline: sign up by October 13

Age: for 9-11 and 12-14 year olds

Location: Laguna

Fee: Php10,000

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CISVQC

Website: www.cisv.org.ph

Sign up: http://bit.ly/minicamp2017

CISV mini camp

All photo credits: CISV QC Chapter

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