GLOW Camp Version 2.0

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So I just got done with my second GLOW camp of my service and man was it exhausting! This year’s group of girls were great but there were some that just didn’t mesh very well with the GLOW mindset. This year proved to be very challenging and by the end of it, I think we as facilitators did a great job of working with the circumstances and being much more flexible with the participants than we ever planned to be.

The first challenge that we encountered was that one of the girls was sent to GLOW camp as a punishment. Mind you, we designed these camps to be a catalyst for change and non formal education. We base them around learning life skills, and promoting volunteerism so when we heard that she was here on punishment and that her dad filled out the application we were shocked and honestly didn’t know how to react. It was a challenge that we had to face and I am happy to say that by the end of it, the participant got something good out of it like learning to be more patient.

This year’s group of girls were big on going to the local “magazin” (shop) to buy random junk food and snacks. This was also something that we were taken aback by since we provide all the meals at the camp along with various healthy snacks and deserts. We did end up letting them take a trip to the magazin on the way back from the hike where they almost bought out the entire store and came back to camp with stuffed backpacks. We had a few issues when it came to food preferences that at some points drove us and the ever so patient kitchen staff crazy but, we managed to get through that as well.

Finally, the last and probably most important issue we had was a virus. We had a virus go around that affected about 80% of the participants and all of us facilitators that caused us to expel our food from either orifice. The bug lasted about a day for most and then everything was better. We did have to send some girls home that got hit really hard and weren’t getting much better. We still aren’t sure where it came from or if somebody brought it with her. All we know is that it wasn’t from the food or the water because not everyone got sick and we all were eating the same things and drinking out of the same faucets. Due to this, we also used up a lot more toilet paper than we had planned and the 3 bathrooms that were available never sufficed and someone was always left waiting in agony for a stall to open up.

Enough about the bad stuff! The girls were great, honestly. We all had a blast and I wish we would have been able to fit more sessions in but we got the big ones in that we wanted to such as communication, teamwork, sex ed, body image, and project design management. Reading the evaluations that the girls left us, there are a lot of positives and many things that the girls have taken away from this camp so i’d chalk it up as a success.

Currently i’m hanging out an extra night in Agas because my train was running late which would have caused me to miss my connection in Miercurea Ciuc. Even with Miha’s wonderfully drawn bubble letter sign that I used to try to hitchhike in, there weren’t many cars on the road at 8:30 pm headed 60km away to M.Ciuc so I decided to just try again tomorrow. Maybe it’s for the better that I have to stay another night because now I have the opportunity to watch the USA vs SRB waterpolo match (GO SERBIA) and I get to hang out with Miha in peace and quiet for an entire day since I won’t get to see her until next year’s GLOW camp.

2 responses »

  1. No TP or a place to sit? Yikers! I really sympathize. It sounds like you guys had quite a challenging time. I certainly don’t envy you living it, but there’s always things to learn from such experiences.
    I do suspect a bit of food poisoning. Not everyone would succumb to it, in any case. But you weathered through. It will e a story told in years to come as a badge of honor. Brava.

    • Not enough places to sit! And yes, it was rough. I don’t know if it was food poisoning because it didn’t occur after a specific meal and the menu was so differentiated that the same batches of ingredients were not used more than once.

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