On September 23, YMCA team members Stefan Petrovski and Marcus Harris boarded a bus for Mavrovo National Park where they were greeted by an enthusiastic class of ninth graders for the annual “Week Without Walls” program at NOVA International Schools. The week started with a series of energizers where our camper groups A, B, C, and D had the opportunity to test their team work skills and athleticism via a game of capture the flag. This teamwork experience set the stage for the upcoming leadership courses focused on discovering and working with different leadership styles.
Wednesday was particularly special where campers and teachers focused exclusively on service. The day started with a clean-up action around the Mavrovo Lake, and continued at the campsite with a service simulation project. Upon returning to the campsite, all teachers embodied their inner-actor and played fictitious characters representing various community members around “NOVAville”. The task for the campers was simple: identify the community needs, develop a service project proposal, and negotiate with the needed community members to raise the funds needed for the proposed project. Each team developed incredibly creative project proposals focused on: city beautification, environmentalism, music and arts promotion, and special needs education. However, the week did not end there.
On Thursday, the Scouts brought sunnier weather and a series of outdoor activities for the campers. Over the course of the day, the scouts introduced campers to wilderness skills including practicing archery, setting a campfire, and working together to solve a scavenger hunt. And before long, we were back on the bus home to Skopje Friday morning.
From all of us at YMCA, we hope that all campers enjoyed their Week Without Walls experience at the Mavrovo lake. And for all the aspiring leaders at camp — remember that you’re never too young to make an impact, you’re never too young to start your own service project, and most of all — you’re never too young to be a leader.