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August 5, 2011

“I Believe” – Summer Arts Camp 2011

Categories: Music

“I Believe”
Summer Arts Camp 2011
Maracas, St. Joseph

As promised, this is my note on the Closing Ceremony of the recently concluded Summer Arts camp.

Today was only my second encounter with the Camp during its three-week-long duration. It was my opportunity to see the produce of the initiative taken by Darrel Daniel and company.

For the sake fairness, I must mention that I arrived at the venue quite late, and missed almost half the program: reaching just in time to do my pieces. So I am due for some stripes; and I apologize greatly to the organisers for my tardiness. I’ve always made it a point in my recaps to call out lapses in punctuality, so I will totally accept my ‘buse’ here.

After getting through my two pieces, I sat down and took in the presentations of song, drama and choral speaking. I must comment that the music at the event was very tasteful and enjoyable… I guess no less can be expected from Darrel and company. Kudos to the drummer (a young female drummer, haven’t met her…) who kept it simple, and was alert to what was happening. Drummers should be alert and responsive.

The drama was quite enjoyable, being well supported by tasteful musical tracks or musical accompaniment. I think the children really enjoyed the drama and choral speaking aspects.

Of course there was a bit of hesitation by some of the children… reasonable, as it could be quite daunting to perform in front of audiences – especially for the first time.

Now the part that hit home for me was distribution of Certificates and Awards. Darrel, the camp director, did this segment by calling the children up one by one, and then enlightening the audience on the children’s gifts, how they performed in camp activities, et cetera.

Now I believe that the camp of itself did a lot for each child. They did Art and Craft, learnt/played music, visited a Senior home and performed there, played games, and more. But this particular segment had the most gripping appeal to me, and could well have been the icing on the cake.

As each child came up, Darrel mentioned the spiritual gift(s) that he saw manifested in him/her (Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, Patience, Gentleness, et cetera). He mentioned what the child would have done in camp: for example, caring for others, making sure everyone got lunch, leading out in activities, befriending others; and tied it into their spiritual gifts.

I can’t express adequately in words the tremendous impact that this had on the children. You could see it in their faces; and the undiscerning eye could have missed it. Those powerful words of affirmation countered the negative voices that they have probably heard throughout their short lives – from other children, from adults, from the media, even from their parents. Here was someone saying – you are somebody, and this is what I see in you… and God placed it there. This was a time-stopping moment for me – for in that time, Darrel acted in God’s behalf: blowing off the dust that had gathered around the precious gem of the heart, showing them the beauty to be found there.

Which leads naturally to my second point. It takes a heart of love to see past the externals, and focus on the deep. To acknowledge, yet surpass the reality – and work patiently to get the desired result. This is what I learnt from the I Believe Team this year. Staring at the reality for too long will get you discouraged… it is that we should work day by day, with patience, diligence and steadfastness, to acquire the best in, and for our children.

All growth comes from a work of time, patience and dedication.
Lastly, I learned a quick lesson. Recognition/awards in life come after you’ve been living your values for sometime. In other words, we don’t live our lives for recognition or awards… we’ll get them along the way, as God allows. The children probably didn’t know they’d get awards, and I’m sure they were surprised to receive them. Let them come… in the meantime, focus on living the values.

Thank you team, for making a tremendous impact in the lives of the children who participated this year, to the other persons who attended, and to me.

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