Camp Life in Morocco
One of the first projects I worked on after swearing into the Peace Corps was a spring vacation overnight camp at a school in the town next to mine. Three other volunteers, two of which also new like me, and myself took on two back to back camps of around 100 kids. After a weekend of being violently ill and working a 3 day eye glass clinic way up in the mountains, I set off for 10 days of camp. When my sitemate Nthando (the only experienced volunteer of us all) and I got into the crammed taxi to set off for camp, Nthando assured me that he had it all under control. We arrived at the boys’ dormitory where we would have camp and met the other two volunteers, and the 3 Moroccans that we would be working with. Three colleh, goofy, young men who were there to help keep the kids in line and run our activities.
We sat down for our first meeting and all turned to Nthando to direct us. He reached down for some rolls of paper and a notebook. Essentially our plan was to wing it as we went along. We created a rough blue print of how things would flow. Our activities included English classes, field trips to a local carpet co-op, dagger co-op, the fire department, oasis, and a local rose product shop, field day, a talent show, earth day clean up, and more. Our resources were limited and our surrounding terrain was pretty barren but we made it work.
The camp was a combination of lost in translation, miming, ridiculous fun, and what in the world is going on moments.
Here are some photos from that experience.
Decorating water balloons for our field day event.
Planting Olive Trees at the local Dar Chebaba or youth house.
Gathering the trash the campers cleaned up during our Earth Day event.
Burning the trash. This man was one of our Moroccan counterparts and he had me take this picture. He hoped the flames would look like his hair.
Dance performed to "Waka Waka" at the end of camp.
Group shot at the end of camp in downtown Kelaa M'Gouna.