Camp Fihavanana involves a group of individuals who have a strong desire to make a difference within their community. The students are exposed to different activities that challenge them to work together as a team. Our recent goal was to complete a four hour hike! This incredible adventure gave us the opportunity to encourage one another. Students looked after each other and no one was left behind. Walking through the slippery mud was a struggle and many of us slipped, but we got back up and continued our journey. Reaching our destination filled us with joy and a strong sense of accomplishment. The purpose was to show the campers that with time and effort it is possible to reach your destination.
There are lots of obstacles that these students must overcome in order to pursue the education that they need to reach their future career. Sometimes it is difficult to keep a dream alive when you don’t have easy access to the resources that will give you the experience to succeed. As camp counselors, we want to inspire them to believe in their potential and commit to the tasks given to them. Although many of the campers were tired they kept a positive attitude and didn’t complain. They understood that complaining wouldn’t get them any closer to completing the hike. There were multiple times when I felt that my body was giving up on me and my mind was beginning to doubt whether or not I would reach the top, but these kids stood by my side.
Developing relationships with these students has been an honor. They are respectful, young individuals who show their appreciation by listening, participating and asking questions. Camp Fihavanana did a great job recruiting them and hopefully they see the value in this organization. Seeing how excited they are to visit the US embassy and a college in Antananarivo reassures me that being a part of this camp wasn’t a mistake. Being the first official camp in Moramanga, puts pressure on Camp Fihavanana. There are different standards and expectations that have been set by the students, parents, and leaders. I am confident that as a community we share a common dream: to prepare these students so that they have the leadership skills necessary to move forward with their education.