Summer Camp, 2014

On Thursday 10th July 2014 I, along with seven other team members, headed out to Romania to run two summer camps for Boxes of Hope, Cumbria together with five members from the People to People Foundation, who are based in Oradea, Cumbria. The children attending these camps had received shoeboxes sent by our supporters in Cumbria last Christmas.

The first camp took place at Dumbravita Du Codru with 40 children aged 6 – 12 from Tinca School. We had two interpreters and three teachers from the school who cooked fantastic meals for everyone.

Each day started with a hearty breakfast, followed with everyone meeting together in a barn. We sang songs, had visits from International Sports stars (aka Tom and Nathan!), played games, inside and out (weather permitting), did crafts and then the children had some free time before lunch.

After lunch the children rested for an hour which gave us time as a team to prepare for the next lot of activities. We had taken many, many resources with us, which were all received with enthusiasm. We decorated calico bags, took polaroid photos of all the children and decorated photo frames, did hama beads, made loom bands, friendship bracelets, colouring, badge making, played ludo, dominoes, snap, football, team games, parachute games, party games, plaited hair, went for walks and finished the week with the most amazing bonfire, singing songs and toasting marshmallows.

We were all very sad to leave the camp. We visited Tinca school and some of the children of Class 0, which is supported by Boxes of Hope, Cumbria, came into school. We spent time getting to know these children – some of whom had been to camp with us, and their amazing class teacher, Dana. What an inspiration this teacher is – her love and passion for her job was extremely apparent.

We moved on to Padurea Neagra, a camp for 40 children from the village of Alparea. Some of the children were unwell when we got there, as they had been travel sick during their first ever journey in a vehicle! The age range here was 3 – 16, which at first proved to be quite tough, but we all soon settled down together.

We did much the same in the way of activities (by this point we knew which things went down really well!), apart from a new activity of icing biscuits and going for a long walk to find an elusive waterfall! Again we made lots of friends and had tearful goodbyes. We followed these children back to their village and were greeted like long lost friends. The children took us into their homes, brought their siblings to us in the hope of receiving sweeties and we looked around the school which is undergoing a major refurbishment.

We left lots of resources for both schools and we left with lots of fantastic memories, new friends and a desire to go back and do it all again…..after a bit of a rest!!

The camps were made possible by the generous donations of individuals and groups, fundraising events, (dance nights, auctions, treasure hunts, quizzes), donations of gifts, such as washbags and their contents and discounted rates from local suppliers.

And finally, thank you to all the members of the team who willingly gave their time, energy, enthusiasm and love for these amazing children. We all left a little piece of our hearts behind.