A three-day camp held for Vision AfriKa Vlottenberg’s new Grade 8 intake has taught participants not only how to set targets for themselves, but also the value of team-playing.
The theme of the event, which took place at the end of January at the Kanonkop wine farm in Stellenbosch, was ‘life mapping’ – or setting goals in order to provide individuals with enough direction to fulfil their dreams. After arriving at the campsite on the slopes of the Simonsberg mountains, the learners, who were attending camp for the first time, were informed of the rules.
They were also invited to pick sleeping spots outside in an open field under the trees, an invitation that they all accepted, even though they weren’t very happy about it.
After 10 minutes or so, however, the students were informed that, in fact, they wouldn’t be required to sleep outside, but instead were to be given lovely rooms with laminated floors and soft beds.
The lesson for them here was to not just blindly accept what they are told, but to challenge things it if they don’t think they are right or fair.
The next activity was intended to help the learners develop more of a team spirit. As a result, they were divided into teams and asked to take part in traditional ‘Boeresport’ games such as three-legged, sack and egg-and-spoon races as well as bobbing for apples.
The final item on the agenda, meanwhile, was a night hike. Although some of the students were initially scared at the prospect, they all took part after the idea of ‘potential’ was explained, that is, everyone has the potential to become what they want to be.
Next morning, the learners started the day with a healthy breakfast and some exercise, before participating in a range of sessions to explore the main ‘life mapping’ theme under six key headings:
1. Dreams – everyone has them
2. Potential – each student has the potential to become anything they want to be
3. Responsibility – every learner has to take responsibility for fulfilling their own dreams
4. Targets – they need to be set if individuals are to achieve their short- or long-term goals
5. Obstacles – some will inevitably come along to deflect you off course
6. Support – what Vision AfriKa is there to provide.
Because a key aim was to make their learning experiential and fun, an obstacle course was set up to illustrate the term ‘obstacles’, for example.
This activity helped to demonstrate that there are usually a number of different ways to solve problems and that it is often about simply looking at the issue in alternative ways. By working together, however, the students also learned the importance of effective communication; of helping and guiding one another and of taking responsibility for their own actions in order to benefit the rest of the team.
This ethic manifested itself in that, at the end of the weekend, each learner took the time to clean their own sleeping area and collaborate with their peers in cleaning the wider campsite too.
For information about the Vv branch contact [email protected]