North Jordan Youth Leadership Camp

Award Amount: $280.00
Volunteer(s): D. Rosenblum, K. Schott, V. Ram, N. Christiansen, J. Todd, A. Brezinski
Locations(s): Mafraq
Governorate(s): ,,
Dates(s): June 2009
Participants: 45 males, age 14-16

Now in its third year the Ajloun Summer Camp expanded its area to include Mafraq students in its activities.  Students participating in the Teamwork Camp not only completed English activities but also sharpened their groupwork skills.  With funds received fom the Friends of Jordan PCVs arranged transportation for students from 7 different villages in the Ajloun and Mafraq areas.  8th and 9th graders from these villages completed criticial thinking and group work activities.  The activities challenged the students not only to think creatively, but also to work with new students and make new connections.

The program was designed to provide a setting that allowed students to meet other students and create new friends, and participate in different activities and games that encouraged developing leadership strategies, teamwork, and critical thinking skills.

The first event that students participated in was a serires of ice-breakers.  Students were divided into small groups and introduced to a variety of activities designed to reduce nerves and encourage participatioin.  Some of the ice-breakers the campers participated in included the ‘human-knot’ and the ‘name-game’.  Additionally, supervisors and camp volunteers were assigned to participate in each group in order to encourage and promote a higher level of interaction and trust between the students and program leaders.

After the completion of the ice-breakers, students remained in their groups and were presnted with a set of brain-teasers and puzzles.  The purpose of these questions was to promote critical and creative thinking amongst the participants, encourage communication and teamwork between team members, and provide leadership opportunities for the various students who spoke as team-leaders or offered explanations and solutions to the puzzles.

Other group activities that the campers participated in included a ‘team-race’, ‘up-jenkins’, ‘blind-dodgeball’, and ‘team air-soccer’.  All of the games were designed to promote and encourage a variety of skills sets, including teamwork, communication, critical listening, and leadership.  All of the activities allowed for interaction, teamwork, and communication between participants.  During the ‘team-race’ for example, all 35 camp participants had to work together in order to finish an obstacle course as one group at the same time.  In ‘blind-dodgeball’, campers were paired into groups.  One camper was blind folded, and had to follow the specific instructions of the partner in order to locate or dodge other teams.

In addition to the various events and activities, the participants also were treated to a group lunch, and provided with an opportunity to reflect on the days events and provide feedback.  By creating a post-camp survey in both English and Arabic, the volunteers and camp supervisors were able to develop a list of the most and least populat activities, and create a set of recommendations and areas of improvement for future camps and similar programs.



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