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Campers being led by Camp Counsellor, Uncle Rasheed, as they embarked on a hike last Saturday from Marian Retreat House, Verdun, St. John.?? Forty- three children??participated in the one-week residential transitional summer camp programme. (Photo courtesy of NCSA)??

At a time when most summer camps are looking to modify their numbers, the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) welcomes the idea of expanding its one-week residential transitional summer camp to accommodate at least up to 80 children.

Community Programme Coordinator with the NCSA and camp director, Makeada Greenidge, made this disclosure over the weekend at the camp’s Marian Retreat House, Verdun, St. John location at the end of a hike which saw camp staffers and 43 children participating in one of the final activities before its Sunday culmination.

She said that if sponsorship was obtained and they were able to have two camps, then the NCSA would be proceeding with it plans.

"We are ready to do it. We have the vision of how we will do it but it is sponsorship we are looking at now," she said.

Adding that parents must keep on playing an active role in their child’s development, the camp director noted that the camp also offered guidance sessions to parents on such topics as understanding adolescence; understanding the difference of communicating with a child versus an adolescent; things to look for as your child transitions from primary to secondary school; and how to reinforce discipline recognising you are training a future adult and not just your baby, but someone who could possibly be a manager or an entrepreneur.??

"Simple things like chores and instilling responsibility through chores. Not paying them to do the chores. Find something else that they can work for an allowance but certain things like tidying a room I do not believe you should give an allowance for that because that is your space that you need to maintain. When you get your own home, whose is going to pay you to maintain your home??? So, you do not want to give these children a falsehood of real life but you want to enforce certain things within them," she underscored.

The Community Programme Coordinator also pointed out that come next month, the NCSA intended to launch a project called Write off Drugs, which would be overseen by parents as well as Drug Education Officer (Primary level), Wendy Greenidge.

"We are doing this as a pilot [project] with this group where children in this camp are given journals and they have journal time. They can draw if they don’t feel like writing, make cartoon pictures, some of them did stick men, some did smiley faces and some of them wrote. They were able to express themselves about how they were feeling…and the aim really is to enhance the ability of these young people to articulate their feelings and articulate something they may want," she explained.

This year, the theme was You! Me! We! Choose to make Barbados Drug Free, in which 40 plus children were taught life changing skills with a focus on making positive choices.

theresa.blackman@barbados.gov.bb

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