April 26, 2015

Tabara: Big Brother Big Sister

1. Village of Roades where the camp is located; 2. Lesson on Integrity (theme for the week);
3. Decorating mugs to exchange between big/little brothers/sisters; 4. Playing Flying Dutchman; 5. Decorating camp shirts
I have been home from camp for one week, and I miss it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 
Camp (Tabara) was fun, amazing, incredible, and not something that I can sum up in a handful of adjectives. I think one of the best things about it was the fact that it wasn't "camp in Romania"...it was just camp. Meals together, group devotions, a treasure hunt, an obstacle course, silly games, songs, lessons, talent show, daily foosball, helping in the kitchen, late night chats, etc. Just camp.

1. Silly group photo after the obstacle course; 2. Games with visitors; 3. Camp bonding with red noses;
4. My favorite "little house"; 5. Obstacle course - build a house challenge
 As I shared in a previous post, I have been working with one of the social workers at Veritas on a Big Brother Big Sister project. This camp was for the kids and teen volunteers who are participating in the project. We had 7 kids and 7 (8 later in the week) volunteers. They got to spend a lot of quality time together, which was great. There were activities geared toward Big/Little Brother/Sister bonding, but also just for the kids and volunteers separately. 

1. Gorgeous scenery on our way to the obstacle course; 2. Nonverbals! The volunteers had to arrange themselves in order of their birthdays...without talking;
3. Steluta (Social Worker) and some of the kids and teens; 4. Foosball...every day, multiple times a day;
5. Charades; 6. Leap frog challenge during treasure hunt; 7. Morning exercises; 8. Helping in the kitchen with my pal, Lacramioara
I was in charge of the lessons/workshop time with the teens/Big Brothers and Sisters. We used a book called, "It Takes Courage", which includes chapters about creating a vision for life, communicating effectively, building healthy relationships, and making wise decisions. We focused on the chapter about Creating a Vision for Life. The activities required some self-reflection, and the teens seemed to take it very seriously. We had some fabulous times of sharing, and really bonded as a group. I'm thankful to have been able to start that discussion with them, and I look forward to working with them to continue creating vision for the lives. Those eight teens already hold a very special place in my heart. I was sad to leave camp and not be able to spend so much time with them. However, the building blocks of those relationships were being set up, and now it's fun to see the teens throughout the week when they come to volunteer at Veritas. I'm confident that the relationships will continue to grow during my time here...and beyond.

1. Again, the beauty never gets old; 2. On our final day; 3. Treasure hunt challenge; 4. Obstacle course photo op
Aside from lots of fun and relationship building, I was also able to practice my Romanian quite a bit while at camp. I can understand so much more now, and speak a TINY bit better. I'm just happy to be making progress! Almost all of the teens speak English very well so it was fun to chat with them in English, while also having them help me with my Romanian. 

Overall, camp was the best. Such a good summary, right? I don't think I mentioned this, but originally, I wasn't going to be able to attend the camp. I was just going to help plan it due to limited spots. However, God had a plan...and perfect timing. I'm so very thankful to have been able to spend a week with the leaders, kids, and teens. Definitely a week of my Romanian adventure that will forever be remembered. 

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