Over Spring Break, a few of our Senior School students returned to campus to run a soccer camp for students in Grades 4-7 and to raise money for an important cause. This is the second year the SMUS Athletics Council has raised funds through a sports camp for the locally-based organization Opportunitas Aequa.
“It’s related to Athletics Council, because it’s about helping war affected youth in Africa by donating sports gear, all to do with soccer,” says co-head of Athletics Council Austin Smith. “The organization we’re supporting has gone to Rwanda, and Ecuador, built fields there and helped communities learn to coach kids.”
The SMUS Athletics Council ran the camp in conjunction with the Education Extension Office, which runs programs for children over the summer, spring and winter breaks. The Education Extension office handled the registration and administration, but the students led and organized the camp itself.
“I was really impressed by how well-organized and well-prepared they were,” says Director of Education Extension Dawn Wilson of the student leaders. “All of the kids seem to have had a fantastic time.”
For the two-day camp, Austin and seven other volunteers led 16 kids in a series of activities, including dodgeball, four corner games and t-shirt making (with prizes for creativity). Overall, the camp was focused on soccer, but it was also about having enjoying being active.
“We did a few drills where they learned some things, but it was mostly fun and games,” says student volunteer Annie Pike, who plays soccer, basketball and volleyball at the Senior School.
For the Athletics Council, the camp is a great opportunity to expand their activities into the service realm and outside of the SMUS community. Austin, who helped bring the first camp to fruition last year, hopes that it will become a tradition.
“It was fun working with the kids,” says Annie. “They were really enthusiastic about the activities we were doing and they also seemed interested in what the charity was actually for.”
“The kids were really having a good time,” agrees Austin. “Everyone was involved, no one was isolated, and the group bonded really well. Everything we were doing at this camp is reflecting to what their goal is to do over in Africa.”