Summer Camp in El Cocal: Beach Clean Ups, Fruit Characters, and Water Races!
This week, we put on a summer camp for the children of El Cocal, a small, isolated community in Quepos full of active and warm hearted children. As it is currently the school holidays in the area, the week consisted mainly of fun activities such as games, arts and crafts and making food.
Our sunny days in El Cocal were filled with several arts and crafts activities (the children of El Cocal love any opportunity to get creative) and a couple of high energy out door games. These events were sandwiched in between an hour of fun, exciting and of course healthy snacks! Some of my favourite snacks at Camp Cocal include fruit kebabs, crepes and fruit loop jewellery!
On day one at Camp Cocal, the children were set the challenge of creating an ‘eco-friendly’ house out of cardboard, recycled materials, and any plastic they could find on the beach! It was great to see the children learning about concepts they’ve never heard of before, such as solar energy and wind turbines. I was surprised at how much they loved craft activities and also how seriously they took the house building!
As the week progressed, the games we played seem to get better and better, with children wanting to get more involved each time. One example of a game that the children absolutely loved was our ‘sponge bucket race.’ The aim of this game was for the children to fill an empty bucket of water from a full bucket of water using only a sponge. They had to race against each other to see who could most fill their empty bucket within one minute. It was great to see the children using their competitive spirits to race each other toward a positive outcome. Plus, water games are always a bonus on a boiling hot Costa Rican day!
A phrase that will stick with me for the rest of my life after Summer Camp at El Cocal is the infamous ‘Que te pasa Calabaza?’ ‘Nada Nada Limonada.’ This is the call and response phrase we used to gain the children’s attention. It translates into English as ‘What’s up pumpkin?’ ‘Nothing Lemonade!’ The children loved this call and response and it was the perfect way to get them listening! I will definitely never forget the Spanish word for pumpkin!
Summer Camp at El Cocal was a rewarding and fun week! It was great seeing the children express themselves in many different creative ways and I am so excited to continue to work toward a brighter, common goal with these kids!