Once the Training of Teachers (ToT) concluded, we had just Friday evening and Saturday morning to prepare for the 60 campers’ arrival. This involved decorating the camp a little bit more than we did for the ToT. Inspiring posters were created and hung, ribbons were tied or draped in classrooms, the refectory and the Salle (auditorium). Some of the more artistic teachers used colored chalk to draw welcoming signs in classrooms and outside the Salle.
|Ribbons adorning the refectory|
|The Salle with artwork to welcome campers|
It also involved creating “Affirmation Bags.” Students were encouraged to write words of praise for their fellow campers and drop them in the campers' affirmation bag throughout the week. At the end of the week, campers were surprised to read so many little expressions of praise.
|Teachers decorate "Affirmation Bags"|
|Affirmation bags lined the classroom window ledges|
|Affirmation bags in their festive splendor|
Tote bags also had to be prepped. IBM donated tote bags, notebooks, pens and pencils for campers. Each bag was stuffed with these school supplies plus a roll of toilet paper and a bar of soap to last the week. They also had a colorful strip of cloth called "ibitenge" attached to them. Campers were grouped into "families" of 6 campers. Each family had their own pattern of ibitenge cloth which they could wear any way they wanted. The colorful cloth made it very easy to determine if campers were in the right place.
|Lauren negotiates ibitenge prices at the market in Kigali|
|The line-up of bags for campers with their varied ibitenge cloth|
|A close-up of a single bag shows the masking tape used to label bags with campers' names|
|dozens of mosquito nets drying in the courtyard|
|The bus after unloading the first group of 30 girls|
|First group of girls checking into camp and preparing to take the camp pre-test|
|Elisabeth and Liz checking girls into camp|
|The second group of 30 girls arrived after dark|
While waiting for campers to arrive, many teachers began a spontaneous dance party in the Salle.
|Teachers dancing in the Salle while waiting for campers to arrive|
Whether waiting at the bus stop all day, or decorating camp it was a tiring day. Yet, people's spirits were high heading into dinner the first night of camp.