This week we head out to our first summer camp session in Dariganga Village for the year, and for some Volunteers this will be their last. Alex Yang and Elaine Law, my wonderful fellow Volunteers who I have lived with these past two years, are finishing up their Peace Corps service after camp and heading back to America in July. I will miss them like crazy, but it will be a lot of fun to spend the next ten fun days together at camp with over 100 crazy kids!
After months of planning, writing and organizing we will have almost four times as many children at camp this year as we did last year. In 2009 we had 60 kids in one 10-day session, this summer we have 110 kids in our first 10-day session and 120 kids in our second. We are expanding in every way, with counselors, PCVs, fun games and stuff for the kids, and much more. This has required a lot of hard work and included:
- Receiving a $1000 grant to improve curriculum (including HIV/AIDS and life skills lessons), provide scholarships for disadvantaged children and expand helpful community programs
- Receiving a $500 grant to improve water quality for the children at summer camp and
- Developing a 37-page Summer Camp Toolkit to help PCVs and counselors improve summer camp programming all across Mongolia
The focus of everything is the children - what is best for them and what will help them enjoy an incredible camp experience. I'm very proud and excited to see so many more children able and ready to attend camp this year in Sukhbaatar. When I return in twenty days I will be sure to put up tons of pictures like last year, I know it will be an exhausting and amazing time for all of us!