Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Persevering with the Junior Camp Ghana project via St. Augustine's College


After the successful organization of Junior Camp Ketasco and the implementation of Junior Camp Kalpohin, the next in line was Junior Camp Augusco. Cape Coast has always been a hotbed of educational institutions and it was prudent that it would host one of the earliest Junior camps. The +Barcamp Cape Coast team was bent to follow through a career guidance and mentoring event as part of the +Junior Camp Ghana project after the +Barcamp Ho and +Barcamp Tamale teams had taken the lead. St. Augustine's College became the third school thanks to the efforts of its teacher +agent wilson seyram ameamu amongst others. Junior Camp Augusco happened on July 27, 2013. The key learning here is teachers can really help drive ideas and solutions home.

+nathaniel ALPHA who had organized the first junior camp had just taken a leadership role on the project. Nathaniel is quite the vimful guy. He's a fresh graduate out of Keta Secondary School and is bent on taking the Junior Camp goodness to senior high school students around the country. We share his vim, especially +Mawuli Tsikata who also volunteered to lead this project. Nathaniel was the only mentor at Junior Camp Augusco who had been to any of the previous two events; it surely helps to have someone with the event experience at the next. He is reaching for change so as to make more senior high school students smile. The GhanaThink Foundation hopes to scale the Junior Camp Ghana project around the country and it might likely hit various other regions before the +Barcamp Ghana project does.

The call for mentors yielded about half of sign-ups being based in the Cape Coast area, with the rest being in Accra, Kasoa, Saltpond and Takoradi. We tried to get some old boys to participate but those who were interested in it were based in Accra and unavailable. These fine gentlemen lent their support though - Barcamp Ho lead Eli Aidam, +Derrydean Dadzie+Felix Tetteh & +Ebenezer Laryea. The mentors who were present at St. Augustine's College included +Elorm Billy-Awittor+Kobe Subramaniam+Dominic Hotor, +francis kumadoh and +David Abbey-Thompson. They were joined by Rachael Atorkey, Chris Orlando, Wisdom Kwashie and George Atta Quainoo. They mentored in matters around Student Life, Multimedia & Design, IT, Education, Nursing & Medicine, Literature & Writing, Blogging, Finance and Talent Management.

Augusco was the first same-sex school that we were having a Junior Camp at. I was personally wondering how that would play out in having mentors from the opposite sex involved. Turned out the lone ranger, Rachael, was very comfortable dealing with many teenage boys. It's believed that most students are not allowed to have phones at their school - St. Augustine's college. The students loved the event so much that their thoughts and expressions ended up on Twitter. A lot of those were captured in this Story by GhanaThink on Storify. I'd leave the Storify story to give a better recap of what happened at Junior Camp Augusco. You can see more pictures from the event on the Junior Camp page via Elorm Awittor. Big ups to Seyram Wilson for leading on this from the Augusco side. You could tell from the feedback from students that they really appreciated Seyram bringing the mentors to them. Interestingly, Kobe has been working and tutoring some of the students there. One of the outcomes of the event is for some of the students to develop apps.

We are excited about the possibility of more Junior Camps in Cape Coast especially. It's almost a race to see which school comes next. We believe in scaling this by interest; organizing Junior Camps where the school authorities want this. A lot can be built upon the Junior Camp project to increase engagement with senior high school students in Ghana as well. If you are an educator in Ghana or are interested in Ghana's education space, join this Ghana Educators Google group. Speaking of Cape Coast, it's first ever TEDx event is coming soon. Check out +TEDxCapeCoastEDMore vim to all the educators out there ensuring young people in Ghana are being educated and exposed to make right academic and career decisions. Follow the Junior Camp Ghana project and stay tuned for when a Junior Camp comes to your area in Ghana or to your alma mater!
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