Child Focus Concludes Summer Camp for Saba Children

PHOTO CAPTION: During the summer camp, children took part in many activities such as swimming, slip and slide, cooking, hiking, outdoor games, basketbal land arts and crafts.

The Bottom, Saba – Child Focus concluded yet another successful annual summer camp for 89 Saba children with additional funding from the BES(t)4Kids program,

Child Focus hosted its annual summer camp from July 5 to July 30, catering to 48 girls and 41 boys. Activities included: cooking, hiking, outdoor games, slip and slide, basketball, writing workshops, arts and crafts such as nature painting, tie dye, making air dry clay. Every Friday, during the entire summer camp, the children took part in the “Beach Day” at Cove Bay for some swimming and a BBQ.

The children and volunteers also participated in special activities such as the annual Keep Saba Clean initiative of the Public Entity Saba on Friday, July 16. The children cleaned the area around the airport and the road towards Cove Bay. 

On July 13, a group of 57, which included children, parents, volunteers and coordinators, went on a day-trip to St. Eustatius. The trip was organized in collaboration with Statia’s Mega D Youth Foundation. The children attended a music parade there, followed by a basketball match, coached by Stanford Johnson, and the girls from the dance group performed with the help of their instructor, teacher Roxana La Flor during half time. 

A number of organizations and stakeholders lent a helping hand during the summer camp: Saba Nature Education (Michael Schillingburg – hiking), Saba Conservation Foundation SCF (Snorkel Club and Junior Rangers, as well as a summer internship program), Queen Wilhelmina Library (the location for the writing workshops), the Saba Association of Caribbean States Foundation (SACS) Foundation (Roxana La Flor – dance instructor), After School Care, Saba Lions (Mary Thielman – LCIF Peace poster activity). 

Typically, a group from Lipscomb University comes to Saba every year to assist with summer camp. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Lipscomb group was smaller this year, but the students were still able to offer a range of activities.

Lana Spry hosted a basketball clinic for grades 1 to 6 and Carly Spry hosted writing workshops at the library (Inspiration Station and Writing Wonders) for grades 3 to 6 from July 5to July 20. In the second and third week of July, Jeffrey Northcutt hosted gymnastics, Aletha Thomas hosted cooking and exercise/games, and Erin Gupton hosted crafts and assisted with a variety of activities. 

“In addition to our Lipscomb volunteers, we had a number of local volunteers, including teenagers who are interested in working during the summer period. This provides them with an opportunity to work with young children and foster responsibility within themselves,” explained Child Focus Program Manager Sapphire Ramkissoon.

For the 2021 – 2022 school year, Child Focus wants to introduce some new activities such as photography with Arts Coordinator Lindsey Clegg and tennis with Sports Coordinator Alejandro Garcia. Child Focus will also offer special workshops/events based on feedback received from the children during the summer program, such as tie dye, cooking and slip and slide. Child Focus will also offer its regular activities such as soccer, arts and craft, and dance (hip hop, jazz, ballet). 

Child Focus thanked BEST(t)4Kids for the additional funding that it received to extend the 2021 summer camp from the usual two weeks to four weeks. Ramkissoon also thanked the volunteers, coordinators and bus drivers who helped make the program enjoyable for the children on Saba.

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