In August BOL held a summer camp for vulnerable teenagers within the framework of Be Different Program. Since the number of participants in the program in the past year has doubled, the team separated the camp into two shifts over ten days, with 195 teenagers (aged 10-16) taking part.
As always, the camp program served as an introduction to the main theme of the year. With the theme in 2014 being Goal Setting, during the school year different approaches of setting and achieving goals were discussed and practiced by teenagers with help from the team. The main topic of the 2015-16 year is The Character and Good Habits; hence, all activities within the coming year will focus on personal development and character.
The camp is a great opportunity to influence teenagers in a qualitative and deep way as well as providing them with joint recreation and sporting time. Time at camp allowed for a proper mentoring approach, with the whole program organized so that mentors could devote sufficient time and attention to each child and discuss the issue of character from different perspectives. The effectiveness of this approach can be evaluated by feedback the teens gave the team at the end of camp.
“This time in camp helped me realize that the best choice is to invest my time and energy in real relationships, rather than fake material things...” Dasha (11)
“I was surprised to see how insolent guys, who used to prove by force their strength and positioning among others, were suddenly treating Alex (the disabled boy) with special, almost brotherly care. They helped him dress, played with him, laughed together and protected him... This I call: changes in character.” Vitaly (boys’ group leader)
I started to evaluate my behavior and deeds, which were not always good. So I do not want to offend others, but to respect them, listen to and trust people. I will try to be brave, and not step back into the same problems! Valentina (14)