We were happy to see all who sat expectantly - some of them no doubt thinking whether it was worthwhile sitting through a `camp’ during the summer vacation when they could be elsewhere enjoying themselves.
It was to be noted later though that one student confided how her involvement in the summer camp prevented her from running away from home. When quizzed further, she reported that she planned to do it on her mother’s birthday as a punishment to her for favouring other family members and ignoring her wishes. She said that she just wanted somebody to listen to her problems instead of punishing her all the time. In fact, the whole programme had “the need to belong and to raise the level of self-esteem” as the significant theme running through it.
Dr. Bailey addressed the issue of addressing and managing conflict. This was well received and also solicited a positive response from the presenter who was extremely happy to share in this whole experience.
Constable O. Grant, the School’s Resource Officer (SRO) spoke on “Weapons” indicating that they could be both good and bad. Importantly, the SRO elicited a different response from students who were first exposed to two officers with their guns who had come in prior to the SRO. In the words of one students: “whe im a go wid him gun”. They were therefore relieved when the SRO addressed them and was able to have a session that in the end turned out to be inter-active and very rewarding.
Ms. Harris, a science teacher from Papine High School, addressed the theme: “Adolescence, Teen Relationship and Sexuality. At first, students were very reluctant to entertain having a teacher from their own school but initial fears soon subsided when the session got underway and students realised that the teacher was one in whom they could confide to whom they could relate.
Many times during the camp, I asked the students what they wanted to be in the future. A few boys responded by telling me that they wanted to become some very important persons in life. There was no response from the girls. But when it was time to give us feedback, one girl came up and told us that she had no definite career plans. If, however, she got a chance to study further, she would become a lawyer. The other girl told us that she will become a teacher. If it was the summer camp with which elicited such a response, then we should indeed be happy! It is worth placing on record the fact that one of the female students from the project, who was in line for expulsion, following the intervention programme, placed first in her class and is now a member of the schools Hockey team).
When students disagreed or felt anger towards each other, their basic functional reaction centered on how disrespected they felt and how they generally felt put down by others. (Cognitive). On one occasion, a student was experiencing a bout of asthma attack and this very debilitating condition led him to demonstrate intolerance to his friend. He claimed this other student was just fooling with him at the wrong time. As simple as this may seem, it nearly led to a physical confrontation.
The participants from time to time demonstrated that they were in a relaxed mode, a kind of atmosphere where they felt a part of something they actually liked and enjoyed. When we asked about their feelings, which we did from time to time, the students were quick to point out that with the coming together as we all have done, they felt a certain `freedom’, like the freedom to say what was on their minds. Another student interjected that he wanted an explanation why some people cannot “mek yu explain” before jumping to conclusion that: “a yu a di t