Hurrah! Here we are! The summer camp “Kindness in Action” held its first session!
Summer finally came to Perm and it is time to recover after a hard school year as well as for new interesting meetings and impressions. Our summer camp is called “Kindness in action” and it combines the opportunity to spend time in an active, educated and healthy way.
The name of the camp reflects its main idea: every participant came a long way after searching good qualities in themselves of their implementation of volunteering.
Volunteering as a way of living is one of the most important postulates of our organization. Children and teenagers who come to us don’t have a well formed moral and ethical base. That’s why they are often lead by negative peer pressure, fall into bad company and even commit crimes. These kids have a lot of free time and no parent control. The problem is that they don’t have adults in their close surrounding who could listen to them, support and guide them onto the right path. By treating children with care and respect we create a dialogue and manage to balance their inner state and wellbeing.
The first session of the summer camp was experimental for children. Together we explored our inner potential, where everyone tried to find their positive character traits. At first children found it difficult to see something positive in themselves, because it required a deep introspective and to analyse themselves. However, by listening to each other they found something precious and valuable in everyone. Kindness as an essential personal quality was our leader!
Then, all together they thought about how to develop their inner potential of kindness. As a result, we elaborated an easy, but effective formula: “Volunteering is a kindness in action”. It turned out that everything is so easy when you help others from your heart and free of charge! This way you make yourself a great person!
«The garden of nightingales near the Uinka river» was unanimously chosen as a place to put children’s volunteering potential into effect. Every participant of the summer camp brought bird feeders from their homes. Then, we filled the feeders with seeds and set them up in the forest. The children also helped to make paths along the river. They sprinkled the paths with gravel and levelled out the gravel. This was done by the children to help them understand the process of making asphalt. First, you need to put the gravel to the path, and then, fill with cement. It's usually done by workers and with special equipment. The children just took part a little bit, they threw some gravel without hard work. The main idea was to show them how it's done and to make them understand the importance of labour.
After this action we strengthened our knowledge about volunteering making a portrait of a volunteer and pointing out his/her most important professional qualities. During all the session our pedagogues were helped by “real” volunteers, students from the Perm Universities, Roman and Anatoly, and our German friend Niko from the partner organization “Memorial”.
The children saw an example of how our simple formula works: “volunteering is kindness in action”. At the end of the first session of the summer camp we talked about other perspectives of volunteering activities in other countries. Every child chose a country within a framework of the volunteering year abroad and one of the directions: ecology, working with people or aid to animals. Helping to save the sea turtle population in Australia was the most interesting program according to the children. Now they really want to achieve their good intentions and try their best for the benefit of our planet.
See you after the 2nd session of the summer camp!
P.S. We are very grateful to the department of the general and clinical psychology of Perm State University and the Perm department of the international community “Memorial” for the strong friendship and long-term cooperation!