One of the highlights in the BecomingKids calendar is the camp every year. This year our Gr 3 to 5 learners camped with us at the SCAS camping facilities in Jonkershoek. The weekend was filled with laughing, eating, dancing, eating, soccer, more eating, bedtime stories and much more. We do however always try and make our fun purposeful, and to that end our theme during the camp was teamwork.

The kids were divided into three groups with each creating a poster with their name and a song to encourage them when they competed. All the following activities focused on getting the kids to work together or identify who would be suited to individual tasks. It was amazing to see how they adapted to the challenges and found unique ways to overcome them.

One of the benefits of working with children from a young age is that we get to see the way they develop their personalities. As such we decided to take along a few of our older children to serve as camping assistants for the first time. We are hopefully giving them a chance to develop leadership qualities. It would be brilliant to say that this was a roaring success and that each of them carried themselves with aplomb, but this was not the case. That is not to say that they only failed. Seeing the kids try to come to grips with the added responsibility of being a leader to their peers was eye-opening. They struggled and succeeded one moment and struggled more and failed. It is an interesting space to navigate at any age. As such it challenged me to think about how we accompany our children into that role, how do we guide them into successful leadership?

This thought was emphasised to me a couple of weeks after the camp in a conversation with an ex-gang member at Gangstar Café. Shepherd, the barista said the following, our children are not the future; they are not the leaders of tomorrow. They are the present, the right now and they are already leaders. The question is what sort of leaders we are shaping and allowing them to be?

I look forward to our next camp where I can apply everything they taught me.