July 4, 2016 – Monday

Good morning and Happy Independence Day, ‘Murica. Rise and shine for the first day of camp.

With supplies in tow, we headed off to camp. Again, the parking lot was full of campers, this time, all dressed in crisp, new ETE camp t-shirts. We headed into the auditorium where Shaina opened up camp with a welcome, staff introductions and attendance.

Following that, campers trooped down to breakfast. After a camper led prayer, they enjoyed “pan ak manba” (bread and peanut butter) and Haitian coffee (which is very sweet, very different than your average Dunkins’ so don’t worry about these kids enjoying it!)

Following breakfast, the learning began with students rotating through literacy, math, engineering and leadership classes. Each class, with the assistance of junior counselors, was led by camp staff, completing name games, learning English words and commands, and quickly picking up the various camp songs. Following lunch, recreation time involved a review of the songs, the familiar “Jac a Di” (Simon Says) and the new “Tik Tok Boom” (similar to hot potato) which looks to soon be a camp favorite.

While everything has gone according to plan, there have been some minor setbacks. Construction workers are paving the parking lot, thus extra precaution is necessary when directing students to and from restrooms. It also limits the amount of outdoor space we have to play outdoor recreation games. Nevertheless, we were able to work around it with adjustments.

Back at the house, afternoon relaxation led to Geraldine and junior counselor, Taphael, leading “How to speak Kreyol” class. Jess PF and I tackled several rounds of Connect Four. We also told fun college stories to Geraldine as she preps for her first year at Brandeis and overall, shared content with a successful first day of camp.

–Jess D.

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