27 Jun Week One of Summer Camp 2019 at FHC
Today was our first day getting all of our new students and introducing them to different topics that we would go over at our camp. We started with a circle up and we got to know new things about each other like what our favorite vacation place was, or what three things we would bring on a deserted island. we introduced ourselves with our name grade and what school we went to. Then we went to orientation where we learned the rules and safety precautions.
“I don’t want the a’s, the b’s, the c’s, the d’s or the f’s. none of that.” said one of our camp leaders, Terrance, who earned a couple laughs from the students. Naomi, another one of our camp leaders, then proceeded to talk about the dress code and consequences explaining them with great detail.
After orientation we took a tour around the farm, led by Benjamin Pearson, our farm manager. He introduced us to the different crops that are grown and what they did to compost. He also introduced us to the lovely chickens on the farm and how they usually take compost by storm and turn over most of it when they’re let out of their coop. Most of the students were mesmerized by the chickens and took a liking to them.
After our tour we had an amazing lunch provided by Chef For Hire. We had greens (a mixture of chard, kale, and spinach), corn, and
When we finished our lunch we had a photography teacher, Paul Best, teach us his theme for the pictures. His theme was: Forgiveness. But, before his lesson we played “Cool Cat Wants a Corner” if you are familiar with “Kitty Wants a Corner” that was the concept of the game. There were a lot of collisions towards the end and the students bonded more was they played. After the game we went back to our tent and started the lesson. At the beginning of the lesson he gave us a quote to analyze and find the meaning of.
Then we sat and talked in our small groups about what that quote meant to us and we delved into some pretty deep topics already connecting us through some of our shared experiences. Paul then gave us steps to forgiveness, telling us forgiveness isn’t for the person who wronged you, its for you so you don’t have to carry the weight of it anymore.
We got assigned our teams, we were put into 6 groups. Red 1, Red 2, Blue 1, Blue 2, Yellow 1, Yellow 2. Right after our team assignment, we went on another tour to our Orchard and Unity Park. When we got to the orchard Ben, started explaining what would be done over the summer because the grape vines were overgrown they needed to be trimmed back. He let the students try the raspberries and most gave a scrunched face because they were sour. Ben also picked some early grapes and let the students pass the bunch of grapes around. Some of the students picked the apples from the apple trees and tried them and the apples were sour because they hadn’t been grown all the way.
We then moved onto Unity Park. Terrance talked to the students about how Unity Park started and why it was called Unity Park. He also talked about what Unity Park meant to him.
We had lunch back at FHC and it was provided by Chef For Hire.
Paul came again and we talked about the struggles in our community and how that has affected our everyday living, bringing about more deep topics. We talked about what we could do to change the community and make it feel safer. we talked about black on black gun violence, littering, mental health, and suicide. We talked about how people don’t feel safe walking the streets as much anymore and how people don’t want talk about the struggles their going through.
Today was our first day of work! Our students got to get assigned beds to weed and water. a lot of our students were surprised of how much work went into keeping our garden in prime condition. After 3 hours of working they got to have lunch again provided by Chef For Hire.
Paul then came, along with some Seniors from Edna Martin Christian Center to talk about their experiences with forgiveness. The Seniors gave wisdom about forgiveness and how even though its hard you should forgive, because you’re going to regret not forgiving someone.
They talked about people they had to forgive and how difficult it was. They talked about changes they would like to see in their community and help they would want. The students asked them some amazing questions trying to get as much wisdom as they could.
We had the Greyhounds from Carmel High School help us weed and mulch our farm to make it more beautiful. The Carmel Basketball team interacted with our students, learning more about their lives on the East side of Indianapolis. Aster Bekele, our director, wanted to get across to them that everything that has made Felege Hiywot Center what it is has happened because of volunteers and without volunteers help it wouldn’t be what it is today. We also had Universal Roofing donated their help to fix our roof, and they finished it all in 1 day!
They also helped us clean the lot behind our main property and built us new benches! We are so grateful for the help we got and now our Center looks amazing!
We continued to work in the beds and had a lot of fun.