Our first ever May team was a huge success. Eleven volunteers arrived in St. Lucia on May 7th and immediately got to work.
Our first stop was a morning visit to the Canaries Pre-School were we played games with the children, read stories, and enjoyed being together. We even used a parachute in the parking area of the old service station across the road!
We immediately shifted into camp mode as the courtyard was converted to our space station.
For 5 days of Saturdays and Sundays, the campers came down to join us as we learned all about our solar system, space travel, and rockets. The whole team got involved in acting out the skits, doing crafts, playing games, community time, and then heading down to the beach for sand play, soccer and swimming in the beautiful Caribbean Sea.
On Sunday our 13th volunteer arrived just in time to switch gears again. We spent Sunday evening making sure everything was ready for our Monday morning arrival at Canaries Infant School. We ran a 5-activity rotation that kept every student and teacher involved using a turtle theme. There was turtle science, crafts, games, math, and literacy activities that featured Canada’s own Franklin!
The conditions were very hot and dusty but the volunteers did a super job of keeping the students engaged. Recess was spent reading and playing. By lunchtime we were ready to return to the house for some quiet time and a great meal from TiTi, Joanna, and Katie.
On Friday we created special activities that began with a community challenge around the village to answer questions. Both students and teachers enthusiastically led the volunteers around the village. Part of the challenge was to deliver donated medical supplies to the village health clinic along with a commode chair that was carried through the village by the Grade 2 students.
After a great first week in the school, camp began again Saturday morning with some children arriving by 7:30. The Junior Leaders did a great job of helping, continuing many of their summer jobs, including making Sunday morning pancakes with Uncle Scott!
We celebrated Mother’s Day in St. Lucia by helping the campers to create cards and gifts for their mothers. We were able to let the campers select from a wide variety of toiletries to create a bag of goodies. We also found creative ways to share t-shirts, school bags, and flip flops that had been donated.
Sunday at noon we had to say goodbye to 5 volunteers as they headed off to the airport for home. The campers gave them a great send off but we were sad to see them go.
Monday morning the remaining 7 volunteers returned to the school to become classroom helpers. We were not quite sure how this would work out but we all felt it had been very worthwhile and the timing was perfect.