It was a long 12 days with lots of travel on both ends, but the Healthy Lifestyles Working Group’s first annual Camp SLAM (Strengthening Lifestyles and Minds) was a success! 56 campers and 17 PCVs gathered at the Костянтинівка (Kostiantynivka) Agricultural Technical College in the Donetsk’a Oblast for five days of lessons, sports, team-building activities, English practice, and competitions.
We taught our campers lessons on healthy lifestyles, drugs & alcohol, nutrition, sportsmanship/teamwork, respect for ourselves, & respect for others. We introduced “American” sports: baseball, football, and ultimate Frisbee. There was an ongoing volleyball tournament that the yellow team (the “Crazy Bananas”) won, and the campers’ All-Star team beat us PCVs! I was morning activities coordinator and so wasn’t responsible for a team but led morning yoga, which the kids seemed to really enjoy.
Overall the camp was hugely successful — though the week wasn’t without bumps, our Ukrainian hosts were wonderful, the campers enjoyed themselves, and we athletic PCVs got to go for morning runs together. Thank you to those who donated to our grant and helped make this camp possible! You can check out the Camp SLAM blog for lots more pictures.
After camp a few of us spent a couple hours in Donets’k, the 5th-largest city in Ukraine, basically owned by a billionaire who patronizes the FC Shakhtar Donets’k (Шахтар Донецьк) — their stadium is incredible and looks like it doesn’t belong in Ukraine — and has built up the city quite a bit. If only he would share that wealth with the rest of the country to improve roads and transportation and other infrastructure…