A guest-sponsored children’s camp was held at Davison’s in July when an American family sponsored and hosted 20 children and two accompanying teachers from Mpindo and Jakalasi Primary Schools…
Davison's Camp lies deep in Hwange National Park, in the south-eastern Linkwasha Concession. This is a classic African tented camp nestled beneath a grove of false mopane trees, overlooking an open plain and a productive waterhole. From 4th to 7th July 2015 a guest-sponsored children’s camp was held at Davison’s when an American family sponsored and hosted 20 children and two accompanying teachers from Mpindo and Jakalasi Primary Schools.
On arrival the children were welcomed by the family, the CITW team, Davison’s management and guides. Tents were allocated according to sex and age. To encourage inter-school networking and knowledge-sharing each tent had a mixture of children from the two schools. In the tents, faces brightened as the children opened their gift bags containing two T-shirts, a cap, toiletries and stationery. In addition the sponsor family gave each child a fleece jacket, a pair of socks, a pair of gloves and a woollen hat. The children were delighted to receive the clothes which kept them warm from day one until the last day of the camp.
One thing I will remember about camp was the herds of elephants coming to drink water at the watering hole – Aletta Tshaibe, Mpindo Primary School
At the beginning of each camp, the children are taught basic Camp Rules before being divided into three separate teams; on this camp the teams were Team Pumba, Team Lion and Team Elephant. The family’s children were also part of the team members and they worked well with their team mates, designing posters and formulating war cries.
During the course of the camp, each team worked through a variety of team-building activities and games which are aimed at being both fun and educational, as well as aimed at increasing the children’s understanding and appreciation of the diversity of their natural environment as well as encouraging them by demonstrating the opportunities that exist (learning skills such as how to make up a bed in the guest tents, or working with the kitchen staff and learning to bake, or learning how to change a tyre with the workshop staff).
Each day, the children participated in “morning energizers” which include simple exercises and yoga, or fun games such as “Impala Cheetah” which helps warm up everyone in preparation for an exciting day in Hwange National Park. Teams enjoyed educational game drives with their Guide and Mentor, where they learned about birds and insects and how they fit into the circle of life, before returning to camp for structured lessons based on their day’s activities.
The wilderness areas are important to us because it shows us how animals feel and it makes us to know more about vegetation and animals – Fiona Tshuma, Mpindo Primary School
On the final evening, a fun quiz was held to test the children what they had learned during their stay in camp, the three teams battled each other and the after the quiz each child was presented with an attendance certificate and a SASOL field book.
The three days on the camp passed in the blink of an eye, and it was a sad moment saying goodbye to the children on their final day. The children were given parting gifts by the American family in the form of a backpack which contained stationery and candy.
Many thanks to the Salem family who sponsored the camp and the Wilderness family who worked tirelessly to make the camp a success!
One word that describes my feelings during camp? “Enjoyed” – Nonhlanhla Chisale, Mpindo Primary School
By Shuvanayi Taruvinga