(SKNIS): The eagerly anticipated Annual Summer Residential Camp of the Department of Youth Empowerment was officially declared open on Monday (July 17), kicking off two weeks of fun and learning.
The theme for the July 16 to 30 event, being held at the Beach Allen Primary School, is “Empowering Our Youth to Soar for Much More; Summer Camp 34.” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Stanley Knight, highlighted the theme and the programming for the next two weeks that include cooking, airbrushing, cosmetology, painting, arts and crafts, traditional drumming, music, disaster management and other areas as well as educational field trips.
Mr. Knight referred to the early years of local sprint icon Kim Collins when he served as his coach. He explained that he saw the raw potential in Collins and was keen to develop it. As such, the duo spent many hours together training, which on some days began at 4 a.m.
“If you begin now to understand your desire, then you have to begin now to understand the type of hard work that it takes for you to achieve what you want to achieve,” he stated. “… Regardless of what teachers you have; regardless of how much money your parents have; regardless of what you had for breakfast or didn’t have for breakfast. Whether you soar or not is going to be determined by how hard you work, and what this camp is going to teach you is to work hard.”
The permanent secretary added that while hard work was necessary it must also be accompanied by a strategic plan.
“What you do must make sense and that is important because I will tell you this, the police will tell you, some of the group leaders will tell you, unfortunately a lot of persons are doing things right now that just don’t make much sense,” he noted. “So I want you all as you work hard over the next two weeks also to figure out what makes sense.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Youth, Honourable Shawn Richards, welcomed the campers. He expressed that government invests quite a bit of monies every year towards the camp and remained committed to developing young people. He signalled that this initiative was an excellent tool to do so as it allows full time access to 200 campers for two weeks.
“Whatever you learn during the camp, we expect you to use those skills, not just for your own personal development but to build your communities, to build your families, and to build the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,” he stated.
The deputy prime minister thanked the many persons who volunteered and said government was appreciative of their national service.