2012 Telem Camp

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“I am my parent’s child” Radio workshop with Veralyn Williams: Campers interviewed their parents, other family and community members on the topics of childrearing practices, education and immigration.  They explored how their experiences are similar and/or different to those of their parents and other community members.  They then created 2-3 minute audio postcards sharing these stories, which were then distributed to the Telem community and other organizations interested in learning about how to lead a similar workshop. Listen to their stories!

We are grateful to Citizen’s Committee for New York City who provided a grant that allowed us to expand our workshop for maximum impact. We are also grateful to African Services Committee who donated space for us to host the workshop prior to camp and to Courtney Stein of WNYC Radio Rookies who assisted with the workshop. Thank you!

Career discussions: Dr. Bola Omotosho, Oncologist; Ms. Colleen Plummer, Physician Assistant and Ms. Tamika Andre, Marketing and Media Manager joined our campers over lunch and dinner for informal discussions about their professions and provided advice on what the campers should be doing now in order to achieve similar goals (e.g. performing well in school).

Explorations in Science with Cathy Beasley: In this hands-on workshop, campers uncovered the unexpected with everyday materials. Campers created slime from scratch using dyes and other chemical. They explored physical and chemical reactions with dry ice. Campers combined ingredients to create a substance that is both a solid and a liquid, a polymer called slime. Using dry ice, water, detergent, and a straw, students made frozen CO2 bubbles. The solid ice changed directly to a gas which is sublimation! What do sodium polyacrylate and a diaper have in common? The material used in diapers is sodium polyacrylate. In this activity campers described properties of this matter, sodium polyacrylate, and observed how it reacted to water- sodium polyacrylate. By mixing chemicals we normally find in the kitchen, campers demonstrated a physical and chemical change producing homemade whipped cream. Yummy on top of some homemade brownies!

Film screening and discussion of African Booty Scratcher (ABS) and Bronx Princess: Nikyatu Jusu, the Sierra Leonean-American filmmaker of ABS and Rockyatu Otoo, who was featured in Bronx Princess joined the campers as we screened both films exploring parent-child relationships and the challenges children of African descent grapple with while growing up in the Diaspora, straddling many cultures and trying to fit in.

Photography workshop with Brennan Cavanaugh: Campers learned to pay attention to the type of shapes, colors or images that interest them to better understand and/or develop their photographer’s eye. Brennan shared work by African photographers to help inspire them. Campers’ photos are included in the Telem Camp DVD. We are grateful to Ghislaine Ouedraogo Ametchie, Jillian Bloom, James Cavanaugh, Michael Joseph, Kate Malone, Diana Musa, Jennifer Paolicelli, Suzanne Podberesky, Heather Scott, Peter Shapiro, Atinisia Sheriff, Thomas Sullivan, Etrel Torne, John Wilkinson who made camera and/or financial donations to workshop. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Self-awareness/Self Esteem with Agatha Pratt and Joan Lassalle: Using a combination of ice breaker activities and role playing, group discussions/exercises, campers discussed the meanings of self-awareness and self-esteem. They learned why it is important to develop self-awareness, explore the different types of self-esteem & their effects and learn some secrets to improving self-esteem.

Sewing workshop with Etrel Torne and Sue Coleman: Campers learned about different types of African fabric/cloth including Print and Gara/Tie Dye from Sierra Leone, Kente cloth from Ghana, Mud Cloth from Mali, and African Wax Prints from all over the continent. They learned that different types of cloths are sometimes worn at different occasions, e.g. everyday wear, weddings, official functions, naming ceremonies, funerals, etc. Campers then selected one of four different types of fabric to sew a tunic, using a sewing machine and hand hemming techniques. Many thanks to Pauline Pratt and Samuel Owuse Sekere who provided valuable information on certain fabrics and when/how they are worn. Thank you to Sue Coleman who compiled the research into an information guide for the campers to take home with them.

Storytelling and song with Cynthia Richardson: Campers learned about the historical connection between the Gullah Geechee people of the South Carolina low country/sea islands and the West African nations of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Angola. Campers explored some of the cultural traditions and practices that persist to present day- including storytelling and basket weaving styles and song. Campers also learned the lyrics of a song recited today by the Gullah people and the Mende people of Sierra Leone. Ms. Beatrice Moigula of Mende heritage joined the workshop and brought a traditional musical instrument for the campers to explore and also shared pictures and stories of her life in Sierra Leone.

Youth Excelling in Speech Debate workshop with Stephanie Arthur & Rockyatu Otoo:Campers learned about debating, the key roles on a debate team and debated the topic of Social Media and its Negative Impact on Youth. Campers were then broken up into two groups to research and present the affirmative and negative sides of the argument. The workshop concluded with a stirring debate between the two teams. We extend our sincerest thanks to Stephanie Arthur of African Leadership Project for leading this valuable workshop.

Vision mapping with Moiyattu Banya: Campers worked on visualizing their futures and how to make it a reality. Using magazines, journals and other arts and crafts, they discussed their life goals and used vision mapping to represent their dreams in a visual state. At the end of the workshop participants understood what vision mapping is, its importance and learned how to create a vision map for their own purposes. We want to thank Moiyattu Banya of Women Change Africa for empowering our young women.