ICOC Youth Corps Camp 2012
The ICOC Youth Corps camp for 2012 took off on an upbeat note in the sunny afternoon of August 5th. This year’s Theme was centered on Leadership and “Setting a Great Example”.
Over 300 preteens and teenagers along with 50 counselors and officials of the Camp set off in several BRT Buses, from the Church’s Ikeja facility, on what would prove to be an exciting adventure. The destination was the Home Science Secondary School, Ajegunle-Ilo, close to Sango Otta, Ogun State, where the children would spend 7 days in camp. The camp consisted of 25 corresponding teams of boys, girls and counselors. It was also split into 5 Houses – Red, Green, Blue, Grey and Orange Houses.
On arrival at the camp, that evening, the children faced the first task of settling into their rooms. Since the school was on vacation, several of the rooms needed heavy cleaning but the children and their counselors were up to the task. By 5pm, everyone had settled in and the children took in their surroundings – some drifting to the school field to play football, others learning choreography with Uncle Romeo and others still chatting and strolling round the premises. After dinner that night, the children were given a fair idea of what to expect. There would be very early Wake up calls at 5 am for Morning Devotionals, which would be followed by Exercise drills anchored by the camp commandant, Umar Mohammed. Classes would begin right after breakfast and run through the day with short breaks for lunch.
Leadership training was the main focus of the camp and the children were exposed to various aspects of leadership as the days wore on. Besides Leadership, the children were also steered in the direction of establishing solid relationships with God through a series of Quiet Time and Devotional studies that they undertook each morning and evening. The morning series centered on Godliness; the evening sessions focused on a variety of issues, ranging from Purity, to Respect, Grace, Seeking God and “Where am I with God?”
Monday August 6, began with sharp trills of the Commandants whistle as he rallied everyone for morning devotionals and the exercise routines. Kids woke up grudgingly, wishing they could sleep a few more minutes. The crispy air, chilled their bones as they ran laps around the school field and later did stretches and aerobic exercises, along with their counselors who also found the first morning challenging.
After cleaning up their hostels, bathing and dressing, they began the day with an opening class, “Going and not knowing”, by Mrs. Dele Chinedu. In her class, Mrs Chinedu, stressed the need for the campers to Trust God, their counselors and each other, as well as officials of the camp throughout the week, they would spend there. Using Acts 9:3-6, and some passages in Acts 20 as a reference, she said, “Trust is essential in this journey of discovery.”
Her class was followed by the first joint class on Leadership Training – Getting Acquainted and Remembering Names. Anchored by Ms. Bunmi Adeleye, Mrs. Folake Matuluko, Mr. Ibrahim Sulaimon and Mr. Emmanuel Ochai, this class was designed to help the children achieve more efficient interaction with members of the public confidently. They were also taught to use Mind Mapping to organize their thoughts and find solutions and plan better in every area of their lives.
The children were divided into their various Houses for these activities and it was interesting to see them respond articulately to questions and the practical exercises that came with each class. As they brainstormed, it was easy to see which children had greater ability to grasp the concepts being sold to them, and those who seemed at sea, in their understanding of the concepts.
Later in the day, the children went outdoors to stretch their limbs and participate in Games. The games such as Skipping, Hopping, and Breaking the Castle, attracted a lot of attention from the children who responded excitedly to the challenge of winning for their individual camp houses.
After dinner that night, there were several presentations on the Community Projects carried out by teens and preteens from the churches. The first night featured Surulere, and Island regions of Lagos church.
The second day of camp featured the usual Wake up calls, devotionals and exercise. Classes began in earnest after breakfast with a continuation of the LEAP activities. The sessions featured more practical, brain tasking activities as the facilitators rounded up the classes on Mind mapping.
This was quickly followed by a motivational class – Small Boss, Big Respect by Gson, a 28 year-old, motivational speaker and author. In the highly interactive class, Gson took the children down memory lane, sharing a bit from his childhood and life, and then teaching then to command respect at a young age by harnessing their talents and using them to earn an income. Seeking out children talented in the areas of Drawing, Singing and Dancing, he got the children to perform. Afterwards, he taught that Talent and its appropriate use, as well as confidence and Creativity, as well as wise Decision making would take them far in life.
A class on Career and Ethics, which focused on passing down values such as contentment, hard work, integrity and honesty followed. It was facilitated by Mr. Adegbola Abiodun and two other officials from Junior Achievement, Nigeria. Using a case study on Kanayo, a young, naïve boy who fell into bad company and suffered dire consequences, the facilitators urged the children to be ethical in all they do.
Dancing, an activity that children love came up with senior and junior boys and girls contest. Counselors also participated in this activity.
Lunch was followed by a craft or skill acquisition session in which the campers learned to cook Okro soup, make hair accessories and do beading, as well as make chin- chin. Sports and outdoor games followed the lively skills sessions. The children began their football, volleyball and basket ball tournaments, while others continued with the track and field events.
That night, the presentation of community projects continued with Egbeda’s presentation. Churches outside of Lagos – Ilorin, Calabar and Warri also made interesting presentations. Calabar received a standing ovation for spending time with orphans and cleaning their orphanage. Warri teens decided to leave a lasting mark at the orphanage they cleaned by planting flowers and also giving the inmates, clothes, shoes, books and toys as well as other supplies which they got from their own homes.
Egbeda’s team had the tough job of cleaning toilets and handling sanitation exercise in the badly maintained Community Primary School, Igando, Alimosho.
Gift, a preteen who was part of that exercise later related in an interview, the frustration the team encountered as they had to clean the toilets several times on different days because of the ingratitude of pupils in that school, who kept missing up the environment especially the toilets. “It was so hard,” she said. However, the team had a great time teaching the pupils to respect their environment. “I was one of those who killed the snake, we saw when we were cutting grass,” Gift said with a twinkle in her eyes
Wednesday heralded the much awaited visit from officials of Microsoft Nigeria. Prior to the visit the children undertook an interesting class on Values, anchored by the usual facilitators. The children learned through lectures and exercises, the different types of values and how they as future leaders could put these values to use in their lives. They were also given tips for exam success and smart reading techniques.
The Microsoft class was an anticlimax as the representative Mr. Ugochukwu Nwosu chose to give a pep talk rather than introduce the children to computers and software. This in part was due to challenges in the venue. However, the children were consoled during the Question and Answer time as they received gifts including Web Cams, Computer Mouses and Headsets/Earphones from Mr. Ugochukwu Nwosu and Microsoft.
In the evening, Project presentations continued with Ikeja sharing love and celebrating birthdays with children in an orphanage; Shomolu Mushin giving back to the society through the donation of 3 First Aid boxes to primary schools in their neighborhoods; painting blackboards and parts of the schools, as well as cleaning up the environment.
The teens from Ogba Agege were not left out as they cleaned an orphanage and sensitized the children resident there on pollution and environmental protection. They also cleaned and repaired some slabs as well as replaced the sign board at Stadium Junior Grammar School.
Ilorin Teens and their counterparts from Oshodi Isolo also made presentation that night. The Oshodi teens beautified a school with plants, while Ilorin reached out to neighbours.
In his closing speech for that day, Mr. Gbemi Williams of HOPE WorldWide and camp Coordinator commended all the teens and preteens for their work. He stated that the kids could transform Nigeria in the future by the rate at which they have worked.
Thursday began bright and clear with the usual activities. After breakfast, the kids settled down to classes on Public Speaking and Leadership Confidence. Again it was a highly interactive class with children answering questions and then doing various exercises. One exercise saw the kids delivering impromptu speeches and another saw them holding each other’s gaze for 10 seconds without blinking or looking away.
After a short break the children settled down to learn basic safety measures. They were taught by a team from the Nigerian Red Cross who taught them how to handle accident victims, perform resuscitation procedures on accident victims, and manage wounds.
Valentine Tarawaliu, a teenager from Ogba Agege described the class as interesting. “Anybody can have an accident and we may all need help one day,” he began. I learned a lot in that class, the DRABCD process, resuscitation of accident victims, how not to just bundle accident victims into a vehicle but to perform basic first aid measures; cover up wounds and handle serious bleeding, he said.
Later that day, Mrs. Joy Essien, a counselor took the children through the rudiments of baking, after which they resumed their sporting activities for the day. The day came to a close with dinner and more community project presentations.
One thing to note is the fact that the children did not only learn theories of leadership but they learned practically through taking turns to clean the rooms, bathrooms; clear their tables and wash plates and cutlery, as well as cleaning their immediate environment daily.
The spiritual aspect of leadership training was not left out. The daily devotionals enabled the children to understand Christianity and God better. As the days went on, the campers had to do soul searching and their vulnerability increased so much that they confessed sins and weaknesses to their campers. Some expressed fears, while others vowed to live better lives and get closer to God.
Friday saw the campers learning about Sex Education. There were split classes for boys and girls. These classes were further broken down into Teens and Preteens. As the children learned about the need for abstinence and reproductive health, they asked many questions and received adequate answers from their facilitators – male and female counselors. It is noteworthy that the classes were highly animated with children participating vibrantly – asking questions and making observations.
That done, the children were taken outdoors to prepare for the Community Service Outreach. One group went to an orphanage to entertain the residents, clean up and present gifts. The larger group marched out of the camp and to Caroline Estate, a stone throw from the Camp. There they cleaned up the premises of the community Health Centre which was badly in need or cleaning. The campers, cut grass, did weeding, cleaned toilets, windows and other parts of the health facility before presenting gifts for needy patients including clothing materials and food items.
Campers were orderly as they marched back to their camp proudly, looking good in the various house colours. It was a good day.
The finals of the sporting events were held with Grey House emerging First with the detail below
Grey House: 6 Gold, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze
Green House: 6 Gold, 3 Silver and 5 Bronze
Orange House: 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 3 Bronze
Red House: 3 Gold, 1 Silver and 5 Bronze
Blue House: 1 Gold, 8 Silver and 3 Bronze
After dinner, talent came on display as various groups of boys and girls sang and danced. Some also offered comedy skits and Drama. It was truly an exciting time. The finals of the dancing competitions were also staged and later the camp held its 2012 Bonfire night before lights out.
Saturday, August 11, the final day of the camp began with devotionals and environmental sanitation. The campers were allowed to sleep until 6am, when the commandant’s whistle broke the stillness of dawn.
It was a big day as awards were given out to children who had distinguished themselves in various areas as well as outstanding counselor, the background officials and all who deserved them.
21 Graduates, who will not come for next year camp due to their ages, 18 years and above
1st Prize —–Egbeda Region
2nd prize——-Calabar & Warri
3rd Prize——–Surulere & Somolu Mushin
50 Meters (Junior) Boys——
Gold—Chiazor Onyedikachi—————–Green House
Silver—–Clinton Onuoha——————-Grey House
Bronze——Tope Ajao———————–Orange House
50 Meters (Junior) Girls
Gold—————-Ochuko Esievo——Grey House
Silver————–Mudiaga Obuole——–Orange House
Bronze————-Ivy Omoruyi—————Red House
100 Meters (Senior) Boys
Gold——-Abiola Femi-Shofu—————–Green House
Silver———Gilbert Emetolu——————Orange House
Bronze———-Tom Olufowobi———————Blue House
100 Meters (Senior) Girls
Gold—-Esther Ajufo———————–Red House
Silver——Queen Eyo———————-Blue House
Bronze——-Gladys Wogor—————–Grey House
Female Counselors 100 Meters
Gold/ Rita Ofoku——Green House
Silver/ Gloria Igbuku—–Blue House
Bronze/ Bunmi Adeleye—-Red House
Male Counselors 100 Meters
Gold/ Romeo Eyo—-Grey House
Silver/ Olaitan Odulaja—Green House
Bronze/ Sunday Moses —Blue House
1st Prize——-Angela Chinedu (Grey House)
2nd Prize———Oyindamola Olayonu (Green House)
3rd Prize——–Lipeonu Undie-Adie (Green House)
1st Prize—–Precious Okoro (Green House)
2nd Prize—–Oluwatobi Sanni (Grey House)
Best Camper in Sports
Male: Abiola Femi-Shofu (Green House)
Female: Esther Oyewolu (Blue House)
Best Counselor in Sports
Male: Romeo Eyo (Grey House)
Female: Augusta Obasa (Green House)
Best Behaved Camper
Male: Tobi Osagie (Red House)
Female: Amaka Okpara (Orange House)
Most Serving Camper:
Male: Kind Etta (Grey House)
Female: Patience Igbuku ( Grey House)
Most Sociable Camper:
Male: Olaosebikan Ogunyemi (Green House)
Female: Timilehin Adebule (Green House)
Most Outstanding Male Counselor——–Romeo Eyo (Grey House)
Most Outstanding Female Counselor———Joy Essien (Blue House)
The 50 Counselors, 2 Doctors and Facilitators were awarded certificates
Mr. Ndubuisi Eke, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Churches of Christ in Nigeria, addressed the children after breakfast. Speaking Mr. Eke shared a bit about the challenges he faced growing up and encouraged the children to stay close to their parents and never give up on life. He likened the campers to an aircraft about to take off and urged them to resist any form of distraction in life. He added they should focus on their goals, and gave them some encouraging key words to ponder. These include Impact, Leading, Presence, Vision, Mission, Love, Trying, future, Greatness, ambition, Doing to mention a few.
The camp came to an end with the award ceremony which saw many receiving recognition for their performance in the weeklong camp. It was a time of mixed emotions as the children said goodbye to their friends; packed their bags and walked to their different buses. Some children cried while others hugged their friends tightly promising to meet again, God willing at the next camp.
Chukwuma Ajufo, a teenager from the Asaba church, reviewed the camping experience. He described it as lovely. “I appreciate how we were split into rooms and table groups regardless of age or where we come from. There was a bond and we became so close. We did not have anyone ‘forming’. The classes were nice and the sports so great. I loved the environment, even the performances by campers were good, we saw so many new talents, like Amaka who did the Ballet,” he said.
Susan Okam from Port Harcourt said she learned a lot of things and enjoyed the camp. Asked what she learned, Susan, said, she learned a lot especially, “Where I am with God; I learned to be content, to set a great example, to be more loving and also I came to understand the Mercy of God.”
Some award winners also spoke. Angela Chinedu who won the Best Dancer award for Junior Category said she was very excited when she won. “Camp was fun. I really enjoyed the sports and I would like to come back again next year, she said.
Olaosebikan Ogunyemi received the award for the most sociable boy on camp. Why was he so sociable? “I just felt that I should reach out to people and make friends, because I came here not only to learn but to touch people.”
In closing, Mr. Chris Ogbonnaya, Lead Evangelist of the International Church of Christ in Nigeria, asked the campers to show gratitude to their parents and to the counselors and camp officials. He commended the camp officials and handed a medal of honor to Mr. Gbemi Williams for his untiring efforts at making the camp succeed. He said Mr. Williams was the humble but strong force behind the project and praised him for his hard work.
Ogbonnaya also commended Mr. and Mrs Olaolu Karunwi, Teen Ministry coordinators for their steadfastness in pursuing the church’s dream of a fruitful Teenage ministry. He award the couple medals for their service and asked the campers to give them, as well as Mr. Gbemi Williams, a standing ovation.
In closing he promised the delighted campers, that, “Every year, as long as we live, we will have the youth camp”.